VSA Council Meeting Minutes: 8 Sept. 2013

Hi guys! First official Council of the year! It’s Bethan here, Editor-in-chief for this semester. I’ll be doing my very best to keep you all posted on what’s happening here in the CCMPR! Also be sure to check out our Twitter, which will also be live-tweeting this, and all other, council meetings!

7:03 // Call to Order…….President

7:03 // Attendance……Operations
absent: Rep. for Class of 2016 is also serving as rep. for Class of 2017

7:07 // Consent Agenda
Vassar Dems/VARC –Speakers ($4,500/$5,200)
Wordsmiths – Speakers ($2,245/$2,545)
Idlewild – Collaboration ($500/$500)
Filmmakers – Capital ($1,240/$1,240)
Minutes from 5/5/13

THIS MOTION PASSES (unanimously)

7:07 // Forum with Terry Hanlon, VSA Advisor
-Terry Hanlon introduces himself to the VSA. This is his third year as a house advisor.
-Previously Hanlon served as an assistant advisor for wellness living with the Office of Residential Life.
-Two results of this work was the Brewer House Cup and The Midnight Question.
-The midnight question will only go out to the entire campus once, and after that, students must OPT-IN.
-Hanlon is now the individual who supervises the selection of all house team members and, upon request, may help in the selection of ROC attendants..
-He also serves as the volunteer assistant coach for the volleyball team.

QUESTION FROM MAIN REP: What, as the VSA Advisor, do you do?
ANSWER (HANLON): Help serve as a connecting link between the VSA and the campus-at large.
Hanlon: “I don’t think my presence is to exert any undue influence.”
Hanlon also believes that he can serve as a resource to representatives.

QUESTION FROM PRESIDENT: What was the purpose from the Midnight Question? Can you talk about the positive feedback?
ANSWER (HANLON): This came out of discussions with many offices, including the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, that students don’t do many reflective practices.
When done as a pilot program in select dorms, roughly 80% of people wanted to continue the practice.
The negative pieces were mainly that people didn’t want to be faced with hard questions. But some people who gave positive feedback said that they liked having 5 minutes to reflect amid a hectic schedule.
Also, many students felt that they could have someone to go and talk to about concerns with their lives.

QUESTION FROM FINANCE: How and where can students bring concerns about residential life at Vassar?
ANSWER (HANLON): Talk to their VSA representatives. Also, talking to their House Advisors. Students can also email with Director of the Office of Residential Life Luis Inoa.

QUESTION FOR CLASS OF 2015: Where do you see the college going?
ANSWER (HANLON): Everybody is talking about the posse program. It will be great for the first 11 students; but it will also be nice to have some diversity of age.
Also, the college still needs to work on providing a safe space for every member of the campus.

QUESTIONS OF OPERATIONS: Do you see any resources for students who would be considered ‘non-traditional students’ such as
ANSWER (HANLON): We are working on improving the training of student fellows and other student leaders so that they can address issues that maybe not every member of a fellow group has.

7:22 // Executive Board Reports…….Student Life and Academics
Worked with Louis Inoa on a program for the freshman.
5 students performed poetry and a Question and Answer questions.
Student Life hopes that this event will become an official part of the orientation schedule.

Also studying how students report sexual assault on campus. Currently students are asked to describe the events to three separate groups, which may dissuade students from reporting the assault.

Four major projects this semester:
1. Trying to encourage cooperation between different departments and also more events that each division (ie all languages) can host together.
2. Publishing on Academics newsletter. The newsletter would be written by both students and faculty.
3. Working on improving peer-adivising. Also, attempts will be made to get the program
4. Working on the social awareness and consciousness requirement. Discussions will be had on many different levels.

Academics will also be helping select the Dean of Studies position.

QUESTION FROM CLASS OF 2016: Have any students come in to discuss Arabic Studies classes, as they did last semester?
ANSWER: Options are being explored between Arabic Studies students and Dean Rock.

7:29 // Guiding Principles…..Operations
Goals include:
being inclusive and being accessible.

Voting: no abstaining, all in favor, none opposed.

THIS MOTION PASSES (unanimously)

7:31// Finance Amendment…….Finance Committee
FINANCE: The amendment would allow the time of the meeting to be more fluid. However it will still take place on Wednesday afternoon.
Voting: no abstaining, all in favor, none opposed.

7:32 // Motion on Timeline for Freshman Elections……Rep. 2014
REP. 2014:
Election Dates:
Sept. 9 @ 12:00 p.m. : Filing period begins
Sept. 10 @ 7:00 p.m. : Interest Meeting in the Rose Parlor
Sept. 16 @ 12:00 p.m. : Filing period ends
Sept. 16 @ 6:15 p.m. : Mandatory Candidates Meeting in Rocky 300
Sept. 18 @ 6:30 p.m. : Freshman Class President Debate in the CCMPR
Sept. 23 @ 12:00 p.m. : Voting begins
Sept. 25 @ 12:00 p.m. : Voting ends
Sept. 25 @ 9:00 p.m. : Results party in the Retreat

OPERATIONS: The debate format may be changed. It may include Debate society. The goal is to make a more substantial debate.

THIS MOTION PASSES (unanimously)

7:37 // Appointment of Raymond Junior Representative……Operations
The previously selected Fall 2013 representative suddenly resigned. The Spring Representative, Kathleen Konno, who originally wanted to serve for a full year, is willing to take over the position.
Kathleen has already gone through house-team training.
The Operations Committee recommends Kathleen Konno.

Abstentions: Class 2016 and Raymond Rep.
Nay: none


7:41 // Declaration of Open Positions……Operations
We are still looking to fill a number of positions.You can see the open positions on the VSA website under the special elections tab.

7:43 // Open Discussions
Class of 2014:
There are 250 days, 14 hours 16 minutes and 12 seconds until commencement.
This Sunday is Serenading!

QUESTION FROM TERRACE APARTMENTS: How has the event changed this year?
ANSWER (FROM 2014): Event used to be on Saturday, but we moved it so that it would not conflict with Yom Kippur.
Starting at 3 p.m. instead of 2 p.m.
AFter each dorms sing, the seniors will sing a chant back.
This is NO LONGER a freshman only event. Sophomores and Juniors are encouraged to participate.
The pizza party will be directly following event in the hopes that more seniors will attend (directly on the field).

Preliminary Org applications are due Sunday sept. 15th at midnight
VSA Mug Night at 10:00 p.m. on Friday Sept. 13th.

Are our banners being judged for points?
Yes they are being judged for Brewer Cup points.

JOSSELYN: How are we supposed to decorate the banners? How is it being funded?
ANSWER (2014): Supplies can be provided. I recommend preparing the banner the morning of the event as students make T-shirts.

Motion to adjurn

Opposed: Class of 2015
In favor: all others.


End of meeting guys! Talk to you next week!