VSA Council Meeting Minutes: 22 Sept.

Hi guys! We are going to begin in a couple of minutes! Get excited, it’ll be a fairly long meeting!

7:00 // Call to Order….President

7:01 // Attendance….Operations
Absent: 2017 Proxy (Max Moran); Davison Proxy; Josselyn Proxy; Town Houses Proxy
At large members: representative from VC Bikes; President’s Assistants; Director of the ALANA Center

7:07 // Announcement…President
Davison House President has resigned. His position will be filled in the coming weeks.

7:07 // Consent Agenda…Council
Polo – Discretionary………………………………………………………………………..($0/$2,040)
Soundsystem – Capital…………………………………………………………..…($1,300/$1,300)
NSO – TBD….……………………………………………………………………………..($0/$951.97)
Contrast – Discretionary…………………………………………………………..($3,000/$3,500)
Bikes – Discretionary…………………………………………………………………..($100/$1,000)
2016 (Raymond) – Collaboration………………………………….……………..…($500/$600)
VACA – Social Consciousness………………………………………………………..($725/$725)
Frisbee – Discretionary…………………………………………………………….…..…($0/$3,300)
Helicon* – Conference……………………………………………………………($275.2/$275.20)
Monkeys – Capital……………………………………………………………………($2,100/$2,100)
Britomartis – Preorg…………………………………………………………………….……($0/$350)
Minutes from 9/8/13

Motion to table NSO and Polo to next week…Finance
Abstentions: none
Opposition: none
THIS MOTION PASSES

Discussion of allotment for Vassar Bikes…At large member
Motion seconded by VP for Operations

AT LARGE: The fund allotment problems happened because the previous leader failed to fill out the proper paperwork
The assistance we give is a service to campus. The nearest bike shop is 45 minutes away by a bike.
We help repare bikes.
In past years we have been allotted $600.

FINANCE: We did not want to buy parts for students that students are not paying for.
Repairing parts for free is not feasible.
The $100 allotment is to cover the upkeep of the shop and tools.
Because they failed to submit an annual budgeting application, we are making the allotment now.

2016: I would recommend resubmitting the application because this information is different from the information we received previously.
Moreover, the application was not itemized and it is necessary to

Town Students: As a representative for town students, this allotment seems very measly.

AT LARGE: We want to make sure that the bike shop has adequate tools and supplies. WE

2015: I would vote on this application as it stands, with the understanding that they can come back to apply for more funds.

MOTION TO VOTE ON $100 ALLOTMENT OR NO:

Unanimous allotment of $100.

7:18 // Meeting President’s Assistants
President’s Assistants will be keeping up with the VPs and their meetings so they can inform Cappy about progress.

TAs: What is your role as an assistant?
AT LARGE: We work on setting up spaces to meet with Cappy, holding office hours that they can then fill the President in on. We also do office work and serve as a connection between the President and students.

FINANCE: Where and when are your office hours?
AT LARGE: Friday afternoons from 1-2 p.m. in a place that has yet to be determined.

7:21 // Forum with Judy Jarvis, Director of LGBTQ Center and Women’s Center, and Luz Burgos-Lopez, Director of the ALANA Center
JARVIS: How to be trans-ally training is coming up.
RSL and LGBTQ will be collaborating on a film screening about God and sexual and gender identity.
Wednesday is the autumn reception for faculty, staff, and students.
BURGOS-LOPEZ: We are going on a retreat this weekend to Holy Cross College.
We are beginning to write a curriculum around white-allies that will be launched in the spring.
ALANA Center does a number of film screenings.
There will be a faculty meet-and-greet on Monday for people of colour.
The LGBTQ and the ALANA Centers are working on potential collaborations.
“I’m here to challenge students, all students.”

FINANCE: Tell us a little bit about yourself.What did you do before you came here?
JARVIS: I graduated from Vassar in 2007 and spent 5 years trying to be a journalist. I did worked in California with non-profit organizations. I went to graduate school and then found myself back here.
BURGOS-LOPEZ: I was very invested while I was at college, working multiple jobs and working in numerous organizations. Majored in African American Studies. After college I was a union organizer, in the health-care field, for Connecticut and Texas. I did that for a year, and then returned to graduate school while also working in higher education. At UConn I drafted a curriculum around social justice that was then adopted, and is still being used today.
JARVIS: We also love talking about career options and paths.

TAs: What are your goals personally and for your respective centers?
BURGOS-LOPEZ: Personally, making myself available and well-known on campus. Instituting a lot of workshops for when students leave Vassar. I also want to prepare students for conversations and realities beyond the Vassar bubble.
JARVIS: Personally, I want to do more investigation of my self and of my privilege. As a white female, I want to make sure that the centers that I run don’t become a white-women’s center or a white-LGBTQ center. I want Vassar wants to continue pushing ourselves and also recognize that, despite being at a seemingly progressive campus, people are not always comfortable on this campus. But I think that these conversations will also be conversations for all of the Campus Life Offices to be having.
BURGOS-LOPEZ: Also, we should continue to think about activism on this campus. Moreover, personally, thinking about ways to ensure people are willing to engage in conversation and not merely be present in conversations.
JARVIS: Jewett Communitea will happen in October (open to the whole campus) on a Wednesday and will discuss these issues.

RAYMOND: How has this campus changed?
JARVIS: I rarely had conversations about race, but I know that there were students who were having these conversations. What has stayed the same is that these conversations were being held by a particular group. I hope that the new structure of the Campus Life and Diversity Offices will improve the number of students engaging in these conversations.

SoCos: How should interested students get involved in your centers?
BURGOS-LOPEZ: I think that contacting me or Judy would be the easiest ways. Email either of us or come up to us. You can also get on a list-serve to update students on the events.

TAs: What you recommend for us, as student leaders?
JARVIS: Be intentional about where your blind-spots are. Attend an event that makes you uncomfortable and try to stretch yourselves. And let your constituents know that you are doing this
BURGOS-LOPEZ: If you are uncomfortable, bring someone with you so that way you won’t be as nervous or uncomfortable. Also, realize that you are in positions of power and with that come privilege. Also, continue thinking about the definition of ally-hood and realize that you need to act and not merely stand as a silent ally.
JARVIS: Also, please when you come to an event, don’t leave early. Even if you are uncomfortable, don’t shy away from those moments.
BURGOS-LOPEZ: Also, realize that leaving early is not an option for a number of students on this campus, so recognize that there is a privilege to be able to leave.

FINANCE: Can you explain your relationship with VSA-organizations?
JARVIS: There are leadership council groups, the Spectrum leadership group and then also SPECTRANA group. These groups meet weekly and have planning boards.
BURGOS-LOPEZ: We have bi-weeky meetings. We also use the list-serve and helping/serving as an advocate with funding.
JARVIS: We get asked to co-sponsor events, which we like, but we don’t want groups to be shunted into our location and into our funding. We want these to be on display as student events. We also want to use our money for our own professional events.

BURGOS-LOPEZ: Now I have a quiz for you.
What does ALANA stand for? –African-American/Black, Latino/a, Asian/Asian American, Native American Center
Who was the head of the ALANA Center? –Ed Pittman
What was the name of the first cultural center? — Afro-American Cultural Center
What was the original name of the ALANA Center? — The Intercultural Center
Where was the first official center housed? —Lathrop House (on the ground floor)
In 1990 the Intercultural Center was moved to which house? —Blegin House
When did the ALANA Center move to its current location? — 1993
The name was changed to the ALANA Center in what year? —1998
When were the take-overs? — There was a 1969 where they took over the telethon demanding more professors of color and more visibility on campus, another took place in 1990 and had similar demands.
BURGOS-LOPEZ: Know that historically the campus is not so far from happening again. And a take-over sounds harsh, but it’s really a way of presenting demands.

8:00 // Update about a campus event…Hannah Schenck (at large member)
Next weekend I am bringing a classism workshop to campus. The event is called “Exploring Class on Campus”
We are having two trainers come next Saturday, from New York, to do a workshop.
The model is interactive and discusses income inequality in the United States. Then participants are located on the class spectrum and then students of different class groups are asked to consider how they can be better activists.
Email Hannah Schenk to register.

8:05 // Executive Board Reports
PRESIDENT: I am helping the Seven Sisters Conference. The event will take place on Nov. 1st-3rd.
OPERATIONS: The Saturday shuttle is now running. Tasty Tuesday will be almost entirely compostable within 2 weeks, and the college will not be providing the compostable materials to venders after October break.
Also we will host a General Interest Meeting for the VSA Review Board at 9 p.m. this Thursday.

TOWN HOUSES: People are already really excited about Tasty Tuesdays.

2016: Is it normal for most vendors not having V-Cash machines?

OPERATIONS: This week a bunch of phone jacks were broken so we could only have 2 V-Cash machines instead of the normal 7.

8:11 // Declaration of Open Positions
One of the 2014 Jud reps resigned. The timeline: open for applications until next Monday at noon. Interviews will be later that week. Appointment to be made on Sunday October 6.

PRESIDENT: We now need to discuss how to fill the Davison house president position. Motions can be made to be done via special election or by appointment.

OPERATIONS: There are some people within Operations who do believe that special elections are the way to go. But there is a mixture of both.

DAVISON PROXY: Having met with VP for Davison, he would like the opportunity to test out the waters and see if he could fill the position. This has also been discussed with the HA for Davison. Also, now the sophomore rep will serve as Vice President. If anything, there would be a vacancy in the Sophomore rep.

2014: I don’t think that what Davison proxy explained is possible. Also, could you discuss the timelines of both because I have the feeling special elections takes a long time.

OPERATIONS: We would have a condensed filing/campaigning period.

2016: I understand the validity of having the VP serve as president because he has already been through house team training, but I’m in favor of a special election. I am a supporter of special elections. But I think that the most important thing is that Davison is happy with what is happening.

RAYMOND: We do need to look at how we do elections and appointments. However it should be up to Davison House team.

MOTION TO TABLE THIS TO DAVISON HOUSE TEAM:

2015: While I agree with the validity of the training aspect, but I think that asking the group to pick seems sketchy.

MOTION TO TABLE TO DAVISON:
Opposed: Strong, Operations, 2015

THIS MOTION PASSES.

2015: There are major ramifications for this election. There are still questions regarding if 2017 can vote in this election or not. We also cannot treat them as an organization because the decision changes our council.

2014: I am very uncomfortable with the idea that 2017 would not be able to elect their president. Now that they are here, they should be able to give input.

OPERATIONS: We will be discussing this in Operations on Monday. We are seeing the need to create a sustainable way to fix this problem. (operations is an open committee meeting)

8:37 // Discussion of the 9/18 Minutes
RAYMOND: We name-dropped a lot of administrators and maybe we should discuss publishing these minutes.
OPERATIONS: I don’t want to hide it. Maybe we should just be more conscious of what we say in meetings.
RAYMOND: I was just trying to illicit that response.
STRONG: It’s ok to critique people, but we also should not try to hide what we say.
ACADEMIC: While I agree on what STRONG said, but we should also make sure that it’s put across in a constructive way because some of the administrators are also house advisors. Also some of the representatives here will have to face these administrators.

MOTION TO ADJURN: turned down by the President

ACTIVITIES: The deadlines has been extended until tomorrow at noon.

FINANCE: There is a lot of money so organizations should apply.

MAIN: Are pre-orgs able to apply for funds for Meet Me In Poughkeepsie?

FINANCE: No they can’t because we are trying to limit the VSA’s financial liability so they don’t have access to these funds.

MOTION TO ADJURN: UNANIMOUS!

END OF MEETING!!