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Untitled Document

Residential Council Minutes :: November 11, 2008

Present: James Reed (Chair), Greg Anderson (Policy Chair), Mark Fuller (Program House Chair), Ben Lowell (Lottery Chair), Jillian Robbins (Secretary), Sophie Asher, Al Carter, Jerry Cedrone, EJ Chung, Paige Hicks, Mannan Jalan, Chaz Kelsh, Adam Lewin, Mike Sokolovsky, Christine Sunu, Jane Zhang

Guests: Dean Margaret Klawunn, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services, Dean Richard Bova, Dean Tom Forsberg

General Announcements:

  • The Program House Committee will be meeting this Friday, November 14th, from 3 to 5 pm to review the submissions from each of the program houses
  • The Lottery Calendar has been finalized (the dates we had discussed as tentative have been approved), and Jenna will update the website shortly
  • The First Pick Competition will occur February 11, 2009 - we have to (quickly) decide what the event will be --> it will probably be a screening event where people can vote on their favorite video submissions           
    • additionally, at this event, representatives of program and Greek houses will have booths/tables, advertising housing alternatives to the lottery to the student body

Dean Klawunn came to speak with ResCouncil about the Report of the Committee on the Residential Experience and changes that have been made based on their findings. Our meeting consisted of a conversation about the residential experience and thoughts from ResCouncil members about the effectiveness of changes that have been recently implemented within the residential experience.

  • Through the work of the Dean of the College Task Force on Undergraduate Education, there was a reworking of the faculty involvement in campus live and a rethinking of the purposes of the five faculty advising fellows
  • More faculty members have been incorporated into the faculty fellows houses/programming
    • the programming that occurs now includes both large and small groups of students, working with faculty members in various departments
  • Also, the faculty fellows were asked to consider the various needs of students in different stages of the residential and academic processes when determining programming events
  • Each house has multiple faculty members associated with it, and within each house, each professor is involved in a different department on campus - this was done purposefully so that students would have different points of contact within the Brown community
  • In the previous model, faculty fellows would hold meetings at the same time each week
    • now, there is variation of when each house holds programming, and all students are invited to attend programming at any faculty fellows house
    • there is a calendar with the dates of events of all houses on Brown's website
  • How far should the students' dorms be located from their faculty fellows house? Is it important to consider the physical distance?
    • it is important to keep in mind that we only have five faculty fellows houses
  • Also, it is important that Brown assign equal populations of students to each house
    • each house does have a predominant population
  • Morning mail should, and eventually will, send a reminder to suggest to students to look at the cumulative online calendar for the events occurring at all faculty fellows houses
  • The student body will be surveyed to gauge how students have reacted to changes in the program
  • Another change that occurred was the restructuring of the RPL program, with two full time Community Directors living in the dorms
    • now, the roles of the CDs have been more clearly defined
    • however, it has become less clear to RPLs what the roles of Graduate Advising Fellows are
  • The RPL to student ratio was decreased for freshmen while it was slightly increased for upperclassmen
  • The Committee on the Residential Experience is aware that students would like more lounge spaces, however, the unusually large freshman class prevented ResLife from being able to keep all lounges open
    • Is there a way to manage this situation if it were to happen again, where we have more students than can fit in actual rooms?
  • This year, approximately twenty upperclassmen live in converted lounges
  • It is easier to adjust upperclassmen housing, but is difficult to do with the freshman class because of the 'housing unit' set-up
    • the eight freshmen who were initially placed in King House were placed, together, into a freshman unit
  • Fewer freshmen leave Brown mid-semester or mid-year than do upperclassmen
    • therefore, it is less likely that rooms become available in Keeney or other predominantly freshman dorms
  • Hopefully, by January, more students will be offered the opportunity to move out of their converted lounges, opening up these spaces to others in the dorm
    • it is important to recognize that students make housing decisions and meal plan choices based on the presence of kitchen/lounge spaces
    • how can students be notified if these spaces could potentially be 'taken away'
  • This school year, there were 57 additional freshmen, who had to be integrated into the freshman dorms/housing units
  • This past fall, thirty more upperclassmen than predicted decided to come back to campus
  • Should Brown students be asked to live as triples in double rooms so that we will have more lounge space? What will the response of Brown students be? What are the priorities of the students?
    • this year was the first time in many years that Keeney lounges had to be converted into doubles due to the large size of the freshman class

End of Meeting

Submitted by Jillian Robbins, Residential Council Secretary 2008-2009