University Council is scheduled to spend almost all of today's meeting discussing the recently released Faust Report, which focuses on long-term campus life issues. The campus life report, commissioned by the president almost two years ago, details a "plural" campus community in which individuals from different cultural backgrounds "maintain their separate identities, yet come together in a community enriched by both its members' differences and their similarities." The report takes a strong stand against fraternities, saying that "fraternities are widely viewed as a significant obstacle to the growth of pluralistic attitudes on campus." The report urges that fraternity relocation be considered in the diversification of Locust Walk. In President Sheldon Hackney's charge to the committee examining ways to diversify the Walk, he ruled out the possibility of removing fraternities from the campus's main artery. Graduate and Professional Students Assembly Chairperson Susan Garfinkel said last night that she hopes Council discussion of the report does not center on fraternity debate. "I think people all recognize that there is a great deal of important issues in all aspects of the document and want to discuss them," Garfinkel said. But Undergraduate Assembly Chairperson Duchess Harris said last night that she expects discussion to focus on Walk fraternities. "I think it's going to be quite messy," Harris said. She said the Faust Report, coupled with the 1987 Berg Report -- which states that fraternities are the site of many incidents of harassment and discrimination -- will give opponents to Hackney's Walk committee charge substantial ammunition to fight with. But she added that she thinks "Hackney won't budge" on the issue, which could lead to a "pretty heated" debate. Both Harris and Garfinkel praised the report as a whole, calling it "well written" and "persuasive." "If we were grading it, we'd give it an A," Garfinkel said, adding that she would like Council to discuss the report's findings that staff members are often ignored. In other business, Council Steering Committee Chairperson Almarin Phillips said that at this afternoon's meeting, Hackney will announce the procedure he will use to revise the racial harassment policy. Hackney's original revisions, released in October, were met with strong opposition at last month's Council meeting. Phillips, who also chairs the Faculty Sentate, said he believes they will be discussed again at the December meeting of Council. Harris said debate over the name of the Oriental Studies Department might be discussed even though it is not on the Council agenda. Today's meeting will be at 4 p.m. in Vance Hall's Hoover Lounge.Comments powered by Disqus
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