LUCC turns 40 and still parties like a freshman

Carolyn Schultz

Lawrence University Community Council, founded in 1968, recently celebrated its 40th birthday with a huge bash last Friday. The party was kicked off with a performance by the Sambistas and included a raffle, free drinks, and a bounty of party favors from horns to birthday hats.
“It was the crowning glory of our publicity initiative,” said former LUCC President James Duncan-Welke. During his term as President, Duncan-Welke worked to make LUCC more transparent, more public and more involved in the daily lives of Lawrence students.
Student bands that played on Friday night included Fatbook and Love Constellation and the Stars. Additionally, the LU Swing Dancers and Melee performed. A dance party broke out in the coffeehouse later, featuring the DJs David Frempong, Jake Hartmann, Robert Rashid and Maureen Darras.
Discounts at the Viking Room – $1 off all drinks and other specials – had juniors and seniors flocking to the bar. The grill was packed with other students taking advantage of larger discounts.
Since its inception in 1968, LUCC has been the university’s governing body, making decisions on everything from a Student Bill of Rights to party regulations in dorms. It’s thanks to LUCC legislation passed in 1968 that on Sunday mornings students don’t have to wear their Sunday best.
Monumental in LUCC history is the 1969 decision to represent the African American population of LU in the leadership of LUCC, originally motioned by William Chaney, now professor emeritus of history. The motion was enacted a year later when Harold Jordan ’72 became the first African American vice president of LUCC.
Serving beer in the Viking Room would not have been possible without the November 1968 proposal and legislation passed by LUCC which allowed such activities. In addition, when the drinking age was 18, LUCC voted to allow dorm beer parties and legalized drinking in common areas as long as students were not selling alcohol.
In 1970, the students on LUCC demanded equalization of voting rights – faculty serving on the committee originally had two votes for every one student vote. The relationship between the students and the board of trustees was different then as well. The board came to LUCC in 1970 with calendar changes that had to be passed by the governing body before they were implemented. LUCC was not involved in the recent schedule changes beginning in fall 2009, which begin classes earlier in the fall.
More recently, in the 2005-2006 school year, LUCC helped develop co-ed housing and gender neutral rooms in Hiett. Also of importance, in November 2005 LUCC passed a resolution ensuring transparency of the investment of Lawrence’s endowment fund and worked to limit conflicts of interests on the board of trustees.
This year, Duncan-Welke began to fix the problems he saw with LUCC. “No one knew what LUCC was,” said Duncan-Welke. “It was a mysterious entity that functioned somewhere, somehow,” he said. Now, LUCC is better publicized.
The new administration is making an effort to continue Duncan-Welke’s efforts towards transparency. One new development will be open forums before trustee meetings where anyone will be able to voice opinions and discuss important issues.
“My main goal [for the next year] is for LUCC to truly become what it is meant to be – the voice of the entire student body, and not of [only] a few students,” said recently inaugurated LUCC President Kaleesha Rajamantri.