Dean of Students Xavier Romano should no longer chair the Student Life Committee (SLC), according to a resolution the Faculty Affairs Subcommittee (FAScom) brought to the Monday faculty meeting. The faculty lost quorum before they could vote, and it is still unclear if there will be another meeting to discuss it.
The changes would add a faculty member to the committee and give the position of chair to a faculty member.
Before discussion on the SLC resolution, Romano apologized to the faculty for what he said was his role in the Greek system debate, saying he played a part in the tension between students and faculty.
“I may have really screwed these students up,” he said. “I own my role in the conversation and am very sorry for it.” As chair of SLC, Romano is responsible for setting the agenda and leading conversation, though other members (and non-members) can add their own agenda items upon request. He is also the Greek system advisor.
The faculty passed a resolution April 1 that expressed regret for the “the acrimonious tone of some of the recent rhetoric coming from faculty, staff and students” in regards to the Greek debate.
Romano said there were arguments for both sides about whether he or a faculty member should chair the committee. He said he thinks the committee works well, but understands that it is a faculty committee.
“This committee works awfully hard to arrive at consensus,” which it usually does, he said. He does not typically have to use his vote, though he does have the ability to do so.
The committee in their April 29 meeting expressed concern that they were not approached about the proposed changes before they were released to the faculty e-mail list.
FAScom chair and associate professor of biology Stuart Allison said during the Monday meeting that he did not expect the resolution to be controversial and that it was not meant to be a censure of SLC or Romano. Rather, he said, the faculty felt a full-time faculty member should chair the committee. While Deans Breitborde and Bailey chair other faculty committees, they have both been full-time faculty at some point, where Romano has not.
However, conversation during the meeting did concern Romano personally. After Romano had left the meeting, President Roger Taylor asked the faculty to defer voting on the issue for the year because Romano has had a tough year. Early in the school year, Romano’s parents moved to Galesburg to live with him, and his mother passed in November.
Associate Professor of History Konrad Hamilton said during the meeting that Romano needs to be held accountable for his actions.
Aside from changing the chair, the resolution also proposes the addition of a fourth faculty member to the committee. Currently, four students, three faculty members and the Dean of Students have voting rights. The proposed changes would give the faculty and the students an equal number of votes, leaving Romano as a swing vote if the committee were to be split along faculty and student lines, a position he said he was concerned about. SLC is the only faculty committee where students outnumber faculty members.
“If we start voting on everything, this is going to get interesting,” he said, laughing and referencing the committee’s current ability to gain consensus on most issues. “You never see the line drawn between students and faculty,” he said.
What is …
Student Life Committee (SLC)
A committee of the faculty charged with handling issues concerning student life. The four student members are the Student Senate President (Brad Middleton), Vice-president (Erica Jaffe), Communications Officer (Elaine Wilson) and Treasurer (Alex Argyelan), as defined by the Student Senate Constitution. The faculty members are Tim Kasser, Barbara Tannert-Smith and Mike Godsil, who is filling in while Don Blaheta is on leave.
The committee meets Tuesdays at 4 p.m. in the McClelland Room in Seymour Union.
Faculty Affairs Subcommittee (FAScom)
The full-time faculty members of the Faculty Executive Committee, which also includes the Dean of the College and two students.