VSA Live Blogging- May 5, 2013

7:04// Call to Order

President is discussing the operating standards of the VSA Council to the new council members. 

7:04// Attendance

All in attendance except: Main Rep and VP for Academics are absent; Class of 2016 is serving as Class of 2017 proxy, meaning Class of 2016 also has a proxy.

7:05// Introductions

Representatives introduce themselves using their majors, their class years, and anything else they want to know about myself.

7:11// Executive Board Reports

President: Council retreat on May 13 at 7 p.m.

Council members will be selecting their committees at this meting.

Operations: Nothing to update outside of other items on the agenda.

7:12// Resolution in Support of Social Consciousness

President: We recognize that some actions this past year have not been socially consciousness and so we want to make a commitment to diversity.

These are broad initiatives that council will be working on next year.

Motion to adopt this resolution (President). 

Terrace Apartment: What role will Academics play in this resolution?

President: We do not know she will take up this resolution, because she abroad.

Josselyn: As a minority on this campus, how will this resolution actually help? I recognize that this has the ability to make a difference, but how?

Operations: This is a strong statement and commitment that we can come back to next year.

Student Life: (to Josselyn) What kind of change would you like to see, if not teaching?

Josselyn: I don’t know exactly. I think that academics would be the best way of it, but I don’t know how much anything can change because these problems are kind of built in.

Raymond: I am glad that this is being added to the VSA Council agenda because it is something I have been campaigning about for Raymond House President.

Finance: This resolution is great because it will be one of the first things that students arriving to campus will see.

Voting: Unanimous support.

This motion passes.

7:19 // Barefoot Monkey Resolution

Barefoot Monkeys Representative: After the accident that occurred during Primal Scream, we have been having trouble with fire spinning and certifying new people.

We also have been banned from Primal Scream.

Other Barefoot Monkeys Representative: We don’t know who is making decisions about how we are banned. We are not having adequate representation in meetings making decisions about fire spinning.

The accident was our only hospitalization in 15 years. That’s way better than any sports team.

We want better representation on committees that make the decisions about when and where we can spin fire.

Can you discuss clause 8, which discusses a last minute cancellation of guest-certification fire spinners?

Barefoot Monkey representative: The people we inviting on campus for our convention are previously certified or are Vassar alums, but the administration told us 5 days before the convention that guest passes to spin fire would not be allowed.

This is also a problem because we learn much of our fire safety is learned from this convention.

These people are trained professionals so they can teach us a lot.

Motion to adopt the resolution.

Voting: All but one says yes. (Noyes abstains) 

This motion passes.

7:27 // VSA Audit Committee Charter

Operations: Upon student request, we would be auditing how the VSA structures operates.

The committee would begin this year and end at the conclusion next year.

This will be a completely open committee.

Membership will be closed after October Break, but at large members are still invited to attend meetings.

2015: I am really happy that we are doing this now.

2017: Make sure that we have adequate representation from all student organizations.

Finance: It’s very important that we pass this now so we can understand the associated costs of this committee.

Student Life: How are you going to recruit students?

Operations: Emails will be sent out over the summer.

Raymond: The resolution says that the VSA needs to make a report before December break, will that be enough time?

Operations: It won’t be finished but we can have a basic report and slight adjustments can be made mid-year. This meeting would prove to be an update.

Motion to adopt the charter (Operations).

Voting: Unanimous support.

This motion passes.

7:34 // Appointments

Operations:

Raymond 2015 Representative for the Fall Semester, Operations Committee recommends: Cat Chapman.

Motion to appoint Cat Chapman. 

Terrace Apartments: Can we explain the decision behind selecting a one semester representative, instead of another candidate who was willing to serve both terms?

2015 Rep.: We actually only need to select people on a semester basis, and continuity is not necessarily better than change.

Voting: All in favor except Ferry and Raymond (abstentions) and TA (opposed).

Raymond 2015 Representative for the Spring Semester, Operations Committee recommends: Kathleen Konno.

Voting: All in favor but Raymond (abstention)

This motion passes.

Main 2015 Representative for the Fall Semester, Operations Committee recommends: Katherine Durr

Voting: Unanimous support. 

This motion passes.

Main 2015 Representative for the Spring Semester, Operations Committee recommends: Karina Prinelles

Voting: Unanimous support.

This motion passes.

7:44// Finance Amendment 

Finance: I want to make Finance meetings on Wednesday afternoon because students don’t have classes then.

2015: We should make sure that whatever time we select will stay the same throughout the year.

2017 Proxy: I hope that we will review all the changes to our constitution that have happened over the last three weeks.

Motion tabled to next meeting, as is standard (next semester).

7:47 // Open Discussion

2014: Accepting applications for Daisy Chain this week.

2017 Proxy: This past week the Freshman class held its last event, Freshman 15.

A record number, 250 people, showed up.

Cushing: I encourage everyone to keep pushing for concrete action in regards to diversity.

At Large members (4): We want to pass a resolution that would support more classes in Arabic.

We sent this two the Academics for the last two weeks.

There are 39 students enrolled in Arabic classes; we only have 4 classes in total. At most we can take Arabic for three years. After 10 years of service, only one professor has achieved a full professor. We can’t approach fluency with this standard of education.

There are 9 students that have committed to taking advanced an Arabic class if it were to be offered next year.

Another at large member: Students who come to Vassar with previous course-work in Arabic will be unable to achieve a correlate at Vassar.

Another at large member: We have a committed faculty and students, but the administration says they can’t do anything to help us.

2017 Proxy: This is definitely something we should be looking in to. I think we should table it until next year because we need time to discuss this with our constituencies.

At Large Member: I think that we should pass this now because there are 9 students who would have the ability to take an upper-level class.

2017 Proxy: I don’t think that we can add another course to the catalogue for next semester.

Finance: I am hesitant to pass this without VP for Academics present.

2015: There are some discussions that need to be had between the VP for Academics and members of the administration so that it can be taken seriously.

Raymond: I really appreciate you coming in, but as a new council we may need more time to look into the issue and then discuss it with the VP for Academics.

Davison: If this does not work, will the 9 students be able to find other ways of studying?

At Large: It will prove extremely challenging for them because professors are thinly-stretched and are not being paid for independent/self-study.

Proxy 2017: I am extremely disappointed looking at this list of colleges that Vassar has not done more for these students. I hope that you realize that, even if we table this resolution, we still support the resolution next semester. I definitely want to see advanced Arabic on the course listing next spring.

2014: I would strongly encourage you to talk to the VP for Academics in the coming weeks.

Motion to table to the Academics Committee (Operations).

This motion passes.

Noyes: Noyes still does not have a spring rep. What are we going to do about that?

President: one of two things may happen:

Someone would contact you and then you contact VP for Operations

No one could apply over the summer, but applies in the fall. Then you need to contact VP for Operations. Then the position will be open for one week and then applicants will speak to Operations Committee.

President: New plan. If you are missing someone on your council, email Operations.

Motion to adjourn (Operations).

Voting: Unanimous support.

This motion passes.

8:18// Council ends.