September 23, 2010

SLC sets the tone

The regular weekly meeting of the Student Life Committee was held on Sept. 14, 2010 at 4:45 p.m. in Borzello Hall, with Professor Elizabeth Carlin-Metz serving as the chair.

In her first year as the chair of SLC, Carlin-Metz began the meeting with a brief statement of the committee’s charge: to make policy recommendations on all aspects of student life. She focused on the need for the committee to gather as much information on issues as possible and work on keeping proceedings transparent.

Carlin-Metz hopes that SLC can improve communication with students, faculty and staff in order to better address concerns of the entire campus community. She wants to make minutes from more committee meetings, including SLC’s, available to the student body. The committee will also receive more regular updates from important staff members on campus, including Director of Campus Safety John Schlaf and Director of Counseling Services Dan Larson.

The first item on SLC’s agenda in the coming weeks is a revision of Knox’s party policy. Associate Dean of Students Craig Southern explained that the policy needed to be streamlined and made easier for students to understand.

Also to be dealt with in the coming weeks is the future of the Seymour Union Student Lounge, formerly known as Wallace Lounge. Senior staff will present SLC with a plan by Oct. 1 for what should go in the newly renovated lounge, including types of food service.

As his own goal for this year, Student Senate treasurer Gordon Barratt emphasized the need to clarify for clubs how they can get funding from Senate and how much money they can expect for different types of activities. There was some discussion on the need to monitor how clubs were using their money, but no decision was reached.

Carlin-Metz then turned the conversation to attitudes towards Greek culture on campus. She suggested that SLC designate a day each term when Greek officers and advisors could meet with SLC to have a “community discussion” on Greek life. These meetings would be open to observers, giving everyone, particularly faculty, the opportunity to hear about positive elements of Greek culture.

“As SLC, we need to correct misinformation on Greek culture,” she said. “Faculty especially only hear the bad stuff about Greeks.”

Carlin-Metz also brought up the idea of having a Greek non-voting member on SLC, as Greeks represent the largest student group on campus. This was met with skepticism, but nothing was decided.

Next, the committee discussed sexual safety on campus. Although there was much talk in the spring, members were interested in seeing what had been done over the summer to address the issue of sexual assault.

One idea left over from the spring was to create a subcommittee on sexual safety. The general consensus of the faculty was, given other panels already in place, that the subcommittee would be redundant. However, Carlin-Metz did suggest devoting one meeting per term to an open forum on sexual safety.

The committee agreed to address all items in full during the 2010-2011 academic year. The meeting adjourned at 5:35 p.m.

Anna Meier

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