Campus Life, under the direction of Associate Dean of Students Craig Southern, is moving forward with plans to update the long-neglected social events policy, Southern told the Student Life Committee on Tuesday.
“We need a new process,” Southern said, “for students to feel comfortable registering a social event.”
The social events policy, also known as the party policy, often has unclear or out of date standards. For example, there is no clear threshold between what constitutes an “event” as opposed to a “social event,” which require different types of preparation to get approval from Campus Life.
Many aspects of the policy have fallen into disuse, such as the registration of parties where alcohol is permitted. According to Assistant Director of Campus Life Kathleen Drake, no such registration has occurred since the 2010-2011 school year. The quiz about how to deal with alcohol-related problems that students take when registering a policy has also not been revised for several years.
Some of these concerns were raised in an editorial published in TKS last week, which Southern said helped to prompt him to look at this issue again. Another reason it is being looked at now is that staffing gaps in the Campus Life Office have been filled in, thus freeing up time for those in the office to work on long-term projects.
Changing the policy is “complex,” Southern said, “but not as complex as the time this thing has taken.”
Comparable ACM schools have a variety of policies, but all of them are, according to Southern, “easily understandable, relatively easy to do and take into account social media.” He noted that none of those describe the current party policy and that all three would be features in any update.
A sharper distinction between different kinds of events and what is required for each of them will also likely be a feature of the new policy.
The current deadline for registering events is the Tuesday before said event. This is not likely to change — that way, students can do a better job of planning.
Student Senate President senior Phillip Bennett said that Student Senate will get involved as part of an effort to make the process more visible to the student body, most likely through the Senate Campus Life Committee under the direction of sophomore Victor Schultz.
Southern will update the Student Life Committee on his progress at its bi-weekly meetings during Winter Term.