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Residential Council Minutes :: October 12, 2004


Members present: Mirza Arefin, Ted Brown, Adam Deitch, Justin Glavis-Bloom, Christopher Guhin, Brendan Hargreaves, Holly Jackson, Tal Itzkovich, Katherine Lamm, Rachel Lauter, Olanma Okoji, David Pacheco, Elie Rosen, Michael Rozensher, Vijaya Thomas

Members absent: Cassandra Ramirez

Additionally, Associate Director of Residential Life Thomas Forsberg was present.

Committee Reports:

Lottery Chair Brendan Hargreaves had nothing to report.

Program House Chair Chris Guhin reported that he will meet with Assistant Director Rosario Navarro sometime this week to schedule the fall review of program houses.

Policy Committee Chair Olanma Okoji reported that she emailed people at Harvard ResLife to inquire about their policy of universal freshman card access.

1. ResCouncil began by resuming the discussion of coed/gender neutral housing, discussing the following:
a. people who made presentations regarding the need for gender neutral housing to last year’s ResCouncil should be invited back,
b. the bid for locks on Grad Center doors was submitted and should be received by next meeting,
c. the survey that was sent out to all freshman including a question regarding gender neutral housing is available on the ResCouncil website at http://www.brown.edu/Administration/ResLife/HousForm04.pdf

The question concerning gender neutral housing reads:

“Brown University does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression in the administration of its housing policies.

We are able to meet a wide range of living needs in our housing system. Do you have any housing needs we should take into account before making your housing assignment?”

d. an administrator should be brought in to discuss the issue (possibly Rich Bova at next meeting)
2. Time-frame for actions/other issues that need to be considered
a. Brown owned properties
i. Rachel – will contact a couple of people this week
ii. Dean Forsberg – there is already a website detailing Brown-owned properties
b. squatting
i. Chris emailed a former ResCouncil member to try to get a copy of a survey taken a couple of years ago
ii. by the end of November, ResCouncil would like to poll undergrads about squatting, the lockout fee scale, gender neutral housing/coed housing and possibly other issues (perhaps piggybacking on a poll taken by the BDH/UCS)
c. card access
i. there are essentially two issues: students living in clusters of dorms having mutual access and all freshman having access
ii. the possibility of having people request access to additional buildings individually was raised
iii. Olanma will talk to someone about panels
iv. there is a possibility that we will consider universal card access
3. Olanma then brought up the issue of co-ed housing options, especially for sophomores. Currently, to be co-ed, a dorm must have single-use lockable bathrooms and lockable bedroom doors. To make Hegeman a co-ed dorm, locks would have to be installed on bedroom doors. To make Grad Center towers co-ed, locks would have to be installed on the bathrooms in each suite. Dean Forsberg estimated that to install locks on Grad Center towers it would cost as much as $70,000. Additionally, Dean Forsberg brought up that ResLife attempted to reach out to incoming freshman this year to gage interest in gender blind housing options. Only 20 students responded that they might be interested, and each did not wish to pursue it further when contacted by ResLife. Dean Forsberg will bring the questionnaire that was sent out at the next meeting of ResCouncil.

Lottery Committee Chair Brendan Hargreaves had nothing new to report.

Committee Chair Adam Deitch reminded members that tours of dorms will begin soon, possibly on a Friday afternoon from 3:00 – 5:00.

Submitted by Justin Glavis-Bloom, Residential Council Secretary 2004-2005