September 30, 2002
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
Committee on University Student Life
SL.02.02 2001-02 Annual Report
The following report summarizes the activities of the Senate Committee on University Student Life (USL) during the 2001-2002 academic year. The Committee met seven times - September 27, November 16, December 3, February 6, March 27, April 24, and May 8. One of USL's primary functions is to serve as a liaison between students and the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs. Another is to raise, discuss, and act on issues of particular concern to student life.
Throughout the year, Vice-Chancellor Askew brought information to USL on new programs and student affairs issues, among them, the HELPdean, the Illinois Leadership Program, the results of the November referendum to renovate recreation facilities, the May visit of Maya Angelou (the featured speaker at Commencement), Exploring the Human Experience, Spring 2002 calendar of events, and budget rescission plans for the Office of the Vice-Chancellor.
USL met with University officials and concerned students at various times during the year. USL wishes to express its gratitude to those officials and students for their courtesy and assistance.
USL met with Dr. Robert Palinkas, new director of McKinley Health Center, early in the Fall semester in order to better understand new directions being undertaken by the McKinley Health Center. Dr. Palinkas reported on many of the programs and services provided by McKinley, among them, medical care, vaccination program, education, medication, website, same-day access, and weekend care. He also discussed the possibilities for extending hours of service, expanding services, and cutting down waiting time at McKinley. Dr. Palinkas pointed out that the visit confirmation slips McKinley gives to students at each appointment do not validate any illness. They only confirm the student was seen at McKinley. Such slips are not valid excuses for missing classes.
USL met in April with Professor Matthew Wheeler, Chair of the Athletic Board, to discuss establishing a liaison between the Board and USL. He suggested that the Chair of the Student Services Committee, which is a subcommittee of the Board, could serve as the liaison. It was agreed that the liaison would give an overview of current issues to USL at least once an academic year, but possibly more often if an issue arises needing immediate discussion. Both USL and the Board will document this liaison in committee records to make it a permanent arrangement. Wheeler also told USL that the Board is working to develop new opportunities for women to participate in equestrian sports and possibly other sports as well. He went on to explain that the mission of the Board is to promote sports that will allow athletes to compete in both a Big 10 Championship and a National Championship. Wheeler distributed a packet of information on the Board to USL. The information included: Description of the Board, Role of the Board, Items Presented to the Board for Advice, Items Submitted to the Board for Information and Discussion, Philosophy of Athletics at UIUC, and the Academic Review System. This packet will also be made available for the 2002-03 USL Committee.
USL's May meeting was a combined meeting of the 2001-02 and 2002-03 members. Nate Allen, a student member of the Senate Equal Opportunity Committee, presented his concerns with the apparent self-segregation in some of the University residence halls and the resultant diversity issues. Jack Collins, Director of Student Housing, and his assistants presented an overview of the residence hall population and participated in the discussion. Director Collins also explained UI's certified housing standards. The USL Chair suggested that UIUC, in order to reduce the apparent rate of Freshman self-segregation, might wish to consider adopting the policy of assigning residence hall rooms to incoming Freshmen observed by the Universities of Wisconsin and Michigan instead of that followed by UIUC and Indiana University. UIUC and IU base priority for room assignments on the date of receipt of the housing application (first come, first served). UW bases priority for room assignments on a computerized random sort and UM, similarly, on an April 6 lottery, thereby giving all students an equal chance of receiving their first residence hall choice.
USL acted on the following policies and revisions:
Attendance Policy Draft prepared by the Conference on Conduct Governance
USL reviewed and discussed the revised policy on attendance proposed by the Conference on Conduct Governance (CCG). USL suggested CCG add "strongly" in line 6: "Instructors are strongly encouraged to make a course syllabus" in order to add emphasis. CCG concurred.
SL.02.01, Proposal to Add A&A Deans' Representative and Dean of Students as Ex Officio Members
USL reviewed the proposal drafted by the University Statutes and Senate Procedures Committee (SP.02.09, Revision to the Bylaws Part D.19(b) - Committee on University Student Life) to add two ex officio members to USL: a representative of the Committee of Assistant and Associate Dean (A&A Deans) and the Dean of Students. USL approved the proposal. (Rationale: An individual from A&A Deans serves as an ex officio member on each Senate Committee the focus of which is on undergraduate and graduate students and programs - Admissions, Conference on Conduct Governance, and Educational Policy. USL believes a similar liaison between the A&A Deans and USL will be of value to both groups. The Dean of Students has been an observer for a number of years; thus the proposed Bylaws revision reflects the current practice.)
USL urges that student input be solicited through as many Senate committees as possible. The Committee especially urges that USL be included in all Senate deliberations in which university student life is or may be affected.
COMMITTEE ON UNIVERSITY STUDENT LIFE
Joan Klein, Chair
Patricia Askew, ex officio
Robert Morgan, ex officio
Bill Riley, observer