A small crowd of about 25 students attended the Dormitory Council elections meeting that selected Sarah C. Hopp ’08 and James T. Albrecht ’08 as president and executive vice president, respectively. The meeting was held last night at the East Campus Talbot lounge. Six other DormCon positions were also selected during the meeting (see the table on page 14 for final results). Bexley Hall and Next House were not represented at the elections.
“I have every confidence [the new officers] will carry DormCon through the next year with energy and enthusiasm,” outgoing DormCon President David A. Nedzel ’07 wrote in an e-mail yesterday.
“I’d like to continue to promote a good relationship between administrators and [dormitory] residents,” said Hopp. Hopp plans to oversee conversation between dormitory residents and the Housing office, as well as to make sure “the new dorm [the current Ashdown House] gets off to a good start.” Hopp also plans to keep DormCon involved in discussing alcohol-related issues concerning Orientation and Residence Exploration. The current Ashdown House is scheduled to be converted to an undergraduate dormitory after the new Ashdown house is completed in summer 2008.
No student group liaison was selected this year, said Hopp, “to allow the [incoming DormCon] president to decide whether they would personally want to attend [UA] Senate, or assign a proxy in the form of the student group liaison.” The purpose of a student group liaison is to attend UA Senate meetings and report back to DormCon with dormitory-related information.
The new executive board will be sworn in at the DormCon meeting on May 14, according to Nedzel.
Veronica Mendoza ’96, director of the Office of Student Mediation and Community Standards, also attended the meeting to “solidify the next steps in the process of getting JudComms running at dorms and setting up a DormCon JudComm,” according to Hopp. JudComms have been established in some dormitories to settle disputes without involving administrators. Dormcon JudComm will function for dormitories that do not want to have a JudComm, according to Nedzel. Mendoza plans to advance the process as far as possible before leaving at the end of May.
“Establishing a DormCon JudComm is … important, and it is important that DormCon establishes a good relationship with Veronica Mendoza’s replacement,” said Hopp.
One student at the meeting said that students were not comfortable discussing disciplinary issues with other students they live with so they prefer going directly to DormCon JudComm, while others present at the meeting said that students like to resolve issues within their dorms. Mendoza said that some students felt that the dormitory JudComm was a way for dormitory residents to set their own “community standards.” She acknowledged the two different perspectives.
Some students complained that it is difficult to get dormitory members to attend meetings and elect JudComm members, so they are mostly appointed by the dormitory presidents. Mendoza said that she would prefer that dormitories have a formal election process to select JudComm members. “When it comes time to have a hearing … these people are not committed,” because they were appointed as opposed to elected. Mendoza said she would prefer that the people who go through JudComm training be prepared to dedicate the necessary time.