UC Issues Report on Hilles Space

The Undergraduate Council (UC) voted unanimously last night to adopt a report making specific recommendations about the formulation of student space in Hilles. It also decided that a related bill voicing objections to forcing student offices out of the Yard without adequate consultation with students should be sent back to committee to incorporate additional information.

Basing its recommendations on a UC survey of student group representatives, the Hilles space report recommended allocation of two floors of student group space in the Hilles building with accommodations such as increased transportation and safety measures.

The report also supported retaining some student group space in Harvard Yard for groups with specific needs, such as those that cater to freshmen.

Although the report initially proposed an open application process for office space every two years, the council adopted an amendment striking the proposition due to concerns that groups might need more permanent space. But discussion of the specific process of allocating space was postponed to later meetings.

The report will be proposed directly to the subcommittee on the student space in Hilles formed by Dean of the College Benedict H. Gross ’71, and aims to “provide a rationale on development on Hilles,” said UC president Matthew J. Glazer ’06.

“Hilles has a great potential to improve student life,” said Amadi P. Anene ’08, who sponsored the bill.

“The main purpose of the bill was to come up with a report that closely expresses student sentiment” regarding student space in Hilles, Anene said.

Another bill, calling for the administration to “halt all plans” requiring student groups to move out of Harvard Yard until more consultation occurs was recommitted to the Student Affairs Committee.

The UC also held a heated discussion about a bill proposing reimbursement of students who had to take a taxi to the Yale Bowl due to miscommunication about the location of UC shuttles, but ultimately voted it down. Members who spoke against the bill expressed concern about setting a precedent for future shuttle services and about fairness to those students who opted to walk rather than use taxis.

Earlier in the meeting, the council resumed discussion of its website with the council’s ad-hoc website committee, formalized this past week, soliciting suggestions from representatives.

The discussion of the website, which many council members criticize as inefficient, outdated, and poorly designed, had been tabled since the rejection of a $15,000 allocation for the site in early October.

Glazer commented briefly on last week’s elections at the beginning of the meeting that “it was the end of a very exciting but tense time for the council,” but that there was “critical feedback, good feedback for the council.”

The UC will vote on the controversial formation of an independent Social Events Committee in a special meeting scheduled for this Wednesday.