LUCC debates elections

Amanda Loder

Among the most pressing concerns at the Nov. 1 Lawrence University Community Council meeting was student involvement in campus government, especially as it pertains to committees. Dean of students Nancy Truesdell is particularly concerned with filling student seats on faculty, trustee, and university committees. She worries that “Those seats will [eventually] be eliminated if there are no students interested,” Truesdell said.
According to associate dean of students for campus activities Paul Shrode, members of the Committee on Committees failed to attend their first meeting, scheduled the previous Wednesday. Shrode also mentioned that earlier in the year, when LUCC got a table at Downer and gave out committee applications, students took more applications than were returned. While some LUCC committees still lack student members, all were agreed that the top priority now is to fill faculty, university, and trustee committees. LUCC representatives discussed different methods for advertising for committees, but ultimately the question of attracting student interest was left largely unresolved. Representatives did, however, set the goal of having more applications in so that committee members could be chosen by the COC meeting the following Wednesday.
Another major concern for LUCC was the past election. William Dalsen, former chair of the Polling and Elections Committee, submitted his report to LUCC, which stated, “The results of the first elections were dismal.” All LUCC elections were uncontested, and some districts, such as Kohler and the Formal Group Houses, failed to elect representatives at all, or, in the case of Sage and Colman, filled only one of the two LUCC positions. According to Dalsen, problems with the election ranged from a lack of manpower-he and LUCC Vice President Tariq Engineer were the only active participants in PEL during the first election -to technical difficulties with voicemail trees, to RHD lack of commitment on advertisement, to student apathy. Dalsen also acknowledged that the cabinet, especially parliamentarian Davis Hudson, were “indispensable” in the second LUCC election to fill the remaining seats.
There was considerable debate between LUCC representatives and faculty and staff participants regarding changes in LUCC election bylaws and redistricting. One bylaw change specifies that instead of both LUCC representatives attending the relevant hall council meetings, only one representative from each district would be required to do so. As for redistricting, last year former parliamentarian Peter Snyder proposed redistricting based on population and geography.
In some cases, Snyder proposed that several dorm halls be combined, such as Colman, Ormsby, Hiett. Together with the students living off campus, these dorms would get five representatives. Some LUCC representatives were concerned, however, with the possibility of five representatives being elected from a single dorm hall under this system. Conversation on both the bylaws and redistricting was tabled until a later meeting.
As for more routine matters, LUCC allocated additional funds to four student groups. Amnesty International received $300 for a one-time production. The money will fund lighting, sound, and printing expenses, as well as CDs and costumes and shoes. The costumes and shoes will be donated to Mele following the performance. The College Democrats also received $600 in funding for Election Day activities such as providing transportation to the polls, and food, decoration, and supplies for their Election Day party. The rowing club was allocated $50 for office supplies, and the Trivia Weekend organizers received $830 of the $1,125 they requested. Besides advertisements and an online domain name, the additional funding will allow for the founder of trivia at Lawrence to come to Lawrence as a guest trivia master during this year’s event, marking the fortieth anniversary of Trivia Weekend.
During the president’s report, Joel Rogers also stated that, in response to previous Lawrentian articles, LUCC will be researching inequity in athletics funding and the tapping of student e-mails. Also, the Student Welfare Committee is conducting research this year on the possibility of installing cable in the Exec Houses and Hiett Hall. The committee is also investigating the possibility of adding more to the course book list online, and perhaps a forum on which students can buy and sell books. In addition, the Student Welfare Committee is researching subsidized STD testing and the feasibility of adding nutrition labels to food offered at Downer Commons. The committee also plans on meeting with an Appleton alderman about enforcing parking regulations among Appleton citizens who illegally park on Lawrence property, the addition of a “yield” sign near the Wriston turnaround, and placing a “curve warning” sign near Hiett Hall on Drew Street.