Student Senate had Mary Jo Gonzales, the University of Rhode Island’s assistant vice president of student affairs, to discuss an upcoming Narragansett town council proposal.

The town council of Narragansett is currently discussing a proposal that would prevent students from leasing a house with more than three people living there.

“Student representation and student conversation is absolutely essential,” Gonzales said, when talking about getting a student committee to represent URI students at the town meetings. Gonzales said this is the first time the town council has agreed to requests to get students involved in the decision making.

“It will have an impact to our off-campus living environment if we don’t get in front of this relatively quickly,” Gonzales said.

A Narragansett group made up of landlords called Narragansett 2100 is pushing the bill to be passed. Any house that has more than three people living in it will be converted into a boarding house. Boarding houses are treated more like a dormitory than a house under Rhode Island law. Leasing and zoning laws as well as health and safety requirements are different for boarding houses as opposed to leased houses.  

One of the reasons for the proposal being pushed is the event that happened in Narragansett in the spring of 2014. Gonzales said, “this has been a historical problem. It didn’t start two years ago, it started ever since the university has been here.”

IN OTHER NEWS:

  • The American Institute of Chemical Engineers spoke during the meeting to seek senate recognition as a new unfunded club. The American Institute of Chemical Engineers is a club looking to create a community for professional development, training and social engagement in the field of chemical engineering. The club is open to anyone in any field of engineering. Senate voted in favor of recognizing the organization.
  • Senate will be voting next week on the recognition of a new club, the URI Eating Concerns Advisors. The advisors are a group of students who are trying to educate the campus about the impact of eating disorders and body image concerns. The group plans to work with the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) to host events. They have planned the NEDA-Walk in April 2016, which NEDA will fully fund.