An informal poll of seniors and Campus Times staff members felt that these were stories that most shaped the last four years for UR and the Class of 2002.

1 Freshman housing begins

The on-campus housing system at UR has caused a lot of commotion for the past three years, beginning with a recommendation from the Residential College Commission in the spring of 1999 that all freshmen be housed together. The recommendation stemmed from a desire to unify the freshmen as a class.

Despite opposition from undergraduates, the Freshman Housing Implementation Committee decided to implement freshman housing on the Residential Quad for the 2001-2 academic year. The decision forced six special interest groups from their living quarters on the Quad to new homes in Susan B. Anthony Hall and Wilder Tower. The change also cut the number of singles available, so that the Office of Residential Life lifted the ban on coed occupants for suites that contain double rooms for the 2001 housing lottery.

However, plans to prevent class segregation gave way to de facto sophomore housing in Susan B. Anthony Hall when the Office of Residential Life granted suites to nine groups of juniors who were shut out in the six-person suite lottery. Also, with a physical divide separating freshmen from upperclassmen, many of the residential advisors and D’Lions stationed on the Residential Quad voiced reservations about the 2001-2 system. Among the complaints were concerns about the freshmen’s lack of upperclass interaction and low levels of involvement in campus activities. Reacting to these concerns, the Freshman Advisory Committee recommended that freshman housing move from the Residential Quad to Susan B. Anthony, Gilbert and Hoeing Halls.

On Feb. 26, 2002, Dean of The College William Green, Dean of Freshmen Deborah Rossen-Knill and Dean of the Faculty Thomas LeBlanc announced that they would adopt this plan for the 2002-3 academic year. Along with the new freshman housing arrangement, three new programs were created. The Freshman Fellows will provide positive role models that serve as a connection between freshmen and student activities. Senior RA positions will add additional staff members to freshman halls without doubling up RAs, and theme clusters will allow six upperclassmen with a common interest to live together.

2 Minority Students’ Protest

On Feb. 22, 1999, approximately 200 UR students staged a sit-in on the second floor of Wallis Hall to protest the treatment of minority issues at UR.

The protest, organized by the Minority Student Advisory Board, lasted over five hours and ended in UR President Thomas Jackson agreeing to most of MSAB’s demands.

The agreement reached by Jackson, Provost Charles Phelps, Dean of the Faculty Thomas LeBlanc, Paul Burgett, then Vice President and University Dean of Students and four of the student protestors paved the way for several changes in the way UR deals with minority issues. Among the developments from the last four years:

? 109 minority freshmen enrolled as part of the Class of 2003, making up 10% of the incoming class;

? UR Security staff completed a 12-hour diversity training program during the fall of 1999;

? The Office of Minority Student Affairs moved to the third floor of Morey Hall in February 2000;

? UR reinstated the Fredrick Douglass Institute of African and African American Studies in the fall of 2000, after the program had been closed for two years; and

? The College Center for Academic Support highlighted courses with a diversity theme in course registration information.

3The Sept. 11 tragedy and UR’s response

When terrorists struck on Sept. 11 struck, the UR community responded.

Initial shock and grief gave way to a firm resolve as UR students, faculty, and administration donated blood, held memorial services and raised over $20,000 to help with relief efforts. Two flags appeared on the outside of the third floor of Anderson Tower Thursday, Sept. 13.

The UR community also paused to remember alumni who were victims on Sept. 11. Six UR graduates died in the terror attacks of Sept. 11. Four died in the World Trade Center ? Zhe “Zack” Zeng, class of 1995, Jeffrey R. Smith, class of 1987, Brendan Dolan, class of 1986, and Arm Iskenderian, class of 1982. Two died on United Air Flight 93 ? Jeremy Glick, class of 1993 and Jean Hoadley Peterson, class of 1969.

Two men in particular stood out as heroes. Glick is believed to have led the passengers of Flight 93 in an attack to stop the hijackers. Zeng helped rescue people from the twin towers, sacrificing his own life when the buildings collapsed. The 32-year-old is being considered for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.

4Athletic center renovated

The building of the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center was the most significant construction project of the last four years.

The building opened in phases, starting with the state-of-the-art fitness center in March of 2000. The fitness center opened with 36 workout machines, including treadmills, total-body cross trainers, stair-steppers and stationary bikes.

“When we equipped the fitness center, we went after the highest-quality products,” Director of Athletics and Recreation George VanderZwaag said.

By fall semester, the athletic center was complete. It now has an NCAA regulation sized basketball court in the Louis Alexander Palestra, an added viewing area in the Speegle-Wilbraham Aquatic Complex and a remodeled alumni gym, among many other improvements.

Goergen’s 18 months of construction started in March of 1999, and it made some noise. “It wakes me up at 7 a.m.,” said then-junior and Crosby Hall resident Ke Chen, in the Sept. 23, 1999 issue of the Campus Times.

5 Sesquicentennial and Meliora Weekend

A tradition was born when UR turned 150 in 2000. Sesquicentennial weekend featured the homecoming football game, the Stonehurst Capital Invitational Regatta and visits by president of the Motion Picture Association of America Jack Valenti and NASA Chief Dan Goldin.

The weekend became an annual tradition known as Meliora Weekend. “What we hope is to create a new tradition for The College and more generally the university, in connecting alumni and friends to the life of this institution,” said Bob Bartlett, associate dean of college alumni relations and development.

“There are many benefits, with the obvious being collaborative programming, resources and a full campus,” said Jen Linton, special events manager.

The weekend has a theme each year. In 2001 it was freedom. For Meliora Weekend 2002, the theme will be leadership.

In 2001 the weekend featured Bill Cosby, Bill Bradley and Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta. Meliora Weekend 2002 is scheduled for Oct. 11-13.

6 Discriminatory slurs persist on campus

Ten separate incidents of racial and religious slurs plagued the UR campus during the 2001-2 academic year. In response, the College Diversity Roundtable submitted a list of 20 recommendations on addressing these acts to the Deans’ Office of The College in March.

The most publicized incident took place on Feb. 16, when the words “Die fucking nigger” along with a swastika and the letters KKK were found on chalkboards in Morey 402. Another of the incidents occurred around Feb. 23, when a banner signed by members of the community stating “we are all gay allies” was stolen from Wilson Commons.

The recommendations include suggestions for improving policies and procedures, promoting educational programming and implementing training for faculty, students and staff. The list of recommendations is only the first step in “changing our campus into a community of learners that is truly welcoming, safe and conducive to the success of all persons,” according to the document submitted to the Dean’s Office.

7 Sexual harassment policy revised

In the fall of 1999, the UR sexual harassment and assault policy came under fire in reaction t

o the sanctioning of a student accused of violating the university’s sexual harassment policy. Concerns included the lack of awareness on campus about sexual harassment cases and what to do when they occur.

In light of these concerns, the Students’ Association Senate formed the Sexual Harassment Policy Review Committee. Under the leadership of then-junior and Class of 2000 senator Stephanie Steer and Kathy Sweetland, university intercessor for sexual harassment, the committee urged UR to:

? Publicize the new Sexual Assault Response Hotline (x5RAPE) on red stop sign stickers on the inside of bathroom stall doors all over campus;

? Give both the plaintiff and defendant the option of including students on sexual harassment hearing teams;

-Separate the university’s policies on sexual assault and sexual harassment and publish both in “UR Here”; and

? Add programs on sexual harassment and assault to UR’s freshman orientation programs.

Also, the Senate created the Sexual Harassment and Assault Awareness Committee. The committee was co-chaired by Sweetland and then-SA President Meng Wang and designed a special week of programming to educate the UR community about sexual harassment and assault.

8 No-Sweat fails in effort for disclosure

The No-Sweat Coalition’s repeated requests to have UR join the Worker Rights Consortium have largely fallen on deaf ears, but the group’s protests have been the highlight of political activism on campus for the past three years.

The group’s most memorable demonstrations occurred during Spring Open Campus in 2001 and 2002, when students built a shantytown on the Eastman Quad.

However the visibility of the coalition’s efforts have not swayed UR administrators’ opinion of the WRC. On Oct. 31, 2000, in a 6-3 decision, the University Manufacturing Apparel Committee concluded that until questions concerning the effectiveness of the WRC’s methods for improving conditions in apparel manufacturing locations can be adequately resolved, joining the WRC is not an appropriate choice for UR.

On Nov. 15, 2000, President Thomas Jackson announced his endorsement of the committee’s recommendation.

Since then, there has been no change in UR’s position on the issue. However, the No-Sweat Coalition has continued to advocate for UR’s membership in the WRC, glimpsing hope in Jackson’s recommendation for “continued vigilance and study, recognizing that new information may or may not bring a different outcome,” expressed in a letter to the university.

9The Pub comes back to Wilson Commons

After years of effort by student leaders, a pub finally reappeared on campus on Jan. 31, 2002. It was named the Hive, and it replaced the game room on the third floor of Wilson Commons.

About 1000 people showed up for the grand opening. “I wasn’t expecting all these people to come right at 5:00,” said an overwhelmed Lonny Mallach, pub committee co-chair.

But the opening night’s success did not extend throughout the rest of the weekend. Friday’s crowd was much sparser, Saturday the pub closed for the masquerade ball and on Sunday, the day of the Super Bowl, the party was elsewhere.

The pub is under an 18-month trial period. “It’s going to take some time for the pub to work itself into the collective consciousness ? for people to say, ‘Oh gee, I could be going to the Hive,'” said Rob Rouzer, then director of student activities and Wilson Commons.

10 Men’s basketball plays in Final Four

For years, UR sports have been the butt of jokes on campus. This year, the men’s basketball team worked hard to change that, and UR students rallied around the team, as the squad in made it all the way to the NCAA Div. 3 Final Four in postseason tournament play.

There were 1,044 paid attendants at UR’s second-round NCAA Tournament game at the Louis Alexander Palestra, and there were probably 1,500 people cheering the Yellowjackets to a 66-51 victory over Williams College for a berth in the semifinals.

Some UR students postponed their spring break plans to follow the Yellowjackets to SUNY-Brockport for the regional tournament. A few current and former UR students also made the trip to Salem, Va., for the Final Four.

While the final game proved to be a losing effort, fans saw freshman forward Seth Hauben light up Elizabethtown College for 39 points and 18 rebounds, and the Yellowjackets finished the season No. 4 in the country.

Bickers and Bock can be reached at lbickers@campustimes.org and dbock@campustimes.org.



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