Live Blogging | VSA Council February 10, 2013

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a fun weekend in the snow. It’s going to be another exciting Council with the appointment of a new VSA VP for Academics!


7:00pm | Attendance

All representatives are in attendance but VP for Finance Alex Koren ’13.

7:02pm | Consent Agenda

  1. $5000 from Discretionary to ViCE Music
  2. $1,221 from Discretionary to Fem Alliance
  3. $764 from Capital to Class of 2013
  4. $5,600 from Speakers, Lectures and Panels to VSA
  5. $0 from Conference to Pro Health
  6. Minutes from 2/3 meeting

All items are adopted without discussion.

7:04 | Executive Board Report from VSA President Jason Rubin ’13

The Board of Trustees will discuss the possibility of moving the bookstore to the former-Juliet Cafe space this March. Rubin comments that, given the College’s financial situation, it is unlikely that the Board will decide to move the bookstore off-campus.

Tim Wise, an American anti-racism advocate and writer, will come to campus for a lecture on February 18.

7:06 | Executive Board Report from VSA Vice President for Operations Deb Steinberg ’14

The Operations Committee has been interviewing applicants for various residential and Class year VSA positions.

7:07 | Women’s Center Resolution with Deb Steinberg ’14 and Sitara Mahtani ’14

Steinberg and Mahtani present a resolution for Council endorsement to increase the physical size of the Women’s Center. They argue that the space is difficult for students to find, difficult for students to use, and limits the Center’s ability to fulfill its role on campus.

Lathrop President Sophia Wallach ’15 asks if Steinberg or Mahtani have a new space in mind. They do not, but they say that a larger space would be used by the Women’s Center, and other student organizations dedicated to gender issues.

Council adopts the resolution.

7:14 | Fossil Fuel Divestment Resolution with Noah Bogdonoff ’14 and Gabe Dunsmith ’14

(Full disclosure: Gabe Dunsmith is an Assistant Opinions editor for The Miscellany News)

Dunsmith and Bogdonoff represent the Vassar College Divestment Campaign, and ask that Council endorse their fossil fuel divestment proposal. They argue that climate change is of “overriding social concern,” and ask that the Campus Investor Responsibility Committee work with the Board of Trustees to fully divest.

Bogdonoff addresses concerns that divestment would damage the College’s finances, citing a report from California research organization which says that the the fossil fuel industry is statistically insignificant.

Rubin recommends that Council tables the resolution to the Student Life Committee. Dean Begemann will be holding a forum with Council at next week’s meeting.

Ferry House Representative Lanbo Yang says that this resolution must carry the voice of the student body to the upper echelons of the administration, and that issues of the environment are just as important as, for example, issues of gender related to the Women’s Center.

Council tables the resolution, with eight representatives in opposition.

7:39 | Appointment of Class of 2014 Judicial Board Representatives with Steinberg

The Operations Committee recommends Evan Seltzer ’14 and Caroline Winkeller ’14. Council appoints both.

7:43 | Appointment of Davison House Junior Representative with Steinberg

The Operations Committee recommends Luis Cantor ’14. Council appoints Cantor.

7:44 | Appointment of Strong House Junior Representative with Steinberg

The Operations Committee recommends Emily Salshutz ’14. Council appoints Salshutz.

7:45 | Appointment of VSA VP for Academics with Steinberg

The Operations Committee recommends Amanda Zeligs ’13, citing her varied resume with organizations and programs at Vassar College. Council appoints Zeligs without discussion.

7:48 | Open Discussion

There are 104 days until Commencement. Class of 2013 President Vincent Marchetta reports that planning for Senior Day is moving full speed ahead.

Class of 2016 President Max Moran expresses discomfort with the House Team appointment process. He says that Council is not necessarily aware of what House Team jobs entail, and that such appointments would be better handled within the respective Houses. Steinberg agrees, saying that the system is not ideal, but argues that the applications, and collaboration with relevant House Presidents, helps make it easier.

Council appoints Carlos Hernandez as the Town Students Representative.

7:56 | Council adjourns.