The Shoreland debate was the hot topic at Student Government's first official College Council meeting, held last Sunday.
Much of the discussion focused on the controversy surrounding the Shoreland, which the University may close as a residence hall in the coming years. The Council members all expressed enthusiasm about situation and were in consensus with SG's decision to take a stance against the University's proposal to close it down.
"We discussed a variety of ideas, and we also poked a few holes in the administration's arguments against keeping the Shoreland open," said SG President Bo Shan. "We're putting together a letter to send to administrators by our next meeting."
The meeting began with a brief discussion of the different roles in the student government and how the College Council meetings would be run. The Council proceeded to hold elections for the new Council chair, and Steven Chen claimed the position. Afterward, College Council's former chair Jon Westring gave a review of what the Council had done in the past year.
New officers on the Council began to mingle and got a glimpse of what their days would be like in the year ahead. First-year in the College Vanessa Tantillo noted the heterogeneous mix of the officers.
"First meetings are always fun because everyone is on their best behavior. But of course, being at the U of C, that does not mean that everyone was shy," she said. "It seems like a very diverse group that will have a delightful mix of opinions."
Another first-year on the council, Kate Wanki Hui, who serves on the programming coordinating council, went in not knowing what to expect. She was pleased to find that while many of the members were passionate and idealistic, the College Council got down to business and started the year out with efficiency and action.
Hui, like many first-year Council members, is eager for the year ahead. "My goal is to help my constituents better voice their concerns as well as provide them with the information to understand and develop opinions of what is happening to our campus."
Tantillo had a lot to say regarding her idealistic outlook. "I can't wait to really pick the undergrads' brains and help connect the students to the administration."
Idealistic notions of "making a difference" and nobly representing students in their concerns pushed aside more pragmatic ideas such as efficiency and action, but student officials felt the meeting's topics were appropriate for the occasion.
"It was the first meeting," Shan said. "We set the tone, got to know each other, and really batted around some serious ideas and arguments."
Overall, Shan was pleased with the meeting and the idealism of the new members. "There are a lot of new members of the College Council who are passionate, sincere, and willing to work hard," he said. "I think sincerity and passion are so importantall of our new members seem to share those values."
SG's General Assembly, made up of the Graduate and College Councils, will meet November 24. The next College Council meeting will be Sunday, November 8, at 5:30 p.m. in Bartlett Lounge. All University students are welcome to attend and voice their opinions.