University News

UCS responds to recent protests by Act4RJ

Council streamlines protest group’s demands to advocate policy changes to administrators

By
Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, March 12, 2015

Responding to the list of demands recently released by the campus movement Act4RJ, the Undergraduate Council of Students adopted a statement at its general body meeting Wednesday.

The Council chose seven items from Act4RJ’s list to restate as recommendations, rather than demands, for feasible policy changes. “We as UCS are not demanding these things,” said Ryan Lessing ’17, chair of UCS Admissions and Student Services. “We’re trying to draw attention to demands that Act4RJ put out.”

The statement was published in today’s Herald.

“This movement brought together such an incredible number of students … because they share this passion for creating a safer space for students on campus,” said UCS President Maahika Srinivasan ’15 of the week’s protesters. “The nature of what they created should be commended.”

In the president’s update, Srinivasan said she and Alex Drechsler ’15 met with President Christina Paxson P’19 and Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey ’91 MA’06 on Friday about student involvement in the Corporation. While Paxson and Carey “absolutely adored” the idea of students participating in focus groups before Corporation committee meetings, they offered a mixed response to the suggestion of a student sitting in on a Corporation committee meeting in session, Srinivasan added.

Paxson and Carey approved direct student involvement in the selection of the young alumni trustee, Srinivasan said. UCS will host interviews Sunday to appoint three undergraduates to work with a graduate student and a medical student to vet candidates, she added.

Srinivasan also met this week with Dean of the School of Public Health Terrie Fox Wetle to start researching the feasibility of a smoke-free campus.

The Council also voted to appoint 34 students to positions on 19 University committees during the general body meeting.

The UCS Outreach and Advocacy Committee met with Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Margaret Klawunn and several Counseling and Psychological Services representatives to discuss the transformation of the CAPS website. The renovation will include staff member biographies “to put a face to a mysterious resource,” said Sazzy Gourley ’16, UCS vice president and OAC chair. The OAC also evaluated the council’s current structure this week using the assessment model developed at last week’s UCS general body meeting.

The New Initiatives Fund, which will host interviews this weekend, is seeking $12,000 this year, up from $6,000 last year, said UCS Treasurer Malikah Williams ’16.

The UCS Admissions and Student Services committee is preparing “a bigger rollout” of the Brown Developer Exchange tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Lessing said.

The UCS Academic and Administrative Affairs committee designed a sophomore advising handbook this week to distribute at the rising sophomore meeting March 31, said Timothy Ittner ’18, a member of the committee.

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