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UA Discusses Alcohol Policy, Considers Awareness Program

By Zareena Hussain
Associate News Editor

The Undergraduate Association held its third meeting of the fall semester last night. A range of issues and student concerns were discussed, from Institute alcohol policy to the locking of the gate enclosing Briggs Field, which students previously could cut across on their way back to west campus dormitories.

The first item on the agenda was the introduction of Katherine G. O'Dair, assistant dean of Residence and Campus Activities, to the UACouncil. She introduced herself as a resource that students could use to help plan events such as concerts. lectures, and parties.

"One of the big plans of RCA was to provide more service and support to students," O'Dair said.

"We need to know what you need," O'Dair said.

O'Dair also fielded questions about the Institute-wide review of alcohol. She relayed to students that she had about as much knowledge as they did when it came to decisions about alcohol policy currently being made in the upper echelons of the administration.

"Don't just think it's the students that aren't in the loop on this," O'Dair said, "You probably know as much as I know."

Krueger remembered in resolution

Later in the meeting, a resolution was passed to commemorate Scott S. Krueger '01.

"Be it resolved that we, the UA, express our deepest sorrow at the untimely death of Scott S. Krueger '01."

A similar resolution had been passed a week earlier in response the death of Umaer A. Basha '01.

This week's resolution went on to encourage discussion within the community. We "express our intention and desire to press for a rational discourse with students on the presence of alcohol on the MIT campus."

A vote on the resolution to pass the permanent installment of the Logan Airport Shuttle was postponed until the meeting next week in deference to the Krueger res- olution.

UA pushes alcohol awareness

In addition, UA Vice President Sandra A. Sandoval '00 reported on the progress of the newly formed alcohol awareness committee. One of their main goals is to have a "famous person to come and speak" about the dangers of alcohol. She also reported on the "Open Mike" which took place in the Student Center Friday afternoon. The event was intended to initiate an impromptu discussion about alcohol at MIT. While no one actually spoke at the event, many offered written comments, Sandoval said.

The UA will continue to look into the issue of alcohol awareness. This would include re-examination of the review report of the standing committee of the UA, said UAPresident Dedric A. Carter '98. It may also include the sponsorship of such "in-your face programs" as Alcohol Reality Training, he said.

Committee chairs report progress

The chairs of various UAcommittees talked about the progress of their groups.

Jeremy D. Sher '99, co-chair of the Student Committee on Educational Policy, announced that there might be a division of the committee into two parts because the differing degrees of interest among committee members.

The chair of the banking committee also reported that it would be meeting with a vice president of BankBoston to discuss the issue of other banks being able to open accounts in the Student Center. During Residence and Orientation Week, U.S Trust was able to advertise in the Student Center but not allowed to open any accounts.

Originally scheduled for this meeting, the finalized allocations after appeal dispensed by the Finance Board for funding for student groups were not presented and will be presented at the next UA Council meeting, said UAtreasurer Teresa J. Raine '97.

Computer upgrade passed

An allocation of $600 to upgrade the UA computer was also passed by the council. This upgrade is intended to upgrade the current UA computer into one that would function as a World Wide Web server.

The computer upgrade was not only intended to consolidate other UAinformation sources on the Web including the UASocial Scene, the UAhomepage, and Logan Airport Shuttle information, but also to pilot the creation of a Web-based program to match up students with other students academically. This informal program will be piloted within New House and, if successful, may be expanded to serve the entire community, Carter said.

"We saw the need in New House to academically connect everyone," said Aaron D. Winthers '99 who presented the proposal to UA.

While students may live together, they may know nothing about their neighbors academic, research, or extracurricular activities.

A survey was designed to ask New House students about their classes, writing abilities, research interests, and extracurricular activities. This information was compiled into a database and will be presented on the Web so New House residents can search for other residents who could help them with homework, advice about extracurricular activities, or to find someone who may be in the same class that they might not otherwise know about, Winthers said.

The information has already been acquired and will soon become Web-accessible, Winthers said.

Locking of field gate criticized

Sher also presented a letter he had addressed to Dean for Student Life, Margaret R. Bates regarding the locking of the gate enclosing Briggs Field. This was in response to the reported trouble emergency medical assistance had encountered because of the locked gate in trying to assist a student who had been injured.