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The University will improve and expand residence halls in the coming years, President Ruth Simmons told the Undergraduate Council of Students at its general body meeting Wednesday night.

"I envision a big dorm project," Simmons said. Though she did not discuss any specific residence hall projects, she invited the council's input in the planning process.

"I think we have a lot to do," Simmons said, adding that it will be important to garner support from the Corporation, the University's highest governing body, for the capital projects that establish new student spaces.

Simmons also discussed growing the Graduate School, saying that her "State of Brown" speech was a means "to launch that debate" within the larger community. She said lively discussion must occur before instituting any plan for growth to ensure that Brown continues to "support the undergraduate program as opposed to detracting from it."

She said any plan must strike a balance between maintaining a vibrant undergraduate experience and improving the Grad School to enhance Brown's reputation.

Simmons advocated sharing information between universities as a means of reducing costs while expanding knowledge across a wider community. "If we cooperate more, we would have the ability to reduce costs to students" and improve the transfer of knowledge, she said.

Simmons also discussed her plans for the rest of her time as president. "You can expect to see a feistier version of me," she said of her coming years as president. "I think I'm going to have a lot of fun and not worry too much about ruffling feathers."

Simmons has served since 2001 and announced at February's meeting of the Corporation that she will remain at Brown beyond next year.

"I learned a lot in my first nine years how hard it is to move things. It takes a long time," she said. "I think I've concluded that I'm probably going to have to break some rules."

President Simmons meets with UCS annually, Clay Wertheimer '10, the council's president, told The Herald. The fact that Simmons' visit falls less than a week after her "State of Brown" address means that "members of UCS have had time to think" and prepare questions about undergraduate life that "springboard" off of Simmons' discussion last Thursday, he said.

The council also approved changes to the requirements for the constitution that student groups must file before receiving categorization from the Student Activities Committee. The changes include an expanded statement of purpose that will better reflect the group's individual purpose, according to Student Activities Chair Brady Wyrtzen '11. It also requires that groups agree to UCS procedures after they receive official categorization.

The Campus Life Committee also discussed its proposal for increasing lighting on the Main Green, said Campus Life Chair Ben Farber '12.



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