Over the last several years, CMC has seen an increase in both the frequency and extent of conversations about the social climate on campus. These dialogues have ranged from topics such as the impact of alcohol and other substance use in the social environment to the prevalence of sexual violence, among other significant issues. Not only have these topics permeated daily discourse amongst students, but they have also become more tangibly observed through groups like the Campus Climate Task Force and the Mirza Summit on Personal and Social Responsibility. In response to this growing attention to campus climate, ASCMC has begun to shift its focus as well.
Traditionally, ASCMC has been concerned mainly with the policies that undergird the social scene, its efforts reaching an apex with ex-President Aditya Pai’s memo to Deans Huang and Spellman in March of 2013. As of yet, there has not been much initiative to alter the social climate itself in any substantial way. That may change, however, with ASCMC’s new initiative to author a “social contract” that consolidates the values and expectations upheld by the student body. While the contract is still in its infancy, the idea is to encourage incoming students to sign it, thus indicating a personal intent to uphold said values.
Co-authors of the contract, Presidential Advisor Mohammad Abdul-Rahim ’15 and Class of 2017 President Cole Mora ’17, presented to Senate on Monday, discussing the contract’s overall purpose. In an official statement to the Forum, Abdul-Rahim pointed out that students at CMC are given a unique degree of responsibility over the campus culture, and claimed that the contract will help improve it, as it “sets the standard for future CMCers when it comes to responsibility, respect, and accountability. For it to work though, we need everyone to support and uphold the values in the contract, and encourage others to do so as well. It’s that simple.” Mora also noted that the purpose of the document is “to foster a community-wide effort to discuss and promote the values and expectations that CMC students hold. It is a universal document that emphasizes the importance of accountability, responsibility, and respect in our social culture, and that we hope will become a resource that CMC students can look to and uphold for years to come.”
The initial draft has been presented so far to the RAs, ASCMC Senate, and select members of the student body, who have offered extensive feedback, but with the process far from complete, ASCMC is encouraging additional student input. Though the ultimate scope of the contract is undetermined at this point, it is clear that a document of this nature will have significant impact on campus climate, and thus will likely be met with a wide range of responses from both the student body and the CMC community on a broader level. The Forum will continue to provide coverage of the contract’s development as more information becomes available.