Assembly reworks UFC membership guidelines

by Katy O'Donnell | 1/18/06 6:00am

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Dean of Student Life Martin Redman explains upcoming changes in the College's residential structure -- including new residential clusters -- to members of Student Assembly at their meeting Tuesday night.
by Teresa Lattanzio / The Dartmouth

The UFC, which allocates funds to seven organizations on campus, is currently comprised of a voting member from each of the seven organizations as well as a committee chair and at least five at-large undergraduate members. The imbalance between biased and unbiased members has led to contentious meetings for the UFC in the past.

"By having more at-large members we hope to alleviate conflicts among the voters," sponsor Lee Cooper '09 said.

The resolution, which was co-sponsored by Karan Danthi '07, proposes changing the UFC guidelines to stipulate that the at-large members outnumber the voting organizational representatives by at least one student.

The Membership in Internal Affairs Committee will continue to choose the at-large members from a pool of applicants that typically includes 15 to 20 students. The resolution, however, aims to recruit more aggressively when considering candidates. The MIAC will be holding more thorough interviews with the candidates, who are barred from having served as an officer or leadership role for any UFC-dependent organization.

Cooper stressed that the change would make the whole process more democratic and said that assistant director of Student Activities Eric Ramsey and Dean of Student Life Holly Sateia were fully supportive.

"They both think it's a great idea," Cooper said. "We are raising the bar. This will also eliminate the possibility of a tie."

The resolution was passed unanimously.

The seven campus organizations that receive UFC funds, derived from student activity fees, are Programming Board, COSO, Student Assembly, Greek Leadership Council, Class Councils, Collis Governing Board and the Office of Student Life.

Redman attended Tuesday night's meeting to address the Assembly about the vast upcoming changes in campus housing. Redman's presence itself speaks to the magnitude of the changes as he is not usually a member of Assembly discussions.

He briefly described physical changes in campus housing, including the new dorms being built on Tuck Mall and Maynard Street and the eventual removal of the Choates and various river dorms. Redman then announced a change in how the clusters will be structured -- freshmen will be consolidated into five clusters instead of the nine clusters in which they currently live.

"We have gotten a lot of positive feedback from students about the living experience, not the location, of the Choates and the River compared to freshmen placed in mixed-class housing," Redman said.

He also addressed the renovation of older dorms, the discontinuation of "squatting," the new guarantee of sophomore housing and the eventual installation of new dining halls.

Following Redman's briefing, Assembly Treasurer Jesse Brush '06 announced that he will be stepping down Spring term.

"We want someone younger to get some experience as we head into the new year," Brush said.