Live Blogging VSA April 7, 2013


7:05 /  Attendance
 Class of 2015 has a proxy; Ferry House has a proxy; Cushing House; SoCos representative is absent.
7:05 / Consent Agenda

  1. $3700 from Discretionary to Measure 4 Measure
  2. $200 from Preliminary Orgs to Shakers
  3. $76.50 from Speakers, Lectures, and Panels to UNICEF
  4. $65 from Preliminary Orgs to ComedyNormative
  5. Minutes from the 3/31 meeting

All items are adopted.

7:07 Forum with Renee Pabst, Director of Health Education, on the Relationship Abuse Charge
Also speaking is Elizabeth Schrock.
History of the Relationship Abuse Policy in the past was the joint work of the VSA and the Health Education Office.
Portion of the Violence Against Women’s Act is being passed around. Pabst highlights the components of the law that requires college campuses to enact policy regarding sexual misconduct and violence.
Lawyers previously said that the previous supplications could not be easily adjudicated at Vassar. However, after the reelection the portions that had been causes of concern were required by the government.
The only additions from the previous form was the addition of the domestic abuse policy, as some students are married on campus.
Josselyn House representative Casey Hancock ’14 asks why is it important for the VSA to support this charge.
Pabst: This was a way for Vassar to show off that they were ahead of the curve on protecting students. It is also very important for the VSA to pass because it shows that student government cares about taking care of its students and their safety.
The panel: this is a smaller panel (smaller panel sizes are supposed to be better)
In this panel, the alleged victim and the accused are able to deny student representatives on the panel.
Class of 2013 President asked how often do students report issues of sexual assault or misconduct?
Schrock: Not many students chose to come forward; we currently have reported roughly 10 students.
Class of 2013 President: How does the campus help support students who want to prosecute the crime outside of campus regulations.
Schrock: We utilize the local sexual violence resources. Moreover, students can request that non-college representatives work with them, or that either speaker will go with them to report the crime.
Pabst: We give students all of the available options, both on and off campus reporting.
Lathrop House President: How will students be informed about the campus’ policy?
Schrock: Students are provided the information online prior to coming to campus. After they come to campus, freshman are told in large groups about the sexual misconduct policy of the college, and then students will be reintroduced to the policies within their houses.
VP for Activities Doug Greer ’14 advocated, from personal experience, to emphasize this policy within the house team system.
Other announcements
Friday will be the launch of Sexual Assault Awareness Week at 3 pm in the Jade Parlor.
Next Week:
Monday: Speak Out
Tuesday: Art Show and Open Mic, located in the Aula
Wednesday: Emily May will speak at 7 pm
Thursday: Students are encouraged to wear shirts (on loan, and available through tabling in the college center)
Following Week: The White Ribbon Campaign, pledging to not commit any form of sexual misconduct.
7:20/  Executive 

Rubin reports that the search for a new CDO director is coming to a close, and final candidates are coming to campus in the next few weeks.

He adds that a representative from ARAMARK was on campus during the last few days assessing the Retreat for potential reconstruction.

 7:21/  VP for Operations Spring elections are underway
Exec Board Election Debate on Wednesday at 6 pm Sanders 104.
Voting will be take place over two days next week.
7:23/ Proposal the Relationship Abuse Charge
Dallas Robinson ’14 presents the Relationship Abuse Charge discussed previously.
This motion passes unanimously.
7:27/ Resolution Concerning Coursework in Social Awareness
Students related to this issue have been pushing strongly for a center of their own, with its own own staff.
Underneath the Campus Life Office, who already support students that come from lower income backgrounds.
Noyes What made you change the resolution to a separate entity:
A matter of timing allowed them to consider having their own space.
Hancock ’14: How have conversations been going with the administration?
Advocate for the resolution: There have been informal conversations with Dean Roellke and Ed Pittman, who have expressed support if students would express an interest.
In the mean time, the group is looking into similar programs
Lathrop President: What’s the timeline for this program?
Advocate for the Resolution: There is a more flexible timeline
VP for Student Life moves to endorse the resolution.
This motion passes unanimously.
7:34/ Resolution Concerning Coursework in Social Awareness
VP for Academics:
We have backed off from a hard and fast requirement within each major.
Phrased this resolution to encourage CCP to create a committee that will look into the possibility of having more social conscious related courses. This gives the faculty more ability to dictate the changes in curricula.
VP for Student Life: In terms of Campus Climate, which advocates for a social consciousness requirement, do you know if they will continue to support a requirement?
VP for Academics: Having spoken to Faren Tang, and other members of the Campus Climate, that this will prove to be a foot in the door in terms of having a social consciousness requirement. However, no formal statement has been expressed by Campus Climate about this new version of the resolution.
Operations: How much faculty support has this received?
Academics: Faculty support is not as clear as she would like it to be. Before getting a faculty opinion, the resolution should be considered by CCP. A stronger expression of the faculty’s opinion will come following a meeting on Wednesday.
Jewett House President: Are students able to attend/speak in the CCP meeting?
Operations: The CCP meeting will have a student representative sitting on the meeting, but CCP is typically a closed meeting.
Terrace Apartment: Commending the amendments and the VP for Academics for recognizing the implementation concerns that many constituents have expressed regarding a firm requirement.
Academics: This new resolution would not require a specific course, but rather course work. Lectures or guest speakers could also fill the social consciousness requirement.
Davison House President asked for a timeline for this resolution.
Academics: She anticipate that, if passed, that her successor will be able to execute even more developments. Won’t go into effect next year, but the following year this would be available to students.
Town Houses motion to endorse the resolution.
Motion passes unanimously.
7:37/ Support of Dining Staff
Next Wednesday an event supporting the staff of the campus dining staff. The resolution supports further recognizing student appreciation of the campus dining staff.
VP for Student Life endorses this motion.
This resolution passes unanimously.
7:40/ Open Discussion
Class of 2013 President: This weekend will be the 50 Nights Celebration, held at the Chance. Buses will be available for students.
Recognition of the new Editor-in-Chief of the Miscellany News.
Terrace Apartments Representatives: Findings of the START committee
950 responses. The results show that the campus is fairly split on this issue.
The document will show that there are concerns on both sides and to contextualize this issue.
President: CLL is meeting this week and there will be updates on this issue next Sunday.
VP for Activities:
Surveys show that students feel that they have little space to operate.
He will have conversations with Luis Inoa about storing items in residential house basements for storage/activities space.
Jewett House President: Anual Budgeting form is due on Monday at noon.
Josselyn House President: He is upset that the decision on the smoking ban will not be made by students or student representatives rather than CCL. He felt that the CCL may not be the best equipped to handle this issue in comparison to VSA.
7:49/Motion to Adjurn 
All but Josselyn House are in favor. This motion passes.