In a relatively short meeting, Student Senate discussed the topics of campus relations, specifically the Greek-Faculty controversy, and the state and plans for Wallace Lounge.
President Brad Middleton presented a report on the state of the campus. Middleton focused mainly on the recent contentious discussion on the Greek system and the faculty task force that was to be created to evaluate the Greek system as a whole.
A resolution drafted by the faculty was presented to the chamber to the effect of creating a faculty majority task force to ‘examine the procedures and institutional structures which govern and support Greek life.’ Amendments to the resolution also allow the task force to broaden its scope to encompass broader concerns with the Greek system. The resolution also stated that ‘Until the Task Force has completed its work, there shall be a hold on bringing forward any proposals for approval of new colonies, but current locals shall be permitted to remain in existence.’
Another resolution from the faculty was also presented, in which the faculty recognized the historical and contemporary significance of the Greek system. To quote, ‘The faculty declares that it has no intention to take any actions directed at the elimination of the Greek system.’ The resolution also expressed the faculty’s concern for the social well-being of the campus, and its commitment to maintenance of a healthy campus environment.
Middleton took the opportunity to say before the chamber, “I hope now we have come to some sort of lull in the conversation. I would ask everyone to step back and take a deep breath. Let’s reassess the hostile tone that this conversation has taken. As I’ve said in other venues disagreement does not have to be ugly. Name calling and anonymous attacks, such as the posters reading ‘Frat is Greek for rape,’ do not further thoughtful debate. Instead those tactics are divisive and hurtful. As a student body we can’t allow for a hostile discussion of the faculty to divide us. We can’t allow harsh rhetoric from our professors to turn us against one another. We are all students here at Knox, all full members of this community, with the right to freely associate and join the campus clubs and organizations of our own choosing.”
Next, Senator Maurice Harris took the floor to show a proposal for the rebuilding of Wallace Lounge. Harris presented a floor plan design for the lounge that includes a games area, a bar/food service area, a TV lounge, a performance area, a projector screen, as well as ample tables and seating. Harris mentioned that with the food service area, there was a possibility of a pizzeria and on-campus delivery of pizza being available in the future.
In response to a question over when the project would be started, Harris said “if the finances are going to work out, hopefully over winter break. It will be ready before winter term.”