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Hallahan to address Board today

Meghanne Downes | Thursday, October 16, 2003

Student body president Pat Hallahan will address the Board of Trustees today where he plans to discuss expanding the role of the Campus Life Council to improve communication between students and the administration and faculty to more efficiently influence University policy.

The report, “A New Attitude: Student Government and the Campus Life Council,” suggests CLC’s composition be changed to include the following members: student body president, class council president, Club Coordination Council president, Hall President Council president, Judicial Council president, Student Union Board manager, Student Union treasurer, four faculty members from the Faculty Senate, four rectors, vice president for Student Affairs, vice president for Business Operations and associate provost.

The Board of Trustees established the predecessor to the CLC, the Student Life Council, in 1968 as a legislative body under the University president that could implement campus policy unless vetoed by the president. In 1977, trustees decided to revise the SLC, creating the CLC, which currently makes recommendations to the vice president for Student Affairs.

Hallahan will present his report following the board’s meeting with the Office of Student Affairs and intends to utilize a majority of his presentation as a forum for discussion of the suggested changes.

According to the report, the CLC began the school year with the intent to make progress on issues concerning students and disagreement ensued between council members. A committee was then created to discuss the purpose and composition of CLC due to the disagreement’s effect on the council’s ability to work together.

The proposed suggestions for changes to the CLC were presented to, but not voted on by, the members of the CLC and met with mixed reactions, according to the report. The report states some believed this change would allow for a more direct discussion of ideas between students and particular members of the administration or faculty and the broader representation of university opinion would allow for greater influence on University policy.

“We feel students should be involved in all aspects of University policy as opposed to just Student Affairs,” Hallahan said, “whereas some think it’s just enough we interact with CLC.”

According to the report, other members were against an expanded CLC, stating students should not have direct access to administrators and what contact they do have should be limited to the Office of Student Affairs.

Hallahan said a larger CLC will foster more proactive dialogue between students and the administration and faculty and can only promote efficiency.

The Senate’s decision Wednesday to create a Council of Representatives, which will be representative of all student government branches and have the power to change the Student Union constitution, will show trustees students want to be involved and change their government to increase credibility Hallahan said.

“We will talk about how we are making ourselves more efficient and I believe this will speak volumes,” Hallahan said.

This will be Hallahan’s fourth Board of Trustees meeting, but the first he will attend as student body president to present the formal report. Hallahan said he intends for Wednesday’s report to be the second in a three-part series regarding issues related to student government and administration interactions.

This report follows the May report where former student body president Libby Bishop talked about the problems and strengths within student government. Tentative plans for the next report include focusing on creating an endowment for speakers and concerts to improve campus life.