We discussed the ongoing responses to the act of intolerance perpetrated last week against a residential staff member and his family, including last week’s public demonstration of opposition to intolerance, which several of us joined, and the signings of message boards containing reproductions of The Affirmation currently in progress.
Sub-committee chairs McKeever, Daniels, and Oakes led review and discussion of their sub-committees’ work to date on the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) study of the University’s judicial programs and services.
Mission, program, leadership. Nothing to add at this time; written summaries of responses have been submitted for inclusion in the draft document. Equity and access, campus and external relations. A meeting is to be held with Judicial Board members soon after the Thanksgiving break. Preliminary questions, in the minds of the sub-committee, center on the pros and cons of the current composition of Judicial Boards – students and faculty members – as opposed to other possible configurations. An item addressing that issue also will appear in the student survey on which the third sub-committee is working (see below).
Diversity, ethics. Ms. Oakes has met with Dr. Cicala with regard to a draft of the proposed student survey and is now to meet with IT staff to work out set-up and administration details. She also distributed a first draft of the written material produced by the sub-committee to date, based on discussions the sub-committee has had internally as well as with faculty and staff members who have worked with/in our judicial system. A key area of potential concern and for further consideration: weighing the extents to which judicial officers (board members, preliminary hearing officers, etc.) should/can be representative of the overall spectrum of populations that comprise the University community and/or sensitive to/representative of the real or perceived differentiating characteristics of each student who comes into contact with the judicial process.
Dr. Cicala presented the findings of the fourth living learning communities survey, which was administered to our current commuter students. That survey received the highest response rate (21%) of the four to date, and indicated significant interest in living learning communities among a modest number of our current commuter students. The most highly rated potential themes differed to some degree from those that emerged in the survey of current resident students, but careful consideration led us to conclude that living learning communities organized around academic or co-curricular/leadership development themes would have the most likely appeal across the two groups. Further, it seems likely that the modest interest in quiet and/or substance free housing that emerged in each study might best be addressed by further refinement of the current “health lifestyles” special interest housing offering and the plan currently in discussion to convert one of the smaller residences in the North Halls complex to all premium singles for upper division students. We discussed advantages and disadvantages of various possible approaches to constructing or encouraging the proposal of living learning communities. We will receive another update once the Community Development Unit and the Division of Student Affairs Leadership Team complete their work on this, which will make use of the comments and suggestions that have been generated by discussions in our committee and with the Community Development Advisory Board.