Friday, January 13, 2006

Public invited to comment on role of resident assistants in UW System - Jan 11, 2006

System is asking for public comment on role of RAs. Write in and tell them that RA should not be organizing religious or political meetings in their dorm rooms. Take it outside their workplace!

Here is the comment link.

And here is the press release:

Public invited to comment on role of resident assistants in UW System - Jan 11, 2006

4 comments:

Janine said...

Thank you for posting the comment link.

I saw two important points in the final report:

-- "Their room is both a personal space and a work space."
-- "There is agreement that RAs can participate in, organize, or lead meetings as long as they don't use their position to inappropriately influence, pressure, or coerce student residents to attend."

Those are 2 very important comments. Whereas a professor is an employee at the university with an office on campus, he/she also has a home that they go to. In their home they can persue any type of activity they choose to persue. An RA has a home within their office. They need to be able to seperate their personal views and activities from their professional views and activities.

Just because an RA holds a meeting in their room does not mean that they are coercing anyone to attend or putting undo pressure on anyone to attend.

Janine

Lake Winneblogo said...

Janine, we are not going to agree on this, I think.

The dorm room is work-space and therefore is off limits to group religious meetngs for RAs. If they want recruit others for a bible study, they need to leave the dormitory. If they privately want to read the bible with a few friends, I am sure it will remain an option (as long as they haven't recruited those new 'friends' from the students that they supervise.)

Being the supervisor means you have power over others and thus, your requests take on a coersive aspect. This happens no matter what your intent. If your boss asks you to take his laundry to the dry cleaners and then mentions your performance evaluation in the next breath, he is using his power to force you to agree to something you might not do otherwise.

Janine said...

Ahh, we have come to an agreement, although you don't see it. Your comments "If they privately want to read the bible with a few friends, I am sure it will remain an option (as long as they haven't recruited those new "friends" from the students that they supervise).

That is exactly what I'm saying. When I go to a bible study, it is reading the bible and discussing the ideas with friends. Sometimes we disagree with what the others are saying and sometimes we agree. To me this is a bible study and should be allowed.

I do realize that asking everybody on the floor if they want to go to a study in their room, may be construed as coersive. Really, that isn't what most people who are also Christians are asking for. Try not to compare us with the few Christian extremists out there.

Lake Winneblogo said...

RAs should be able to close their door and do whatever legal activities they want.

They should not, however, be able to roam up and down the halls inviting people to come to their room to take part in religious services.

The discussion has always been about the coersion. RAs using their room and recruiting students from the dormitory is coersive and divisive.

The complaints started when the RA was recruiting students for a bible study. If he hadn't, this would never have become an issue.