University Council Coverage
Senate Chair Neville Strumpf updated Council on the proposed changes to the Council Bylaws that were sent out prior to the March meeting so that Council members would have a chance to review them in preparation for a discussion at the May 3 meeting. Some of the changes are procedural and others pertain to the Council committee structure; the proposals were developed by a subcommittee of Council’s Steering committee.
The PPSA Status Report included a “Statement regarding Spring Fling and Hey Day” in which they indicated that because “there is no indication that substantial efforts have been made on the part of student leaders to address the underlying cultural assumptions that contribute to dangerous intoxicated behaviors by students that affect the larger university community, PPSA cannot support the recommendation that staff become more involved in either Spring Fling or Hey Day.” (For the full statement as well as all the status reports, see www.upenn.edu/secretary/council/StatusReports0329.html).
In the UA Status Report, they stated “Spring Fling is fast approaching and the UA has been working closely with SPEC to ensure that the event will be safe and inclusive of all students.” They listed the groups selected by the UA to sit on Council next year: Asian Pacific Student Coalition; Civic House Associates Coalition; Lambda Alliance; Latino Coalition; Programs in Religious, Interfaith, and Spirituality Matters (PRISM) and UMOJA.
WPSA’s Status Report listed upcoming events including their election on April 13 at 12:30 p.m. in Stitler Hall, and a presentation, “Working in a Hostile Environment” on April 25 at 12:30 p.m. in Houston Hall.
GAPSA announced their new board for 2006-2007, including the incoming chair, Lee Shaker, a graduate student at the Annenberg School. GAPSA is sponsoring a team for the April 8 Walk Against Hunger, see www.gapsa.upenn.edu.
Besides the presentation on the budget, there was also a presentation on the First Year College House Experience by Dr. Philip Nichols, the director of the College Houses and Academic Services; and a presentation on the College Curriculum Initiative by Dr. Dennis DeTurck, dean of the College.
Dr. Nichols listed the goals articulated in the original vision for the College Houses, some nine years ago: strong, long-term communities, intergeneration—faculty/student integration, integration of academic mission, group/institutional identification, and academic and personal support. The occupancy trends have increased from 94% in early days to nearly 100% in the past three years. He also spoke about satisfaction among the students in the various buildings on campus. There are about 5,400 students living in the College Houses. There is a bed shortage and there are structural disparities between the houses. Dr. Nichols said that there are three proposals being considered concerning whether or not freshmen should be concentrated or distributed throughout the houses. Provost Ron Daniels said that by the end of April he will forward a recommendation to the President based on extensive consultation.
Dr. DeTurck discussed the general education requirements in the College and the report of the pilot evaluation committee which was adopted by the SAS faculty and published last year, Almanac (Almanac May 10, 2005).
Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 28, April 4, 2006
April 4, 2006
Volume 52 Number 28