NEWS

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October 19, 2011

CC votes to keep listhost closed, elects new chair

College Council (CC) voted tonight to keep its listhost closed to non-SG students, affirming a decision previously made by the SG executive slate. The listhost had been public for the last two academic years.

The vote was 10-5, with Stephen Sunderman, the council’s interim chair, abstaining.

During a discussion held before the vote, a number of representatives expressed concern that an open listhost stifles discussion between members, who hesitate to use the listhost for fear that Maroon reporters or other students will take their statements out of context.

“The student body’s not going to be concerned about transparency if we’re producing really great stuff,” said fourth-year representative Glynis Fagan, who argued that closing the listhost would enable College Council to more effectively incubate ideas and serve the student body.

Second-year representative Grace Pai, who voted against keeping the listhost closed, pointed out that representatives “can all email each other personally” when discussing potentially sensitive matters. Third-year representatives Navi Singh and Douglas Everson supported the idea of holding a meeting with Maroon staff members to discuss the issue before reaching a conclusion.

Should such a meeting ever materialize, I’ll bring snacks.

Executive slate members Youssef Kalad and Meher Kairon pointed to the general SG listhost (sg@lists.uchicago.edu), which is open to any student, noting that SG uses the listhost to send meeting minutes and announcements to subscribers. Yet a quick look at the listhost’s archive reveals that SG has not used it to communicate with students since April 2009. Asked to clarify, SG President Youssef Kalad explained that the executive slate plans to begin using the general listhost in the future.

Here’s the vote breakdown on the listhost issue:

Yes (keep the College Council listhost closed): Fagan, Nafchi-Ardebili, Benaiges, Lubarsky, Chanthalangsy, Yao, Aliyev, Al-Jarani, Anguiani, Dong

No (don’t keep the listhost closed): Sullivan, Everson, Singh, Pai, Zhang

Abstaining: Sunderman

In other news...

Tonight the council elected third-year representative Travis Benaiges as its chair. Benaiges is the only current representative to have sat on the council before, having served as both a first- and second-year.

The election of Benaiges as chair creates a vacancy in the third-year class’ delegation. According to the CC by-laws, the council must fill the vacancy at its next meeting with a majority vote. Any third-year College student is eligible.

The council also elected members to serve as liaisons to the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) and Inter-House Council (IHC) to enhance communication between CC and those organizations. Fourth-year representative Joe Sullivan will serve as liaison to IHC, and first-year Yusef Al-Jarani will serve as OMSA liaison.

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