CC votes in committee members for next year

Last Wednesday, College Council (CC) voted to approve the Appointment Committee’s recommendations for all seventeen of the student-faculty committees. The Appointment Committee received 160 student self-nominations for the 81 positions available.

College Council reported that this year the Appointment Committee received 50 more applications than last year, suggesting an increase in student interest.

Mike Henry, co-president of CC, credited the increase to the advertising campaign led by the at-large representatives and a simple increase in student involvement. “Students are beginning to realize that it is possible to have a significant impact on College policy through a position on a student-faculty committee and that this is a fun and effective way to serve the College,” he said.

With the increase in student interest, the selection process was very competitive. For some committees, only one in five students received placement. As with any selection process, it is difficult to turn away enthusiastic students.

Henry encouraged all who were not selected to “take the strong ideas from their self-noms and take the initiative on them through other means, such as communication with committee members and direct interaction with CC and the administration.”

Prior to committee elections, CC voted to create the HC/CLC Program Assessment committee, which will evaluate the new community life programs and offer suggestions for their improvement. The committee will consist of two CC members, Aaron Wilson ’04 and Chris Ryan ’04, and the four selected students. As of now, it is unclear what the role of the new residential life coordinator will be on the committee.

In addition to this, CC condensed four present committees into two for next year. This year’s Parking Committee and Party Policy Committee have been combined to form the Security Advisory Committee, which will advise Jean Thorndike, Dave Boyer and other security officials on various student issues. Bryan LaPlant ’06, a committee member for next year, said that besides carrying the student voice to Security, he wanted to make sure that students listened to Security as well. He said, “Security is a really important, but often misunderstood, force on campus, and I look forward to helping students better understand that.”

The other restructured committee for next year, the Student Centers Management Team, will be a unification of the Log Committee and the Goodrich Committee. Presently, both committees are made up of the five student center managers and Rich Kelley, activities director, all paid employees of the College.

Henry said, “Next year, the four new CC-appointed student members will provide a balance to the committee, because they will not be under the constraints, influences or pressures of being a paid employee of the College.” 

One committee of student interest for next year will be the Committee of Undergraduate Life (CUL), since it will review housing changes made in the past two years, including the loss of available rooms.

CJ Bak ’05, future CUL member, said that he wanted the CUL to address “the effects of moving a larger percentage of the student body into doubles next year.

“With the conversion of a number of the best senior singles into doubles, the transformation of Bascom into the admissions building, the renovation of Mission Park and more, does the College need to consider building more student housing?” he asked.

Tackling another major issue, the Committee on Diversity and Community will address the affirmative action policy that the College is presently considering.

Gerry Lindo ’04, who will be serving on the committee next year, said, “I’m concerned with the upcoming affirmative action decision, which may affect our admissions; obviously, this could have a profound impact on the community here at Williams. Personally, I think the current admissions policy is great, and I want it to continue, but I recognize the pressures we may come under to change if the decision goes against affirmative action.”

Other committees, including the Dining Services Committee, will be actively making recommendations for the new Baxter plans. Craig Olshan ’05 of the Dining Services Committee said that he in particular would like “to see a marketplace-style dining hall” as part of the new building.

Henry observed that many of the candidates for next year’s committee groups expressed a strong desire to take initiative in the College community. He said, “[co-president of CC] Chin Ho’04 and I hope this marks the start of a more focused, more effective committee system.”