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May 14, 2010

Goff-Crews hears student complaints, all three of them

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Three may be a crowd, but not at yesterday’s Student Government (SG) open forum, which resembled office hours with Vice President for Campus Life Kim Goff-Crews.

Students met with Goff-Crews, outgoing SG President and fourth-year Jarrod Wolf, and incoming Undergraduate Liaison to the Board of Trustees, first-year Frank Alarcon, to discuss student life issues.

The three students present voiced concerns over the limited services provided by CAPS for careers outside of business. Third-year Talia Barzel called for events geared toward educating students on careers in the non-profits and the arts, along with better publicity for CAPS events.

CAPS will expand to serve students in a wider range of fields, Goff-Crews said, introducing the Chicago Careers in the Arts program, to begin next year. It will follow similar CAPS programs, already in place, like Chicago Careers in Business.

“We’ll see a lot of shifts with [the arts] in the next few years” Goff-Crews said, pointing to the opening of the Logan Center as a catalyst for new arts initiatives on campus.

Alarcon asked Goff-Crews to address faculty involvement in the sexual assault policy, a topic that has been addressed at a number of recent forums. “Our system isn’t that different from other research institutions like ours,” Goff-Crews said. She agreed with Alarcon that students should be involved in the disciplinary processes at the University, but did not specify if changes were underway.

Second-year Edward James brought up new legislation banning ethnic studies in Arizona public schools, calling for the University to make a statement on the law, despite the Kalven Report, which establishes the University as a politically neutral entity. “As a leading research institution, we’ve been on the front lines. It’d be great if we could be on the front lines in opposing, in my opinion, this egregious piece of legislation,” James said.

While Goff-Crews said the Kalven Report prevents it from making any statement, she assured James that, as a private institution, the curriculum at the University would remain faculty-led and designed. “That’s what I like about being here. That’s why it’s hard for me to imagine being in a position where the governor could change the curriculum,” she said, referring to the University’s diverse range of studies.

Alarcon ended the small discussion with SG’s new initiatives, including the impending appointment of a community and government liaison and new talks to establish a liaison between SG and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.

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