The independent news organization of Duke University

DSG calls for eating disorder coordinator

Health, dining and social issues took precedence at Duke Student Government's meeting Wednesday night, as the Legislature overwhelmingly passed four resolutions.

The most debated issue of the evening was a proposal for the creation of an eating disorder coordinator position at the University by Vice President for Community Interaction Carrie Johnson.

Johnson said the impetus for the legislation was a Nov. 1 column in The Chronicle by Mary Adkins, which drew considerable attention to the eating disorder problems on campus and solicited over 100 e-mails from students relating their experiences with eating disorders. Johnson said such a position would increase the time, resources and experiences allocated to the issue and would coordinate the University's resources.

Currently, eating disorder services are handled by three different groups: Educational Support to Eliminate Eating Misconceptions, a student-run awareness group, Student Health and Counseling and Psychological Services.

Opponents of the resolution said they were not arguing the context of the proposal, but rather the lack of input from administrators and University professionals.

But Johnson and other proponents of the bill said enough student input had been collected, and that the administration has been unresponsive to the issue in the past.

"If there are already experts on campus, why is this still a major problem?" asked junior Vinny Eng, Student Organization Finance Committee chair.

The resolution passed, though not unanimously. Johnson said she did not know who would pay the salary of such a position, and said most of the details of the plan were still undecided.

In addition, more than a month after Campus Council passed a resolution calling for a smoking ban in all residential areas, DSG unanimously passed a resolution that recommends allowing selective houses and individual dormitories to vote on such a ban at the beginning of each academic year.

Just as Campus Council excluded Central Campus apartments from its ban, DSG also did not include the area in its policy.

Legislators also carried a resolution supporting a new menu for the Oak Room. The Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee recently completed an extensive student survey, which suggested "students would like to have a casual, moderately priced environment for lunch... and a slightly higher quality, fine dining experience for dinner," according to the bill.

The average price will be between $5 and $9 for dinner, and between $12 and $22 for dinner. "The Oak Room is being brought down a level," said DUSDAC chair Jason Freedman.

The fourth resolution passed was a recommendation to purchase a pool table for one of the two television rooms on the second floor of the Bryan Center. The initial proposal called for the removal of the room's television, but legislators said the rooms could accommodate both a pool table and a television. DSG President C.J. Walsh said he would recommend keeping both televisions when he presents the proposal to Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta today.