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Student Council discusses new Clemons advising space, student freedom of speech

Students express concerns over loss of study space

<p>Student Council addressed alleged concerns from the Center for Undergraduate Excellence, who said&nbsp;they were not consulted about the construction plans of the advising center</p>

Student Council addressed alleged concerns from the Center for Undergraduate Excellence, who said they were not consulted about the construction plans of the advising center

Student Council discussed University plans to create an advising space on the second floor of Clemons Library during their meeting Tuesday night.

Construction of the advising center will begin in January, as part of University President Teresa Sullivan’s strategic plan for total advising.

Student Council considered student concerns about losing study space as a result of the advising center. Many members suggested encouraging students to use other study spaces, such as Clark Library and the Rotunda once construction has finished.

However, Co-Chair of the Academic Affairs committee Shelbey Keegan, a fourth-year College student, said students will still be able to use the second floor of Clemons Library.

“It’s going to be more of a reallocation of space that isn’t used that effectively right now,” Keegan said, and the entire floor will be available for student use after 5 p.m.

In addition to student concerns regarding the space, the general body addressed alleged concerns about the space from the Center for Undergraduate Excellence, noting that while members of the CUE would be using the space, they were not consulted about the construction plans.

Student Council President Abraham Axler, a third-year College student, said the CUE falls within the purview of the Office of the Provost, which was consulted.

“That seems like an issue of internal communication within the Provost office,” Axler said.

After discussing specific community concerns, Student Council discussed the broader issue of freedom of speech at the University.

The discussion started when a member questioned the quality of dialogue between students and faculty at the University, in light of recent events at Yale University and the University of Missouri.

Members noted the difference between having a dialogue with faculty members and using the media to criticize them, citing the backlash against Associate Dean Nicole Eramo after a Rolling Stone article in November last year caused scandal over administrative handling of sexual assault at the University.

While no concrete resolution was reached, Axler said the University is “one of the few schools with the highest [Foundation for Individual Rights in Education] rating” for freedom of speech.

Echoed by several Student Council members, he expressed his hope for increased involvement of faculty in student affairs in the future.

Comments from students who feel they are at a disadvantage when they do not attend class on religious holidays led to a resolution which will be discussed next Tuesday.