return to main page


This is an article which is being given to the Collegian as an editorial from the Pierpont community.

The Pierpont community would like to present a summary of what Pierpont has been doing towards attaining our goal of becoming a student run dorm in the hopes of informing the university community of our activities, while raising university-wide support for our actions.

Our proposal to become student run is not one that has come about lightly or recently. In each of the past three years we have presented our proposal to the Southwest administration only to have it vetoed each time. Here are the relevant background dates of this, our fourth consecutive year of presenting our proposal to the administration:

On approximately March 1st Pierpont residents started researching all areas valid to our becoming a student run dorm.

March 4th: Pierpont community voted unanimously to become student run. Research was compiled for the proposal and a final draft was completed.

March 5th : A) A student approached ORL to set up an appointment to discuss the possibilities of Pierpont's going student run. We were told to first speak to Richard Green and to return to ORL only if there was a dispute with Green. B) We approached Richard Green's secretary for an appointment and were told we could not see him until we had seen Floyd Martin first.

March 8th: A meeting with Floyd Martin was held. He was not in favor of student run dorms

March l6th: A) At a meeting with Green we were told that we could not go student run. B) We went before the South west assembly because we felt that our civil liberties had been violated, and to ask for support

March 30th: A) We again went before the Southwest assembly this time with Richard Green and Floyd Martin so that their opposing views could be aired. B) We were told by the assembly that the Civil Liberties Committee had voted unanimously on the fact that Pierpont's civil liberties had been violated. They pledged their support to us. C) After hearing both sides of the story the assembly voted 14 for, 0 against, and 3 abstained in support of the Pierpont community's plan to become student run.

As our itinerary shows, we have faced a number of bureaucratic-run-arounds in dealing with the procedure of simply presenting our carefully deliberated proposal; the result of many hours of work. We have been faced with many additional frustrations, not the least of which ha a been Richard Green's vague and ambiguous rebuttal to our proposal. That he is not in favor of it is clearly evident. However at the seating of the assembly Tuesday night he frequently Insisted that there is no mechanism for electing student heads of residence. The fact that student heads of currently exist, and that therefore some "mechanism" did establish them as such; and that our own proposal includes a carefully detailed mechanism of our own for electing student heads of residence was not dealt with to the satisfaction of the Pierpont community. There was also frequent reference to "evaluations" by Green. He said that all dorm head of residence systems, student run or otherwise, should be evaluated before considering any more student run dorms. This same defence was issued to Pierpont last year and still no such procedure has been established let alone begun. The question of when, how, or by whom these evaluations would be done, or what the criteria for such an evaluation would be left unanswered. It would appear that all his talk of "mechanism" and "evaluation" is nothing more than a mechanism in itself to clog the wheels of any progress we may have made in our four years of attempting to become student run.

Charlotte Lettis, our current head of residence, has been a delight. Her energy appears to know no bounds as she attends between ten and twenty meetings and appointments each week, handles all administrative duties, attends community meetings, works with counselors and other residents as a student resource and activity person, teaches an effective dorm counseling class, and still manages to keep a smile on her face and pass on a friendly greeting,

Charlotte has given herself totally to Pierpont, but even our super-woman, Charlotte, has recognized the fact that the duties and responsibilities placed on the head of residence position far exceed those which can be reasonably expected of any one human being. Indeed, in the last five years no head of residence has lasted more than one and one half years.

Our proposed alternative plan divides the head of residence position between three people: two student heads of residence sharing administrative duties and responsibilities as well as the student resources and activities role. The third member of the trio team would be an experienced counselor with regular office hours and on twenty four hour call. Our system would take full advantage of the potential of the head of residence position. Dividing the position between three people would make a much greater time input into the position possible. The demanding strain of the demanding job would be lessened most significantly, and the counseling role of the position would be given its chance to become the very effective aspect it could be. Our system guarantees one of the three people to be on duty twenty four hours a day. The conventional head of residence position can make no such guarantee. In addition, by allotting students to exercise more responsibility for their living situation it would encourage greater input into the dorm community, as our research into other student run dorms has shown.

Pierpont is the home of Project Ten and Inquiry programs, the motto of which is: "Living and Learning"; which is simply, as our proposal states the belief that the most significant learning is that which both shapes one's life experiences and is shaped by them." We currently have seven staff members putting in full-time schedules in the dorm; all of whom are fully in support of our proposal and feel it would be a valid reinforcement of our entire community concept here in Pierpont.

This is our story. For more information, a copy of our proposal, or if you wish to support us in any way, please contact the Project Ten office in Pierpont.

The Pierpont Community