Meeting Minutes

May 12, 2008

104 Gore Hall                                                                                                  4:00 pm


Members excused:


Today’s meeting is a continuation of last week’s discussion on the motion to accept the Residence Life Proposal.  Matt Robinson and Michael Gilbert opened the discussion with comments about the process in developing the proposal, the friendly amendments that were made since the last Faculty Senate meeting, the implementation of the proposed program, and how the new program differs from the previous program.

A number of senators raised concerns about the use of the word “sustainability.” A motion was made to replace “environmental sustainability” in the proposal with “conservation” and to include a definition of conservation. The motion was seconded and a discussion ensued on this motion.  Some senators believed that substituting conservation for environmental sustainability was too limiting. A call for the question was made and passed; a vote on the amendment to the proposal failed.

The proposal states that the new program would be evaluated in the fall semester. A senator asked who would conduct the assessment and what would be done with the results.  The assessment will be conducted by the University Office of Educational Assessment in December and the results presented to the Faculty Senate in February. A senator asked what the agenda is for this document.  Dr. Gilbert answered that the goal of the program is to provide students with the opportunity to speak about topics relative to the students including issues adjusting to university life and academic concerns. The students should benefit from the program.  All senators who wanted to speak had spoken, so the floor was opened to guests.  A student raised a concern about duplication of topics in the program with Resident Student Organizations (RSOs). Another student commented there would be collaboration between RSOs and Residence Life programs. Residence Life will advertise the RSOs’ activities.

At 5:20 a motion was made to extend the meeting to 6:00. The motion was seconded and passed. A student asked why RSOs would be upset that their organization’s topic is covered by a program in Resident Life?  RSOs could benefit by getting students talking about issues they found important; students may then join RSOs.  Students felt that there was less peer pressure to attend RSOs compared to Residence Life programs. Previously, RAs were assessed on attendance of their programs. Dr. Gilbert stated that RAs will not be evaluated on the number of program attendees.  Student expressed concern that controversial speakers could be brought in like in the previous program. Dr. Gilbert answered that there is Faculty oversight and assessment.  If anyone has concerns he or she should contact Dr. Gilbert or a member of the Faculty Senate Student Life Committee.

A student asked “What is the goal of an RA?”  Dr. Robinson answered that the RAs goals are education, a resource to direct students for help, and to identify speakers to bring in to address topics students have interest in. Dr. Gilbert added RAs’ goals are for leadership in social and recreational events.  Personal development and program content will be done by faculty and professional staff.  The call for the question passed. A vote was taken on the motion to accept the Resident Life Proposal; it passed 45 to 7.

Adjourned 5:45.

Submitted by Donald Lehman