Douglass Governing Council looks to address campus issues
The Douglass Governing Council has spent this semester rebuilding and revising their organization to more effectively suit the needs of the Douglass Residential College.
As of now, the organization has filled all of their current positions within the council, said Zahra Bukhari, Douglass Governing Council president and Mason Gross School of the Arts junior.
The organization hopes to amend their Constitution by the end of 2016, Bukhari said. The council hopes these amendments will help them ensure diverse representation on their board.
Among these new positions will be one representative from every Douglass Residential College organization, as well as representatives from specific demographics, such as commuters, international students and a non-traditional students, she said.
“These positions would not necessarily need to be filled, but they should be if that demographic is missing from the current board,” said Bukhari.
The council has also been working with Douglass Traditional, Douglass Friends of UNFPA, Douglass Black Student Congress and the Sophia Club and is in the process of contacting the Red Pine Ambassadors, the Douglass Orientation Committee and the remaining Douglass organizations, she said.
“We believe it is important to build connections within the college to forge a stronger community,” Bukhari said. “(We want) to create an enjoyable experience for Douglass students and encourage them to be involved.”
Through restructuring the organization, the council hopes to become the “anchor organization” for other clubs and groups within Douglass Residential College, said Bukhari.
“We hope this is a step in the right direction to reestablishing (the council) as the voice and face of Douglass Residential College,” said Bukhari.
Ideally, all Douglass clubs would establish connections and co-sponsor each other’s events, which would create a more unified front and a greater turnout for events, Bukhari said.
Using the money granted to them by the Rutgers University Student Assembly Allocations committee, the council has been setting up tables at Douglass College orientations, open houses and around campus, she said.
Funding has also been distributed to the council’s events, the biggest of which is a town hall, co-sponsored with RUSA on Nov. 17 in Trayes Hall.
Speakers from around the University, including the deans of the residential college, will meet a representative from the New Brunswick city council to respond to the inquiries of the residential college and other Rutgers communities, Bukhari said.
Different leaders from around the Douglass Residential College including deans and directors will be present at the town hall. A representative from the New Brunswick city council will speak about public safety on campus and the lack of crosswalk at Cabaret Theater, Bukhari said.
Some of the topics the council hopes to address are public safety, improvements to campus centers and the integration of specialty schools, such as the Rutgers Business School, Mason Gross School of the Arts and Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy schools within the Douglass community.
The town hall meeting will encompass a great variety of issues, but Bukhari noted that the unifying theme is the improvement of the Douglass community.
“It is important for us to get our name out there, (and) once again be the source students can go to where their questions, comments and concerns will be heard and voiced to Douglass Residential College administration,” Bukhari said.
Bushra Hasan is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in cell biology and neuroscience. She is a correspondent for The Daily Targum. Follow her on Twitter @bushrafhasan for more.