LUCC discusses housing plan with emphasis on inclusivity

On Feb. 8, Lawrence University Community Council’s (LUCC) Residence Life Committee introduced new legislation regarding formal theme and group housing. This new system, called “Group Living,” allows for individuals to come together with or without an organization backing them to live in a group space.

Despite this, group living still requires students to have a shared mission or interest, as well as a willingness to be responsible for occupying such housing. Ultimately, the hope is to “enhance and augment the liberal arts ideal, the involvement of faculty, staff, or alumni advisor, and a commitment to service to the Lawrence and/or Fox Cities community” as stated in section 4.01 of the new legislation.

Under group living, residence life managers (RLMs) will receive safe space training, led by LUCC’s Committee on Diversity Affairs (CODA), prior to selection. Group living also introduces a new review process, which includes termly reviews. Spring Term reviews are unnecessary if the groups are not reapplying for the following year. These reviews aim to report on house activity and serve as a means of constructive review.

“By Term I review, at least 50 percent of the house is required to undergo safe space training,” said sophomore and Vice Chair of LUCC Residence Life Committee Dan Thomas-Commins. “By Term II, all of the house needs to have had this training,” he said.

Group living also includes a new safe space designation.

“[This group will be] working with [CODA Chair] Jaime Gonzalez and [President of Gay, Lesbian, Or Whatever (GLOW)] Nebal Maysaud to find what our ideas of safe space house guidelines should be,” continued Commins. “What we are looking at right now is any group that provides a safe space for students of marginalized communities to live. That will be based off of the current non-discrimination policy—race, gender, sexual orientation. This is what we are working on this year,” Commins said.

Other updates include the continued use of three of the Union Street houses, including the houses that are currently occupied by McCarthy Co-Op, Sigma Phi Epsilon and GLOW. Residence Life Committee is also considering changes to Draheim House in the future.

“Although we will not be going forward this year trying to occupy Draheim, we are looking into how we can use that space as a safe space house for all women,” said junior and Chair of LUCC Residence Life Committee Malcolm Lunn-Craft.

Finally, the new Colman lofts have been named after living members of the Colman family. The new lofts will be called Lucinda’s Lounge, Elmyra’s Loft, Eliho’s Loft, Henry’s Loft and Mary’s Loft.