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In a long-awaited meeting, President Sheldon Hackney officially empowered the diversity on the Walk committee and told members that Locust Walk fraternities will not be relocated. "One of the first questions you should address is, 'What would it take to make Locust Walk one of this country's premier residential walkways?' " Hackney said. The president called upon the committee, made up of faculty, students and administrators, to find alternative ways to provide residential space for non-Greek students along the main campus thoroughfare. He told them to focus on three goals during their year-long study of diversifying the Walk: · Reflecting the full range of diversity at the University · Encouraging student behavior that would set an example for others · Making the convenience and the privilege of living in the core of the campus more available to a wider segment of the student population Hackney said after the meeting that diversifying Locust Walk is a high priority for the administration this academic year. "It's important to have students living among academics in the center of campus," Hackney said. "[Diversifying the Walk] is important to set the tone for campus life, both for people who are members of the community, and for people who visit the campus." Hackney established the committee at last April's University Council meeting, saying the center of campus needs a more diverse residential atmosphere. Since then, many student groups have expressed interest in moving to the Walk, sparking fraternity members' fears that the administration would try to remove them from their Locust Walk homes. In his statement to the committee yesterday, Hackney for the first time sent a reassuring message to Locust Walk fraternities. "We intend to accomplish our goals without requiring the relocation of any fraternities currently located along the Walk," he said. Currently, the only unused building on Locust Walk is the former house of the Psi Upsilon fraternity, located at 36th Street and Locust Walk, a "Castle" from which the fraternity was evicted in May. Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson, a committee co-chairperson, said yesterday that she does not know who will occupy the house, adding that she is waiting to hear the advice of the committee before making recommendations to the president. The president said this month that he expects the house to be occupied by a non-Greek group by next semester. Yesterday Hackney told the committee to concentrate on residential living, but added that space on the Walk would also be allocated for academic buildings. Advising committee members to keep financial constraints in mind, Hackney told them to be "prudent but not to artificially limit their initiative." Hackney requested the committee's final report by the end of the spring semester. The group is composed of faculty members and representatives of women's groups, Greek organizations, minority groups, Residential Living, the Undergraduate Assembly and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Alliance. Morrisson said she hopes the committee will have its first meeting in early October. Committee Co-Chairperson David Pope said the committee may hold some open forums later in the semester, and encouraged input from the University community. Other committee members declined to comment last night, deferring to the committee chairpeople.

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