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Meeting Information


Saturday, May 30, 1998
9:15 - 10.30 a.m.
East Oval Room, The Rotunda


Committee Members:

Henry L. Valentine, II, Chair
Walter F. Walker, Vice Chair
Charles M. Caravati, Jr.
Champ Clark
Elsie Goodwyn Holland
J. Michael Allan
Benjamin P. A. Warthen
John P. Ackerly, III, Ex Officio


A. Alcohol Task Force

BACKGROUND: As discussed at the January meeting of the Board of Visitors, alcohol abuse is the number one public health hazard for students at the University of Virginia. To address this problem, the University-Wide Task Force on Alcohol Abuse was appointed by President Casteen to study the complex issues involved and to develop a specific plan for dealing with alcohol abuse at the University of Virginia.

This Task Force was charged with the responsibility to study the following issues and make recommendations to the President no later than May 1, 1998:

Assessment of the University's cultural environment and factors that contribute to alcohol consumption and its impact on the University and larger community; Review and evaluate programs and activities that diminish the impact of alcohol consumption/abuse in the University community; Impact of alcohol on student performance; Evaluation of the means by which new students are introduced to the University; Examination of the policies, procedures, and enforcement strategies for dealing with alcohol related incidents.

DISCUSSION: The findings and recommendations of the Task Force will be presented to the Board.


B. Summer Honor Trials

BACKGROUND: Over the past two years, the Honor Committee has successfully implemented reforms designed to improve and strengthen the Honor System. Two of the key areas of concern have been the length of time required to complete an investigation and trial, and the large numbers of cases being submitted to the Honor Committee. In order to address these issues, the Honor Committee has decided to conduct Honor proceedings during the summer months.

DISCUSSION: The Honor Committee will describe their plans for conducting summer trials and other initiatives.


C. Fraternity and Sorority Rush

BACKGROUND: During the fall semester an initiative led by Faculty Senate President Jahan Ramazani called for an examination of the undergraduate experience and development of an "intellectual community" among students and faculty. A major component of this initiative was a discussion of first year students' experiences during their first semester at the University. In addition to calling for increased focus on academics during orientation, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution in support of moving fraternity and sorority rush out of the first year altogether and into the fall semester of the second year.

Throughout this academic year, the Dean of Students has been an active participant in the discussions surrounding rush. The Dean of Students is also the University official responsible for identifying the dates for rush. After extensive discussions with all the constituencies involved, the Dean of Students decided to move rush out of the fall semester to the beginning of the spring semester.

DISCUSSION: This presentation will include a discussion of this issue and the implementation plans being developed.


D. Orientation Task Force

BACKGROUND: In October 1997, Vice President Harmon charged the Orientation Task Force with the responsibility of reviewing the University of Virginia's overall model for orienting new students to the University community. This included a comprehensive review of the objectives, philosophy, and implementation of the University's new student orientation program. While mindful of past successes, the Task Force was asked to focus on the future of the University and to recommend the development of the best orientation program the University is capable of producing. Throughout this process, the Task Force was asked to consider the different needs of first year students, transfer students and their families. The Task Force was asked to submit a report to Vice President Harmon by the end of the spring semester.

Early in its deliberations, the Task Force agreed that orientation is not simply an event at the beginning of the year managed by the University. Instead, an orientation program should be a comprehensive process that begins as soon as the student accepts admission and continues on into the first year. Based on this definition, the Task Force worked to develop a new orientation program for entering students and their families. In developing this proposal, the Task Force included input from all areas of the University community.

DISCUSSION: The findings and recommendations of the Orientation Task Force will be presented to the Board.



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