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  • Rhys 11:23 pm on April 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 4.3.16 

    Call to order // 7:05

    ViCE Fund App Appeal // 7:10

    ViCE: Most of the money that we requested was for food for this event, so that people would be more likely to come and enjoy themselves. We had originally been rejected for this event under the argument that ViCE was not one of the orgs on campus that actively oppose some form of oppression. Initially, what happened was that in Finance Committee they’d be willing to partially fund us as long as we would move the event so that it wouldn’t conflict with Holi. Now that that event’s dates have been changed, we should be able to have this event.

    Finance: Historically, ViCE and Finance Committee have been at odds. When the decision was made, we were under the impression that the ViCE could draw from their discretionary budget for this. We chose $1,000, a generous figure.

    ViCE: We had already dipped into the discretionary fund for this, so it would be iffy to go back into discretionary again. Discretionary is more for use in case of emergency.


    Cushing: What was the reason to give the $1000 in the first place?

    SoCos: The dates.

    Apoorva: I think a lot of it was the decision about having had done the event in the past. Having some sort of night programming the following week. There was no big party on that Saturday night.

    Cushing: Did the prove they had exhausted all of their budget?

    ViCE: I can talk about the budget. The way it technically works is that we get allotted a large sum of money, and it is split up within the different ViCE groups. When ViCE was founded, each separate chair was responsible for a definite direction for programming. In reality, at the end of each year, they talk to all of the chairs and analyze how much we spend per chair to see what makes sense for that specific chair. There are also set events for ViCE collaboration. 50 Nights is a collaboration with ViCE Special Events. I can’t go to the other ViCE groups to ask for money. We can’t just transfer money unless it is a direct collaboration.

    Ferry: I was at the event last year, I’m confused as to why there is food this year? Everyone is covered in paint.

    ViCE: This year is different. The first portion is a picnic style thing. Then after the sun goes down, we will play music. We are trying to get people so show up to these events for longer.

    Pres: How much is discretionary budgeted?

    ViCE: I’m not sure. I don’t know what it looks like now.

    At-Large: This is a collaborative event, as well. It’s with Lathrop.

    Finance: My understanding is that Max was concerned about the lack of collaboration within ViCE. That’s why they created the discretionary fund for just ViCE. Can you speak to that?

    ViCE: It very well could have been a means of collaboration. Tim would know better than me. He did each budget separately. Discretionary also came about because the whole Music fiasco. They had underspended by a lot.

    Cushing: Holi is a religious holiday. The way I see this conversation happening is that ViCE is five different orgs with one discretionary fund. That’s confusing. They should be separated. They have a mixed pool of money.

    ViCE: Completely understand the concerns. The reason why there isn’t a lot of collab between ViCE orgs is because it was designed for each chair to be doing something different from the other chairs.

    ~closed session~

    Pres: A lot of different things were brought up, including ViCE funding. My motion is for $0 allocation, but somebody else will motion for more.

    Lathrop: I would like to motion for $500 for food. That was the original plan. The funds are available for food. The t-shirts can be at cost.

    Finance: Speaking for $0, because of the timing of the fund app, and the previous purchase of the items for the event. The chapel thing should have affected your funding.

    Fail with 14 no, 3 year, 2 abstentions.

    8:13//Exec Reports

    Pres: We have our next NYC shuttle on April 23. Tickets are $5 this time because of sustainability. Dean of Students search committee is going on. We have 8 semi-finalists. Finalists will be here in the end of April. Elections are happening. Vote on Tuesday at noon.

    Ops: I’ve retired. We aren’t meeting unless we need to.

    StuLife: All I have to say is the tampon initiative is difficult. By god, I will do my very best to make this happen. Sophie has done a lot of budgeting. It’s a lot more expensive than we thought. We would have to cut the amount we want to get here significantly. I’ve emailed a lot of people to look for money. Haven’t heard from anyone yet. The amount of money we give to Choice is around $5000. The general vibe is that the most the VSA can give is closer to $5000 for this. We are gonna try to do this.

    2018: I did a bunch of research. I think we should try a trial period moving forward.

    StuLife: This will have to be branded for low-income students. We can get less. I don’t see how we can do it for less than $15000.

    Ferry: What Rebecca was talking about would only include tampons. My numbers include tampons and pads. We might be able to fundraise with alumnae/i. I think we can do it.

    Jewett: This might be a terrible idea, but how much surplus do we have for condoms?

    Finance: My understanding is that…I don’t how Choice keeps track. My understanding is that they use their budget. They apply for funding regularly.

    SoCos: Who else is interested in helping this?

    Pres: Can we craft a survey for what people use here?

    Activities: Last week I sent out a preorg evaluation form. I sent it to as many preorgs as I have emails for. Not left with great records. Preorgs need to fill out the form by Tuesday at 7.

    Finance: Casey is holding us hostage.

    Pres: As you all know, President Hill is departing. It’s a diverse project.

    SoCos: Cappy made the College need blind. We should reaffirm.

    Lathrop: Financial aid being at risk is a serious thing with Cappy’s departure. The students should be strong advocates.

    8:34//Constituent Concerns

    Cushing: Kerry is leaving? What’s happening?

    Abby: Looks like there will be an interim search committee? We are super upset. Why are all of our admins on one year contracts? Why do they keep leaving?

    Cushing: We need to allocate time to have these conversations.

    2018: I’ve heard several constituents say they are going abroad in the Spring because of the housing issues. Look out for your fellow classmates in terms of ResLife.

    Jewett: Do we have any updates on the missing student?

    J: I believe the statement of inclusion was brought up. Prof. Molly McGlennen has talked about how we are situated on stolen native lands, but there is no mention of that. This is an oversight that should be added.

    StuLife: We’ve read all of the pieces of feedback. There were a lot of comments about that and other issues. We did make edits in regards to the Diversity Statement. It will be presented to the Faculty this week and to us next Sunday.

    8:46//Continuation about Moving Forward

    StuLife: Clarification: where do we stand on the Referendums?

    Pres: They have until midnight.

    Joss: I would like to work on Orientation programming. I’ve spoken with some House Advisors and going to talk to Ed Pittman.

    J: With that, I would extend a word of caution. There has been a lot of trans-allyship stuff and it’s always the same people.

    Cushing: We were just talking to Kelly Grab. We can compensate people for doing training.

    Pres: We are getting a new Dean of Students. There are a lot of opportunities to change orientation. I sent out a list of trainings that are happening in the next week or two.

    2018: I was wondering if there are ways to use our student activities fee to better the college without programming?

    Pres: My thought for that has always been that it should be decided by students. It’s not too late to do that.

    J: That topic has been floated before by Butch Oxendine. It came to the idea that the Admin wouldn’t feel like they had to fund these things?

    2018: We see so much of the same.

    Lathrop: I think moving forward, we should try and think about more athletic representation on council. Student Athletes have their own community. It would be worthwhile to have their input.

    Finance: I don’t think that the amount of money we could allocate would be enough to make differences.

    9:00//Open Discussion

    BOEA: we need people to table for stuff. The BDS resolution has enough to go to referendum. I’m not going to run the referendum, though. I will explain why. I would be hurting people in my community by running this referendum. Laura has kindly offered to run this referendum. Keep in contact with me about Spring Elections, but keep in contact with her about the referendum.

    Strong: We are having a meet the candidates study break tomorrow.

    Cush: Ours is also tomorrow.

    Joss: You can come to ours after that.

    2019: The freshman class with have a pop-up event. Bring your mug for hot chocolate!

    2018: We are doing Sophomore Spectacular. It’s going to be really active. All-campus.

    Lathrop: Serious rat infestation. It’s poorly handled.

    Cushing: Last Monday there was an Admin organized event about free speech vs hate speech. I thought the talk back was very very very concerning. I asked a couple of questions and it wasn’t helpful. The onus is not on those who are silenced. We should have a conversation. Kelly Grab and the Director are the only people in this institution who are in charge of taking care of any discrimination. We don’t have an LGBTQ Director. I fundamentally think the institution’s priorities are off. I just don’t know what to do.

    Pres: I’ve been trying to have a forum with Rachel. Also trying to get Art Rodriguez. I agree with you though. This is a major value in mind.

    Cushing: BDS and everything happened, and we saw like 10 workshops by like a bunch of offices. Why do students have to cry and transfer out in order to have this happen.

    StuLife: I work with Rachel. She has a unique perspective on things. I think it is important that we have a forum with her. There is a lack of understanding of concerns brought by students.

    SoCos: Lot of money in the Capital fund. It’s for things lasting over three years.

    Cushing: Plug! Refugee Solidarity is hoping to dedicate April 10 as Refugee week.

  • Palak 11:07 pm on March 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA 3.27.16 

    7:05//Call to Order and Attendance

    7:06//Consensus agenda

    a. Speakers to Poder Latino (5300/8000)

    b. Conference to Poder Latino (1000/1000)

    c. Pre-Orgs to Relay for Life (0/350)

    d. Speakers to Davison (0/12000)

    e. Pre-Orgs to Majors (100/100)

    f. Speakers to J Street U (360/360)

    g. Discretionary to BSU (7500/23500)

    h. Minutes from 3/6/16

    7:07//Constituent Concerns

    Cush: They left us to die over Spring Break. They made us pay to stay here and the Retreat was the only dining option and it was open on the weekdays from 8:30-3:00p.m. This doesn’t happen over October break. They want us to leave over Spring Break, but I can’t leave. It’s a hellish experience. Can we set up a fund or something? Maybe reimburse them for food. It’s unfair for us to have to pay for all our meals all day.

    2019: Do you know how many people stayed over break?

    Pres: I can find out.

    Raymond: Bringing back the issue of mice. It’s gotten way more serious. There was one in the library when I was giving a tour.

    2019: Strong is a nice house. But now we have mice.

    Raymond: It’s almost all the houses.

    Pres: They looked at the points of entry over break. I don’t know what that means.

    Raymond: They were supposed to go through all of Raymond, and they did, but there was one in my room after that.

    Cush: Dorm conditions are bad. There was orange water coming through and it was cold. It felt like you were left to die over break.

    SoCos: You used to have to be in Noyes over Spring Break. The College is probably under the impression that students cooked because Noyes has all the kitchenettes. In past years, they’ve done less and less and less. It all sounds like Summer hours. This is a conversation with somebody, not Bob Walton, because he’s leaving. Accessibility is a problem.

    Pres: Did anyone stay over winter break?

    Cush: Students should not be expected to pay to stay over break. It’s not legitimate for students on financial aid to have to pay more.

    7:16//A Conversation on How to Move Forward

    Pres: We have a number of meetings left. Elections are in the midst of happening. We do still have a month left in our positions. This is the time of the year when everyone falls off the bandwagon. We are in a different position right now. There’s a lot of hurt. I wanted to have a conversation about anything we want to take on, any goals we have.

    Cush: I was reaching out to the alums for Refugees. I found an alum who put me in contact with another alum who makes films about issues surrounding occupation. We can maybe hold screenings. This can prove that people can cooperate with each other, it doesn’t have to be fighting.

    Joss: Can we think on it?

    Ferry: I think it’s a really good idea. However I would suggest not doing it in the dorms.

    2019: Are speaking specifically to things the council could do? Maybe we can bring in a speaker?

    2018: I was thinking we should also talk about the open dialogue group that formed. I was also thinking about the training we went through before we voted. Nevermind, actually. This is a bad idea. Another idea to make the VSA better: maybe we should have an in-depth discussion about the meaning of VSA being political. We endorsed BDS. What other issues will we be taking a stance on? I really like our guidelines. Is it a good idea for the VSA to be political?

    Ferry: I felt like we need to commit ourselves to making a safe space. Jewish students were crying. We did nothing. We need to focus on listening and respecting people on campus. We have to live those values here.

    2019: I think that’s really important. Acknowledgement is also really important.

    Ops: The guiding principles only last for this VSA. I would encourage you all to double-check the constitution and bylaws we wrote. The guiding principles are for that current VSA body for one year. We wanted to be specific about the types of oppression we wanted to address.

    SoCos: Please read the mission statement in the Constitution.

    Joss: I think we should be really careful because there is a clear difference between anti-discriminatory and anti-racist. It needs to be active.

    Pres: I was just going to say that having seen a few different sets of guiding principles. This year we actually did things through the guiding principles.

    StuLife: There may be a misunderstanding about what the guiding principles actually are. In the future, we need to make sure that we acknowledge that the guiding principles are a stance of that senate for that year. There needs to be a clarification. We need to be clear about what they are. They were used to sway us in different directions.

    Cush: A lot of the issues surround the way the conversation was had. They are not responsible for the way we addressed each other and talked to each other and saw each other.

    StuLife: I want to speak about political issues on Vassar’s campus in general. I’m of the thought that if we are going to be making statements that are anti-racist is a good thing. There needs to be a diversity of opinion and political thought. I think there is that here. It’s a good thing to show perspective students where we stand on things and what we believe.

    Ops: Something that gets said a lot is that everyone here is liberal or has the same political thought, but I want to second Chris. There is a diversity of thought on campus. Moving forward, I would like to see the culture of Vassar changed. I’m sick of the conversation always being violent. We don’t need to be mean to one another. I would like to see the student government get involved in that culture and fight that. Say hello. Be nice.

    SoCos: I want to also remind everyone that we aren’t at a state school. Money influences decisions here. A lot of people care what people outside of Vassar think. I agree with Ruby, be nice to each other. At the end of the day, we have to remember that we are not admissions officers. We don’t decide who comes to Vassar.

    Ferry: I want to steer the conversation about actually moving forward. I want to talk more about the actual impacts of BDS. What can we do to help the students heal.

    Pres: I’m pretty sure RSL is bringing a series of speakers.

    Abby: Cappy is bringing people. People are coming.

    Pres: Let’s wait a week to figure out what exactly is happening. I was recently in a meeting where they talked about how Vassar attracts activist students. When I was applying to college, I wasn’t thinking about the political stance of the student government. I was thinking about where I would feel safe in my identity as a queer person. Identity issues are important.

    Joss: I don’t think by passing things, we are telling people they don’t belong here. We are shaping our school culture. That does dictate what kind of students comes here.

    2019: A kid isn’t going to apply and look at the guiding principles of the VSA.

    Abby: I would encourage y’all not to get so wrapped up in what to do with these articles. People don’t listen. Work on doing the best we can on our campus and hopefully that will trickle down. Thursday April 7 from 6-8, there will be anti-semitism training.

    Pres: What makes this especially tricky is that this is getting so much national attention.

    Ferry: In actuality, I know many Jewish students who are being pressured to not attend Vassar now. This is affecting Jewish students at Vassar, future and present.

    2019: I think that’s really important. Going with what Abby said, we can’t control what people have written. A lot of these conversations center around things we can’t control.

    7:52//Open Discussion

    Abby: Elections are happening. Encourage people to file! Talk to them about your positions. Be honest with them. Also restructuring was designed to help out. I wanted to address the website. Filing didn’t happen in time. The website is still in flux. Can we delete the website? I’m going to be emailing out the link for the GoogleForm so you can see who is filing. I want to keep all of the information as accurate as possible.

    Pres: Psychological research shows that women and people of color are more likely to run for positions if you encourage them to run. Do it.

    Abby: The Debate will be next Sunday at 5. The Misc is going to moderate and there will be pizza.

    2019: Will I be getting a new VP?

    Abby: Yes, you will.

    2017: I have feelings about the town hall we never did. We should talk to people about these positions.

    Pres: I’m holding extended office hours this week. Come talk to me.

    Abby: Filing goes until Wednesday until 12:20 p.m. Candidates meeting will be that night at 5, location TBD. Campaigning starts immediately thereafter until Tuesday. Voting is Tuesday at noon to Thursday at noon. Results at 9 p.m. in the Old Bookstore.

    Ferry: When are we done?

    Pres: April 30th.

    SoCos: Is Art Rodriguez coming in?

    Pres: Trying to!

    2019: Class of 2019 has zero money.

    Ferry: If anyone wants to learn more about Jewish repression, I have some books.

  • Palak 12:01 am on March 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 3.6.16 

    7:02//Call to Order and Attendance

    Everyone is here.

    7:08//Consensus agenda

    a. Conference to On Tap (1350/2070)

    b. Social Consciousness to VPI (2000/2000)

    c. Discretionary to LiNK (0/100)

    d. Pre-Org to Majors (0/100)

    e. Discretionary to Crafts Not Bombs (400/400)

    f. Discretionary to Crafts Not Bombs (86.83/86.83)

    g. Conference to TransMission (500/500)

    h. Minutes from 2/21

    Finance: Five people are going to the On Tap conference. VPI is hosting a workshop. LiNK wants to do a fundraiser, but we don’t pay for that. We don’t do reimbursements, you have to apply for funding before hand.


    Activities: No reports.

    Finance: No reports.

    Academics: I’m meeting with Colleen Mallet this week to talk about gender pronouns.

    Ops: No reports.

    Pres: No reports.

    StuLife: Dining focus groups tomorrow. Please go if you were asked to be a part of it.

    BOEA: I have no email. Elections are happening. Filing will open March 26, the Saturday before we get back from break. Then March 30 will be a candidates meeting. Campaigning starts immediately after.

    Ferry: Are we advertising the new positions?

    Ops: I’ll be there the whole time to explain things.

    7:13//Constituent Concerns

    SoCos: The Bridge access is not there yet. The plan is for full 24/7 access. They want to fix the door between Olmsted and the Bridge. Once that’s fixed, they will do it.

    7:15//BDS Resolution and Amendment SJP and JVP

    SJP: The main changes are the removal of the boycotting of Zionism. We do not agree with that. We added that BDS does not take a stance on Zionism.

    At-Large: How exactly is this going to be enforced?

    Ops: Speaking from an operational standpoint, the amendment would mean the VSA wouldn’t spend its funds from here on out on these specific things.

    Finance: Right now we don’t allow people to buy certain items. People submit receipts. I review those receipts. It would be the same.

    At-Large: In the resolution, there is a part that references right of return. There is no international law that recognizes right of return. Can we adjust the language?

    SJP: It is from a UN resolution…the binding of this is moral and ethical.

    At-Large: How it is relevant to reference intersectional feminism?

    SJP: A number of the organizations that made the initial call for BDS were women’s organizations. And the patriarchal nature of colonial regimes.

    At-Large: One of the most horrible consequences of occupation is rape and sexual assault.

    At-Large: Would we boycott Metro North because GE builds those trains?

    SJP: I think we have allowances in Finance Committee. It’s not cut and dried.

    Town Students: I think we have to remind ourselves to be respectful here. Not everyone is on the same plane of knowledge.

    SJP: I feel like it is worth trying to frame the conversation. There are many complicated aspects of BDS. The core of the issue is simple, whether or not we are willing to stand by the oppressed. We want to recenter the conversation on the Palestinian people.

    At-Large: I do not appreciate this dichotomy you are offering, standing with the oppressed or standing with the oppressor. You solution is not necessarily the correct one. There are many ways to support Palestine. To say that nobody on campus, regardless of what they believe, should be allowed to buy these products is a problem.

    At-Large: I wanted to shift the conversation to shared governance. Shared governance has been threatened by the Board and Administration. I want to urge council to postpone the vote.

    At-Large: This was mentioned last time, that we are forcing people to not subscribe to BDS. You have to acknowledge that you are always forcing people to add their money to something they really don’t believe in.

    At-Large: …the voices of students of color should be sought after concerning this report. We have grown from a variety of oppression in the past.

    At-Large: I recognize the aftermath of the intimidation. JStreet Vassar doesn’t agree with these groups. I want the VSA to hold true to the promise to vote true. We want the VSA to vote no because JStreet does not agree with BDS.

    THs: I want to speak to the Administration and what happened this week. They could have sent that out in August. For them to then go into a mode of basically threaten us the Thursday before we vote is very unfortunate. I’ve been clear. I plan on voting no and I have a number of reasons why. It is about the symbolism that we stand for; it is truly bizarre. It is more than this.

    At-Large: I’m glad that people have brought up the Canary Mission and the Administration. It shows where the power lies.

    At-Large: The Administration was very disrespectful, and don’t change your vote. But please don’t pass this. They are making a move to protect the students. This is a discriminatory amendment. This fundamentally destroys my right as a student.

    At-Large: The resolution explicitly states that the BDS movement does not take a stance on Zionism. The resolution is supported by students of color and the marginalized students on campus.

    At-Large: Who has more to lose here? I believe the Palestinian state does not threaten the Jewish state. We should advocate for a two-state solution. Israel is important. We need to have a place to come home to. We should not support any resolution that does not acknowledge the right for the Jewish state to exist.

    At-Large: The dichotomy between the two powers is one of the oppressed and the oppressor. We are trying to help those that are marginalized and oppressed. if you question who has more to lose, you have to think about the dichotomy that exists.

    Joss: You know who’s voices have truly be silenced and squandered? Black and brown bodies, queer and trans folks, Palestinians. We are being targeted for our existence.

    At-Large (VPI): VPI supports the BDS resolution.

    At-Large: In reference to Joss, the Israeli existence was fought against by Palestine. There’s bloodshed on both sides.

    At-Large: I wanted to represent Jewish Voice for Peace. I wanted, on JVP, to speak in opposition of using the Holocaust in this conversation. Nobody can speak for all Jews. We are active supporters of BDS on campus. Just because genocide was invoked as a political tool. It affects people in this room, that historical trauma.

    At-Large: We need to act collectively.

    At-Large: I am speaking on behalf of the Multi Racial Biracial Students Alliance. Colonization is something that is bad. Jewish students are not all in agreement with this issue. It’s more complicated.

    At-Large: I would like to begin by commending the BDS Coalition. I think we need to take a good look at what they have presented. What good does it do? We shouldn’t neglect the lives of students on this campus. If this were to fail, nobody would transfer out of Vassar. This has a major effect on campus climate.

    Strong: I disagree with what he said, but I feel like this conversation has devolved into oppression vs oppression. That’s awful. I think this is merely for creating a space for students with marginalized voices. That’s important.

    THs motions to extend time by 10 minutes.

    Pres: It is 14 yes, 8 no, 1 extension. It passes.

    At-Large: I feel that the discussion that we are having now is very based on the views of Americans. As a person from the Middle East without American nationality, I want to speak about how we are talking about real people and real individuals. We talk about being Jewish, Middle Eastern, Arab, Muslim…we have to talk about nationality. We encourage people to think about the implications of being American. Tax-payers are inevitably supporting Israel.

    Ferry: The amount of antisemitism that surrounds this issue is horrific. Its been bad for me, but its been worse for other people. We don’t have to make this divisive. It’s not creating a safe environment. JStreet offered an alternative.

    THs: We keep using the language of dichotomy and power. The biggest problem with this discussion is that we aren’t having a discussion about the historical context. It’s about more than just European Jews.

    At-Large: Some of us do not have institutional support. I’m an Arab-Muslim student. I have nobody. Some of us are institutionally discriminated against.

    At-Large: Some of us don’t have the privilege of color.

    At-Large: I think the misconception of all Jews being the same is wrong. Not all Jews here are rich and white.

    Pres: We are going to move into the voting process.

    SJP: This is an incredibly contentious issue. We do have to have a conversation about who’s voices are being marginalized.

    At-Large: I think it is pretty clear that this is divisive. I’m anti-BDS, pro-Israel and pro-Palestine. I’m disgusted by what is happening here, by pitting students against each other. This is a real problem. BDS isn’t the right way to solve this problem. It’s not as simple as we want it to be. We aren’t being nuanced. We are dichotomizing everything.

    SJP: I think the amendment is an important part of the resolution. It changes the way our funding works. Historically when we supported the bottled water divestment, we can easily make this happen. It’s a simple way to be in solidarity with the Palestinian people. I would be unfortunate to pass one and not the other.

    At-Large: I hope the VSA does not pass this amendment. We have to look at the activism we are doing….the action is not so good.

    The council proceeds with their anonymous vote.

    Pres: To pass the resolution, you just need a majority, the amendment needs 2/3 in favor. For the resolution, 15 in favor, 7 opposed. For the amendment, 12 in favor, and 10 opposed. The resolution passes, but the amendment does not.

    Five minute break.

    8:42//Anti Occupation Activism Resolution J Street U

    JStreet: Pretty much the same as last week. We separated the committee into a charter.

    Cushing: If the BDS resolution passes, we are not voting in favor of the resolution.

    Ops: What is upheld, is what was last passed. We still have to vote now.

    THs: In regard to the education committee. Can you strike it? Nobody seems down with it. It seems privileging.

    At-Large: The VSA will not take a position on BDS. This will cancel out what just happened.

    At-Large: I believe the anti-occupation resolution to be self-undermining. I would like to raise a complaint. Two clauses conflict. I urge you to vote against it, anti-BDS activists will continue to come to the VSA.

    JStreet: It’s an educational committee. It’s purpose is to offer opportunities to the campus to engage with Israel-Palestine issues. I don’t think it has any institutional power in the VSA.

    At-Large: SJP and JStreet do not work together. How can this committee work then? I think this is an imposition on orgs.

    At-Large: I think it is pretty clear what people at this school care about. Look at the room. SJP and JVP refusing to work with JStreet and the conversation from tonight shows how much we still have to do.

    At-Large: Unfortunately, SJP and JVP won’t work with individuals. Maybe you should work with more people. The campus climate right now is not very good. Only at Vassar can a conversation like this can erupt this way.

    THs: It is interesting to see how many people are in the room now. I want to respond to a comment to somebody who is not here anymore concerning institutional support. I am at a loss for words. This has been such a beautiful waste of my last semester. If the Administration cared so much, they would have been facilitating this dialogue from the beginning. This issue is so damaging.

    SoCos: So there should be no call for a charter. It’s separate.

    JStreet: The last three clauses are struck, actually.

    Joss: The voices that want to be talking, are often silenced. How do we make sure as a VSA, that those voices are being heard and advocated for in real institutional ways?

    JStreet: This is just one step in one issue that we feel needs to be talked about. I think there is no doubt that more committees should be formed.

    Lathrop: Committees like these have been attempted in the past and have failed? What do you think will be different about this committee?

    JStreet: If this committee is formed, we will work hard to push to make it work. We want people to be comfortable to be in it. I can’t say it is going to be thriving and wonderful, but why not just try?

    THs: I just don’t have faith in the capacity of students to do this well, to make it something positive. Part of my issue is that we are framing this around an American understanding, not a Middle Eastern one. I don’t want people to waste their time and ultimately be hurt.

    JStreet: To the 15 of you who voted yes to the previous resolution, I believe you made the wrong choice. It’s not simple. People are fighting for a right to land. They have been fighting for a really long time. I support Palestinians. We need to stop and think about the resolution we just endorsed. I’m scared to call it antisemitism. We let it go and don’t allow ourselves to call it out when it is antisemitism. If you vote for this, you can fix what you just did. I think we have damaged Vassar for…I used to imagine looking back at these four years and being proud of this institution. But now I’m not so sure. We can look at this empty room and see what people really care about. It’s not about winning. People are dying. Do what you think is right.

    At-large: I affirm how difficult it has been for anti-BDS activists. The VSA has voted and passed the BDS resolution. For logical reasons, it makes no sense to pass this resolution. I don’t think that we need the resolution. I think it would stifle further BDS activism on this campus. To pass this, would be to rebuke the work that many activists who did leave. I think it is about winning, though. We listened to the voices of the people who are dying.

    4 yes, 15 no, 3 abstentions for Resolution.

    6 yes, 14 no, 2 abstentions for Charter.

    9:20//Open Discussion

    Ferry: What’s been happening on this campus isn’t great. We need to do something about this. Truly hateful things have been said. I don’t want this to be a one-sided debate anymore. We should make this positive and not hurtful.

    THs: I do not have faith in students to be able to do anything about this. We keep talking about Israel as if it is a normal colonial state. This is a distinct, different type. I would just like to say that I’m very skeptical about anything moving forward on this. I don’t see this getting better for Jewish students. I don’t know what we do from here, but we need to be very cognizant. We are hurting people. That’s a serious problem.

    At-Large: We talked about emotional tolls. I want to recognize the emotional toll taken on council.

    At-Large: I don’t want your help anymore. Or Vassar’s help anymore.

    SoCos: Can we change focus now. Trustees? Are we planning any sort of resolution or something? How do we proceed?

    2017: Deviate back, I feel very complicit in the antisemitism that was occurring tonight. We couldn’t do anything to any of the people laughing at people crying. We need to do something to stop this. We have to be able to kick people out.

    At-Large: I think it is important to recognize and listen to Jewish voices.

    StuLife: The College will not strike it because it is symbolic. It’s out of our hands though.

    J: What are the possibilities to having this be brought to referendum?

    At-Large: the numbers in this room are not indicative of the numbers on this campus.

    THs: Less than 10 people came to talk to me in favor of BDS and over 30 against it. We are adults. Public people. There has been an incredible lack of accountability for us, as adults.

    At-Large: If we want to repeal this, or something else comes up in the future,…I found out from a member of council that this was going to be voted on in August. You did a tremendous amount. But a few of you didn’t do your homework.

    Pres: It says in the constitution, that they have two academic weeks to get signatures for a referendum. It is 5% for the resolution and 15% for the amendment.

    2018: The conversation that happened in here was disrespectful. I was scared to say something. The disrespect and tones tonight were hateful. We couldn’t do anything. We are supposed to be facilitators. We do have the power to tell people to be respectful. I think everyone in this room was ready to vote on this.

    2019: There was a lot of disrespect on all sides. We appreciate those that stayed as well.

  • Palak 12:04 am on February 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 2.21.16 

    7:02//Call to Order and Attendance

    Absent: Strong (proxy), Town Students

    7:04//Consensus agenda

    a. Preliminary to Toastmasters (180/180)

    b. Social Consciousness to JVP (1500/1500)

    c. Capital to Miscellany News (1232.17/1232.17)

    d. Capital to VCTV (999/999)

    e. Minutes from 2/14

    7:06//Forum with Christopher Roellke regarding the Dean of Students Search

    Chris Roellke: Thanks for having me. Ramy and the VSA Exec asked me to update you on the Dean of Students search. I can answer any questions you have. DB Brown has announced his retirement after three decades at the College. He’s served us well. The search committee is made up of two faculty members whose roles are affiliate with Student Life. We have Jamie Kelly and Sophia Harvey. There is also Michelle Ransom and Matthew Schultz. Then we have the two VSA dream team members: Chris Brown and Ramy Abbady. The job has been posted and is out there. We hope to have applications being accepted through March 15. Semifinalists by April. Finalist interviews will take place April 11-26. I am not on the committee, but the committee makes a recommendation to me and to Cappy. We will also celebrate DB’s accomplishments after Spring Break.

    Lathrop: DB was originally a professor?

    Roellke: He came as a counselor actually. There might be internal candidates though.

    SoCos: I’m a current member of CAFA. It was very frustrating because we didn’t meet with anyone. I’m hoping it will be different this time. Can the general campus body meet with the candidates? And what are you doing to look introspectively with the office?

    Roellke: I couldn’t agree with you more about student input is vital in this search. I want to shout-out to the two co-chairs. They’ve already met with the Deans and Directors for their feedback and suggestions for the kind of candidates that they would like to see come. For the finalist interviews…we had the finalists have open public forums. They made public presentations. I see something quite similar happening here. We have worked on internal structure. We also want to leave some of the restructuring to the candidate. The main offices that report to the Dean of Students is ResLife, health…Safety and Security has come under my office now.

    J: Is there any priority given to internal candidates?

    Roellke: There is no advantage for internal candidates.

    J: For finding student feedback…is there any structure in place whereby students can talk to the committee itself or a town hall for general communication?

    Roellke: I think that’s a very good suggestion. I have to say that I think they are really interested in getting as much student feedback as possible.

    TAs: How much flexibility will be given to the new candidate? And how much will change?

    Roellke: I’ve heard about the problems with consistency. Something has already changed within the Dean of Students office, which is the moving of the Title IX offier to EOAA. There is already a committee looking at a Chief Diversity Officer at Vassar. That will be happening around April.

    THs: This is to focus in on the SSN. Are we dealing with that after we have a person, or separately?

    Roellke: I think if there are concerns with the SSN, I would encourage voices to be heard right away. It might help the committee. There are no plans afoot to change the network.

    Lathrop: One common critique that I’ve heard has been the response to a lot of cases with students is to send students home. I think it is important for a candidate to look at the circumstances of the students. Sending a student home could be doing more damage to them. That is one of the largest critiques and outcries.

    Roellke: I know that we struggle with those decisions. It’s a constant balancing act.

    Sam (at -large): I’m wondering how we can think about the Dean of Students concerning the all-gender bathroom initiative.

    Roellke: I think we made progress concerning the all-gender bathroom initiative. I think a better person is to speak with Marianne Begemann. Part of the renovation of the new Bridge building included adding gender neutral bathrooms to Olmsted. There is only one set of bathrooms in the Bridge Building, though.

    Sam: Hypothetically, if the Vassar Queer Health Initiative did all of the work, provided the signage, and gave enough info about it, what would be stopping it?

    Roellke: It would still go to Begemann and the Master Planning committee. I encourage you to continue to keep moving forward.

    Sam: But what about the lives of trans students right now?

    Roellke: I will push back a little here and say we are making progress.

    Cushing: When do you expect the LGBTQ/Women’s Center director position to be filled? Or increase funding to the ALANA center?

    Roellke: The LGBTQ/Women’s Center job has already been posted. We have hired a Post-Bacc for that area, Dallas Robinson, who will be starting soon. The search for the Director is ongoing, but we are hoping to have somebody on board by May. I do agree that we need to have a larger budget for our programming centers.

    Sam: I was wondering why the College hasn’t made a public response to the Islamophobia on campus?

    Roellke: I can’t speak for Cappy. I believe the message that was co-authored by your president, Ramy, included a phrasing about Islamophobia. Needless to say, BIRT and a number of other offices have been quite busy concerning the speech on campus.

    Lathrop: Do you have any steps in place to combat any of these issues?

    Roellke: We are looking at a geo-fence, but we aren’t fans of this idea. We have consulted with CIS on this. We have gone to the step of going to Yik Yak directly for any personal attacks online. We’ve engaged with local police and law enforcement. We are somewhat limited in our ability to fight back against this. It takes the whole community.

    Alexia: I’ve noticed that there are a lot of differences in groups being able to get funding from the President’s office.

    Roellke: I’m very sorry to hear that. We can track where funding has gone anywhere on this campus. We should have a factual basis for these assertions. There were restrictions for how the funding could be distributed, because it was funded by an anonymous donor.

    Roellke: I really love this place and I love working with these students. I do have your best interest at heart, even though we do disagree on things.


    Pres: The Board of Trustees is coming! City Committee will be meeting. I’m working on a new project, which is the creation of a VSA endowment.

    Ops: We restructured. Ku-Yah retired and moved to Florida. And Janice’s Jerk doesn’t have a kitchen so all of the Jamaican food is gone. Saturday Shuttle drama needs to calm down. The Saturday Shuttle actually costs more.

    Pres: Talk to CSA about the Jamaican food.

    StuLife: Meeting with TQ this Tuesday concerning dining. Tampon things are happening.

    Academics: Deadline for Student Seminars was extended.

    Activities: We did week one of the new pre-org application process.

    Finance: Nothing new.

    Pres: Since Vassar upgraded their fancy systems, I cannot access the VSA email.

    8:05//Constituent Concerns

    8:05//Restructuring President, Operations, 2017, SoCos

    Noyes: I’m working with ResLife to talk about House Presidents getting adjusted. Can we amend stuff later?

    Pres: Yes, we will be having multiple amendments throughout.

    Ops: I move to Restructure the VSA.

    The motion passes unanimously.

    ~the VSA will take a 5 minute break~

    8:23//A Conversation on the BDS Voting Process

    Pres: We are talking about voting process, not the actual resolution.

    StuLife: We talked about it at the tail end of our meeting. Some of the comments brought up revolved around the idea of…

    2019: …I’m going to speak on behalf of my participation. I think the vote should be anonymous and not public. There is at least a perception that if this is public, it can effect their livelihood later in life. I believe because of that it should be anonymous.

    Ops: We were pretty concerned with the divisive nature of the resolution. We were concerned that the vote does follow you for the rest of your life. On a more democratic level, this issue is something that the campus should be deciding on.

    StuLife: One of the arguments brought up was that given what 2019 has already stated, given the implication for greater members of the council….It is inherently racist to make it a public vote.

    2019: I’m going to expand on that because that was what I brought up. I think a referendum or anonymous vote is the best.

    Jesse: I would like to speak against the idea of anonymity. The public at large elected representatives. You ran to represent your constituents. They deserve to have a right to know how their representatives voted.

    StuLife: I hear the uncomfortability. Although I acknowledge that I was elected for this position, I do not think we owe the student body our livelihood.

    Raymond: They can always come and ask us.

    2018: Read the minutes from last week.

    2019: there have been people on this campus who have taken a public stance who have been harassed.

    Academics: I want to query the notion of accountability here. What would accountability look like here?

    2017: The people who are looking to be reelected..are you not going to vote for me because I didn’t vote according to your ideas?

    Matt: I understand the reasoning to be anonymous. I would prefer for it to be referendum. I would like the people who vote and go for reelection to let their opinions be known.

    Ferry: I know people want to know how their representatives are voting. I think it shouldn’t be anonymous.

    Jesse: I think it is reasonable. I’m not saying it has to be a vote here. I’m saying we should have a referendum. But people should know how we vote.

    Sam: Retaliation will look a lot different for people who say yes versus people who say no. Institutionally, voting no is supported.

    StuLife: In terms of precedent, I reached out to our research director and got info on previous colleges that voted on BDS. About four our of eleven schools went to referendum.

    Cush: We recommend going straight to referendum. It is inherently more democratic.

    TA: This is going to be impossible for some of us to represent our constituents here. We should give them the opportunity to educate ourselves. We should give students on this campus spaces to talk about this.

    Cush: We can teach people. Especially in houses. We are having a forum in our house as well.

    Pres: From an org standpoint, it’s frustrating that people aren’t engaging in the spaces that are already available.

    Davison: We talked about getting stuff going on in the house. We decided against it because we didn’t want to bring that divisive issue into a space that is supposed to be safe.

    Ferry: I disagree with Ramy. Those orgs have a political agenda.

    2019: I agree with Ramy about using our orgs.

    Strong: I’m speaking for myself and also spoke with Sumaiya. Both of us support sending it to referendum. An org will organize to send it to referendum no matter what. You all still get to vote and you only vote for yourself.

    Ian (at large): we probably voted more on who we like than your political opinions. The student body would probably appreciate a referendum. There’s already a lot of hate on all sides.

    Pres: I agree with what Maya said. We’ve known about this since August. We’ve invested a lot of time and energy into this issue. It feels shitty to have that be ignored. The other thing is a precedent thing, we voted on the Greens thing when we knew that was going to referendum.

    2018: I’m going to speak in support of the VSA voting first. I think this conversation has really helped us grow. By voting on it, it will help us become stronger leaders. I think the student body deserves to know how we would vote.

    Noyes: I don’t think it’s fair for us to vote with little to no thought about whether it goes to referendum.

    Alexia: First seconding things that Ramy and Maya have said. There should be a conversation this year. The VSA did take a political stance this year. Pushing it referendum will leave out a lot of points of view.

    Jason: I really agree with Alexia. There especially seems to be a lot of documentation where it did pass and things didn’t go well. I’m sure you have info about the opposite.

    Matt: Regardless of what your decision is, it would be really rad to have an open discussion.

    J: This has been an issue that everyone has known about for months. After being aware of it, you still passed guiding principles that made the VSA a political body. If you punt it to a group of people who are predominantly not as educated as you are. It feels like a dodge.

    StuLife: I’ve spoken to constituents who don’t want a public VSA council vote. Some people want a secret vote over referendum. Some don’t. Maybe we should propose a vote for a secret vote first, then see where we stand.

    StuLife moves to have a secret vote in VSA council.

    Pres: to clarify, he is moving to suspend the bylaw on this particular issue. It can still go to referendum.

    16 in favor, 3 oppose, 3 abstentions. The motion passes.

    Academics: I do not think the VSA is more educated than the general student body. There are people who are more invested in it outside of the VSA. A referendum is the best way to let the constituents have their say.

    Cushing moves to suspend a bylaw to send the resolution to referendum.

    Cushing retracts that motion.

    Alexia: We have to actually amend the resolution.

    9:20// Finance Guidelines Exec

    Finance: We have drafted guiding principles for Finance until the BDS decision has passed. The guidelines can be reviewed afterward. It basically says we aren’t taking a stance at this time, that is not what we are going to base our funding on.

    Pres: to clarify, this will only last for this year. It is very temporary. They will have to redo stuff next year.

    Finance moves to adapt the language of the guiding principles.

    Passes with 19 in favor, two abstentions.

    9:41//Open Discussion

    2018: We should think about how political we want to be.

    Pres: BDS is slightly more complicated now. I don’t personally believe there is such a thing as being apolitical.

  • Palak 11:59 pm on January 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Meeting 1.31.2016 

    7:02//Call to Order and Attendance

    Absent: Activities, Finance (proxy)

    Consensus agenda

    1. Capital to EMS (900/900)
    2. Capital to EMS (304.25/304.25)
    3. Social Consciousness to Fem Alliance (1485/1485)
    4. Conference to CBS (954/954)
    5. Collab to ViCE Film (0/3500)
    6. Discretionary to VPI (2000/2000)
    7. Capital to Noyes (0/495.75)
    8. Community to ASA (0/2500)
    9. Discretionary to FWA (600/1000)
    10. Discretionary to Operating (740/740)
    11. Appointment of Kaden Maguire as VP for Finance
    12. Minutes from 11/29

    Pres: Capital items for the first two. We gave money to Fem Alliance for a conference. CBS is going to a conference. ViCE Film canceled their event. Noyes wanted their pool tables refurbished, but we don’t do that. ASA was looking for a speaker. FWA we gave money for production cost. Operating got bus money.

    Abby: Thanks BOEA. We are excited that Kaden applied. They are fully qualified.

    7:05//Forum with Campus Climate Survey Oversight Group

    Hannah Matsunaga: We are the majority of the people who designed the What Happens Here survey. Please feel free to step out at any time. We will be doing two public presentations on Monday.

    Kelly Grab, Rachel Pereira and David Davis-Van Atta are here.

    Davis-Van Atta: I’m going to talk fast because there is a lot of information here. Hannah meant her title as a way of stating What Happens Here. I’ll start with the background of the data. Response rates matter. You can never fully extrapolate from a survey sample to a population. It’s important to know how limited this is. We got good response rates though. A totally of 1171 students completed the survey. Only 48 non-cis-identified respondents. We cannot judge this response rate because we don’t know this data. Our samples were reasonably to very closely representative of Vassar. One of the caveats was with sexual orientation. There is no way for us to know this information. All I have is data from other surveys. We have one validity test. That is where we ask if these data are accurate. The only thing that we have, and it’s not terribly good, is official Title IX reports. Only 18 respondents out of 1171 who responded to this question. The incidents presented here are for non-consensual and unwanted sexual contacts. They must have occurred on Vassar Campus, JYA or any official VC program/event. The analyses are also broken down by type of event.

    Davis-Van Atta shows a graph of incidence rate findings. This graph shows both annual rates (2014-2015) and cumulative rates since enrolling.

    Davis-Van Atta: We have twelve different ways to look at these incidence rates. We have to be really careful when we interpret this data. Rates are higher for cis-women than for cis-men. Non-cis incidents report higher. We can see that this population is more at risk. This data is important for people who are trying to work on prevention and education. We have to go through these by class years.

    Davis-Van Atta shows a graph broken up by class year.

    Davis-Van Atta: The story is with the cis-women data. It starts off at a peak during freshman year and declines steadily over four years. We have enough cases to talk with reasonable confidence and we have a pattern. This is a well-established pattern in the literature of this kind of survey. We found it here too. The cumulative rates also have a pattern; it is the opposite. Women’s rates are higher than cis-men. We do a survey on the National College Health Association. This is a more omnibus type of survey. It’s not as specific as ours. It makes sense to compare our survey results with the NCHA survey findings because we ask the same question. This is reliability, not validity. We did not find significant differences in race/ethnic background.There were eight sections on the survey that counted demographics, but I’m only talking about three right now.

    Ferry: The percentage of sexual assault against women at Vassar is lower than average. Do you know how low?

    Davis-Van Atta: I don’t know. The numbers are very hard to read in order to make a definitive answer. This was never designed to be a quantitative test.

    THs: How is this info being presented to the student body, beside email?

    Davis-Van Atta: There will be a presentation exactly like tonight tomorrow. It will be presented at least twice as open campus sessions in Rocky. Those presentations will have other people besides me, including Cappy and Chris Roellke. It’s a longer presentation. We will schedule a third if there is interest and demand. There will be a presentation by SARC, SAVP and CARES. There is an executive summary online and a full document. The full report will come out later this month, as soon as I can get it finished and modified.

    Lathrop: Do you have autonomy on when the full report will be released?

    Davis-Van Atta: There will always be higher ups here. They are totally committed to do this. There has been some Board nervousness. They hadn’t seen it until just yesterday. It’s not my job to send it to them, but it is a major oversight.

    Pres: My understanding is that we have to do this every few years?

    Davis-Van Atta: Two years. Not this exact survey, but something like it.

    2017: is there a plan to try to generate more non-cis data?

    Pereira: I have a list of things that I want to discuss with Ramy and that is on there.

    Cushing: One of the glaring issues I saw was about how cases seemed to be handled. Is there a movement toward trying to fix these issues?

    Grab: The procedures and processes have changed in the four years that the class of 2016 has been here. We have seen a lot of major changes.

    ~quick five minute break~


    President: BOEA first.

    Abby: There are a lot of open positions: VP for Activities, 2016 Treasurer, Town Students President, Noyes Treasurer, Strong VP, 2018 VP, Davison Sophomore Rep, Strong Sophomore Rep and Davison Junior Rep. Applications will open right now.

    Pres: New York City shuttle starts next week. Some extra spots available. I’m working on other projects, but info TBD.

    Operations: New vendors for Tasty Tuesday: Zorona, Janet’s Jerk and a food truck. Restructuring meetings are happening this week. Saturday shuttle is happening. Should be next week.

    Student Life: Tampons are happening. Pro-Health is ready for distribution.

    2018: It’s hard to find other colleges that have done this. I’m working on finding a company that will provide tampons, pads and menstrual cups. We are looking for good quality products.

    Lathrop: Will it be similar to CHOICE for distribution?

    StuLife: Yeah, it will be similar, with tabling at the beginning and figuring out how to have it around campus.

    Academics: We are working on a proposal to let me sit at Faculty Meetings. We just don’t know a lot about faculty meetings. Student Seminars are soon.

    Activities: Pre-org apps are going out.

    Finance: Fund levels are on track, but we don’t know what is in Capital.

    8:41//Constituent Concerns

    Raymond: We have  mice.

    Lathrop: We have a mouse.

    Raymond: Mouse traps are inhumane. Can we change that?

    2016: Could we write a letter to get dorm cats?

    Ferry: Can we get an emblem for Ferry?

    Abby: Just make one.

    8:46//Open Discussion

    JD Nichols: After Judy left, there isn’t an interim director, but an interim faculty fellow. No students were consulted in this decision. The faculty fellow is the chair of the Drama department, Denise Walen. She has had several transphobic interactions with students in class. I wrote an open letter to administration in collaboration with Spectrum orgs. The list of org leaders is not quite accurate; there should be one more person on there.

    2019: Are the people listed at the end the full org or just individual?

    Nichols: It is a mixture of both.

    Lathrop: Are you representing any of these orgs?

    Nichols: I’m a member of some, but I’m not representing any of them.

    Ferry: What do you want us to do?

    Nichols: Council has endorsed letters in the past.

    Pres: If we decide to endorse it, we get added as a signatory.

    SoCos: There’s a difference between what we’ve done in the past. You just want to add our names here.

    Academics: Is this the first communication?

    Nichols: The nature of previous experiences show that it would not be helpful to speak with Denise Walen in person. This is the first communication calling for action.

    Ferry: Can you detail some of the incidences?

    Nichols: Two semesters ago, a student in two of her classes gave pronouns and Walen refused to use them. When asked to ask for pronouns, she did at the beginning of class, but then ignored the given pronouns for the rest of the semester.

    Noyes: I move to vote.

    2017: Can we take the vote by consensus?

    Pres: Yes.

    All in favor.

    Cushing: The new science building is awesome. A quick update on the refugee solidarity initiative. There’s a class for six weeks tomorrow. It has 130 students, six professors and various experts and scholars from away from here.

    Matt Kolbert: Thanks for the Coalition Building Training.

    Pres: There’s a lot of info out there. It’s coming up in a month!

    Jewett: I joined VCLU.

    Matsunaga: Tell your constituents to attend the What Happens Here Results session.

    Pres: we have to name the space. We will probably do a runoff. We will be doing one-on-ones. I’m interviewing for grad schools next week.

  • nobleingram 12:20 am on December 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Meeting 12 6 15 7:07 Consensus Agenda… 

    VSA Meeting 12/6/15

    7:07 //Consensus Agenda

    Item 6 is removed from consensus agenda.

    Consensus Agenda passes!

    7:08// Forum with Dean of Campus Life and Diversity Ed Pittman

    Pittman: I have a few stories to tell from when I graduated. Ronald Reagan was just elected president. Divestment from South Africa was a major issue on campus. There were arcade games in the MPRs. They sold beer in the retreat, the drinking age was 18. I remeber campus as a place where students were active and critical. I want to talk about the Campus Life Office but I also want to talk about some principles that are extremely important. There is the principle of equity, fairness, honesty and inclusion. I didn’t start with diversity because diversity is about getting people in the room. THat isn’t easy but once you get diversity, what happens after that? Let’s assume that we have accomplished a degree of that in many of our instituoins. Once that happens, how do we function under the principles that I just shared. Let me tell you a brief summary of the Campus Life and Diversity Office. If I leave her without somehow showing that then maybe we should rethink what the Office does at Vassar. Historically diversity offices have been categoraized as spaces thatdeal with one group of people. The true notion of diversity is that it should touch everyone. One of our first programs is I am Vassar. We call it I am Vassar. It is designed to open up questions about what diversity looks like. When we ask those questions, we try to fit everyone in the room. All of you should have gone through that experience. The core of our office should be around four offices. We have the ALANA Center which is run by B Nathan. We have the Religion and Spiritual Life Office which is run by Sam Speers. The LGBTQ Center run by Judy Jarvis. I hope that you have seen the work that that Office sdoes. And the Office of International Services by Andrew Dean. And then also the Women’s Center. Then there are broader programs around dialogue including All College Day and we just concluded that our theme this year will be “Ending Violence”. There is violence that people feel by way of their identity, by way of their experience. The Unpacking Vassar program which will bring two spoken word artists. These are all attempts to continue the discussion that we started at the beginning of the year. I want to return to those principles. A lot of the work that the VSA does embodies hyose principles. We want to ensure that whoever comes into the VSA feels that they are supported. I would close with the call to think about those principles, equity fairness, honesty, social justice education as outcomes of processes. That is theory but then to think about how we make it real is really a challenge. We all have to think about our own backgrouns and our own biases. I Hopefully you have interfaced with the office on some level. So why don’t I stop there and take questions and observations for the forum. I forgot one important resource that we have. The Bias Incident Response Team. That process and the wholeexperience of responding to bias incidents is a manifesrtation of when those principles are not at work. A way of expressing dissatisfaction is to attakc a group based upon their identities. I’ve experienced many of those and I think its key to have a process that is guided by those principles. I think consistency is really important. When someone says ‘well I don’t think that was handled properly” there is a process. If there is a process and you are following principle, you can judge that.

    President: Two questions: what does your role play in student activism? A lot of schools have put out lists of student demands. Is there anything on those lists that you think we should be doing?

    Pittman: The role that I play is in listening to students and helping them to brainstorm channels for students to address grievances. If you exhaust all of those channels, students then have to look for other options. I don’t condone taking over a bui;dings, as an administrator, but if you go through the steps and you haven’t reached your goals, I always say stay at the table. As administrators, we are always working with those processes. I have always encouraged students to work through those processes. To be an activist means putting those concerns forward and putting them on the agenda. If activism means constantly being at meetings and writnig letters, that is activism. Others see activism as being on the streets and protesting. The list of demands from schools come from the individuals expereinces at those institutoin so what Vassar students demand may be very different. Vassar students didn’t, to my knowledge, turn to the template that is happening across the country. Each institution is a little different even while there are some national issues that institutions across the country are shatred. I think one movement that is very important is the movement for solidarity between colleges. I think one thing is to look at how microaggressions affect being in the classroom. The social justice requirement is on the table. Part of the activist work means keeping it in front of people and continueing to talk about it.

    Noyes: We have restructured the VSA and know we will have a position for Inclusion and Equity. What would you expect from a person in that issue.

    Pittman: I would expect having that Co-Chair to be in communication with many of the offices to learn what the concerns are. I think communication is a really fundamental place to begin. You have race, you have class, you have gender, you have sexuality. There are a range of topics under that chair. That chair shouldn’t be the end-all. No one person should have the burden of reflecting all of those issues. Having a strong committee is also important.

    Cushing: One of my constituents messaged me– How is Vassar working to support QPOC students? And how is Sheltrese McCoy’s work being utilizeD?

    Pittman: The LGBTQ center is oding strong work there. Instituionally it is important to think of how we can support QPOC students. Being able to institutionalize policies that support students. As a principle, that is the way that we can begin to do that. Sheltrese McCoy will have some notes and Judy Jarvis and B NAtah nand others who met with her will share those notes with the administration. Those are our instiutional efforts.

    Cushing: How can we exepct to see these changes? Things get lost in discussion? Is there a specific proposal that the VSA  cna expect?

    Pittman: There are no specific proposals right now. I see this process as similar to the introduction of gender neutral bathrooms and the specific use of pronouns. It is hard to put a timeline on it but I would think that a lot of things that have been in the table for a while can be addressed within a year.

    Pres: My freshmen year, the Campus Climate committee had a series of proposals that made specific demands. What happened to those?

    Pittman: I’m not aware of any specific demands currently. If it is something that students are concerned with it becomes a question of how we provide those resources. Can you provide resources without providing a center. I’m not aware of any specific proposals.

    Lathrop: Most people agree that Vassar does a good job of recruiting students of high need, there have been a lot of concerns about wha happens when those students get to campus.

    Pittman: There is a the TRansitions porgram. We alwasy talk about the Transitions program as a key resource. The question becomes how much after the Transition program can we include resources to support students of high need. It is important to establish the institutionally-based resources. Students should be able to work problems through with an office. If we can support offices to be able to support students that is a key way we can support students of any background. Transition has been a front piece for supporiting students from low-income backgrounds. I remember a coupl years ago I worked with the Class Issues Alliance and we put together a handbook of which administrators to talk to for specific problems.

    SoCos: One issue that I see emerge with this dialogue about offices. at the end of the day there are some things that come down to the book. Sometimes students’ financial need just goes by the book. Posse vets only have tutoring funding from the VA. Our policy is that financially, we haven’t looked into it yet. What about when an office says this is where we draw the line, what is the next step for a student? What about an appeals process?

    Pittman: I don’t know if there is a built-in process but the whole process with seeking reconciliation. Something happens, where can you turn to to address it or get something changed? I think Dean of the College is the highest level. If we agree that there is inequity there, what can be done? That is the way that it would work. In the end of that process, it might mean a change to a policy. In 1993/1994 we had a policy that gave interational students access to housing over the break but it didn’t offer housing to students from California. There was a disparity based on access. In reveiwing that, it wasn’t equitable. Thart is when we started looking beyond internaitonal students to look at housing during intersessions. That’s an example of how that process opened up a new way of looking at it. I think what you are asking is how can we institutionalize that so that we don’t have to keep doing it every time an issue arises.

    SoCos: That is where you would save a lot time. We need to educate students about the right to appeal. The second quesiton is about CLRG.

    Pittman: I think onep lace this conversation could happen is the Equal Opportunity Office. It is a place that is supposed to have objectivity. Years ago, there was this concept of a person who is neutral and objective that acts on behalf on community members instead of the administration.

    Student Life: I think that Josh asked the question I was gonna ask. We talked a lot about specificty for providing resources for various students on campus. CIE has discussed a lot about undocmented students. Has there been any thoughts in your ofice about how we can get resources in these offices for undocumented students. As Josh said, this isn’t a one-way street. It requres a lot of specific research.

    Pittman: You would know more about htat than I do. Campus Life hasn’t been directly involved but we have five members of our team on CIE. There are so many intersections with the office within Campus Life. We all have different spaces where we see these identities intersect. For undocument students, there are always multiple points of intersection.

    Stu Life: HAs there been any sort of instituional form of training regarding students of varying backgrounds. I’m thinkning specifically about the CDO.

    Pittman: I’m not aware of that. To the CDO’s credit, they have been more engaged with that recently. They have been more engaged with the needs of students, I’m not aware of specific training but the effort has been there but that may be something that comes out of the sub-committee. It is really about awareness.

    President: Any other questions?

    Pittman: How does VSA feel as a body in addressing issues of fairness equirty and social justice that you are constantly presented with? How do you feel as a group? Arte there any resources nad support that you feel you need? One of the things I think about is the autonomy of the VSA. You all live wihtin a 4-year time period. Administrators have 26 years to get it right. What kind of resources that you feel you need?

    Ferry: SOmething I feel would be really hlepful for Council is a packet on what has happened and what has been major problems in the past at our school. And then maybe during training having a presentaiton that deals iwth the history of the problems of the VSA.

    THs: I would like a timeline with pictures, a visual.

    Pittman: The issues that the VSA deals with on a daily basis are usually not new. In 2004/05 an organization that was challenging had to come before the VSA about fairness and equity. You can also read about it but having a narrative where people are always called in to facilitate and mediate would be helpful. VSA has its own history and its own archives but putting it in context and history. Being able to have access to different narratives would also be important. I cam to this meeting tonight empathizing with the VSA and the tough questions that you all are faces with and the expectations that you feel trying to deal justice. Believe it or not you are always being judged and evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

    7:53// Reports

    Stu Life: Still working on getting free tampons for campus. I’ve been speaking with Juline who has been coordinating with Vassar pro-health and they have a few ideas about the distribution. What we are looking for now is they can’t provide the budget. We are trying to lock down a financial number and hopefully by tomorrow we will have a number aobut what that will cost. That is going well and hopefully we will have something very soon. CIE is meeting Friday so let me know if you have anything you want to know of for me to say. When I say tampons, I was talking about tampons and pads. IS there anything else?

    2019: There is also diva cups.

    Ferry: And those last four years.

    SoCos: Definitely the student side would be Res Life. This should be a resource for all students but we shouldn’t be the popel who take the whole weight for this service for the whole campus. I think Rebecca, you have spoken with Choice.

    2018: Choice was onboard with what we were doing. But you’re talking about more instutional approaches.

    SoCOs: Yeah I think evety bathroom should have tampons but we shoiuldn’t be responsible for academic buildings.

    Academics: Academics did a lot of brainstrorming this week. We talked about thesis workshops with librarians. Maybe a series of workshops and thesis prepr would be good for next week. We also brinstormed about potential ways about collecting student narratives avout microagrresions in the classroom. Hopefully we will be working on that but also extending the project and making something physical like a zine. The social justice requirement committee met last Friday. It was a fun meetings. We started to flesh out what it oculd look like and wha we would want it to look like.

    Pres: City Committee is tabling in the college center. VSA is invited to attend ResLife Spring Training on. On Feb. 21 we’re going to vote on Restructuring. We’re going to finalize two weeks prior. We will voting on the BDS Resolution on March 6, and it will be introduced on Feb. 28.

    Noyes: Can I write a report?

    Pres: Yes, it will go to Ops.

    Activities: Nothing much ,we just planned Spring Leadership Conference.

    Finance: Nothing really for me either. Office hours tomorrow 11-12. I met with TQ this week to talk about finance and student treasurer relationships with the administration and accounting.

    SoCos: Can you speak to what the intersession policies will be?

    Finance: Starting the 18th you should not use your pcards but peiple should not be using them over break. You can use them once the spring term recommences. I will be on vacation drunig winter break. If you email me I am not gonna respond to you until 2016.

    8:06// JStreet U Fund App

    Finance: I move to make this a closed meeting for 15 minutes. It should be fine for that.

    Pres: we are srving as Finance Committee, which is a closed session.

    –Closed Session–

    Finance: After the discussion, we came to an allocation of 584.50. I’m going to move to allocate this amount.

    Pres: Great, we now have 15 minutes to discuss. Anyone can speak.

    At-Large: To let anyone know, don’t be afraid to ask us questions, we are down to answer them.

    At-Large: We are all really educated about this and if you want to know anything, let us know.

    At-Large: Can anyone speak to more specifics to what was discussedi nthe closed session?

    Finance: Yes, we spoke about the relationship between JStreet U and Finance in general and then we talked about the conference and also about how Finance runs.

    Pieter: What is the relationship between the VSA Finance and Jstreet?

    Finace: We talked a little about the history between the groups.

    Yaniv: We tried to bring a speakere last fall and there was a debate about whetehr or not to bring a Zionist speaker last fall.

    At-Large: Because the VSA is political at this point, because of the political concerns of the council, what is the precedent taht we are setting for a yes vote?

    Finance: We tabled this to the VSA, there has never been a denial for this fund app.

    SoCos: Finance voted majority to table. There was no yes there was no no.

    Henry: A speaker was brought last year. Am I correct to say that that was befroe the 30th VSA council. The Council resolves that it will work towards anti-racism, that it will value and worktoward internsecitonal feminism. I don’t know if this came up in the closed session. It is my position that the politics and the positions at this conference’s [olitics are supportive of a liberal zionist position. That is my understanding. IT is my position that that politic is involved in colonialsim and invoved in an imperial project. I think that that is racist and I want to hear from the Council about that.

    Stu Life: JStreet U articulate very well in the closed session on their opinion. I would love for them to rearticulate their position on this.

    Matt: We are here because there are concerns about the Zionism of the speakers at this conference. We disagree that the notion that XZionism is inherenlty racist. We arne’t here to explain the history of Zionism or why we a indivduals supprot certain parts of it. We are here to fight the occupation of the West Bank. We are part of a national movement that has shaped governemntal policy in a direction that supports ending the occupation fo the West Bank. If we were to find any speakers who are oppressive, we wil lchallenge them. We aren’t here to birng that toxic ideology to campus. We beleive that an anti-occupation movement that we are anti-racist.

    THs: I would like to underline one of the things you just said about nationalism being troubling. I’m thikingf about the protests of the trip to Israel and the non-response of the trip to China. I don’t know of a single nationa that isn’t racsit or sexist. Accoridng to the logic that you guys are prosenting we wouldn’t be allowed to support people who are going to any kind of national political event. The fact that we are spending so much time on this bothers me on so many levels. We don’t have anyone here who is in such staunch support of the occupation. If we don’t have anyone in that room encountering those perspectives. We need people there to learn about those alternate positions. I think these people are well-equipped to bring to Vassar a perspective that is different.

    Sara: We’re just voting to see if we can fund a certain number of student to go to this event. This isn’t a question about JStreet U. We want to go to an educational peace conference to learn. The things that we want to learn are how to take concrete steps to end the occupation. THat is why we want to go to this conference. We aren’t voting on Israel-Palestine here. We are voting on one thing.

    Jesse: I think it is good that people are encountering different points of view. In terms of whether of Zionism is racism, it is an ideology that is so complex. Are there Zionists that are racist? Yes but it doens’t mean all of the mall. I consider myself a Zionist but I don’t like the occupation.

    Ops: I just wanted to bring the conversation back to the fund app. This fund app would be funding students at a particular conference. If we fund students to go to this conference, I don’t see it as funding any individual speaker.

    Pres: We just hit time.

    Finance: I just wanted to say that this conference should be focused on the fund app. I don’t know what to say about the fund app. I am super ready to vote on this and move on.

    Andrew: Just because something is anti-occupation does not mean that it is anti-racist. We strongly support anyhting that supports the end of occupation.

    Peiter: I move to extend the conversation by 5 minutes.

    18 vote no, 4 vote yes

    Pres: If you vote yes right now, the yes means that we will allocate the $584.50 to Jstreet U to attend the conference.

    2017: Can we do a ‘speak for’ and a ‘speak against’?

    Pres: This vote is just for the fund app.

    SoCos: We haven’t had a discussion of Zionism and it deserves a discussion. Right now we are voting on the fund app. The long-term goal is that finance committee gets a recomendation from Council.

    Pres: One person speaks for the Yes, one person votes for the No.

    FinanceL I think that it is a fine fund app. Looking at this fund app, Finance Committee thinks this is a good decision. I think that we should vote Yes.

    At-large Finance Committee Memeber: We fund orgs go to conferences to learn things and return to campus with this knowledge. We need to look at the politics that these org members are going to engage with. Zionism as an idology works with the patriarchy, with racism that is an unjust state on so many levels. Mayn student groups have opposed this ideology because of the inherent racism and sexism. Our financial support says that we are happy to fund these ideologies, even if it is just on a small level. Vote no.

    Ops: COuncil members please take a moment to decide your vote.


    21 yes, 1 abstention

    CoOPERAtive Fund App//9:15

    At-Large: We were unaware of the Finance Committee’s restriction on the funds we use. I am asking the financial burden of a VSA miscommunication does not fall on the heads of our pre-org leaders first.

    Stu Life: Can anyone on Finance speak to this discussion?

    SoCos: I feel really bad about this. This goes back to the Catch-22 of policy where we are being asked to take into account this human element. The Finance Committee is designed such that we don’t consider the human element.  I’m arguing for consistency here. Finance I know you weren’t at this meeting. The decision that we came to was about this weird situation in which the org has already spent this money and now we have to figure out whether or not we should pay for this. Ruby you were aware of the rules of this meeting. That is the conversation that we had with Ruby. That is why Finance committee came to that decision.

    At-large: I am asking that the human element be reintroduced.

    SoCos: Bur now this does set a precedent even if you believe it won’t.

    Noyes: Is it a bylaw or rule that we don’t reimburse?

    Pres: It is a rule. IT isn’t a bylaw.

    SoCos: Rules can be changed but it is up to Council to decide that not Finance Committee.

    Finance: This is something that comes up and we have to tell them all the same thing. We don’t retroactively fund events or organization’s purposes. I have really tried to communicate this this year. There have been amply opportunities for this message to be communicated and it would set a weird precedent if this fund app would be the one to break the rule.

    At-Large: I don’t see how this sets a precedent.

    Finance: For what reason do you believe that this fund app needs that council override versus other fund apps?

    At-Large: I don’t think I am in a position to say why other apps shouldn’t be granted funding but I can speak to why our fund app should be allocated funds. The VSA has a lot of money and this is place where a lack of communication set out a person a little under $200. We are asking in view of the situation that one person not bare the brunt of of this financial burden.

    SoCos: It puts us in a weird position. If I vote no, am I against the human element of the VSA. I am going to stick by Finance Committee’s decision. An exception became a precedent. I see that issue coming up again and again. I know it sucks and I wish we could do more. We are being put in this weird position. The amount of money is irrelevant.

    2017: Usually we don’t retroactively fund things that have already been purchased or have already been advertised. We haven’t funded things that had done one of these things and in this case you have done both. But one thing worth discussing is that usually this cost falls on an org’s budget not an individual’s budget.

    2018: I understand what yuo were saying Josh but also I think we should look at this by a case-by-case basis. If this case is baring a brunt on an individual. We are just a college, we aren’t a corporation. I understand the implications that this would have. I am saying this out of my own humanity but also from someone on Finance last year. The humanity in me is overriding how this might affect Finance committee. We should treat our students that shows we care. The argument seems to be that we care much more about VSA than we care about students.

    SoCos: The issue is that we are going with humanity versus the rules. I’m not saying we should have an either-or discussion.

    Ops: I didn’t want this to become a large conversation. There was miscommunication within our pre-org and miscommunication between the pre-org and the VSA. I’m glad that this has become a conversation about the way we support pre-orgs in the future. We can move on.

    At-Large: If there were a way to debit this to the pre-org, we would be fine with that. We are trying to work out personal financial student obligations when there are mixups with reimbursement.

    Finance: Depending on whether or not you become a stage-two pre-org and get a larger budget that is then cut by this amount, that is fine. I move to do a zero allocation.

    SoCos: I respect and understand what J and 2018 brought up but I think that we need to explore other tools in the toolbox to address this issue.

    At-Large: Saying that we can apply for an operating budget next semester allows for the possibility that the operating budget could be denied.


    yes- $0

    no- some other allocation

    11 yes,

    9 no,

    2 abstain

    9:40// Ops Update

    Ops: We talked about the Shuttle report. It is looking like we are going to try and replace two shuttles as it is and have them run by student employment.

    9:41// Constituent Concerns

    THs: Several of my constituents are concerned about being run over in the THS. The majority of the complaints have been from Black students. We should ask if we can put up a stop sign in the THs or if we could put up a ‘slow’ sign.

    Pres: Apparently there are a lot of rules about stop signs if we should put up slow signs.

    Ferry: If it is on our property we have to petition the city council for a sign.

    2019: The first year class brought up that they didn’t like the word ‘freshmen’ because it is gendered language. People felt that it was an isolating term. One of my constituents was complaining about not having enough storage space for people living in Noyes when people stay in Noyes over break.

    Noyes: In intersession housing you can keep in your locked room any large belongings. Also there is a typing room in the Noyes basement but you can keep your belongings there as well.

    2019: I wasn’t speaking from a knowledgeable position but I was just expressing my constituent concern.

    J: I wanted to say that living in Noyes is a unique struggle to try to pack all of your stuff into the non-existent storage space in your room for people to use. It does seem to be kind of terrible thing to sort people randomly in a house and then ask this of them.

    Raymond: By storage spaces you mean Noyes students having to leave for breaks?

    SoCos: Yes this is about Noyes students leaving. They switch on a ‘winter mode’ for all other dorms. It is a financial decision and a sustainable decision.

    J: Could the VSA push for a question added to the Sorting Hat about having students staying in your room during break?

    Pres: I wrote it down, so yes.

    Noyes: It’s not great but the recommendation is that you move everything you can into whatever space that you can. Your room has to be liveable. If there are things you want to move out of the room, there is some limited space available.

    2016: I remember last year that we learned that there are some secret rooms that are left open for emergencies.

    Pres: They have very very few of those rooms and sometimes are awful. They theoretically exist but very rarely do they actually exist.

    Raymond: Also you can have your friends stay in your room.

    SoCos: Also in response to what J said about the questionnaire. There is not equity in housing at Vassar. This is part of Noyes just like unrenovated bathrooms are part of Raymond.

    Noyes: There is still storage space in Noyes. Intersession housing is important. It isn’t the most comfortable situation but it is community-building.

    2016: There should be a question before students arrive.

    Ferry: What do they want us to call them instead of freshmen?

    2019: They don’t want freshmen to be an offical word describing the class.

    SoCos: The lighting for the SoCo path has been an issue. If anyone has been concerned about that, I have been in touch with people about that.

    10:00// Seven Sisters Constitution Reaffirmation and Amendments

    Noyes: Traditionally each seven sisters school needs two reps and we have two. One change is that the resp aren’t part of the Exec. Also the constitution has to be reaffirmed by every Seven Sisters SGA. The Seven Sisters has a really great power and works together. We talked about the reps doing something on skype more often. We hope this will result in some synergistic opportunities. I motion to vote on it.

    2017: Can we discuss the 5.5 sisters thing? As a person who identifies as a woman, I didn’t have the best time at this conference. Maybe its worth us thinking about not being a women’s college in this consortium.

    2018: I has a lot of questions asked about the admission of trans students. People seemed to be asking Vassar a lot of questions specifically. Maybe we shouldn’t pbe part of this specific conference, but we still should be part of the Seven Sisters’ coalition. we should continue to attend this conference to solidify this coalition. The Seven Sisters’ coalition could have a lot more power than it does now. I am passionate about us being part of the conference.

    J: I went to the conference last year and I didn’t get as much of a feeling of belonging. Since I’m not a VSA member I can say that my impression was that it was at Barnard and the Seven sisters hate Barnard more than the hate Vassar. I did not feel the hostility at Wellesley but I wasn’t there.

    Main: As a male student at this conference intended for this women’s college, I didn’t feel excluded. There were some conversations that didn’t include us because we aren’t a women’s college but this conference binds us a a conference of historically women’s colleges. We should look at other conferences that could maybe benefit us more.

    Noyes: I agree that as a historically women’s college and a college that supports women’s empowerment we should still attend.

    Ferry: I think we should definitely go. We learn things from talking to schools that are focussed on women. IT helps that we go to this conference.

    President: In the absence of a different coalition, this is the one that we should be in. I think it is worth some self-reflection about what kind of space we take up. I think this is a question for a later date.

    2017: There wasn’t hostility so much as passive aggressive. It felt like the incorrect space for us to be in and not the kind of perspective they need at the conference but I agree that in the absence of another coalition we should continue to attend.


    21 yes

    0 no

    0 abstain

    Amendments Pass

    10:12// Restructuring

    Pres: The timeline that we are looking at is that we are voting on February 21st. It is going to be presented on February 27th. For the first week of the semester, we will be doing study breaks. We are also going to do an open forum during the first two weeks of the semester.

    Lathrop: I was in my house team meeting last week and my house advisor said that one problem they run into is that appointments for committee reps like CIE and CCL be selected earlier. He wants those joint committee applications to be made available earlier.

    Ferry: Is it too much to have a study break in Ferry?

    Pres: Not at all.

    SoCos: Some people are confused because it is very different. What we have so far is core structure and what we are starting this weekend is about how we adapt the core structure to the rules that exist. We want a specific constitution for the next generations. What we presented so far is the core structure flow charts and documents. We want feedback but we are working on this more in the spring.

    2018: We are voting on it Feb 21. I was concerned just talking to my constituents because some people have been really passionately opposed. I really encourage everyone to be involved not only in these study breaks but throuhgout in your daily lives.

    Pres: Just to piggyback– make sure you are talking about it but make sure you are talking about it correctly.

    Lathrop: My constituents were concerned about the smaller house teams and how separated house teams were with the VSA. Maybe there could be a house team communicator. It would be worth having a VSA liason at house teams.

    2018: Those are the exact same concerns I’ve encountered four times.

    2017: My class council talked about this. We don’t want to impose this but house presidents have the freedom to attend VSA council meetings. I don’t want to create more free space positions because people don’t want to engage with free and available information.

    Lathrop: What if the VSA has a bulletin board in every house?

    TAs: My question is about the timeline.

    Pres: We’ve gotten feedback about specific items. This is not an all-or-nothing proposal. We can still change it and develop it.

    SoCos: What is changing here is not the level of communication it is just a change in the roles.

    Pres: I move to endorse the timeline.


    20 yes

    1 no

    0 abstentions

    Motion Passes

    10:28// Council Adjourned



  • Palak 12:04 am on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 11.29.15 

    7:05//Call to Order and Attendance

    Absent: THs, Town Students, Activities

    7:06//Consensus agenda


    President: We have tickets for the shuttle to NYC. On the Wednesday and Thursday after classes.

    Operations: Still working on Tasty Tuesday. Saturday Shuttle is still under works.

    StuLife: Nothing.

    Academics: My life is going great. This week we are going to be talking about….I lost it.

    Finance: We didn’t meet last week. Meeting on Wednesday.

    SoCos: Can we get a roster for Finance Committee?

    7:09//Constituent Concerns

    SoCos: Sunday at 9:30 p.m. there was a power outage on campus. This was our second power outage. My housing area lost power for 14 hours, including no heat. I was emailing some senior administrators about it, looking for updates. We didn’t have heat and they told us to wear more layers. There might be a review later on. We don’t have a generator in the SoCos.

    Ferry: I think this speaks to a larger issue on campus. We do not have a system in place in the event of an emergency.

    Lathrop: I met with my house advisor. There was nothing my house team could do. Part of winter training will be power outage training.

    Raymond: Several of our lights are still out. Is that happening in other houses? A student fellow also told me that the emergency lighting went out within 40 minutes.

    Pres: Shout out to Josh for getting us food swipes since our food went bad during the outage.

    SoCos: It seems like there are structural issues about this. The emergency lights in the SoCos also slowly started going out. They haven’t been replaced since the SoCos were built. We are just not kept in the loop. I sent four emails asking for information. There was no attempt or effort on their end to have a conversation about this. This is an easy thing to solve.

    Ferry: I researched a lot about disaster preparedness. I can email you guys the reports if anybody is interested.

    J (at large): Only students living in the effected areas were notified. Were faculty?

    Pres: Yes.

    7:18//Open Discussion

    Pres: Next week is our last meeting of the semester. It will be a longish meeting. We will have a forum. We will hopefully do a soft endorsement of the new structure.

    Lathrop: Are we going to bring Art Rodriguez?

    SoCos: If you have specific CAFA things, reach out to your rep.

    2017: About restructuring, can we make a simple report on the fundamental changes? I don’t think people know the current structure very well.

    Ops: We are working on that this week.

    SoCos: Short-term, I’m trying to brainstorm a flowchart right now.

    2018: Is that campaign just for information? Or to join the discussion?

    Ops: Both.

    Jewett: I had a message on behalf of VCLU. Saturday at 6 in Rocky 308.

  • nobleingram 12:36 am on November 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Meeting 11/22 

    7:07// Consensus Agenda

    Finance: VSU is doing an event with Marist. Noyes is doing their event. There was a fund app for shuttle service that got through. Operating costs for Crafts Not Bombs. Conferences to Democracy Matters and VXF.

    Abby: Sherry is appointed for Junior Rep for Raymond for the Spring. They are really excited.

    Consensus Agenda passes!


    7:09// Reports

    Activities: SJP tried to push through a lot of programming at the end of this semester so we wanted to limit their programming to give a chance for other orgs to program. We might reverse that decision considering they are going to be collaborating with other orgs soon.  Also Pre-org reviews.

    Finance: Those numbers for fund levels sound low but we are actually right on track. We are continuing to compile notes as they come up. We got a lot of new responses for the application for the Finance committee. I selected my top people, Nina selected her top people and we will be meeting this week. The band system and DJ system proposals have been approved. Hopefully we will have a functioning band and DJ system in the spring.

    SoCos: We are hoping to compile a document to agree on.

    President: We officially have our first shuttle to NYC scheduled. It will be on February 6 leaving Vassar at 9pm and returning to the city at 8pm. I’m leaving for the week on Tuesday but Chris will be taking over Tuesday. Final Update: if you were on campus last semester you noticed the campus masterplanning committee. The report from that is now online. They are going to have online forums and feedback jars across campus for next semester. The masterplanning committee is the 10+ year plan for the campus.

    SoCos: Considering the scope of some of those ideas in that plan, are we planning to meet and talk about those things?

    Ops: Yes.

    Student Life: CIE Diversity statement subcommittee met Friday. We are looking for student input on some statement. Last year put together something but administrators weren’t happy with it. This year we are rethinking the diversity statement. When it is done I will communicating with you all. I am the only student on this subcommittee. Props to Rebecca for trying to get free tampons on campus. That is what we are working on. Hopefully we will have some answers soon.

    President: Any questions for student life?

    Ops: Thank you for Restructuring. We are moving forward with the Tasty Tuesday survey. Some of the prominent sentiments of the survey were more Asian cuisines, more VCash, healthier options and Kismat. Kismat isn’t allowed back ever.

    Academics: We agreed to do a screening of a film about women in computer science and technology industries. That will happen in February.

    Finance: Finance committee is not meeting next week because of Thanksgiving.

    7:17// Constituent Concerns

    7:17// Water Bottle Resolutions

    SoCos: I remember us in Operations Committee talking about some Housekeeping issues with the Report. I am noticing that in past years it is difficult for us to do research when we don’t do grammar things. We might need to change some formatting things if it passes.

    2016: Does the $700 charge include the labor costs to set up the tanks.

    Noyes: Yes. I move to adopt this resolution.

    Vote: 22 in favor, 0 opposed.

    7:26// Barnard Statement

    Pres: Barnard is having a winter housing crisis. They are closing all the dorms over winter break unless students are tour guides or athletes.

    Finance: Why was this policy enacted?

    Pres: They said it would be expensive to keep a guard at the front. 20 Barnard students said they would literally be homeless because of this.

    TAs: Are we helping them in other ways?

    Pres: We re letting them take the lead. Potentially yes. I move to endorse this statement.

    Support of this statement passes

    7:29// Open Discussion

    Cushing: Shout out to everyone for restructuring.

    Student Life: Shout out to Jewett House for Dormal Formal.

    7:35// Meeting Adjourned!

  • Palak 12:02 am on November 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 11.15.2015 

    7:02//Call to Order and Attendance

    Absent: 2018 (proxy), Noyes (proxy)

    7:04//Consensus agenda

    1.  Fund Apps
    2. Official Reprimand of ViCE
    3.  Crafts Not Bombs to Level 2
    4.  Minutes from 11/7/15

    Finance: Speakers to NSO will be taken off after SAVP training. New sound system. 2016 for 99 Nights.

    Activities: We are issuing ViCE an official reprimand for the Chapel damages.

    TA: Doesn’t mention anything about before and after the event?

    Activities: The issue is all of it. Can we vote right now to amend this?

    7:10//Forum with Hollace Francy, Campus Activities Program Coordinator

    Hollace Francy: I’m the Post-Bacc for Campus Activities. I do want Dominique Waldren did, but a little more. I advise ViCE, Shiva, others. My other title is Programming Coordinator. We approve all events that occur on the campus.

    SoCos: As we saw about building entrance, are we looking at expanding space access from just Rocky?

    Francy: I don’t think that has been brought to the table before. Basically, you reserve rooms through EMS. I don’t know why this isn’t on EMS. That is something we can look into. Sometimes we give card access. That’s a discussion we have to have with the faculty in those buildings.

    Pres: Can you talk about the process of event approval?

    Francy: The general process is that you go to the SARC office and talk to your intern to put in your event request. That goes to Khasi, who looks over the event and approves it if there are no conflicts. From there, it goes to Sia, Kevin and I and we approve it in our meetings. Then Sia puts them into EMS manually. A lot of events were put in on top of each other. We tend to handle them in the order of the event date.

    Cushing: what’s the typical volume of events per week?

    Francy: In the beginning of the semester we would have like 15 events per week, but now we have about 5 per week. It’s more now that we are gearing up for the next semester.

    Cush: How many people work in the SARC?

    Francy: I think the biggest lag isn’t on the SARC interns but on my side, because it takes time to input events into the EMS. We can talk about ways to make it faster. One way would be to get somebody else to help input events.

    Joss: I know the SARC has a lot of protocols. What are areas of noncompliance that can slow everything down?

    Francy: People filling out the event request form properly. It needs to be really specific. Usually, we then email the SARC intern to get in touch with their org. Also, making sure the SARC interns are looking over your shoulder to make sure you fill it our properly.

    Lathrop: Is there any news on OrgSync software?

    Francy: I went to a demo over the summer but we haven’t talked about it yet. I think we want to display it for the VSA first.

    Pres: When people would book a room on their side of EMS, I can also see it when I was a SARC intern.

    Francy: SARC interns are supposed to be doing that now. We can always do better. I think the discrepancy is between that period of time where you submit the request and Sia puts it in.

    SoCos: Is there anything we can do for space transparency?

    Francy: Only orgs are supposed to be able to reserve spaces for damages. In the College Center they post the schedules during the days. It doesn’t happen in Rocky though. We can look into it though.

    Ops: I have a question about org advising. Is there a way, from the SARC end, we can do that?

    Francy: We did have a plan. We are planning on adding more SARC interns because there are more orgs. We are also tentatively thinking about specializing some SARC interns. We don’t have any formal plans though.

    Abby Johnson: I have an org with a large exec board. Only one of us went to fall leadership conference. Is there a manual or something with all of that info?

    Francy: We have a programming resource guide. It’s online and in the office. I have a bunch now!

    Pres: is there a most common mistake for us to stop making?

    Francy: Don’t assume we have a working speaker system, because we don’t. I’ve been talking with Josh and Kevin and some others about how to make the sound system accessible.


    Student Life: We are all humans. CCL met this past Wednesday. We met with Arlene Sabo about cameras on this campus. I think the number is around 200. They are thinking about adding more outside the residential dorms. They are outlining the policy now. CIE Under-represented Students Sub-Committee met in the ALANA center. Yale and Brown have a separate page for undocumented students online. We are working to try and see what we can do. We are trying to put together a dream team of resources for undocumented students.

    SoCos: What is student life talking about for the cameras? CCL, do they talk about keg ban? CIE, student financial services doesn’t have their own website.

    StuLife: We are talking about it tomorrow at StuLife. Keg ban is on the agenda. We did talk about financial services. Some find it difficult to change it because they would no longer be international students. It would be a difficult push.

    TAs: Small comment about the keg ban. The agenda keeps getting tabled until Roellke gets back.

    Academics: Peer advising was last Tuesday. We had burritos. Great time. CCP met and we talked about credential limits. Not much conversation. At the library committee meeting, we talked about CIS and the computing issues.

    Pres: Bystander Intervention make-up session is TBD. We have quotes for our city buses. I submitted a fund app. This week we are meeting with Administrators! If you have anything you want us to bring up, let us know. We spoke to Bob Walton on Friday. there is a transallyship training happening. Two sessions. Please attend. It’s been updated. We have adopted a 24-hour email policy. Even if you don’t have an answer, you need to respond within 24 hours.

    Lathrop: Who is this policy for?

    Emily Platt: It’s VSA representatives responding to constituent concerns.

    Ferry: We need more time.

    Emily Platt: It wouldn’t count weekends. I also get a lot of complaints about it from students.

    Ops: I think it would be good for all of us to look at it first.

    Pres: Exec has adopted it.

    Ops: Still in progress for updating Saturday shuttle. It sucks. We will have our results from the Tasty Tuesday survey. We had our big restructuring event on Saturday. Lot of pad thai. We finished it. Restructuring the VSA. We did not go with a bi-cameral. We changed it to a senate. We have four boards: residential, activities, strategic planning and student affairs. We have worked out quite a bit of detail..

    Activities: We spent most of our time talking about ViCE. Spring Leadership Conference is coming up. Event is the Saturday after break.

    Finance: Fund levels next week. Still going through applications.

    Raymond: If I send an email on Friday is that too late?

    Finance: Not too late.

    7:47//Constituent Concerns

    Ferry: People are complaining about shoes in the gym. There should be a cleaning station in the gym. I don’t clean my shoes.

    2018: Noise in the library. You can’t study in the library. Today in the Deece, there were a bunch of people in the Deece.

    Cush: There was a tour in the library yesterday and it was so loud. I asked a librarian and they told me to deal with it.

    SoCos: Study rooms would be cool. Oh wait, they took those away.

    Ferry: We should have a quiet floor or something in the library.

    Academics: All of these suggestions should be sent to Andy Ashton.

    2018: I also wanted to say that the biggest issue is just students talking in the library. Can we send out a nice little note? Also, the printer above the Retreat doesn’t work. Can we get another printer?

    TAs: TA printer had a lot of problems. Some printers are supposed to be checked every day.

    J: None of the printers have staplers near by. Can we chain staplers near the printers?

    7:57//Gender Neutral Bathrooms Resolution

    Pres: The body of the resolution I referenced the last times we talked about it. We resolve to reaffirm out commitment to the Gender Neutral Bathroom Initiative.

    StuLife: How are we going to disseminate this?

    Pres: I was going to email it out. I move to adopt the resolution.

    Unanimously passes.

    8:00//Discussion on Mizzou, Yale, and Racism at Vassar

    Pres: Mizzou is the University of Missouri. There were a lot of different events that happened. The University President resigned over student concern that many Black students had raised about how they were not being supported on campus. There was a football related boycott.

    StuLife: The team, namely the Black students, decided to boycott. Two days later people resigned.

    TAs: In addition to that, one person went on a hunger strike. The whole team was behind them.

    Ferry: Also, if they didn’t appear in the game on Saturday, the school  would be fined like a million dollars.

    StuLife: We talked about this at BIRT. We have an ideological problem that it took the boycott of a football team to get these people to resign.

    Abby: I can talk about Yale. Essentially, a couple things happened at once. In a short period of time a fraternity was turning away women of color and an administrator sent out an email asking them to look at their Halloween costumes to not be racist or offensive. One house master sent out an email asking why we need to be respectful during Halloween. That led to a large protest.

    SoCos: The professor was a psych prof who explained her belief behind her email. She was talking about when we stop psychologically developing.

    Ops: To add a bit more, this past week speaks to a larger pattern of oppression that happens. This isn’t new. Somebody went on a hunger strike at Claremont-McKenna and got their dean to resign. Also, since we don’t have a football team to advocate for us, who can do that here?

    2019: I was going to add something about the language. It implied institutional control.

    Ferry: One of the colleges at Yale is named after an extreme white-supremist slave owner.

    Abby: Also, at Georgetown did a successful sit-in to change the name of a building named after somebody who sold slaves to payoff Georgetown’s debt.

    Pres: There were some bombings in Paris, Beirut, Afghanistan, and other places. Maya, would you mind sharing?

    Ths: I’ve been thinking a lot about the way in which we have discourse on this campus. I’m always frustrated. What my status was about was how can we make connections between domestic and international occurrences. How can we not have conversations about occurrences that happen every day here. This is not about our facebook statuses, changing our photos, copy and pasting solidarity notes. The war has not begun, it has been happening. We need to start discussing what is happening domestically, here at Vassar, here in America. And then think about that in context to the rest of the world.

    Pres: Now we should talk about Vassar.

    Ops: A lot of this comes out of a place that lacks clear communication. We need to communicate in a compassionate manner. I would like to see Vassar students being quiet and listening first. Just basic human kindness.

    Cush: At Vassar specifically, I’m just envisioning a space where some people can talk and some people can listen. Maybe we can draw up a fact-sheet to fight misinformation.

    Lathrop: One place we can start is funding the ALANA center more. Having more programming. Admin is pretty white-washed.

    Ferry: Other schools are having an equality director.

    2019: This is something my class council has been talking about. Assumptions are the most harmful here.

    SoCos: We are not a grassroots movement. We can support them though.

    Main: I think we need to do more than have an email sent out by Cappy. I was confused about the presence of non-Black students. Also, it blocked entrances.

    Cush: On the email sent by Ben Lotto. It focused on Paris.

    2017: I think it is important that we do what we can, but we aren’t the ones who should be heading what should be going on.

    Ths: We can help facilitate protests and events.

    SoCos: Student empowerment. We have a lot of energy. It is our job to support that. I want to see about getting an ad-hoc fund.

    Academics: We did that last year.

    Strong: Let’s not let that conversation die down.

    J: I think it is cutting the VSA too much slack. It is a student union.

    SoCos: I don’t want our actions to shadow other voices. We are not the only bargaining voice in the system.

    Pres: Let’s vote on SoCos’ motion?

    SoCos: Whether from discretionary or operating, it doesn’t matter. There are funds available that do not need the regular finance system.

    Ferry: I think all Exec should discuss it.

    Pres: Essentially, somebody would be approached, we discuss it quickly and then make the decision.

    Ops: I can work with Emily to send out a notice to students.

    SoCos: I withdraw the motion then.

    8:55//Open Discussion

    SoCos: Thanks for all of the exec reports.

  • Palak 12:05 am on November 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA 11.8.15 

    7:05//Call to Order and Attendance

    Absent:  2017 (proxy), Ferry, Lathrop (proxy)

    7:07//Consensus agenda

      1. Collaboration to NoViCE (0/800)
      2. Capital to NoViCE (Tabled/1378.04)
      3. Speakers to LiNK (100/300)
      4. Capital to Quiz Bowl (130/130)
      5. Speakers to ViCE Comedy (Tabled/10000)
      6. Social Consciousness to MBSA (2750/2600)
      7. Social Consciousness to VJU (Tabled/2000)
      8. Frozen Budgets:
        i. Young Democratic Socialists
        ii. Episcopal Church of VC
        iii. No Such Organization
        iv. Multiracial-Biracial Students Alliance
        v. Vassar Bikes
        vi. The Limit
        vii. Feminist Alliance
      9. Certification of Chabad Jewish Community
      10. Middle Eastern Students Collective to Level 2
      11. Minutes from 11/8/15

    Finance: NoViCE came in for a collab with Idlewild.

    Activities: We only leveled up two orgs this week.

    TA: BOEA appointed Elizabeth Garrity for Noyes Spring Rep.

    7:09//Forum with Judy Jarvis, Director of LGBTQ and Womens Centers

    Judy Jarvis: I’m the Director of the LGBTQ and Women’s Centers. I’m an alum. My forum is about the gender neutral bathroom initiative. I want to update everyone on the initiative and talk about what the students can do. The initiative has been an on and off thing for years. The dorms have been co-ed since the mid-80s. That was a factor of having been a women’s college. It was a voting process by the dorms to choose to have ‘co-ed’ dorms. When I started here, there were about 13-15 academic buildings with zero gender neutral bathroom facilities. To have to weigh whether you want to use a restroom means you are not at your best in the classroom. It’s an additional stressor that not everyone has to deal with. It also goes with our non-discrimination factor. With this info, we had a wonderful working group that started in the Spring of 2013 to push this initiative. Now we have nine of those 13 buildings that have at least one gender neutral bathroom. We also did eight different sessions for education to talk about how gender neutral bathrooms are just one form of trans-allyship. We are at a point where people think the initiative has been successful. That’s not true. We still have four-ish buildings that don’t have gender neutral bathrooms. I’ve had complaints from professors or staff members from three different buildings on campus. There has been vandalism on signs in Main and another sign was completely ripped down in Davison. What I need your help with is that we need to work to maintain these bathrooms on campus. Admin and students don’t stay here as long as faculty members and staff members. The main drivers here are the people who turn over the fastest. It doesn’t work to just tell people they are idiots. They are coming from a different perspective. They are from different generations or class backgrounds. It is also their facilities. I have to make sure I’m not being superior to people who may not fully understand it. I’m wondering about what VSA can do for this. We talked about it in BIRT, maybe sending an all-campus email affirming gender neutral bathrooms. Also, looking back at what the VSA has done in the past. We just want to make sure there is still energy around gender neutral bathrooms.

    Noyes: How much weight do complaints from faculty impact new gender neutral bathrooms?

    Jarvis: It’s hard to tell. The initiative has three senior officers on it. I don’t think professor dissent will undo this work. My fear is that if a lot of negative information is around, then nobody will consider it for the future. I’m not concerned that any of the current gender neutral bathrooms will get changed. I want people to understand why this is important.

    SoCos: Is the rhetoric still around fire code? One argument was that the bathroom would be hidden away.

    Jarvis: The thing I know a lot about is building code. We have some buildings where we are under occupancy. If you touch the building, you will get fined. There are some buildings that Vassar just won’t touch. That being said, we still were able to work pretty well. We were able to get folks on board to allow multistall bathrooms be gender neutral. Any single occupancy bathroom is really easy. The Chapel has no gender neutral bathrooms. Sanders Physics has two womens and two mens bathrooms. We are going to change two of those to gender neutral. We aren’t trying to change every single bathroom to be gender neutral bathroom. Mostly the resistance is coming from misinformation. Athletics is harder to work with. But we can work around code.

    Pres: I co-wrote with Danny the initial statement that the VSA passed. I would be happy to draft a note to the student body. One thing I want to ask is about future renovations. Do they plan for gender neutral bathrooms in those renovations?

    Jarvis: I can’t say. I wasn’t at some of the Master Planning meetings. I’m keeping in touch with Marianne Begemann about this. I think it is an area that students should be aware of it.

    Jon: I heard that the buildings on campus are grandfathered into the ADA.

    Jarvis: That’s true. It’s not that they don’t want to become ADA accessible, but they are old buildings so we have to plot out how that works.

    Jewett: Of the concerns raised, were they all about discomfort or were their practical reasons?

    Jarvis: In Sanders Physics, there were some shoddy workmanship. A lot of the complaints were about discomfort or not knowing what was happening. Often it was dispelling misinformation.

    2018: I wanted to ask how much weight us writing a letter would be? What else could we do?

    Jarvis: I welcome all of your creativity. An important part of my job was the info sessions. I just need help with this stuff. Letters can be great, but only for short-term. I’ve been doing passive education, but there could be more. If we could get huge posters in the College Center? Where can we reaffirm this?

    TS: This is because I live with this person, but zines could be cool.

    Jarvis: As many different efforts, the better. My number one is implementation. Number two is education.

    StuLife: Is there something that we do yearly in first-year orientation that is about gender neutral bathrooms? Or should we do something?

    Jarvis: That’s interesting. It might be an informal conversation already. In my experience, it hasn’t really been students with the issues. They get acclimated pretty well. It’s not to say that the students are all on board. Bias incidents say otherwise.

    SoCos: Was there ever a policy about after-hours usage?

    Jarvis: I think that is just a student practice. I think students should just keep using whatever bathrooms you want.

    Lathrop: Is SLD still active?

    Jarvis: I don’t know if it is active.

    7:50// Frozen Budgets

    Pres: Now we will talk about the frozen budgets. There were six training sessions and multiple emails sent. These seven orgs did not attend.

    SoCos: I want to talk about some concerns about going ahead and freezing these budgets. Ideally, we didn’t want to freeze budgets. I got feedback about the timeline and communication from some of these orgs. These orgs are basically not real now. If you don’t have a budget, you can’t add to your budget by fundraising. I’m not sure if the best solution right now is to freeze their budget. I think there needs to be a timeline.

    Ops: I think it is important to clarify some misinformation. All orgs were contacted. They knew. Their immediate programming will continue.

    Pres: The rationale behind that was that some groups already have contracts. Somebody needs to pay.

    Activities: The listserv I gave Ramy included Presidents and Treasurers.

    Jon: How does it work to defund and fund an org in the same meeting?

    Ops: It’s an extraordinary circumstance. If we did not allow their programming to go through, their student accounts would get charged.

    Activities: I think it is also about the content of programming. I’m fine with cognitive dissonance here.

    Pres: SAVP interns put on the training. They are going to do one more. Spring Leadership Conference will also have training.I move to freeze these seven budgets.

    Jon: I move to separate YDS from this list.

    Pres: We can do that.

    Yes: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Cush, Davi, Jewett, Joss, Lathrop, Main, Noyes, Ray, Strong, SoCos, TA, TH, Town Students, Ops, StuLife, Academics.

    Pres: It passes. Onto YDS. I make the same motion.

    2016: I think it is unfair to freeze their budget without any contact.

    Strong: Can we table this discussion for Activities?

    Jon: I’m having an issue with treating a basically non-existent org more leniently than more apologetic orgs.

    Pres: From a practical standpoint, they aren’t doing anything.

    Yes: 2018, Cush, Davi, Jewett, Joss, Lathrop, Main, Ray, Strong, SoCos, TA, TH, TS, Academics, Activities, Stulife, Ops


    President: Bystander training again. Our City Committee is getting quotes for buses. We went to the Seven Sisters conference. 

    Operations: No restructuring this past Saturday, but we will continue this conversation this Saturday. Still working on the Saturday Shuttle Report. Tasty Tuesday survey went out. 

    StuLife: No major updates.

    Academics: Peer advising dinner on Tuesday. 5-7 in the Aula. Give and receive advice. Burritos.

    Activities: Finally met with orgs about closet space. Orgs will be sharing.

    Pres: Seven sisters update. There were a lot of workshops. There was one about divestment. Barnard is having a winter housing crisis. It’s fucked up.

    8:19//Constituent Concerns

    Noyes: The SARC has been not functioning to it’s maximum potential. How can it be streamlined a little bit?

    2018: Can I have a list of the orgs that are having trouble?

    Matt: I think it would be great to have Hollis in for a discussion.

    2018: Vending machines in dorms for essentials?

    Ops: Funding is not there yet.

    SoCos: If we care enough about this, they will put tampons in the dorms.

    THs: In the bathroom option.

    Joss: Barnard has free tampons. If we have free condoms, why not tampons?

    8:27//Resolution Concerning Disposable Water Containers at Commencement

    Noyes: We launched a campaign with Vassar Greens to ban disposable water bottles from campus. We got rid of them. Disposable water bottle containers are still distributed at large events, like Commencement.

    Jon: It might be good to reaffirm the need to recycle and reuse bottles.

    Ops: Our understanding is that campus activities just wants a reaffirmation that we still care about this. A letter might be better.

    Noyes: The Greens is already in talks about alternatives.

    TAs; I think I need more info before I can vote.

    Noyes: let’s just table it.

    8:33//Open Discussion

    Raymond: I was wondering if we can do anything about the ladybugs on the ceiling.

    2016: They are a permanent staple of this room.

    Cush: We created a googleform for the refugee thing. There’s a six-week course being offered in the spring.

    Pres: Thursday at 7 there is a talk being offered by Cappy’s office relating to Israel/Palestine.

    Main: Do your job.

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