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Media Memo: Information about RA Policy Change Inaccurate

TO: News and Assignment Editors

FROM: Mike Rindo

DATE: Nov. 15, 2005

SUBJECT: Information about RA Policy Change Inaccurate

It has come to our attention that inaccurate information is being distributed to the media purporting a change in University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire policies and practices regarding certain restrictions placed on resident assistants in the room and residence halls where they live.

In fact, there has been no change in longstanding UW-Eau Claire policies and practices.

UW-Eau Claire continues its review of this issue and is seeking additional legal advice regarding its policies. UW System President Kevin Reilly has requested a written opinion from the Wisconsin Attorney General as to whether UW-Eau Claire's practice is consistent with First Amendment standards.

Information included in a Fact Sheet and UW-Eau Claire Media Memo originally sent Nov. 9 provided the following information that accurately represents University policies and practices:

  • Resident assistants are state employees and have supervisory authority over students in the residence halls where they live. Resident assistants receive compensation in the form of room and board and a $675-per-semester stipend.
  • Resident assistants are considered to be on duty whenever they are in their room or residence hall. The room and residence halls where they live are considered their place of employment.
  • Currently, as it has for many years, UW-Eau Claire prohibits resident assistants from organizing or leading religious activities (Christian or other), partisan political activities, other ideological activities and "sales party" events in their room or residence halls where they have supervisory authority over students.
  • Resident assistants can and do organize and lead these types of activities at campus locations other than the room or residence halls where they live.
  • These restrictions are communicated to resident assistants during training.
  • These restrictions apply only to students who are resident assistants and only in their room or their residence hall.
  • All UW-Eau Claire students who are not resident assistants can organize, lead or participate in any of the activities in question in their rooms, residence halls or at other campus locations.

For additional information, contact Mike Rindo, executive director of university communications, at (715) 836-4741 or rindomj@uwec.edu.

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