February 14, 2006 Minutes

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
4:00 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.
Leung Gallery

Members: Brenda Allen, David Greene, Beppie Huidekoper, Christopher Bull, John Cassese, David Cutts, Stephen Foley, Barrett Hazeltine, Joachim Krueger, Gretchen Schultz, David Sheinberg, Robert Smith, Kate Brandt, Robert Klaber, Sarah Saxton-Frump, Emma Tai, Michael Williams, James Gagnon, Jonna Iacono, Matt Lease, Zachary Ginsberg, Stephanie Birdsall, Geoffrey Greene, David Kanig, Tovah Reis, David Bloom, and Guy Sanchez were in attendance. President Simmons, Provost Zimmer, Paul Armstrong, Elmo Terry-Morgan, Neel Shah, Dorothy Hitt, Kisa Takesue, Sarah O’Dowd, and Emma Simmons were unable to attend.

Beppie Huidekoper, Executive Vice President for Finance & Administration, presided over the meeting in President Simmons’ absence. Ms. Huidekoper began by introducing the new presidents of the Undergraduate Council of Students and the Graduate Student Council, Sarah Saxton-Frump and Jonna Iacono respectively. She then introduced Professor Louis Putterman, chair of the Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investing (ACCRI) who was in attendance to give an update on the Proposal to Divest from Companies Doing Business in Sudan.

The minutes of the November 15, 2005 meeting were approved.

Walter Hunter, Vice President for Administration, provided an update on the Designated Suppliers Program which was proposed by the Brown Student Labor Alliance (SLA), in collaboration with the United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS). (The proposed program would require that university apparel be manufactured in designated factories meeting specific criteria.) Last December, a small working group of faculty, administrators and students was formed to review the proposal and make a recommendation on the course of action for Brown to take. The Fair Labor Association (FLA) and the Workers Right Consortium (WRC) have been working on developing guidelines for universities. In January, the WRC Executive Board voted in favor of the program and recommended that universities adopt it. At the WRC’s annual meeting scheduled for February 17 member universities are expected to continue to discuss the details of the proposal. Last Friday, the FLA held a conference call on which licensees were invited to participate and give their perspectives. Mr. Hunter concluded by noting that discussions of this complex subject will continue.

Professor Putterman outlined the activities that led to and resulted in the Statement of the ACCRI on Divestment from Companies Operating in Sudan being approved at the ACCRI’s February 1 meeting. The statement lists 10 companies which the ACCRI believes should be divested if currently held by Brown and placed on the “do not invest” list if not held. Ms. Huidekoper informed the Council that President Simmons will bring her recommendation on the Proposal to Divest from Companies Doing Business in Sudan to the Corporation at its February meeting.

The Council voted unanimously in favor of endorsing the position and recommendations of the ACCRI.

Before moving on to the final agenda item, Ms. Huidekoper asked the Council if there were any items they would like added to the list of potential agenda items to be discussed this spring. Suggestions included interdivisional collaboration, a social choice fund, and an update on the efforts undertaken by Brown in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Members of the Brown Community were given the opportunity to address the Council. No one came forward.

The next meeting of the Brown University Community Council will be held on Tuesday, March 14 from 4:00 – 5:30 pm in Leung Gallery.

Respectfully submitted,

Catherine Pincince
Secretary of the Brown University Community Council