Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

UW-Eau Claire Suspends RA Policy
As Review Continues

RELEASED: Nov. 30, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is suspending its practice that places certain restrictions on resident assistants until campus and UW System reviews of the policy and practices are completed, Interim Chancellor Vicki Lord Larson announced today.

The suspension, which is effective immediately, is necessary because the initial campus review has found there to be inconsistencies in how the practice has been communicated to resident assistants and because the UW System has announced that it will appoint a systemwide advisory committee that will provide guidance about RA activities, Larson said.

"We have been actively gathering facts, reviewing information and consulting legal experts since this issue was first brought to our attention in mid-October," Larson said. "Given the seriousness and the complexity of the issues surrounding these policies and practices, it was imperative that no decisions be made until sufficient information was available. Based on what the campus review has found to date and the UW System's decision to seek a more unified policy, I believe it's in the best interest of our students that we suspend the practice at this time."

The suspension recognizes that there are issues related to the policy and practices that need to be addressed, Larson said. The university will ensure that any future policies and practices regarding prohibitions on RA activities will be stated clearly and consistently, she said.

The practice in question prohibits resident assistants from organizing and leading certain activities such as religious and partisan political activities in their rooms or in the residence halls where they live. Resident assistants are state employees and have supervisory authority over students in the residence halls where they live, and their room and residence hall are considered their place of employment. The RAs can organize and lead these types of activities elsewhere on campus.

UW-Eau Claire's policy is communicated orally during RA training, but there is no written policy relating to the prohibitions. As a result, the campus review found confusion among some RAs regarding the policy, Larson said. That uncertainty contributed to her decision to suspend the practices during the review process, she said.

Larson said she is confident the UW System committee proposed by UW System President Kevin Reilly will provide valuable guidance to UW-Eau Claire and other UW campuses. Reilly directed the committee, which will include campus-life experts from all campuses, to report its recommendations to him by Jan. 9, 2006. Reilly also directed campuses to enforce policies and practices relating to this area only if complaints are received about specific conduct by RAs.

"UW-Eau Claire's housing and student life programs have long enjoyed a much-deserved reputation for excellence," Larson said. "Our housing staff has always strived to provide an open and welcoming environment for all of our students. We will not lose sight of that goal as we continue our review and make future decisions relating to these important issues."

-30-

JB

Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

 

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.