Faculty narrowly support outside speaker policy changes

Updated: 10:43 a.m. 3/30/11 The original version of this story stated that Hazenfield said that the Faculty Senate voted against supporting the proposed outside speaker policy. In fact, faculty narrowly voted to support it. This story has been corrected to reflect the facts.

Northern Kentucky University’s faculty members narrowly voted to support a resolution a resolution recently passed by the Student Government Association related to changing the policy on outside speakers, according to Chair of Faculty Senate Alar Lipping.

Jamie Hazenfield, Jr., legislative liaison, announced at Monday’s SGA meeting that the Faculty Senate voted against the policy because it granted too much power to the Dean of Students. In fact, the faculty decided that protecting children in the on-campus daycare center and visitors from local schools from someone using profane language outweighed the rights of uninvited visitors on campus, Lipping said. He added that once faculty understood that someone they invited to campus wouldn’t be sugbject to the same restriction, they were in favor of the policy, Lipping said.

If the outside speaker policy is passed, it would require off-campus visitors not affiliated with NKU to notify the dean’s office of their plans to visit campus at least five days before their visit. They are also required to disclose what they would be saying and any literature they would be passing out.

Then, the dean has three days to let visitors know if they are permitted to speak on campus and specify where they are permitted to speak. While the dean’s office has maintained that it did not propose this resolution to censor visitors based on the content of their speech, Hazenfield said the Faculty Senate did not want to appear to give the dean’s office that option.

Senator Kirti Sapra announced the formation of a Student Body Diversity Committee. The group of students, under the leadership of Zebulon Davenport, vice president of student affairs, prepared several recommendations to create a more diverse campus.

The committee recommended increasing the number of diversity scholarships from 54 to 95 per year, adding seven more awards each year. To help students who need to improve their test scores, the committee recommended creating a partnership with Gateway Community and Technical College for international students to take a year to complete remedial work and then transfer to NKU.

The committee also recommended hiring a team of recruiters to target areas that NKU does not typically draw international students from, such as areas around Lexington and Louisville, and sending recruiters into local high schools to talk to students.

SGA also passed three resolutions that were proposed last week. Resolutions asking NKU to purchase a new Victor E. Viking suit, Chartwells to provide more vegetarian and vegan options and NKU to provide more greenery inside academic buildings. The Student Senate suggested using a portion of a $1 million grant to install more outside greenery for inside greenery instead.

Story by Cassie Stone