Social, intellectual climate at heart of Council meeting

Campus Council addressed now-familiar complaints about the social and intellectual climate on campus Thursday night.

"We've heard for three years the negative conversation-'Social life is dead,'" said Campus Council President Jay Ganatra, a junior.

Several representatives discussed the possibility of having more campus-wide events.

"There are very few parties on Central Campus and in frats on the weekends," said junior Collin Walter, a Kilgo Quadrangle representative. "Parties on campus are really exclusive. You don't go unless you're in a frat that's involved."

Ganatra added that the Council's budget is tight because of Last Day of Classes expenses.

Communications Coordinator Brenna Benson, a senior, suggested asking the University to subsidize bartenders so that there could be more all-Duke events.

"I really want to talk to administration about why there are so many obstacles to getting enough party monitors and paying bartenders," for all-inclusive events, she said.

Brittany Greenfield, a senior and chair of the Facilities and Services Committee, said the administration's image of students sometimes creates an obstacle to encouraging on-campus social life. "There are administrators who understand that we can behave," she said. "But there are others who just don't get it and can't tell the difference between tailgate and other events."

Representatives talked at length about scant attendance at intellectual events.

Senior Shivum Agarwal, Central Campus representative, complained that although there are plenty of academic events on campus, people only hear about them after they occur.

"I don't think there's a lack of events. I think the problem is a lack of communication," he said. "What we need to focus our efforts on is some way to let people know."

Vice President Ben Rubinfeld, a junior, suggested that Campus Council request the rights for use of empty space on e-Print and NetID sign-in screens, which was greeted with warm approval.

Several other members mentioned the problem of a lack of social and intellectual cultures mixing on campus.

"Why, as soon as you cross Main West Quad in front of the Chapel, does learning have to stop?" Benson asked.

Representatives also discussed the problem of intellectual life competing with other activities.

"How do you make it as appealing as Shooters?" Agarwal asked.

He added that FOCUS and faculty-in-residence on East Campus help to integrate intellectual life with social life in a way not possible on West or Central Campuses.

Ganatra said he is interested in making intellectual life a priority of quad councils. Members suggested adorning commons rooms with books and intellectually enriching magazines like National Geographic.

In other business:

Last Day of Classes Chair Mark Middaugh, a senior, said he hopes to have a contract with a band by late January.

Rubinfeld reported that the Council will be working with Associate Dean for Residence Life Joe Gonzalez to create a pilot program for keeping bathroom doors unlocked in halls that vote to do so.


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