VSA Council Meeting Minutes: 15 Sept. 2013

Hi guys! Hope you all enjoyed Serenading! We’re about to begin here! Get excited!

7:00 // Call to Order…President
7:00 // Attendance…Operations
Missing: 2016 has a proxy; 2017 has a proxy.

7:04 // Consent Agenda
Minutes from 9/8/13

THIS MOTION PASSES (unanimously)

7:04 // Forum with ViCE…
Tillan: ViCE is Vassar’s main entertainment source. This year the focus is social consciousness, and ensuring that . The structure of ViCE includes: No ViCE, ViCE Music, Film ViCE, ViCE Jazz. We have a Finance Chair, Special events director, a Director and Assistant Director.
FINANCE: Congratulations on your concert last night. How does a person get involved in ViCE?
TILLAN: Meetings will begin this week. Times can be found on the ViCE Facebook page!

MAIN: How are you incorporating social consciousness?
TILLAN: Take every step possible to make sure that events are not offensive. Work through collaboration about

OPERATIONS: ViCE is one of the organizations that we fund the most, but they also do a lot of the event programming the VSA used to do.
PRESIDENT: Because ViCE gets more money than every other organization, we have to keep a closer eye on this organization. We encourage them to come to meetings on a somewhat consistent basis. Also it allows for more student collaboration.

TILLAN: The programming board hosted a film screening this week that ViCE could have funded. It made us somewhat uncomfortable that this decision was made without consolation and used student funding. How much control does the VSA have over this?
PRESIDENT: That is a joint student-administrative project that is going to end at the end of this year.

2017: What is the mission statement of the group?
PRESIDENT: It was created to provide events other than the normal “Villard Party” 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.slot.

2017: We have the best possible model for ViCE like organizations of colleges like us.

MAIN: How soon do you look for artists like the major semester events?
OTHER ViCE: Usually 3 months in advance.

TILLAN: Any collaboration ideas for working with specific houses?
JEWETT: We would love to do a silent disco-like event. (Headphones are worn by each participant so that they can hear the music but to the outside world can hear nothing.)
DAVISON: We are looking for collaborators for Harvest Fest, which will happen after October Break.

7:15 // Forum with Evan Seltzer
The board is comprised of 4 reps form each grade, with one chair person.
Three kinds of panels: Academics, Student conduct (Rich Horowitz), College Regulations (DB Brown)
There are also interpersonal violence: 2 administrators and 1 JD rep (but can be requested without a student representative)
We have a couple of hearings every week. Student volunteer to work on panels.
Goal: Everybody commits to an equal amount.

FINANCE: What preparation do students?
SELTZER: In the regulations, Jud Board members are not allowed to be advisors to the accused. The panel will come together 72 hours after the student hears from the administration. Within that time, students will learn when the panel will meet, but will not be informed of who will sit upon the board.

FINANCE: What resources are available?
SELTZER: Often DB Brown will consult with the student. But not many resources are available. However we have a Jud Board website which students can access, with FAQs.

TAs: How often do the board meet?
SELZTER: They don’t meet on a consistent basis. It’s intentionally disconnected in case one Jud Board member is brought before a panel; this avoids bias.

PRESIDENT: How do we avoid a conflict of interest?
SELTZER: Initially, an email is sent to the chairperson stating the nature of an offense. The chairperson then informs the representatives, and they sign up. These members are then informed of the time of the meeting and the name of the student involved. Simply knowing someone does not warrant taking yourself off the hearing; it’s largely at the discretion of the representative. However, students are able to request that a representative be taken off a case if they can demonstrate a reason for bias.

2017: Does the accused students know who reported them?
SELTZER: Not necessarily.

FINANCE: Are there resources that happen after a guilty verdict?
SELTZER: Education is a major component the sanctions given to students.

PRESIDENT: The Jud Board is vetted through the administration, and they are more intertwined with the administration than the VSA.

2017: What role does the Jud Board play in deciding repercussions?
SELTZER: WE are not involved in policy at all. Although there are two components of the hearing: guilty or not, and then sanctions.

7:28 // Board Updates
ACTIVITIES: TONIGHT at midnight is the deadline for preliminary organization applications. 22 preliminary organization applications have been filed.
We will be certifying Britomartis at our next meeting.
We are also working on Meet Me In Poughkeepsie.
Student registration for this will happen next week.
Applications for interested student organizations are being submitted this week.

FINANCE: We did not meet this week because of Convocation.
Because we haven’t given out money, the budgets are where they began. Contact FINANCE to find out the available statistics.
Supplemental budgeting is being done through the discretionary fund this year. It’s open to organizations that have experienced a boast in participation, if errors were made by previous presidents, or if a treasurer failed to appear at the mandatory treasurers meeting.

2015: Do you expect discretionary to go up or down?
FINANCE: It’s definitely going down. I would image it will be around $32,000.

7:34 // Special Meeting Rules…Operations
OPERATIONS: We typically use Robert’s rules to govern ourselves, and these rules are our adaptations of these rules. We are not making any changes from last year’s rules. They can be changed later if necessary.
PRESIDENT: This document is subordinate to our bylaws and constitution. This means that it’s slightly easier to use than Robert’s rules.

Motion to adopt the Special Meeting Rules (Operations made the motion)
Abstentions: 2017
All in Favor: All but 2017


7:37 // Appointment of South Commons Treasurer
OPERATIONS: No other students applied, after multiple attempts to find more candidates by the So Co President. The So Co President is in favor of this appointment. Operations Committee recommends Jennifer Barone to the position.

Motion to appoint Jennifer Barone. (Operations made the motion)
Abstentions: 2017 and South Commons
In favor: all but 2017 and South Commons


7:38 // Open Discussion
2014: A person can watch 2,011 episodes of Parks and Recreation before Commencement.
Congratulations to Strong for their victory.

PRESIDENT: Congratulations to the Class Council of 2014 for a wonderful Serenading event.

ACTIVITIES: Arlington Street Fair from 12-6 p.m. will be next Saturday. We are still looking for student performers.

OPERATIONS: This week will be the Freshman election and the debate will be Sept. 18 at 6:15. The structure and location of the event are changing this year, and everybody should come.

NOYES: Serenading wasn’t a very positive experience for my dorm, and maybe it was the same for others. While there were attempts to make this a much more positive event, it somewhat When we sang our song, the seniors told us to stop. After many were discouraged and wanted to leave. Similar things occurred for Raymond.
2014: He apologized for this happening. A member of the administration called Serenading like “herding drunk cats.” I think that this year was a good step, but I’m very sorry.
TAs: I think we should reconsider having an even that promotes drinking culture. And there wasn’t much interaction between freshman and seniors, which was a goal.
RAYMOND: I think that it put a lot of pressure on my house team.
JOSS: My main concern, was that this weekend was so busy. This made the freshman and the house team not inclined to like attending the event. Some birds were flipped at the seniors, upon the instruction of former Joss seniors, but apologies to any seniors that were offended.
STRONG: Agreed with the statements of the previous dorms, despite positive personal experiences. “I can see both sides of it.”
NOYES: Congratulations for Strong. Two suggestions: find a way to showcase upperclassman participation; I wish there was a more clear way of judging the banners and a better explanation of how a banner was designed.

FINANCE: 30 second history of serenading?
TAs: Tradition that started in the 1920s or 1930s. It happened every other week, and the campus would sing back to each other. Professors and administrators used to attend.
PRESIDENT: The attitude changed in the last 10 years. It used to be a water fight, then it was a food fight, and now we have stopped that. It used to be a much more campus-wide event.

MAIN: I want to congratulate the class of 2014 for this event. It’s hard to change the tone of an event in one year, but they made a really good start.

RAYMOND: Thanks to VSA Seniors for being great at Serenading.

TAs: I want to apologize on behalf of my class. “I apologize if anyone was offended by what happened.”

JEWETT: I think a discussion about when the event takes place on the calendar is necessary. It seemed so late on the year.

2014: Tradition is that Serenading is the Saturday after Convocation. Also, we changed it to Sunday because of Yom Kippur.

8:14 // Motion to Adjourn passes unanimously.

Write you again next week!