Council to review all selective living groups

Campus Council will institute a new system for evaluating selective living groups, Campus Council Vice President Ben Rubinfeld, a junior, said at Thursday night's meeting.

The new evaluation is likely to take effect in the 2006-2007 school year, and the first repercussions will likely occur in the Fall 2007 semester.

The Council will have the final say in all decisions, which may include approving new housing sections for selective groups, reducing the number of beds allotted, taking away dedicated commons rooms and revoking the privilege of housing.

"The bottom line is that housing is a privilege, not a right," Rubinfeld said. "The problem is that the old annual review had no teeth and was all quantitative."

Eddie Hull, executive director of housing services and dean of residence life, abolished the evaluation process in Spring 2004. Annual review was the process by which administrators evaluated selective living groups on their contribution to the residential community

"Annual review-that's in the past," said Council President Jay Ganatra, a junior. The new review will be more qualitative, offering selectives more flexibility in fulfilling the requirements.

When annual review was nixed, Hull said he sought a larger role for RLHS in decisions of citizenship, instead of leaving the evaluation to a predominantly student committee. He was also concerned about the potential detrimental effects of selective groups on the quad model.

The new plan, however, will place final decisions solely in Campus Council's hands.

"What he said to us was that he doesn't want to have control over the process-he wants students to have the control," Rubinfeld said of Hull.

Rubinfeld outlined a proposed multi-step process. A review committee will be composed of six members, two each from Campus Council and the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and one from the Selective House Council. The last committee member will be drawn from the quad council of the group in question, but cannot be affiliated with the selective group.

Selectives groups will make a presentation to the committee each fall. The committee will give the group feedback, and a second hearing-probably in January-will review the group's progress and make a decision on whether to impose any sanctions. Their decision will be forwarded to Campus Council for final approval.

Categories for evaluation are yet to be finalized, but Rubinfeld named community service, educational programming and disciplinary reports as possible areas for review.

One major issue to be addressed during the establishment of the review is the moratorium on selective housing expansion.

Currently, no more than 50 percent of beds on West Campus can be dedicated to selectives, and no selective groups have housing on Central Campus. Several groups have requested housing on Central.

Council members asked questions about a tiered sanction process, which features progressively harsher penalties. Rubinfeld cautioned, however, that such a system might make the new system just as ineffective as its predecessor.

Ganatra said he expects the development of new evaluations to extend for several weeks and to include input from a variety of sources.

In other business:

A referendum which would have allowed for shortened quiet hours on Central Campus appeared headed toward defeat because of low turnout, said Central representative Meredith Gonsahn, a junior.

To pass, the referendum required a two-thirds vote of all Central residents. With about 330 votes for and 100 against, it fell well short of the approximately 500 "Yes" votes required to establish a pilot program.

Ganatra said RLHS may make a vote part of the housing application for students who will live on Central next year.


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