StudCo addresses policies regarding safety, CIO approval, sustainability

New sustainability tab to be added to the University homepage

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Incumbent President Jalen Ross and newly elected President Abraham Axler

Lauren Hornsby | Cavalier Daily

Student Council met Tuesday to address changing policies on CIOs, University sustainability and sexual assault. The new initiatives include approving new CIO’s and discussing the addition of a “sustainability” tab on the University’s home page. The meeting also included conversation on President Teresa Sullivan’s Ad Hoc Working Group’s town hall meetings.

Second-year College student Abraham Axler, chair of the representative body and newly-elected Student Council president, opened the meeting by asking the Council members if they had ideas regarding sexual assault prevention after having attending the Monday town hall meeting.

“What infrastructure can we create in order to effectively prevent sexual assault?” Axler asked. “Looking at the nitty-gritty of the infrastructure of how resources are being used, like whether the blue lights are being used and where [the University] is putting lights.”

Many Council members said that they experienced problems and have heard complaints about the security of the first-year dorms and technology used to ensure safety on McCormick and Alderman Road.

“[The new dorm’s doors] are ‘prison-style’ in which you have to slide your card to get into the dorm, slide your card to use the elevator and slide your card and press in a code in order to just get into the room,” said safety and wellness committee co-chair Rachel Murphy, a third-year College student. “Obviously this is good for safety measures however, the ability to get into your room with easy access is not.”

Members also discussed how new dorms doors are “heavy,” which ruins the atmosphere established by old dorms’ lighter and more accessible doors.

Council members said they will discuss further the balance between ensuring student safety and accommodating the access to student dorm rooms.

Council members also discussed approval of future CIOs, many of which pertain to specific groups at the University such as minorities and Greek community members. A University chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. is one such CIO under discussion. This group would provide mentors to African American children through leadership development exercises, volunteer opportunities and civic duty activities.

Vice President of Organizations Kyle West, a third-year Commerce student, said he and other Council members were apprehensive about approving the Jack and Jill group due to specific requirements the national organization had for membership.

“We aren’t exactly comfortable with the requirements of the national policies that to be a member, a person’s mother has to be of African-American descent, which restricts the amount of people that can develop their leadership skills through this organization,” West said. “It takes the power of the individual who wants to join out their hands, due to circumstances that are out of their control with these restrictions present at the national level.”

Other Jack and Jill national policies stipulate a member must be a legacy or has be invited to the organization.

Various Council members used Jack and Jill to address the broader issue of determining how a potential CIO will be affiliated with the the national organization and subsequent membership requirements.

Council members ultimately approved of the Jack and Jill collegiate chapter with a unanimous vote, along with mixed votes on various other new CIO’s.

Council members also unanimously voted in support of the installment of a “sustainability” tab on the University’s home webpage.

First-year College student Katherine Harrison, a Sustainability Committee member, proposed the resolution for the tab.

According to the resolution, one goal of the new tab is to ensure students “recognize Sustainability efforts as fundamental for the betterment of our University and our world.”

Harrison’s resolution states the “easy access to Sustainability” will lead to such benefits for the University as having cleaner Grounds, more beautiful gardens and waste-free events.

The tab would also act as a selling point for prospective students as well as augment the attention on issues of sustainability, hopefully leading to more student engagement with the sustainability movement.

The resolution faced little resistance from the council members. Axler said the proposition was “pretty much noncontroversial.”

Harrison also said all of the people she has met with so far are “all for [the tab].” With the backing of the Council, she said she plans to meet with Carol Keith, who is in charge of revamping the University’s webpage, in order to finalize implementation.

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