The University Record, October 7, 1998

Hartford briefs Assembly on student affairs initiatives

By Jane R. Elgass

Vice President for Student Affairs Maureen A. Hartford briefed members of Senate Assembly on a number of initiatives under way through her office at the group's Sept. 28 meeting.

• A report on living-learning communities has been presented to the provost and is now with David Schoem, recently appointed assistant vice president for academic and student affairs.

• Student Affairs is working with Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, the firm hired to develop a campus master plan, on plans for Pierpont Commons. "It's nice but not keeping up with the needs" of the North Campus population, Hartford explained. "It needs to be more community-responsive," she said, adding that a task force will be conducting focus groups.

• The University lacks action plans to deal with binge drinking and Hartford has appointed a task force with a charge to recommend ways "to tone down binge drinking on campus." Hartford believes "it is accidental that we don't have problems" such as the deaths resulting from binge drinking on other campuses last fall and riots and disturbances in the spring related to curtailment of drinking at several schools, including Michigan State University.

• Steps to "strengthen the sense of community" among students in the residence halls" have been taken that include training for all resident assistants through the Intergroup Relations Conflict and Community Program.

• "Wonderful outreach, service learning and research opportunities" continue to be afforded through the Center for Learning through Community Service.

• Attention is being paid to increased responsiveness to emergencies that affect students, from financial to medical, by the Office of the Dean of Students headed by Royster Harper.

• The Code of Student Conduct is being reviewed in preparation for a report to the Regents at their January meeting. The current Code, written by a team of students, was approved by the Regents in November 1995 and implemented in January 1996. At the time of approval, the Regents requested a review at the end of three years.

The comprehensive process includes an internal review done last spring; a Universitywide review now under way with mail, phone, focus group and e-mail interviews; and an external review by four individuals that will be completed in November and result in a summary report for the Regents.

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