October 11th, 1999
- Location: Sayles-Hill 251
- Time: 4:15 pm
- Present: President Stephen R. Lewis; Deans Mark Govoni, Stephen Kelly, Elizabeth McKinsey; Professors Deborah Appleman, Scott Bierman, Rich Keiser, Jennifer Manion, Stephen Strand; Students Alicia Hancock, Howard Kushlan, Nick Macarelli, Andrew Pierce, Cameron Smith; Staff Persons Gail DeGroot,Terry Metz; Trustee Observer Louise Heffelfinger
- Absent: Alumni Observer Ann L. Iijima
- Guests: Carletonian Staff Person Katherine Farrior
- Secretary: Intisar Khanani
- Keywords: mellon foundation, acs, acns, alcohol,
Approval of Minutes
The College Council minutes of September 22, 1999, were approved in a voice vote without dissent.
President Stephen R. Lewis informed the Council that, due to delays in the delivery of materials and difficulties with contractors, the Rec. Center's opening may be postponed from the present expected date of January 7, 2000. President Lewis noted that Carleton has received a Mellon Foundation Faculty Development Grant in cooperation with Macalester College. The planning grant is to be used to assess issues related to the life stages of faculty, and the structural support and assistance that should be offered. He ended by noting that over 100 volunteers came to Carleton for Volunteer Weekend and had a great time.
ACS and ACNS
Dean Stephen Kelly informed the Council that searches have begun for new directors for the two computing services, ACS and ACNS. The search committees hope to bring candidates to Carleton during winter term, and hope to have the positions filled by July 2000.
Re-Use of Goodhue Dining Hall
Dean Govoni met with Goodhue residence hall staff, including the Residential Assistants, concerning the re-use of Goodhue Dining Hall. The RAs held discussions with the students on their floors. The decision was reached that the space will be used as an alcohol-free campus-wide social area, "Sayles-Hill East." The kitchen area has been locked up and the equipment removed. The dining area will be provided with cable television, pool, table tennis, and board games.
Dean Govoni played a short video for the Council concerning alcohol at Carleton. It was written and produced by Carleton students for a video class. He wished to know the Council's opinion on using the video as an introduction to the issue for freshmen, or as a training video for peer leaders.
Student Cameron Smith stated that the CSL felt that non-drinkers were presented in an awkward way and as students who have less fun.
Student Alicia Hancock stressed that the conversation on alcohol should not be a definition of personal identity, and should focus on the gray areas. Professor Scott Bierman noted that last year's discussions seemed to center on substance-free housing, which generated polarity in the student body. He agreed that the College should carry out more general conversations, and develop the gray area. Professor Richard Keiser noted that the "gray" area appears to be a movement towards responsible drinking. Professor Stephen Strand noted that there are very few opportunities on campus for responsible drinking (e.g. cocktail parties, receptions with faculty).
Dean Govoni suggested that a task force could be convened by students, and include faculty and staff, to discuss the question of where the College should go. Student Howard Kushlan stressed the importance of the students on such a task force being selected by the student body. Professor Deborah Appleman suggested that the question of faculty being on the task force should be decided on by the students on the basis of what they are comfortable with, but the notion of alumni members (retrospective understanding) might be more appreciated.
Student Andrew Pierce suggested that the task force go through CSA and CSL, but include other students, and make the student body aware of the opportunity.
Outcome of Student Brainstorm
Student Cameron Smith informed the Council that the student members of the Council had felt disconnected from, and not accountable to, the student body. Therefore, they decided to co-sponsor an All Student Brainstorm with the CSA. Approximately 300 students came to the Forum. The issues raised could be divided into four major concerns:
- The Wellness Center: availability of staff, especially for women's health, is critically important. The students feel that additional staff is necessary.
- Student Government: the representation of students, and what roles the different committees and councils play should be clear.
- Environmentalism: students want a defined structure within the college concerning environmental issues.
- Conversation: on values and issues; common readings for upperclass students and the re-evaluation of the function of convocations were suggested.
The students felt that the issue of further conversation needs the leadership of the College Council. Student Smith suggested that some sort of subcommittee be formed to discuss ways to nurture conversation.
Professor Deborah Appleman praised the students on the Council for working to rebuild the lines of communication between the student body and its representatives, and noted that the faculty could learn from them.
Dean Govoni suggested that the Diversity Initiative Group had looked at several of these issues, and could be utilized to continue conversation. Professor Keiser noted that students may feel that the direction of the conversation is not diversity, but concerns a larger picture of the College; he noted that the Diversity Initiative group may box in such issues as environmentalism. Professor Jennifer Manion suggested going to different groups for the different issues. Professor Bierman suggested the possibility of creating an ad-hoc College Council committee to look into the issues. Student Smith noted that those students interested in diversity issues are already involved with the Diversity Initiative group; those who want to work on the combined issues should be in a task force with a directive or mandate from the Council. The Council decided to look into what different groups on campus are planning before creating a task force.
College Council recognizes the serious role of all campus conversation at Carleton, and its role in the educational mission of the College. The Council will look further into the short term and long term implications of this issue in the coming months and year.
The three presidents-Lewis, Bierman, and Kushlan-agreed to discuss the formation of a group to look at the issues, and report back to the Council.