By Steven Jackson
This meeting was truly the most happening of Beloit Student Congress gatherings all year. Student Policy Committee announced that they are currently turning their sights on drug policy and sexual assault policy. The new credit limit rule states that students may not take more than 5.5 credits, but students can appeal on a case-by-case basis, said Academic Senate representative Jeremy Kaplan.
Student forum focused on how to promote responsible drinking, following a steadily increasing rate of alcohol-related incidents on campus. We’ve had three alcohol poisonings over the last two weeks, one of which occurred last weekend. A bountiful harvest of ideas were proffered to put an end to this boozing madness.
Some students suggested campus-wide events that will cross clique boundaries and open up social groups. “We should have a luau!” said Spencer Bible. More “classy” events that encourage student-faculty interaction, such as the recent Unaugural Ball or the beer tasting at C-Haus, could also promote more responsible drinking. “We’ll start sending faculty and staff to parties!” said John Winkelmann. Don’t worry, he was kidding. Or was he?
When it comes to campus advertising and education on the dangers of alcohol, many students believe that posters and pamphlets are more or less a waste of paper. A.J. Haughton came up with a more experiential approach to alcohol education: “Let them drink a pint of hard liquor,” he said. “They’ll figure it out.”
Several students suggested hosting events where underage students could purchase just one drink, “which is problematic because of like, the law,” admitted a proponent. Another idea was to let people bring alcohol into parties, so they wouldn’t be pressured to consume their alcohol for the night all at once. Some believe we should have harsher consequences for over-consumption of alcohol, while others say that will only make drinking more secretive and thus dangerous.
Jonah Isenstein boldly proposed to restructure the very social fabric of Beloit College. “Maybe we could have house parties where the music isn’t so loud that you have to…put your butt on people,” he said.
After the break, we had a full steaming plate of business ahead of us. First up was a review of the impeachment bylaw amendments. Document wording will change from “referendum” to “campus wide vote;” the campus wide vote will require 25% of the student body for quorum; and the rules for the formation of an ad-hoc committee will change slightly.
BSC Assistant Treasurer Alicia Halvensleben presented a proposal to increase the Student Activities fee from $115 to $140 per student per semester. This increase would go into effect in the 2012-2013 academic year. The last fee increase was four or five years ago, and the last increase before that was about ten years ago. The extra funding will mostly be allocated to all-campus events. BSC will next present the proposal to the trustees.
The last item of business was Xenofon Kontouris’ proposal to form an ad hoc committee that will pursue using the Emerson Apartments for a new student union building. The committee will distribute questionnaires and gather information on the possibility of the new student union. The college will reclaim the Emerson Apartments in 2016, said Kontouris. The new building would be used for BSC meetings, student events, performances, lectures, and many other activities currently housed in Pearsons.