March 7th, 2000

  • 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, Richard Keiser, Jennifer Manion, Stephen Strand; Students Alicia Hancock, Howard Kushlan, Nick Macarelli, Andrew Pierce, Cameron Smith; Staff Person Terry Metz; Alumni Observer Lee Mauk; Trustee Observer Louise Heffelfinger.
  • Absent: Staff Person Gail DeGroot.
  • Guests: Interim Vice President Beverlee DeCoux.
  • Secretary: Intisar Khanani
  • Keywords: faculty, president, drugs, budget

Approval of Minutes

A correction was made to the College Council minutes of the meeting on February 15, 2000. They were then approved in a voice vote without dissent.

President's Report

President Stephen R. Lewis informed the Council that the Faculty had elected Professor John Ramsay as President of the Faculty for the next three years, to replace Professor Scott Bierman whose term expires in June.

Drugs on Campus

Dean Govoni informed the Council that he has been discussing perceptions of increases of drug use on campus with his staff since November when the issue first came to his attention. Since that time, the problem seems to have gotten worse; there have been a dozen or so student reports of heavy or widespread drug use, mostly involving concern about friends' abuses. All information available to the College has come through students. Dean Govoni noted that recreational drug use appears to be escalating. He sent two memos to the student body concerning the issue, and has received many responses of varying opinions. Dean Govoni is investigating serious allegations of drug distribution by students and has contacted students associated with activities where drug use has been reported. He also has spoken with the Northfield police to see if there is a tie between drug use on campus and in town.

President Lewis noted there are different levels of concern with respect to what the College's stance on illegal drugs should be, including legality, dealers, and education. He noted the danger of abuse, as well as the self-destructive nature of drug use. President Lewis pointed out two main elements of Carleton culture:

  1. The belief that people should be free to make their own choices.
  2. A community that cares for each individual.

He suggested that one important question which needs to be addressed is how to assure the care for a student overrides the respect for personal decisions when there is danger to the person. Dean Elizabeth McKinsey noted that Carleton's educational mission includes individual autonomy and growth in the context of learning responsibilities to oneself and the community.

Student Alicia Hancock suggested the College begin an educational campaign, including posting information concerning advisory/confidentiality rules, and holding a drug abuse open forum in the spirit of the alcohol forum held Fall of 1998. Student Howard Kushlan informed the Council that Ecstasy, one of the main drugs of concern, is perceived as a hot, trendy drug whose medical consequences are not well known; he recommends educating the student body on what is known of the drug's medical consequences. Alicia also noted the importance of a proactive approach in order to keep measures from appearing as confrontational. The student members of the Council stressed the need to assure the student body of the confidentiality of the Wellness Center through a separate memo on the subject.

In reply to a question from Student Cameron Smith, Dean Govoni explained that self-abusive students who are turned in by friends while under the influence of drugs or alcohol are provided with immediate medical attention. The student would receive a cautionary letter, and would engage in a discussion with the Dean of Students Office.

2000-2001 Operating Budget

Dean Stephen Kelly presented the Budget Committee's proposal for the 2000-2001 operating budget. He informed the Council that there had been a number of challenges for the Committee to resolve, including a return to a target number of 1710 students. Another challenge was the need to absorb a 341/2% rise in premiums in health care as well as the need to build in funds in preparation for another expected rise. Vice President and Treasurer Beverlee DeCoux noted that although utility prices had increased dramatically, the increase had been written into last year's budget, as had utility costs for the Rec. Center this year that went unused, providing the College with a sufficient amount of surplus to cover the costs. Dean Kelly offered his thanks to those members of Council who had served on the Budget Committee.

Professor Stephen Strand asked the student members if the hourly student wage, $7.24, was felt to be adequate. Student Andrew Pierce noted that work programs needed to take into account the lifestyle changes required by students for their jobs. For example, Resident Assistants are required to be on call at all times, but are only provided with ten hours of wages a week, and no extra benefits, which he felt to be inadequate compensation when compared with the relative easiness of many other jobs on campus.

At the College Council meeting on March 7, 2000, the Council recommended the 2000-2001 Operating Budget to the Board of Trustees in a voice vote without dissent.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:54 p.m.