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Council discusses FLEX, du Lac recommendations

Molly Madden | Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Council of Representatives (COR) presented a new initiative for the Freshmen Leadership Experience (FLEX) and discussed ongoing recommendations for revisions to the du Lac student handbook at its meeting Tuesday night.

The FLEX committee presented its draft of a student booklet that will be mailed to incoming University freshmen over the summer before they arrive on campus in the fall.
The committee said the booklet, which it compiled based on research and feedback from the current freshman class, is intended to give the Class of 2014 information about campus they might not be able to find anywhere else.

The booklet would feature specific details about locations on campus, rankings of on-campus and off-campus eateries, and walking times from one campus location to another.

Student body president Grant Schmidt said the current proposal is to make revisions to the existing draft and then send it as a booklet to students over the summer.

“Technically this is information that could be found other places,” Schmidt said. “But there is no central location where this can all be found, and anything you get in the mail as an incoming freshmen is gold — you read it cover to cover.”

Schmidt said it is possible the information will be posted online so students can potentially have links to the various organizations listed in the booklet. Many COR members said they believed it would be more effective to mail the booklet as initially proposed.

Schmidt said everything is in the planning stages, but if the FLEX committee decides on mailing the booklet as opposed to creating a Web site, he hopes to include the booklet in one of the initial mailings the Class of 2014 will receive this summer.

Since the FLEX booklet is still in the initial phases, student body vice president Cynthia Weber recommended that members of COR present the current draft to their individual councils.

“This is a good thing for you guys to show your respective groups because not only is it fun to read, but you can get feedback,” she said.

Schmidt then turned the topic of discussion to the ongoing revisions to the du Lac student handbook. Schmidt said that while student government does not get to vote on any changes, they can make recommendations to the Office of Student Affairs about issues student government has recognized as being concerns of University students.

“We came up with nine concrete recommendations and so far, four of the recommendations were passed in [Campus Life Council] at their meeting this week,” Schmidt said.

CLC officials recommended that du Lac clarify the use of the word “shall” in its rulings and more specifically define policies for off-campus activities. CLC also recommended the continued use of service hours as a sanction.

Schmidt said clarification in wording was needed when addressing the accountability of the student in off-campus situations.

“Right now it’s hard for students to understand what policies they are accountable for adhering when they are off campus,” he said. “The Indiana law doesn’t apply when students are out of the state of Indiana or abroad. We recommended that the new wording say that students are responsible for complying with the laws of the state or the country in which they are residing.”

Schmidt said CLC recommended the wording of du Lac be changed from “shall” to “may” when talking about punishments.

“The term ‘shall’ didn’t allow for a lot of flexibility for the Office of Residence Life [and Housing,]” he said.

The remaining five recommendations, which include recommending a medical amnesty policy, will be debated when CLC resumes after Spring Break.