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Off-campus issues addressed

John Cameron | Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Campus Life Council (CLC) discussed the creation of an off-campus administrator, a role that would provide students with a source of support and information regarding off-campus issues such as police incidents, lease issues and neighbor conflicts at its meeting Monday.

Student body president Catherine Soler said recent off-campus arrests have highlighted the need for a response from student government and the administration.

“This weekend, and on Thursday, there were incidents and more arrests,” she said. “We’ll be meeting with administrators to talk about a plan going forward.”

Chief of staff Nick Ruof said while some resources do exist, they are too decentralized to be effective.

“There’s no real support system in case you have [leasing] or police incidents … Right now, student government is sort of fulfilling that role,” he said. “Other organizations or groups fulfilling the needs of off-campus students are spread around campus.”

Fr. Tom Gaughan, Stanford Hall rector, said since many students cite ‘du Lac’ as their reason for leaving campus, they may respond poorly to the creation of such a position.

“There could be a section of the off-campus population that would sort of be insulted,” he said. “What they moved away from was to be away from ‘mom’.”

Parliamentarian Ben Noe said despite the physical move, students are still connected to the University.

“Even if students are moving off campus, they’re not separate, ‘du Lac’ still applies to students,” he said. “If we’re going to hold them accountable shouldn’t they also have support?”

Sr. Carrine Etheridge, rector of Farley Hall, brought up the need for students to consider trends in police activity when making decision about socializing off campus.

“I wish our students would get savvy. The police, the [Indiana State] Excise Police, they know our schedule,” she said. “They know when there’s going to be parties. Learn from that.”

Student body vice president Andrew Bell elaborated on the need for proactive as well as reactive measures.

“A lot of our time last semester was spent getting information out,” he said. “It’s about taking that proactive role in addition to taking those calls Monday morning asking for help.”

Lt. Col. Jon Crist, Faculty Senate representative, said there is a danger the position could become a “complaint line.”

“I think it would be just an umbrella of resources, less of a complaint line,” Soler said. “There’s just a lot of things that are gray and I think if one person were in charge of it all, that would be very beneficial.”