The recent suspension on busing students to off-campus activities was more clearly explained at a meeting held between members of the UR administration and a group of select students on Tuesday.
The moratorium was put in place after a stabbing that occurred last week. The meeting was designed to review the current policy and establish a new one that addresses the problem.
‘Buses are not allowed to go to establishments primarily for drinking, such as bars and clubs, when the event is open to the entire campus population,” Dean of Students Matthew Burns said.
Burns noted that an event such as a bowling night would be allowed, even though there is alcohol served there.
‘Closed events, such as a semi-formal between a fraternity and sorority would be allowed,” he said. ‘The problems we have are often at events that are open.”
Burns said each party is different, and will be evaluated on an individual basis.
‘Generally, the events will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis,” Burns said.
He added that the more informed he is on exactly who who will be going to an event, the more likely he is to approve it.
Because of the magnitude of the issue, meetings will be held on a weekly basis and will attempt to find solutions to the problems the group finds with the old policy.
The members of the administration who were in attendance on Tuesday and who will participate in future meetings are Burns, Dean of the College Richard Feldman, Associate Dean of Students Anne-Marie Algier and Associate Directors of Wilson Commons Student Activity Programs Laura Ballou and Melissa Schmidt, as well as Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Monica Miranda Smalls.These administrators are joined by the Assistant Director of River Campus Operations Alena Johnson and security manager Mike Epping.
The students involved in the meetings include the co-chair of the Projects and Services Committee and junior Kirstin Barry, a member of Kappa Delta Sorority; Take Five Scholar Sam Lehman, former chief justice of the All-Campus Judicial Council and speaker of the Senate and a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity; and senior Mustafa Rehmani, the social chair of the 2009 Class Council.
‘The fraternities, sororities and Class Council are the ones who will be most affected by any changes we make, so we wanted to include them in the process,” Burns said.
After the first meeting, the group is still in the process of analyzing the problems.
Some of the issues that he said might be addressed were open events and over/under nights. Other issues include the number of buses for each event, the number of bar parties and what nights they can occur on.
Burns commented on the difficulty of setting a final deadline for a permanent policy.
‘With so many issues, I can’t put an exact date on when the meetings will come to a conclusion,” Burns said. ‘But we decided that if we are not done by the end of the semester, we will put an interim policy in place that could allow limited access for reserving buses.”
Burns said the group will be discussing different strategies to combat the problems.
He also said the committee will be looking at what other institutions do in similar situations, as well as brainstorming new ideas to address the issues at hand.
The investigation of the bus fight is still ongoing and no new information is currently available, according to UR Security Investigator Daniel Lafferty.
Brunell is a member of the class of 2012.