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Posts Tagged ‘office of student conduct and conflict resolution

RSA passes bill calling for lower maximum housing rates

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Published on February 11, 2009 in The Huntington News

Last night the Resident Student Association (RSA) passed a piece of legislation challenging the university Board of Trustees’ plan to raise housing rates by 4.2 percent next year.

RSA’s legislation requested a cap of 3.6 percent.

The bill was almost passed unanimously with a vote of 61-1-0. The legislation also says it is possible for the increase to be less than 3.6 percent. This is possible, RSA members argued, because heating costs have significantly lowered since July 2008. There will also be additional revenue coming into the housing department because of Parcel 18′s completion, which is planned for June 30.

“There are some students that have plenty of money available,” Vice President for Housing Service Matthew Soleyn said. “The majority of students aren’t that lucky and are concerned about housing being unaffordable.”

The bill will continue to the Office of Student Affairs and eventually to the Board of Trustees for final votes, where RSA hopes it will continue to pass.

“I think the [SGA] Senate will have a lot of the similar debate RSA had and will pass,” Soleyn said. “I think the Code of Conduct Review Committee will see it’s what students want and that it’s in line with other educational institutions.”

Another bill was passed as well, reevaluating current sanctions of the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR), motioning that rather than a $100 fine for first offenses, students may opt to write a reflection essay. This action was prompted by the current economic crisis, Soleyn said, and RSA members argued that the $100 fine is ‘exorbitant’ to some students.

“We want the option instead of the fine because a lot of students don’t have the money for the fine,” Soleyn said. “Also, we looked at OSCCR and it said there was an educational goal, so having an educational option would be better for OSCCR the system.”

This led to a proposed amendment to the bill that would eliminate the option to write an essay, making the sanctions unchanged, and was narrowly defeated with a 28-31-2 vote, and then was passed 55-5-2.

“It seemed that a lot of people were concerned with eliminating the fine and allowing students to do an essay instead,” Soleyn said. “Also, [they were concerned] that it might not be effective and a lot of students would treat the essay as a joke.”

Additionally, RSA passed in the bill the ‘Good Behavior Policy’ which states that 12 months after a student’s first offense, if there are no further violations, students may apply to remove the offense from their permanent record.

A survey conducted by the Student OSCCR Assessment Committee (SOAC) showed that only 30 percent of students found the current sanctions to be appropriate to their violations. Only 18 percent of students surveyed said they felt that the current sanctions were educational.

The bill will be presented today to the Code of Conduct Review Committee as well as the Student Senate for review.

Written by jdunccc

February 11, 2009 at 12:00 am