Student Assembly passes two motions
The Student Assembly passed two motions last night, one calling for the administration to overhaul the undergraduate advising system and one voicing the Assembly's opposition to a recent spate of homophobic activity on campus
In response to several incidents of harassment against members and supporters of the gay, lesbian and bisexual community, the Assembly unanimously passed a resolution calling for the campus to "acknowledge the moral and ethical wrong of these hateful and hurtful actions."
Moments after passing the anti-homophobia resolution, the Assembly unanimously approved sending a letter regarding advising to the Committee on Organization and Policy, a faculty committee that considers general policies that affect the faculty as a whole.
The letter, drafted by Assembly President Jim Rich '96, demands that "the Committee on Organization and Policy take immediate steps to provide for a substantial review of the current system of first- and second-year advising."
The letter cites research conducted by last year's Assembly that found that a large number of students are very dissatisfied with counseling.
The current system does not offer students enough guidance, especially regarding planning for majors, the letter states.
Calling for an overhaul of undergraduate advising, the Assembly proposes in the letter more extensive training for advisers and a system to insure only faculty members who are enthusiastic about helping students become advisers.
"I think Dartmouth students on the whole feel that the current system is ineffective," Rich said.
"I think it's one of the most important issues for a Dartmouth student," Rich said. "Good advising makes a tremendous difference for a Dartmouth student's experience."
Rich also said he hopes the COP responds quickly to the Assembly's letter because of the matter's urgency.
Assembly Vice President Kelii Opulauoho '96, who wrote the resolution, said, "The gay community is outraged ... This is not to be tolerated."
Recent incidents in Lord residence hall prompted the response from the Assembly.
Last week, someone threw dirt at a first-floor resident's window where a Dartmouth Rainbow Alliance flag hung.
The woman, Jocelyn Bramble '96, who is a member of the alliance, also said she has been subjected to other homophobic attacks in recent weeks.
Last night, another female student who asked to remain anonymous, told The Dartmouth about several instances of harassment she has experienced in her residence hall.
She said some men living in her hall have repeatedly written anti-homosexual slurs on her door and have ripped her message board off her door.
Rich urged the Assembly to pass the resolution and said before the vote that approving it was not a matter regarding the morality of homosexuality itself, but an "issue of civility in a small community."
Rich invited Dartmouth Rainbow Alliance co-Chair Mario Martinus '98 to speak with the Assembly before it voted on the resolution.
Martinus attributed the recent spate of harassment to National Coming Out Week, which was held last month.
"I'm just really happy the resolution was passed," Martinus said after the meeting. "I'm happy the Student Assembly will work with us to stop homophobic activity on campus."
Vice presidents also made their weekly reports to the general Assembly.
Scott Rowekamp '97, vice president of communications, said, "The Student Advantage guys finally got their act together," and dining guides will start to be distributed to students' Hinman Boxes tomorrow.