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  • Chris Gonzalez 12:04 am on February 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council Meeting—23 February 2014 

    Hey, everyone, we’re off to a late start today, but things should get going shortly. In the meantime, hope everyone’s Sunday is going well and that the Blackout didn’t ruin your Saturdays.

    7:05 // Call to Order
    Attendance ……………Operations
    Proxies: Davison, Jewett.

    7:07 //
    Consent Agenda

    a. Business Club (Disc).………………..;………………………………………….($90/

    b. Slow Foods

    c. Misc (Capital)…………..…………………………………………..($114.3/$114.3)

    d. Operation Donation (Collab)..……………..…………….….…………($650/

    e. VCTV (Disc; Capital)………………………………($600/$600; $3359.04/

    f. VARC (Speakers)

    g. Minutes from 2/16/14

    CONSENT AGENDA PASSES.

    7:08 // Forum on IME ….Professor Rebecca Edwards

    EDWARDS: I’m the chair of the committee, which is a sub committee of the committee on curricular policy. We’re exploring the possibility of introducing a requirement for an intensive mentored exploration. This would be in effect for the Class of 2019 or 2020. We can’t surprise current students. We would be thinking about this for a while; students might see more opportunities for intensive mentored work. And right now we’re looking for student feedback about pros and cons of such work, what challenges would we face. You might have heard of this before as a capstone initiative, and that means lots of things. At a big research university this would be something much different, so the word doesn’t fit what we’re thinking of; we’re looking at national studies and different practices and benefits. This would lead to an increased self confidence, skills in research and time management, enhanced capacity to think creatively and critically, improve oral skills—all these have been reported from studies, something to talk about with employers, something seniors have done becomes a centerpiece for their job search, and shows what they can do.

    (Issues with the powerpoint presentation arise)

    There are certain aspects that seem to contribute to these results: sustained contact with faculty, carving out your own topic in some fields, also increased engagement and intellectually capacity to demonstrate knowledge; aspects that support these results are structured revisions, engagement with diverse perspectives, frequent feedback, opportunities for real-world application and public presentation. The percentage of the Class of 2013 who pursue independent projects vary among ethnicities, 75% white students choose to do a senior project, there is a much smaller pool of African American, Asian American and Hispanic students—is this work getting to all the students? More men than women choose to do a project, too. We’re not seeking to add more to your full academic year but rather to reorient the senior year so everyone gets the opportunity. This would be 1 unit throughout senior year, and advising could take place between several departments though most would be through the major or .5 unit plus—such as JYA plus to reflect on cross-cultural experience, URSI plus using URSI project as jumping off point. There are more possibilities than we have currently. There is 4-5 year implementation period, now we’re try to develop and regularize IME offerings. We want to set up a campus-wide advisee assignment system so that by the end of junior year students would indicate areas in which they want to work so that multi-disciplinary departments would be on equal field. Faculty would begin banking faculty workload points which would contribute to teaching load so that it is recognized and assessed as part of teaching load. We want to plan for impact and identity funds and resources to support initiative-address impact on curriculum. This needs to be a collective development; we talked with the VSA academic affairs, and we’re planning on reaching out to majors committee. We would like to do questions and answers and also work in small groups so that we can hear from everyone. I brought sheets to give feedback and put in ideas, we’re trying to envision thinking more broadly about what kinds of intensive mentored work can be done such as field work with an added academic aspect. What needs to be done to make it work well? You’re in a good position to tell us how Vassar is or isn’t ready to implement this. What do we have? What don’t we have?

    PRESIDENT: You mentioned you need fundraising. I’m concerned because if there are already courses that are hard to get into, would the money go to getting more faculty?

    EDWARDS: One of the needs but not the only, we have a long list—staffing would have to be a piece of it, we’ve been soliciting input from departments and where it’s the most crunched, that’s where we’re looking at resources that could be put, some departments are receptive to the idea but are too crunched to do it.

    AT LARGE—MICHAEL NORTON ’14: My thought is that the methodology seems preemptive, does this consider barriers to academic areas that exist already? Inaccessibility is already established, but it seems a little late to consider this. I would like to see statistics across socio-economic divisions.

    EDWARDS: We want it too but we don’t have it. We want to adopt this as scaffolding, how does one prepare from the moment you arrive at Vassar? That’s why we’re looking at distribution requirements and the freshman writing seminar; this is an opening point because we as faculty haven’t had this discussion in a while, we don’t have any requirements beyond freshman year and the language and quantitative requirements, so this is coming at things from a different angle to help us think about how to go on from there.

    AT LARGE—JOSHUA SHERMAN ‘116: I have a question about accessibility, how is this concerning resources for grants that already exist and students who aren’t looking ahead?

    EDWARDS: Ideally students ought to be having mentored experiences sooner, like if you do work in biology there are things you should be doing early so we want to do this as well.

    2017: Are these classes geared to specific research or are they independent projects?

    EDWARDS: We don’t envision this as a classroom experience, but there are borderlines such as seminars that involve not meeting weekly but to work on paper and then do mini conference,so something like that we might want to strengthen it, some are more collaborative and some are more free-standing. Some involve summer research, but it depends on departments and programs and the major.

    2017: On average how many students would be assigned to faculty?

    EDWARDS: We would cap it at 6 points worth, there would be few exceptions, there may be lab contraints.

    RONSHEIM: We don’t know how diverse this would be, so we’re trying to get ideas of what you want, can’t do staffing until we get student perspectives; this is the beginning of a long conversation.

    7:31 // Council and At Large break up into smaller groups to discuss

    7:36 // Discussions end.

    PRESIDENT: Let’s go around, and everyone can say one thing they came up with in any one of the categories.

    FERRY: How does this affect Admissions?

    JEWETT: How would they be graded?

    TAs: Can we ask you how you grade thesis?

    EDWARDS: As you would expect, practices vary around campus. Sometimes they are graded, and sometimes not. Admissions feels it’s a positive thing.

    SOCOs: We were concerned how it would affect course availability. In some departments it’s already a struggle, so if faculty were hired we’d want to make sure departments that were understaffed would also be staffed.

    THs: If this increased accessibility, for low socioeconomic groups might be a good trade off for less classes.

    CUSHING: We were thinking of creative forms this could take—poetry or musical performances.

    EDWARDS: We’re talking about senior recitals for credit.

    FINANCE: We’re not all academics, and this is isolating and would further isolate those not interested.

    ACTIVITIES: Conforms to competitive ideals of thesis.

    PRESIDENT: Could you work in extra curricular activities like the Misc, i’m also concerned with data on different genders and races: does that break down by majors?

    EDWARDS: It’s hard to get at, but it varies a lot. I think 9 majors require it, some allow it for honors, which would not be our intent. It would need to be available for everyone.

    OPERATIONS: This could be a benefit. Students have another opportunity to form strong bonds with faculty and have a mentoring relationship for academics and professional stuff.

    STUDENT LIFE: Media is another form, curricular development for high schools and middle schools. Also, the curriculum at Vassar is very theory based, an this would be a great way to teach how to apply theory that you learn. It could affect job offers later, so this could be applying liberal arts education to the real world.

    ACADEMICS: I’ve talked to some majors committees, people wondered how it works to do it outside their major area, if departments offer it as way to get honors would they have to do something new to get honors.

    EDWARDS: Doing a senior project could no longer be criteria for honors, and it can be done to change but requires a lot of thinking.

    MAIN: Because this seems constructed between student and faculty how could things outside research be translated to IME.

    TOWN STUDENTS: On the one hand this is a great opportunity for collaboration, but I’m worried that it might be suffocating academic freedom.

    EDWARDS: There are colleges with intensive capstone and we didn’t want to go that way, this would most liley be cumulative work done senior year. It’s great to last as long as possible but also able to change throughout student’s career.

    NORTON: Do you have data on student body who have done ford or creative projects or other stuff that would be classified as IME, are we not just naming something that already happens and thus putting a drain on faculty? It seems weird to tax faculty and tax students.

    EDWARDS: Write us if more ideas come up, ideas would be extremely helpful,

    RONSHEIM: Any and all ideas are welcome.

    7:47 // Forum on Student Gift …..Student Gift Chairs (Michael Renner and Jessica Tarantine)

    RENNER: What the gift is: it’s a one time gift to student body that does not require funds from operating budget. The point is to be student led philanthropy, giving back to student body itself, and it’s much more about participation rather than physical gain. The goal is to get as much participation as possible rather than a certain amount of money; the gift is important because even students paying full are subsidized. Money is always taken from past and current gifts. It’s important for students to understand the process, important for alums to get behind student gift, and it can change what is happening on campus. We hope to show what students are interested in.

    TARANTINE: This year the gift is the internship grant fund that provides financial assistance to students in low- or un-paid internships. It helps to leverage the liberal arts degree so they can get employment after Vassar. This keeps with Vassar’s goals of accessibility. Normally each year $20-40,000 is given each year by CDO but half of students who apply get money. And this year it will be open to graduating seniors, so they can apply for internships, too.

    RENNER: We’re hoping that you see a gift that’s different from years past; we think the gift needs an overhaul in terms of advertising and branding—usually they send an appeals letter which is flat, so in the next few weeks expect postcards which will be fun thing to stick on the wall. We’re moving to a crowd funding site to keep track of gifts given, and we can connect to social media. We’re hoping for renewed social media presence. The more students see the gift they’ll be more inspired to give. We’re still doing the student-faculty basketball game in late march. There are surprises ahead, we’ll going door to door, and we hope giving will be much easier. Students can input credit card info on ipads, and we’re not accepting change this year because it’s hard to deal with these gifts on the backend. We’re asking for $1 min in bill form which we hope will not be a deterrent.

    TARANTINE: We would like you to be good student ambassadors for it, since it’s given by entire student body so please give. It doesn’t matter how much. Post on the Facebook wall after you give. This year we have new challenges—normally there is an alum donation, and this year we have 4, one 10,000, one 2500, one 1000, one 5000. The class that has highest participation, 10,000 will be credited to the class. Now it’s an all student gift so we can tabulate how much is given at each year, we have dorm challenges, we would love if you let constituencies that we’ll be coming door to door, let people know about it, we think it’s an important cause.

    OPERATIONS: I want to thank Renner for feeding Valerie (the VSA fish) over Thanksgiving break. She did not die.

    MAIN: How much did you fundraise in the past?

    RENNER: We’re not setting a monetary goal—senior year will traditionally give most, participation for each class will be different, sophomores will give less. Alumnae/i donations are concrete and it’s more of an embarrassment if you don’t reach the goal. We have to speak at commencement and it reflects poorly on the student body when they don’t give.

    TARANTINE: They usually give about $10,000 a year.

    RAYMOND: Do you have study breaks?

    TARANTINE: Yes, we do.

    RENNER: We’re open to any orgs who want us to explain the gift to students and provide food; we gave blurb for indecent exposure, we’re doing the limit show, we’re trying to integrate into everything that happens on campus.

    2015: It might be worth noting that not everyone can give, so keep that in mind.

    RENNER: That’s why our goals are not monetary because we know some students can’t give much, or at all, and that is understandable. Maybe some students can give small amount. Instead of buying a coke that day, give to the gift.

    2015: I need my caffeine.

    JEWETT: Maybe there can be a student gift dinner or talent show where students perform and students can give right after.

    RENNER: That’s what the student faculty game has been because ticket sales go right to contribution. We’re exploring new ideas. We are working with the Development Office to get a better gift moving forward.

    SHERMAN: The goal is participation, so have you looked into ways that people can give time or 5k’s?

    TARANTINE: In terms of volunteering, we would welcome going door to door or tabling.

    RENNER: We appreciate ideas but the unfortunate reality is that a gift to the college is almost always monetary, which is going to follow you after you graduate. The student gift is preparing students to being a part of that philanthropy. We want to educate students to be critical of why they’re giving.

    PRESIDENT: Nobody will hold you accountable if you are unable to give to the student gift. You can still post on Facebook, call it ‘slacktivism’ if you want, but it does make a difference.

    RENNER: If you haven’t received money from IGF you probably know someone who has, it’s important that the gift can be bigger to help people.

    SoCos: Be aware of crowdfunding because some display how much you give, and considering the discussion of sensitivity make sure there’s no pressure.

    RENNER: Our pages show how much you give but that will be taken down probably.

    MAIN: Is it inappropriate for orgs to contribute?

    FINANCE: Yes.

    TAs: Can you explain how financial aid is factored into the Internship Grant Fund?

    RENNER: When you apply to the IGF, you release financial aid records. The fund is need based, and once that need is fulfilled they will continue funding students who don’t demonstrate need. Rules with endowment in terms of percentage given each year.

    8:10 // Executive Board Reports …..PRESIDENT

    PRESIDENT: Late Night at the Deece has been a thing; it’s in its 3rd weekend. Please send feedback, the only complaint is that people want to use meal swipes which we can institute when it’s not in trial period. I’m on the Committee for Search Admissions and Financial Aid, and that just started up. I’ve gotten concerns about how slippery it is—I’m on it—we’ve talked to Bob (Walton) and there is a limit on unions. We’re looking at getting shovels to students and making sidewalks a priority. Cappy and Bob have responded to student labor dialogue; we’re trying to make open dialogue a continual thing. The goal is to have the bookstore moved out over the summer and moved into Juliet’s with the Apple Store and a burger place—it’s a public space to have meeting, bookstore will be run by independent co-op. It might make for cheaper textbooks. We’re looking at better utilizing the College Center—student space is a priority. The board meeting this weekend, next Sunday Eve Dunbar will come in to talk about campus climate. The Campaign—the school asks alumnae/i for money in conjunction with Mind the Gap Day; it’s a 30-hour challenge to get 500 people to participate, we got 1200 and raised $150,000, want us to encourage us to do small participation throughout the year.

    I had a really great dialogue with Stacy from the CDO. Anytime you meet an alum, ask if they’re hiring because sometimes they are.

    2015: If we could go to the bathroom on the first floor, so much more convenient because three flights of stairs isn’t worth it.

    AT LARGE: Could you expand on how the textbooks would be cheaper?

    PRESIDENT: Barnes and Noble can do stuff as a company and the plan is to get rid of Barnes and Noble.

    2016: Did you find out if the two people hired for Metcalf are new or are they replacing two people?

    PRESIDENT: They are essentially replacing two people.

    2016: So nothing’s changing.

    PRESIDENT: Not yet, but that doesn’t mean they won’t.

    FINANCE: They are looking into what is the role of the Bookstore. Make it about what students need.

    SOCOS: One concern is that if we lose Barnes and Noble we will lose the online function where you can find all your textbooks.

    ACADEMICS: The bookstore would be more like a place to find cheaper books, and it might be able to keep that technology since it’s on Vassar’s server.

    RAYMOND: Will the bookstore take Vcash?

    PRESIDENT: Probably.

    DAVISON: Will they reinstate using student accounts to pay for books?

    PRESIDENT: It wasn’t mentioned, but I will bring it up.

    8:22 // Executive Board reports…. OPERATIONS

    OPERATIONS: The amendment about restructuring has been source of conversation; last week we talked in various committees (Board of Elections, Activities, Operations), talk to Activities, Raymond, and Cushing and Student Life. We’ve reached a Tasty Tuesday solution. Hills and Marks that provides compostable containers will offer bulk at 10% discount to all Tasty Tuesday vendors. Some are more optimistic than others, and it will be written into the contract next year. Once we do this we can set up compost bins around College Center to eliminate contamination. We’re making bulletin boards downstairs more useful with all contact info for contact info and advertisements/posters. We’re talking about the information campaign—co-opt another area to put up folders with info, and ideas about resources that should be made accessible should be mentioned with a sheet of facts and numbers. Also, Facebook and Twitter should become more active in the future.

    AT LARGE: Will there be more vegan vendors?

    OPERATIONS: There’s a woman from a vegan restaurant who’s interested, and if she gets her paper work in she should be there next Tuesday.

    8:26 // Motion to take 5 minute break

    MOTION PASSES.

    8:34 // Council Reconvenes

    OPERATIONS: I’ve been working with Evan Seltzer ’14 to change the definition of academic misconduct and plagiarism; there is reason to what is a little wrong from what is very wrong, and the judicial board can’t punish people for something that is small. This will be voted on next week then passed on to Joanne Long. Example: People working together on homework when they shouldn’t is not considered plagiarism, but they did something that is academically dishonest, so they should be punished.

    AT LARGE—CHRIS BROWN ’16: Speaking as a Jud. Board rep, the definition is broad and there is chronological list of punishments, we were trying to come up with more fluid form of punishment to be more fair.

    2015: It has something to do with derogatory marks on transcripts, why does DB oppose it?

    JEWETT: Isn’t doing group work still cheating?

    ACADEMICS: What is the faculty viewpoint on this?

    OPERATIONS: At this point it’s Jud. Board proposed, and supported by their advisor, Kelly Grab and DB Brown.

    8:39 // Preliminary Org Budget Amendment ….Activities

    ACTIVITIES: Currently, no preorgs should have budget numbers, some preorgs that need numbers to put money into account or have money from an outside source; amendment says it’s at the discretion of Finance.

    JEWETT: So they get a budget number?

    PRESIDENT: It’s at the discretion of finance to decide rather than assuming they cannot.

    FINANCE: Some orgs revolve around raising money so we might as well put it with VSA, doesn’t change how much they get.

    MOTION PASSES.

    8:42 // Board of Elections and Appointments Amendment ….Operations

    PRESIDENT: Operations is gone, would anyone like to speak to the Board of Elections and Appointments Amendment?

    CUSHING: We spend a lot of time doing appointments and it’s a drain on energy and time. It would be reasonable for the Board of Elections to do it, it gives the responsibility to them.

    2016: Restructure board to include more reps from at large student body and members of council, similar to judicial board. Oustide people appoint vacant positions, if position that’s vacant is member of house team is not great rep the two people will be house president. If the person is class rep it will be class rep and president, if other like VP, secretary other House Team stuff it will be two House Team presidents.

    TA’s: The problem with ranking positions by important—it’s publicly ostracizing, like an amendment that didn’t pass.

    PRESIDENT: We can change that part in Operations committee.

    FINANCE: Did Ops discuss using consent agenda to approve appointments so as not to vote on every single appointment?

    2016: We talked bout how it would be approved, some opposed to consent agenda because people would not be treated as points, I advocated for it not to come to council at all, it should be separate, not a consensus in the committee.

    AT LARGE: We went back and forth between whether it should be interviews or coming to council at all.

    2014: Now that we’re expanding Board of Elections possibly, members who served could not in future elections.

    NOYES: How does this work for TAs?

    OPERATIONS: Two senior housing presidents.

    RAYMOND: We talked about how council has appeal for who is or isn’t appointed, gives more of a say to Ops.

    PRESIDENT: Ops will review and we can vote next week.

    8:48 // Vacant Positions Amendment ….Operations

    NICHOLS: Purpose is due to a strict reading of constitution because we don’t have the power to replace people who have resigned or left, it only deals with positions that were never filled. This expands on circumstances in which vacancies actually occur, must be declared and publicized as vacant, if the Board appointment does not agree on a candidate and House Team or Class council is fine. The Board can close the position until next election, VP executes position but only the duties until appointment.

    FINANCE: If we can’t fill position should we talk about why it exists?

    OPERATIONS: We say that positions can be not filled if we’re having trouble, but there aren’t many positions that don’t get filled ever, if there are positions consistently unfilled that’s a problem.

    PRESIDENT: We will vote next week.

    8:53 // Joint Committees Amendment …..Operations

    RAYMOND: Not finished, haven’t talked in Ops, but the purpose is to make joint-committee reps more accountable, stipulate that joint-committee reps will sit on appropriate standing VSA committees to give us better understanding of what they do.

    OPERATIONS: CLRG is open to all students.

    2016: Sort of did this is class council, ask each grade rep to sit on class council.

    STUDENT LIFE: I fear too much influence of VP.

    PRESIDENT: Better that it’s vague, allows for more delegation.

    OPERATIONS: Grading reps is a good idea, would be good to work it in and make it official.

    TAs: Do all these members hinder its efficiency?

    OPERATIONS: Makes it more open for members, can come when they want to.

    PRESIDENT: They could sit on a sub-committee.

    RAYMOND: All of joint-committees fall under ops so this spreads them out.

    PRESIDENT: We’ll vote on it next week.

    8:58 // Resolution on VSA Restructuring ….Operations

    OPERATIONS: This would be a good time to revisit the conversation, I can give logistical answers.

    TA’s: Which committees are you supposed to sit on, does there need to be complete revision?

    FINANCE: I can send proxy to SARC

    Activities: Campus Activities and SARC

    PRESIDENT: Student rep to Board of Trustees, finance and planning.

    OPERATIONS: Alum Directors, finance and planning.

    STUDENT LIFE: CCL, DEC (drug education), SAVP (sexual assault prevention), CIE (inclusion and excellence), BIRT, Orientation; also ALANA Center and LGBTQ.

    PRESIDENT: A lot is just that we have VSA reps, just has to be a student to make sure someone does,

    ACADEMICS: Curricular policy, capstone committee, library com, CCP, grade inflation.

    PRESIDENT: We have admin reps to talk and also talk as an exec board, don’t have to be done we just can’t delegate.

    2015: I’m not sure it’s possible to get this through before elections, what’s still on the table.

    OPERATIONS: A referendum before spring elections isn’t possible, because we need signed petition with 330 signatures of language that will be voted on, then submitted to BoE, that goes to CIS who would like a 2 week window to set up elections. This would put pressure on them. We wouldn’t be able to do a referendum until spring break and we wouldn’t have results until elections. The alternative is that we could support as council and vote on it as amendment, voted on at any time; there have been suggestions about how it can be adopted, there is period of both old and new council with joint meeting to pass annual budgeting; we can also vote on changes then which would allow new council to vote at that time rather than us giving it to them;new positions for fall or spring elections, fall exclude freshmen, job description changed very late.

    CUSHING: We’ve had lots of conversations and the consensus is that it’s not possible to do referendum, it is an internal change which affects VSA, student forums we got some feedback, most are in favor, if no referendum there are other ways to gauge student interest—more forums, do through houses, send survey, would like to consider this feasible, could make things a lot easier.

    RAYMOND: Are people confortable with a poll for constituencies? We talked in Student Life about calling it college resources not just campus, might be hard for college resources to find its identity, make it a committee with two chairs, which could meet jointly at discretion of VPs, changed wording for VP so as to not exclude straight white males, to quote 2015.

    JEWETT: When are elections over?

    PRESIDENT: April 16 will be the end

    JEWETT: What does CIS have to do?

    Ops: CIS puts in names of candidates and determine which elections are occuring and making constiuencies able to vote so that everyone has access to correct elections

    PRESIDENT: We have all the positions available before spring break.

    OPERATIONS: We have to pass this amendment this week. We intend to vote tomorrow night.

    JEWETT: Can I call it into question to vote on it tonight?

    PRESIDENT: Yes you can.

    CUSHING: We want to vote next week is that ok?

    PRESIDENT: yes especially with proxies.

    OPERATIONS: We could vote next week.

    2016: I would like to commend efforts of those who worked on it. I think our VSA structure is top heavy and work is not done by y=us. We are supposed to do work on our own that we are not a part of especially with student governance. For example Danny’s workload seems absurd, as does Stephanie’s. But by making 2 more VP’s we’re splitting work among VP’s rather than bringing the work to us. Consider using a senate structure before moving forward. It is really an internal change and we are most knowledgable about it, but this needs to be brought to the students. I feel strongly that we need a referendum. If 15% VSA objects, which is 120 people, it has to go to referendum. I feel more students would want to be involved with making structural changes. It’s outside of our authority to make these changes. If students won’t respond to a referendum we are failing in our positions. i admire hard work and the urgency of it. It needs to be done in the appropriate way. There are over 2000 students at this school and we need to give them the chance.

    AT LARGE: Who is this for? It seems to be motivated by internal desire rather than external motivator. Uses rather vague language that privileges people worth access to these positions. Given the last of institutional memory in VSA at large and diluting spaces in which these discussions occur I feel as an outsider that this seems ti be reating more beuracracy.

    PRESIDENT: Motion to extend 20 minutes.

    Jewett, Ferry, Finance 2017 oppose, motion passes.

    PRESIDENT: I usually don’t take an opinion, I apologize if I offend anyone. I’m glad you’ve reached out to some people, but I don’t think this is universally supported. I looked through Misc archives to see that since 1979 we have discussed restructuring. Current structure is 7 years old, Student Life position was added at that time. Problem with institutional memory is that nobody does the research to see what has been done before, but we as a council should be delegating more. These committees can be effective when we try. We could support those groups rather than doing the same thing differently. People are listening to us, based on the amendments we have made, such as NY Times and gender neutral bathrooms. This takes time, nothing is immediate. We have to step up; adding new positions will create more of a divide between those who want to make changes and those who haven’t voiced their opinions. You can write your own letter. Brainstorm other committees. Adding new positions will not make this better on its own. Ask each committee to reflect at the end of the year. VSA is inaccessible because we are not reaching out. If you’re upset put the blame on me and this group. We have wasted 30 years when we could have been working on tougher issues. Reflect on your own actions before adding new positions.

    NOYES: Can we vote for parts of this separately?

    OPERATIONS: You would have to make 2 separate amendments.

    TOWN HOUSES: As much as we want student opinions, students don’t care.

    AT LARGE: As someone who doesn’t care, the VSA seems inaccessible because of issues of transparency which cannot be solved by creating new positions with jargon and vague language. I don’t have the answers but from outsider perspective all you do is talk about yourselves. It feels like you don’t care about what students want. It comes from introspection, the internal and external dialogues need to happen. This isn’t what I need to access you.

    CUSHING: Thank you for your input, this is the conversation I’ve wanted to have since training. Finally something I said has been heard even if this legislation is just an idea. I want to continue to talk about this.

    STUDENT LIFE: Glad to be having this conversation. I’m glad you’re here as an at large member because I understand the lack of student caring, which should be conveyed. SO few students have voiced this, because we hear ourselves talk all the time. My position is to serve as diversity why have so few white men served in my position? I’m concerned about this in the future. I feel uncomfortable for the future.

    2017: Looking forward what steps are we taking to fix the workload if we’re not going with this?

    PRESIDENT: There are certain committees that make sense to have VP’s sit on, as long as you’re reporting back it doesn’t have to be the VP. Each committee should talk about what they do because an amendment doesn’t make the successor do it.

    2015: VP’s don’t have to do all the work, they should give the work to others. I call this into question.

    PRESIDENT: We are voting to vote on the amendment.

    2015 jewett Main 2017 TH Ferry vote to vote on it. Motion fails.

    OPERATIONS: We need to stop writing documents, we need to reach out to constituents. Student government isn’t supposed to just talk to itself, we’ve lost sight of what it is that we do. It’s something that we can all do because we talk to people on a daily basis.

    2016: Move to table this amendment.

    NOYES: Can we divide this before?

    PRESIDENT: Operations can divide this in their meeting.

    2015 and Noyes oppose, the motion passes.

    9:39//Resolution on restructuring

    RAYMOND: I motion to move this to next week to work on it more.

    2015: We should have voted on the amendment and talked about the resolution more.

    OPERATIONS: At no point does tabling mean we have to vote on it. We just seem to have killed it. This resolution is us talking about ourselves but then not.

    FINANCE: I just never want to see it again.

    Motion to table: 2015 opposes, the motion passes.

    9:41//Open discussion

    2014: It took me 17 minutes to eat a pizza I could have 7766 pizzas before graduation.

    ACADEMICS: Thanks to TA’s for being a great rep on IME committee. Please encourage people to apply for student seminars.

    JEWETT: Last week we talked about moving our location, what happened?

    PRESIDENT: We’re doing it in UpC next week.

    FINANCE: We are missing Mac chargers.

    2017: All College Day went well.

    2016: Sorry Jewett that your event didin’t happen, it should be paid for by VSA in the future. We spent too much time looking in ourselves but I still commend the people who have tried to restructure because if the system is broken we need to look how to be more efficient. I would triple the staff at Metcalf if I were President of Vassar for a day. I’m meeting with Cappy to press that issue. We don’t need to just sit in this council, we can talk to administrators.

    TOWNHOUSES: The dialogue from the outside needs to keep happening.

    OPERATIONS: A lot of external stuff is for every VP, please come to Operations because this is our responsibility.

     
  • Chris Gonzalez 12:01 am on February 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council Meeting—16 February 2014 

    Happy Sunday, everyone. We should be starting in a bit. The Council members are still getting situated.

    7:02// Call to Order
    Attendance ……………PRESIDENT

    Absences: OPERATIONS, TOWN STUDENTS; Proxies: NOYES, JEWETT.

    7:06 // Consent Agenda

    1. ASA – Discretionary….. $400
    2. Minutes from 2/9/14

    CONSENT AGENDA PASSES.

    7:09 // Forum with Ed Pittman, Director of Campus Life and Diversity

    PITTMAN: First I’d like to say thank you for inviting me tonight, and thank you for co=sponsoring Janet Mock for All College Day. I coordinate with the Vassar first-year program. I try to bring sense of community and bring diverse perspectives. I also help with spring orientation, work with other offices to do the first-year program, collaborative initiative. The office I oversee is the ALANA center and international services and LGBTQ and Women’s center, Religious and Spiritual Life: these four areas encompass a range of diversity and inclusion that affects all students on campus, not just those communities but what we do to bring others to see that community and be part of discussion, encourage discussion to have a more inclusive campus. Our work is never done because new students are coming each year and we want to have a campus where every student feels affirmed and like they have a say. A lot of the work comes from crises and our responses. I am coordinator of the crisis response team; VP of Student Life sits on that group when meeting is required—only when seen as a threat to individual or campus. Example: All College Day as sustained initiative that came from students after racial incident in 2000 using n-word at comedy sketch. Students wanted to sustain conversation not just respond to events of January 2001 with committee to bring together campus not solely when incident happens. We plan 4-5 conversation dinners each year around topic generated by students and faculty. All College Day has history, so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. It’s not reactionary, throughout the year we plan dialogues. Alejandro McGee ’16 is out intern and works to include students voices; student energy is so crucial to that dialogue and we want to build that more, and we hope All College Day gives us the impetus to do that. Sessions beginning at 1 and closing dialogue in College Center, how does that dialogue touch upon all students at Vassar? Sometimes people think that when you’re white and straight diversity doesn’t fit into that discussion, and our goal is to make sure everyone on campus sees it and talks about it. We talk a lot about intersectionality, not just working on one community but seeing where they intersect.

    STUDENT LIFE: The last event of All College Day is the informational Gender Neutral Bathroom forum in Rocky 300 at 5:30 p.m. I just want to say that I’m not an expert on trans politics, but I’m here to get info out and represent the VSA. I just wanted to acknowledge my privilege on speaking about this as a cisgender male.

    TAs: Are there talks about having a Students’ Class Issue Center?

    PITTMAN: I’m not aware of any specific ideas. The Students’ Class Alliance has talked to some admins. Transitions works with race but I’m not aware of any specific proposal.

    PRESIDENT: I was wondering if you could speak to the other successful things you’ve seen students do in response to bias incidents? Anything we can do better?

    PITTMAN: I think the active student voice ready to take ownership on campus climate is good—any time students come together with one voice and collaborate with administration is good; challenge each other not just from students, because biases can happen from off campus. But the voice of students is critical in how we respond, students rep is good; we talk a lot about education on campus, but it has to be intentional, either through organizations or houses or classes that contribute to dialogue.

    PRESIDENT: Can you give us an update on the status of the Privilege Campaign started last semester?

    PITTMAN: We are going to do lots of planning this semester and launch it in the fall. We talked to Luis Inoa and wanted to take time to plan it and connect it to other projects like the new student orientation, social justice dialogues and spring orientation; we want to look at connected pieces.

    SOCOs: Is this the first year that BIRT has been around in the form that it’s in?

    PITTMAN: No, this year we wanted to make it visible. It has been there for 5 years, and we’re looking at how it functions. Visibility is important, and we want to look at how to make the website interactive.

    RAYMOND: Is the Dialogue Center out of your office?

    PITTMAN: No, it’s out of the Education Office/Department, like pedagogy of difference classes, comes out of that: we have the social justice inclusion fund thanks to the Westboro event, funded dialogue center to get space in Jewett, it’s one more vehicle through which dialogue takes place. Now there are multiple venues which is great, it needs to happen in more spaces. Hope you all come to All College Day.

    7:24 // Activities Report

    ACTIVITIES: We had the activities fair yesterday and it was successful: 100 orgs were there. Two weeks ago the leadership conference was fairly successful. 400 orgs there including preorgs, overall this semester 12 preliminary orgs approved. Founder’s day co-chairs have been selected. If you are interested please contact us. TGIV (Thank Goodness It’s Vassar) is coming up, if you or your org would be interested email me your org concerns and statements ahead of time.

    2017: I went to ALANA center leadership conference and some orgs said they weren’t invited.

    ACTIVITIES: Not true. Any org under the ALANA center has a contact, and they were sent an email.

    7:27 // Finance Reports

    FINANCE: We’ve busy this week, next week will suck. We’re working on annual budgeting timeline, plant the seed in people’s minds; working on structure, now working on language. It’s similar to last year’s, come to me with questions; fund levels are more or less the same as ast time we talked about them, but the bylaws tell us what to do with etra funds and now we have $3500 extra. Bring your applications to us: Finance Committee is DTF (Down to Fund).

    7:28 // Approval of Pre-Organizations….. Activities

    ACTIVITIES: 2 preliminary orgs; students for space and escalating registers, feel comfortable with 2.

    FINANCE: Preliminaries must apply for $100 first semester and $300 second semester.

    PASSES UNANIMOUSLY.

    7:30 // Amendements

    PRESIDENT: look at 28-8 amendment it was presented last week.

    STUDENT LIFE: The wording just moves from house officers can’t and now it’s Res Life positions, so only officers can’t run.

    RAYMOND: We talked to Luis Inoa and he is good with it.

    MAIN: You can’t be on class council and run?

    2015: To clarify, it’s more that you can’t be a student fellow and hold an elected position.

    STRONG: How does this affect people running while holding a ResLife position?

    STUDENT LIFE: I was able to hold position until elected, but this means that I would have had to resign before I could have run which is an incentive not to run.

    2016: Did they discuss this amongst res life people, because student fellows are on class council, was that brought up?

    RAYMOND: I talked to my house advisor and she was in favor but I don’t know if it has been brought up to others

    2014: From an elections perspective: we can decide who’s eligible and if Luis Inoa says it’s fine, I’m satisfied. What happens now currently?

    Ray: we can’t retroactively do anything, we could edit it to be before spring elections.

    Strong: Can you elaborate on why you’re bringing up this amendment now?

    RAYMOND: The special elections policies weren’t clear.

    PRESIDENT: In the case where they are committed, is there a concern?

    RAYMOND: We just don’t want the same people being elected to positions.

    FINANCE: If someone is appointed to class council, that’s OK?

    RAYMOND: Specifically VSA positions, no, should be OK.

    FINANCE: Is appointed the same as elected?

    PRESIDENT: It’s still an elected position?

    2016: I don’t think we should vote on this because we need more discussion, because we shouldn’t be limiting who should run for what if there’s no conflict of interest; we shouldn’t say people can’t, it’s unfair to do that in student government. This doesn’t apply to other orgs where students can hold multiple presidencies in orgs. I would like to talk to students, like my VP and others because there is a big change and we need more student discourse.

    STUDENT LIFE: I believe Res life wants this because it’s similar to what has been put through in the past. I think that’s a good point: there’s a time management concern but class council positions and student fellow isn’t really conflict of interest, it’s an arbitrary thing. Focus on time management because that’s the reason I resigned.

    2014: One of the most important things is impairing a person’s ability to do one or more jobs. We can’t regulate who is president of organizations, one person who is president shouldn’t be a student fellow.

    RAYMOND: This was an attempt to clarify policies. I move to table it to board of elections and Operations.

    PASSES UNANIMOUSLY.

    PRESIDENT: Now for the amendment on budget restrictions.

    2015: There was problem that pre-orgs don’t have budget, some have them and we should manage out of VSA not on their own. This makes sense to make language consistent to manage preorgs; we want preorgs to be preorgs with budget numbers because Activities works with them and still want that relationship, but with ability to manage resources effectively.

    PRESIDENT: This will come up next week. Any thoughts?

    FINANCE: We talked to Activities and it’s a good plan, but exceptions should be made. Preorgs should not be expecting this, it only applies to preorgs with funds.

    2015: One main caveat for no funds for preorgs because changing budget numbers is really confusing.

    PRESIDENT: This will be tabled until next week. Consult your constituents. Now we will discuss the amendment concerning Exec Board distribution.

    CUSHING: Before we start it, it would be good to lay out what’s happening and why, this is not set in stone. We have been throwing this around, the discussion not necessarily happening, we looked at list of things VSA is in charge of and the distribution is weird. We took a list of everything and made new categories, and we ended up with splitting Student Life and Activities: we had to change names, but VP for Student Life is Student Life and Diversity and VP for Campus Resources. Activities is split between VP for Programming and VP for Orgs, so that way one person focuses on orgs and the other on Founder’s Day and the shuttle and Tasty Tuesday (which shouldn’t be under Operations). It’s pretty self-explanatory.

    PRESIDENT: Instead of making changes on floor we’ll have a discussion and make a list, will be discussed in Student Life, Operations and Activities, if changes made we’ll give it another week to reach out to people, earliest voting will be in two weeks.

    MAIN: This is for which election cycle?

    PRESIDENT: This one coming up in a month.

    2015: In terms of redistribution, with big changes we need to talk to lots of people. Best to have students vote on it. Certain sections focused on Centers or Res Life, should be more like a scaffolding. The language restricts the positions: a big issue is VP of Student Life and Diversity wording would mean they are not allowed to represent straight white males. The focus should be on something but don’t vote them out. I could be wrong, but this should not be for this election cycle. It seems to be moving fast on something that needs thought.

    2016: I want to commend the writers because we’ve talked a lot on restructuring; there’s lots of good stuff. I’m a big fan of redistribution as a socialist, so that’s good. I have issues with how to move forward. I think we shouldn’t set sights on this election cycle—I don’t want to rush major changes that need more time. I’m in favor of a referendum, because it might look like we’re trying to create positions for ourselves right before an election. Perhaps best way is with forum shouldn’t focus on proposal specifically but focus on issues and see if students have ideas. Like, maybe a Senate system like proposed in 2011. I talked to the student reps at Williams about getting invited to a conference to look at other schools.

    PRESIDENT: In creating 2 new committees you need people to sit on them. That should fit in with maybe which positions should be committee vs. liaison, like a co-chair. 2 Student Life’s equivalent are doing different things but could co-chair Student Life’s committee. I don’t want to make everyone sit on 3 committees. I like the idea of splitting up stuff, I like making sure students have voices. We talked about having a poll associated with election which means couldn’t do it now, could get widespread student feedback, change from within is not always effective.

    AT LARGE—JOSHUA SHERMAN ’16: I want to remind VSA the review committee happened last year and it sputtered out. The goal was to talk to orgs and students, and it has been put in backseat. There is more to talk about but it’s important that VSA talk about ideas like VSARC. Remind Council that it feels rushed now but it’s been discussed since last May, push for progress.

    SOCOs: I expressed concern about committees. We should combine Student Life, but I don’t know what campus resources does. If we don’t combine, we need to figure out responsibilities. I had the same concern as 2015; might be able to reword to ‘pay particular attention to students who have been traditionally disadvantage.’

    2014: This is awesome. Thanks for your work. As someone on Board of Election, I would love to have this enacted by this cycle but to have referendum which I would recommend, we would have to go through CIS and that timeline is uncertain. We would have to advertise it, and it’s a time crunch and we would have to decide, like, now for referendum; under section 2, Operations you struck things about appointments and where did they go?

    CUSHING: We’re working with board of elections and Operations to put all appointments in board of elections, they got put there.

    2014: Even if this doesn’t pass this elections cycle, something we’ve been concerned about is working with specific committees so if it doesn’t pass, those two committees should still exist, use them next year.

    CUSHING: Part of the reason to put in action sooner rather than later was that in our experience things that get brought up sometimes disappear, so putting impetus under this amendment would make it happen. I’ve hadconcerns about publicity and student input, meeting in Rose Parlor 3pm Friday. I made posters and I’ve paid for them with my own money, so I just want to take credit for that for a moment. I want your help in advertising this, it’s important, we were thinking that we could get more at large members at committees so we’re not filling in our own committees.

    2016: I started last year to solidify restructuring class council. The house reps sit on a committees and and freshmen already do.

    DAVISON: I love this, I feel like it’s an effort to streamline what we want to achieve but can’t because Vice Presidents do lots of things at once. It would be effective to have a forum but don’t just define rules, we have to analyze how positions could achieve what we put out.

    2015: in terms of committees, we talked about people who sit on joint committees like CCL could have more importance and transparency augmented. Juniors don’t have time to sit on committees according to their calendars. Work-study for Exec positions might be jeopardized. I also suggest that the two new positions could be elected in the fall, so we can jumpstart it, but we have time this year to figure it out.

    Student Life: Work study thing—we’re trying to get a promise that if there is a change in exec positions, work study can still happen, but realistically not every exec position might be on work study.; there’s lots to be logistically worked out but this is great way to respond to concerns I hear from staff and admins, like the alcohol task force assembled several years ago but then nothing happened because the new VP didn’t want to handle it. Things can keep moving forward and not stop for years at a time, this is a great way to split stuff. I don’t see harm in doing a trial and error thing, it’s not bad to say we tried and then make adjustments, sometimes we get afraid of things becoming permanent.

    FINANCE: One of the most interesting parts of this, is what do two extra votes mean on exec? That’s something I don’t see addressed in this, but can be. What is the role of exec in admin meetings, which might not be realistic. Do they need to go?

    2017: If you need help distributing posters, I can help. A lot of students don’t know about the existing structures.

    2014: A few years ago we had a referendum with lots of turnout, but it didn’t pass because people didn’t know what it meant.

    STUDENT LIFE: A lot of the meeting on Friday will be explaining what positions do specifically for those people who don’t know. Some people don’t care. It could be iffy because part of VSARC committee was made to address why students aren’t interacting, will they interact for a referendum? Should we count on their lack of interest and would that change if it went through, the council that students may not be crazy about in terms of structure may not reflect opinions of students next time.

    RAYMOND: We considered getting rid of exec board voting power, it’s like that at other schools, but that’s for later. We’re looking at changes, they look big but to vast majority it wouldn’t be so drastic, most people don’t know what the VSA is doing. This could solve internal issues. I understand the concerns with the timeline, but I have to say that we always do so much talking and we need to pursue something, I encourage us to vote on this in 2 weeks.

    PRESIDENT: like trial and error idea but I’m concerned that getting rid of positions by trial would eliminate people who get elected, writing as we go could clarify what those positions do. I’m concerned with programming committee, like what it’s doing—Tasty Tuesday and the Shuttle. I don’t think those people necessarily need to be in this room, it could be a group of people who love programming. For the forum, I like bringing up this proposal but first question could be what do you want VSA to do; start from the bottom as opposed to telling them directly; I like idea of specifying who sits on these committees and making class council do it, we need to say who is going to, I’m worried a committee won’t be filled, make elected reps as reps for these committees rather than making more people here do it.

    DAVISON: I believe if something can be done in a minute, you should do it in a minute. My girlfriend doesn’t like that. My view on trial and error: shouldn’t just be a try it thing, making it a really well-defined idea; some of these positions don’t need a VP but they could be a separate entity.

    TAs: Why did you choose to switch success of powers with VP of Student life? How would financing work with the programming board, considering Finance funds events? And are these standing ad hoc committees or do you expect them to continuing doing their thing the entire year? Why are they not open to others interested?

    ACTIVITIES: I currently approve requests with ARC twice a week, would be a new position’s job. There’s nothing new. These committees would be open to everyone. The traditions committee I brought up a few weeks ago is kind of like that, a subcommittee of a programming committee.

    RAYMOND: The shift in succession: We’re thinking that the VP of Operations is literally the VP of the Student Government, so it made sense that they would fill in as a temporary leader.

    SOCOs: I think the athletics would be more for campus resources. It should be one rep from hour or house team, either elected people or constituency. I think we could have fall elections for freshmen reps on all committees. How would the committee work as an individual committee?

    ACTIVITIES: I’ve discussed this with all of Campus Activities, the fact that there’s too much programming on the Campus Calendar, and too many people trying to do the same programming. Instead of going through SARC they could go through this committee for approval.

    2016: A referendum is pivotal importance, structure shouldn’t be changed by the government itself. We don’t have a referendum process, we make changes without constitutional rules. I appreciate the discussion of timeline but this is not a simple change and I don’t want to be done by next election cycle. It will come up that we are trying to create new positions that are discussed by and in our Council. There are a lot of liberal arts colleges we can look at. We are the only liberal arts college that is based on residential life. We would have the largest exec board with these changes. We should not make these changes ourselves. We need student input.

    2015: Can Exec Board ask Administrators what their thoughts are? And we can dancing around the audit question. Personally, I think Council needs to do this; there needs to be a strong commitment to finding someone from the outside to look at how we run things.

    2014: I think having a bare-bones committee structure to plan these events would be interesting. But if Serenading and Halloween are taken out of the hands of Senior Council, this changes funding. Ticket prices would increase. Just from personal experience, having a budget for Halloween by the first day of classes is unreasonable. It’s a good idea to keep fall elections as a backdoor, approve what we can now and then do it later, lots of amendment can be effected now. On the forum, it is essential but we need to have series of forums to accomodate more people than Rose Parlor if not referendum nothing suggests that student interested now would not be interested later. The referendum could have biased data.

    STUDENT LIFE: Just remember that no one in this room is better than anyone just because of the privilege of the postions they carry.

    FINANCE: Finance things are being left out of the conversation. I think what 2014 was saying was great. Serenading is written in but we always complain, do we want to create a scaffold where certain things have to be done.

    ACTIVITIES: It’s at the discretion of the committee and VP.

    FINANCE: By putting it in the constitution, we’re giving precedence to these events.

    2014: There will be a time when we can’t do Halloween and serenading in their current forms. I think we should have a barebones structure, might be helpful to have standing committee structure to apply to VP programming, not stuck with one thing but with what students what.

    RAYMOND: We’re going to have forum at 3 in UpC, Saturday, if you’re not on Student Life or Activities contact us because we will be talking about it.

    PRESIDENT: Thanks for doing this, people have lots of ideas, I look forward to seeing where it goes. It will be discussed in forums—Operations, Activities, Finance and Student Life.

    8:29 // OPEN DISCUSSION

    2014: Shout out to the Daisies and Violets for helping out with 100 Nights and the VC sound system. 50 Nights will take place on April 5th. We’re still working on senior week planning. I sent an email to org leaders with application for events during senior week, need to know exactly how many non-seniors would stay; we’re hosting an art show for seniors not just in the Art Department in Palmer Gallery during Senior Week, and start thinking about submitting.

    ACADEMICS: I sent you the application for student seminars, changes in student seminar due soon.

    STUDENT LIFE: Thank you for all you do. If you represent a house, do you have your SAVP posters? If we could have those posted in common areas. The last thing is a note about the office as a shared space: we had these posters on our desk, but there were a lot of posters, they were printed by Elizabeth Shrock in SAVP, and we found a lot of them covered in coffee. They were not ours, they were supposed to go back to her. Now they are unusable. Just be mindful of the space.

    DAVISON: This is my plug for Jewett: Seven Deadly Sins, Saturday at 10 p.m. I’m Djing, come by and enjoy yourself.

    PRESIDENT: I got an email from Wendy Freedman, they are in the process of hiring 2 new counselors. It was unclear whether they are additions. We were invited to those interviews for those positions, please respond if interested next week. We got a lot of positive response for our letter. Eve Dunbar responded that she submitted an official proposal to get a Post-Doc fellow. I’ll keep you guys posted.

    STRONG: I just wanted to thank Cushing and Raymond for all that you do, and especially Activities. To all the rest of you who never get shout outs.

    RAYMOND: So I’m going to send out a blurb to everyone with a constituency, because we want students to come to the student forum.

    2015: The class council sold 63 orange crushes.

    8:38 // PRESIDENT: Motion to adjourn.

    MOTION PASSES.

     
  • Chris Gonzalez 12:01 am on February 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council Meeting—9 Feb. 2014 

    Hey, everyone, we should be starting in a few minutes. Sit back and enjoy the live blog.

    7:04 // Call to order…. President

    Attendance….. Operations

    Proxies: 2016, TAs.
    Absences: Noyes.

    Consent Agenda

    a.Generation (Pre Org).………………………………………………………………..($200/$30)
    b. NSO (Community)……….…………………………………………………..($4500/$5650)
    c. Habitat (Discretionary)………………………………………………..($1855.32/$1855.32)
    d. Miscellany (Discretionary)..……………………….……………………………($0/$2000)
    e. Fly People (Discretionary)…………………………………………………….($451/$811)
    f. Conference to MEChA ……………………………………………………………….$350
    g. Collaboration to Islamic Society ……………………………………………………..$125
    h. Christian Fellowship (Capital)..…………………………………………………….…$499
    i. All College Day (Discretionary)…………………………………..$2000

    All consent to the Consent Agenda.

    7:06 // Forum with Stacy Bingham, Director of the Career Development Office

    BINGHAM: I am the director of the CDO since last may. I’ve held a variety of positions before that. This is a hot time for CDOs at liberal arts campuses: peer institutions are grappling with similar problems, some are further ahead or behind, and Vassar is in the middle in terms of issues. The director search took 2 years, which is unusual, due to Chris Roellke and others wanting to think about life after Vassar and what that means for CDO. We had an external review a year ago, my charge is thinking about their suggestions and what’s best for Vassar and strategic planning.

    PRESIDENT: Could you tell us about more of your resources?

    BINGHAM: There are the traditional resources you’d expect—the bread and butter is one-on-one meetings with students, both scheduled (30 or 60 min) or drop in with counselor or post bac. We try to get to the heart of what’s on the student’s mind. It’s hard with a limited staff and lots of students; we try to create an event for many students at once like ob search panels, internships; we try to have employer info sessions, on and off campus recruiting. We pair up with the Development Office of Alumnae/i Affairs. One priority is increased collaboration with the alum office to bring opportunities for students to connect; we’re not specialists in the CDO but knowing Vassar there is someone before you who has done something similar who could help you, so we want to try to make those connections easier to make. We administer funded internship programs, most awards come from the IGF to pursue low and unpaid internships, and there’s the Tannenbaum and other smaller awards. We asked to delegate more funds to students, but one of the challenges lies in staffing. Limited funds take away from other opportunities, and we feel the effects of lack of staff. I was pleased that student gift contributed to IGF.

    TOWN STUDENTS: Could you explain the things that external audit advocated for? What are targets?

    BINGHAM: We looked at the physical space—our office looked similar to 20 years ago until last year. Students had to enter into environment that didn’t portray an environment you wanted, didn’t show what it means to be professional and it was not a great space for employers, it was shabby, doesn’t lend itself to a physical layout that’s conducive for other stuff. It’s now bisected by major thoroughfare; we have offices that deal with similar things in similar locations like field work; wanted emphasis on additional staffing, responded with post bac position; We wanted a new website—Im really happy to report that the website is going well. We should have a new one in a year; overall nothing surprising but there is value in someone outside saying what we needed, now we decide what pieces are relevant.

    FINANCE: Could you speak about on-campus recruiting at liberal arts college campuses? Some think it doesn’t happen.

    BINGHAM: Over the past few years an average 20 employers recruiting on campus. This is low and we would like to improve but the environment is changing. Employers prefer skyping and interviews especially with non-profit because it’s a smaller budget for travel; We gave a survey to seniors: What employers would you like to see? What grad schools? We want to know who students want to see on campus, talking with alumnae/i to ramp things up. Schools like Vassar, like Smith, have even smaller student populations but have larger on campus recruiting opportunities. We want to find a way to get Vassar students more exposure by collaborating with some liberal arts colleges in hub locations like DC of San Francisco.

    PRESIDENT: Any plans with collaborating with the fellowship office and field work?

    BINGHAM: There’s some opportunities to collaborate because we report to the Dean of Studies. Things have been improving since moving to dean of studies office 3 years ago, that relationship has strengthened. It’s more challenging with Field Work because they report to Dean of Faculty—it’s harder to think about ways to intersect, but we’re happy to collaborate more; it’s a matter of having regular interaction.

    PRESIDENT: I’m interested in learning about resources on campus for resources for low-income students.

    BINGHAM: We are thinking about it too, evaluating programs and thinking about different pockets of students. The IGF is important for an increasingly diverse student body. We want to see the playing field leveled for summer internships, it’s not enough. Smith offers every opportunity and that would be amazing to offer, talking about it with colleagues in Financial Aid. We take care of financial aid during financial year but earning money over the summer is difficult; there used to be Class Issues alliance, I talked to them about resources, pockets of funding could be helpful, like the small discretionary fund to buy clothes for interviews. We would love to have another to pay for internship travel or get waivers for grad admissions tests. Having more money at our disposal would be helpful; students need just a little bit more, there are other ways, for past 2 years we the have done program with TRANSITIONS students. They get early face time on their orientation schedule, some positive feedback. Putting faces with names is crucial. Students aren’t coming with family connections, we need to reach out to students in an empowering way for students who don’t have parent in career they’re considering is helpful.

    2014: You mentioned programs for seniors, but could you give overview?

    BINGHAM: Based on results of senior surveys we created Senior Week at CDO-week of programming tailored to seniors. There’s a lunch and they can learn on planning for grad school, thinking about location that’s not New York City to live. Vassar alum will give budgeting workshop, how to rent an apartment in NYC. One will host the “lunch and learns” walk-in for seniors all week, we’ll Linked in photo booth, capped with student-alumnae/i event.

    JEWETT: How many recruitment companies are science/engineering based?

    BINGHAM: Very few though many like science and engineering students, that could change as sciences grow here, we could look to expand it. The NYC consortium day had high amounts of finance and education and environment and non profit; engineering is harder because we have small handful of students; many other liberal arts schools with larger engineer programs can feed Vassar students there through liberal arts Career Network.

    STRONG: You talked about financial aid students, have you thought about getting the word out to them?

    BINGHAM: It used to be a small amount of money which is why we haven’t advertised as broadly because we couldn’t meet demand, we’re identifying donor priorities, if we can have more discretionary funds we can promote more widely.

    STRONG: Now it’s a referral system?

    BINGHAM: Yes.

    STUDENT LIFE: When class issues alliance published their navigating Vassar pamphlet did you see a rise?

    BINGHAM: We did not.

    STUDENT LIFE: You mentioned resources, does that include discretionary fund for students to travel to interview.

    BINGHAM: Not currently, other schools have it. It’s on my wish list.

    OPERATIONS: There are lots of students who never go to CDO because they don’t see what they’ll get out of it, what is office doing to reach out to students not engaging?

    BINGHAM: Through residential programming, doing lots of different programs with Res Life and campus groups, faculty initiated and student initiated, good year this year with different programs, great example of how post bac can help with time as a student and time in office. It’s not permanent funding, we got $100,000 for grant. We can use some to extend the position and look at meeting students that way. The Tannenbaum allows you to plant ambassadors for office. Students are friends with CDO because they’re there often. First point of contact is usually the website so if we can make it appealing and updated we will help change perception of the office. It takes time to change attitudes and perceptions, but word of mouth is best.

    AT LARGE: Two questions—ow has social media liked LinkedIn helped and was VC Squared part of the office?

    BINGHAM: LinkedIn is becoming huge place for career networking. We promote it because it’s great for alumnae/i research and cross-referencing it with our alumnnae/i directory. That had potential to be great resource for alumnae/i connecting, about 50% seniors have LinkedIn accounts. We encourage students to use free version and have an account, put resume on it, get good headshot form programming. There’s a new feature that allows you to look at alums—break down alumnae/i at Vassar based on industry and company and who they are; VC Squared was initiative from 2 alums who were entrepreneurs to enable future students to teach basics, but it fizzled because alums fizzled and got sidetracked with other projects. It’s on back burner now but we see other alumni groups forming—VCBC alums in NYC, industry through Vassar Club NY, next step is how to draw students into it, these group have events that are appropriate other times more for other alums.

    SOCOs: I read about recent grad alumnae/i resources, what are they?

    BINGHAM: The motto is “Vassar for a lifetime.” We will always help you, we work with alums, 15% make up people we help, most work for them is phone, skype or email, anything from career counseling for those who didn’t have a job set up beforehand, those thinking abou grad or law school, all the same students for current students are for alums.

    JEWETT: Is the LinkedIn photo shoot just for seniors?

    BINGHAM: No, everything for senior week is available for all students, everyone can take advantage of it.

    7:40 //Exec Board Reports… Student Life

    STUDENT LIFE: Gender neutral bathrooms—we have had meetings and almost gotten through phase 1 (identity existing bathrooms that are gendered and getting neutral signs to be consistent). Bob Walton has ordered the signs to work with B&G to get sign design approved; hopefully within the next month we can see these signs on campus. Interest for temporary signs we can ask for. Phase 2—not likely to be completed, identify where we need to do structural renovations, moves forward with hope that each building renovation blueprints include gender neutral bathrooms.

    AT LARGE: what will the sign look like?

    STUDENT LIFE: I’ve been in communication with Judy Jarvis and communicating with Administration, we want to steer clear gendered icons that have been prevalent. They defeat the purpose, and other signs seem cartoonish, we have encouraged including terminology with braille and wheelchair where applicable, in houses, academic buildings. The gender neutral bathroom forum is Feb 19, Wed., in Rocky 300 to answer any questions—why school has decided on it. It’s from 5:30-6:30.

    JEWETT: Can you send blurb out about forum?

    STUDENT LIFE: Yes, should be going out from LGBTQ to mail and email, will be on official calendar. I talked last week about SAVP process flow chart out for students to see, if house reps can get them from my office sometime before end of the week would be best, put up on house bulletin boards and laundry rooms of apartment houses. I’ve been talking to Elizabeth Schrock about Title IX process SAVP student subcommittee. Also looking into the travel home fund with regards to accesible resources, looking for updates, going through CDO right now.

    7:45 // Academics

    ACADEMICS: New York Times collects data on how many papers used, 86% usage first week, continually picked up throughout semester. I’m interested in continuing funding past this semester. We’ve discussed an idea for 24-hour space that it’s not open Fridays or Saturdays—problem, talked to head librarian so it will be open, will take two weeks so don’t advertise right now. Newsletter will go out, 100-150 copies; students’ applications have been sent out, and they get 2 weeks to do apps. Send emails with application. The majors fair is 1-4 p.m., from March 30 to April 5, in the Villard Room. More details to follow. We’re collecting student feedback on student capstone project, class of 2019 or 2020 will be affected.

    7:50 // Approval of Pre-Orgs.

    ACTIVITIES 22 applications. We finalized decisions and the 12 in front of you are those we’re comfortable supporting.
    PRESIDENTS: Any concerns? We can remove and talk about them if there are.

    APPROVAL PASSES.

    FINANCE: To get funding you must submit form 3 weeks before event.

    TAs: Is there a limit on preorgs?
    Fin: 100 dollars the first semester.

    7:54 // Organization Debt Amendment….

    ACTIVITES: Current bylaws state 2 semesters without debt certified. The amendment says they need to face disciplinary action.

    AMENDMENT PASSES.

    RAYMOND: We talked about it in Operations Committee. Elections eligibility and questions—this amendment makes any person in Reslife positions cannot be in VSA elected position accept joint-committee positions, reason was because we feel we should be opening up positions to people on campus. Bring up next week to vote.

    7:58 // Appointment of Jewett VP and 2016 Secretary

    OPERATIONS: There is one app for Jewett VP and we decided not to recommend anyone appointed to that position. Seven Deadly Sins is on Feb 22 and if we are unable to appoint someone, function of VP is diminished. There’s nothing wrong with the applicant but we felt that he wouldn’t be excited to work on event planning. So we’re closing the position and it will stay open for the rest of the year.

    As for 1016 secretary: 2 applications, we interviewed both. The first app is who we are reccomendeding, Taylor. she skyped in and had excitement about the position and has experience with VSA. She’s excited to do stuff other than note taking, and a great sense of balance.

    APPOINTMENT PASSES UNANIMOUSLY.

    8:00 // Conversation about VSA Audit…. OPERATIONS

    OPERATIONS: Toward beginning of year the idea was one thing and was meant to be simple, now it’s complicated in that it involves many offices and people. The enthusiasm from council members is great, outside council is not so great. Between special elections and losing people involved in project it has been difficult to get on track. We want to talk about it here where there is passion, what ideas you have and ideas for a timeframe.

    TOWN STUDENTS: Given the fact that the audit is a big project, do you think it would be good to do internal auditing, like canvasing Tasty Tuesday, smaller and more active projects? Working out relationships between students and VSA.

    TAs: What direction was Operations looking at last semester because it grew.

    OPERATIONS: The initial committee was entirely council past or current, goal to look at diversity on campus and it wasn’t the perfect body for that goal. Started to make progress in building up committee of different people with former VP of Student Life. We found a professor who can audit and do research, but the sudden change with VP so a lot of conversations with the auditor halted. The professor sensed we weren’t enthusiastic because we didn’t know what was going on, now we’re trying to rebuild.

    TH’s: I’m worried about institutional memory, is there timeline so that decisions are carried out so concerns now adressed next year?

    OPERATIONS: I agree, it’s very important, we want to have clear idea of what we want and an idea we can move forward with.

    JOSS: A lot of money is going into it, so what now?

    OPERATIONS: We have the Dean of College’s money pledged, but no money spent now. We would have asked for covering half of cost $15,000 combined, but money pledged was not real so we don’t have any money. VSA money will go to other stuff, when we ask for money later the Dean of College will hopefully give us money.

    LATHROP: You talked to an external auditor, and it fell through, where is that going now? Someone else?Seems like a large component.

    OPERATIONS: Right now trying to figure it out, if you all are interested in the next step, he was scared to work with students who weren’t organized. talk with him and rework relationship, if not then look at other options, like the field of research for professors.

    LATHROP: Is it things that professors do a lot?

    OPERATIONS: Looking here for professors, it needs to happen. Value with external auditor is looking at new situation, internal auditor has familiar perspective.

    JEWETT: I’m in favor of TOWN STUDENT’S comment about doing more internal things, if we consider external audit, since its student money can we ask them, ask all of campus if we want to see VSA audited, start by doing stuff within ourselves before going out.

    OPERATIONS: Came from campus climate demands which was that VSA have external audit to look at it, meant to be a response to that, though we can never get too much student input, should do some things ourselves.

    DAVISON: Ideas for restructuring VSA? Or is it just external? How can we make VSARC as a body?

    OPERATIONS: Have STUDENT LIFE and OPERATIONS meeting and inviting additional people, would be building off point to create structurally sound committee, organize oneself isn’t hard but need to get interest

    STUDENT LIFE: Figure out how to maintain this with overturn from elections, how to guarantee this will happen next year. So, to formulate in minds, can we say ideal things we hope for?

    TOWN STUDENTS: It’s important to consider not what we want but provide avenues for students, like restructuring how this is or not being heard, would be ideal way see what they want changed.

    2015: If you bring in external person we have data but then students don’t feel opinions voiced, should commit again to getting student voices.

    TH’s: We should have campus-wide forum to get representation to get what they want out of it.

    RAYMOND: In October or November, when people wrote things about what they wanted to see from the audit what were results?

    OPERATIONS: VSA is racist was the most popular response, done at the beginning of the year so maybe that’s changed. We can go through them, find a different way to reach out, didn’t get functional answers, lots showed misunderstanding of what VSA does which is a problem.

    PRESIDENT: Someone mentioned that during elections when we reach out, we should use that as a source for feedback, times when we communicate with students, people don’t respond to my emails.

    JEWETT: At the ending of preregistration can we add that since everyone will be using it, it would be ideal.

    ACADEMICS: We can ask faculty, but Ask Banner technology is ancient so we can’t change it.

    OPERATIONS: We can put it on annual budgeting application, all org leaders required to fill it out, gets large audience.

    TH’s: A way to get admins to help us and foster dialogue with students, students read their emails.

    OP: Talk about sending out an email.

    DAVISON: Restructuring means involving people who feel marginalized, reach out to cultural orgs or set of people who feel not represented.

    8:17 // Open Discussion

    STUDENT LIFE: Update—met with Cappy and asked about making VSA exec positions work study, and she didn’t turn it down if we could have student written endorsement of why exec board members are different from VICE or the Misc to submit we might have a chance, she might be interested.

    DAVISON: Can we take comparative approach to reslife positions?

    STUDENT LIFE: I can talk to reslife, big thing is budgeting, HSA is eligible for work study, there are so many student fellows it’s a budgeting issue. We’re interested in reevaluating reslife structure, could be cause for many open positions, it’s a big time commitment to not get paid.

    PRESIDENT: I talked about food served at late night at the Deece. It’s a 3 weekend trial period, order hot food thing, trying to solicit student feedback, if it goes well we will implement it.

    JEWETT: Will small side DC be open at that time?

    PRESIDENT: Yes, we are just adding food, I’ll send email.

    2014: 100 nights this Saturday, food and cocktails and fancy stuff at the Alumnae/i House from 8-10, and 11-2 is the campus party. Facebook events have gone out; council member, senior class council letter to Dean Dunbar about alleviating travel costs.

    Stephanie George ’14 at large: Idea to make commencement affordable, Luis Inoa seems excited about it, if you want to sign it and endorse it that would be great.

    2014: Sign and pass it to endorse idea.

    2015: Class council, for Valentine’s Day you can send someone a Crush soda, cutest thing ever, you should do this. For $1 you can send anonymously and $2 someone finds out, $2 it’s anon. proceeds go to Grace House, a domestic violence center.

    RAYMOND: President and OPERATIONS, 7 Sisters type thing, is there one planned for spring conference?

    PRESIDENT: No, because all schools can’t afford to go, communicate about different projects. 3 committees about things that will go on, 7 sisters, activities and outreach to create alumnae/i network, let me know if interested.

    RAYMOND: Student Bill of Rights had meeting Saturday, disappointing turnout, especially disappointed with lack of council because people didn’t come, would like people to come this weekend sat 2 UpC.

    JEWETT: ACTIVITIES, when is activities fair?

    ACTIVITIES: This sat 11-2, Villard Room, posters will go up, organizations and pre orgs will be there.

    ACTIVITIES: Thanks to Strong for pushing amendment brought up today.

    MAIN: Question: Activites, how many pre-orgs are tabling?

    ACTIVITES: All have, 7 of existing are requested slots.

    STUDENT LIFE: Vassar Devils are doing Valentine grams, can send for $5, tabling in Retreat.

    JEWETT: Motion to adjourn.

    MOTION PASSES.

     
  • Chris Gonzalez 12:04 am on February 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council Meeting—2 Feb 2014 

    Happy Super Bowl, everyone! We’re off to a late start, but we should get going shortly.

    7:05 // Call to Order
    Attendance ……………Operations
    Proxies: Jewett, Davison

    7:09 // Consent Agenda
    SJP (Pre Org).…………………………………………………………………………….($25/$25)
    VARC (Speakers)………………………………………………………………($495/$595)
    Quizbowl (Pre Org)..………………………………………………………………($90/$90)
    YDS (Pre Org)..……………………………………………………………..($200/$199.63)
    Poder Latino (Discretionary)…………………………………………………($3000/$5000)
    Wordsmiths (Speakers) ($3060/$3208)
    Ski Team (Discretionary) ($1500/$2000)
    NSO (Speakers) tabled
    VHP (Collaboration) ($93.75)

    SOCOS takes Poder Latino off the list. Council will come back to this later. Rest of Consent passes.

    7:10 // POSSE Forum…Jon Wood

    WOOD: If you don’t know who POSSE is, you probably know by now. It’s a big deal, it’s 25 years old. The President donated his Noble Peace Prize money. I’m here to discuss the PossePlus Retreat. Last year it was around gender and sexuality, and over 39 universities across the US participated in this. This is a big deal, this is a tool Vassar hasn’t had before. I’m hoping the leaders of the VSA can promote this and possibly attend. This year’s topic is “Revolt, Rethink, Reform.” This could not possible get more broad. Basically, we’re going to start real broad and then we’re going to move to subjects regarding Vassar College specifically. We’re hoping to translate this retreat into something done on campus to create an immediate benefit. Since a lot of these retreats are social and political movements, I think this is the heart and soul of Vassar and I hope we can contribute to it. A side benefit for Vassar: Since we are the first Veteran Posse, we’ll probably be getting a lot of media attention.You Leave friday come back Sunday march 28-30, trying to lower costs, register through members of POSSE program, first come first serve, Cappy and faculty coming, chance to discuss issues with them and peers

    ACTIVITIES: How many people can attend?

    WOODS: 100 maximum, transportation available.

    OPERATIONS: Do we need to email you?

    WOODS: You don’t need to email us, there’s a link. But you can talk to other Posse representatives.

    PRESIDENT: Thank you for coming in.

    7:17 // Poder Latino:

    SOCOS: I’m concerned about details of the conference, $3000 seems like a lot, some students already fully funded, usually funding brings back info to greater community, this much money is a lot, and I’m worried about the precedent it sets for sending so many people.

    AT LARGE GARZA ’14: There are 2 people on research grant who aren’t listed on the funding. The rest of the group is applying for funding, research grant is for seniors. I also want to clarify and say this is not a conference. In Cuba there is national campaign against homophobia that goes on throughout entire country and they’re visiting all the cities listed.

    MAIN: What funds are secured for this?

    GARZA: 2000 from Dean of College, money from Alumnae/i, rest will come from students attending

    JOSS: Can you give me a list of ways explaining how you will be funding?

    GARZA: We’ll be selling moon cups in the College Center, and we’re hoping for good turnout. We also have an online funding campaign, we’re applying for grant from national organization LGBTQ and looking at NYC organizations.

    FINANCE: This was not a unanimous decision from Finance Committee. It came from speaker last year, who arranged opportunity and the Finance Committee was to sponsor underclassmen who want to go. This supports mission of Poder Latino, and their app outlined how it will benefit the campus.

    GARZA: Collab orgs will help out and will receive benefits from members who go, dance groups and health and science groups.

    OPERATIONS: The average allocation is 1840 so why is it 3000?

    FINANCE: The amount was a thought exercise and from it we realized that participation would be possible. The amount of 3000 reached after the decision to support, the cost per student is 2700. They’re not looking at funding just one person; the idea was for underclassmen to attend and money will be divided internally.

    SOCO: I guess I’m wondering why that many people need to go and would it be feasible to do with fewer people? Are that many people needed to bring back this rich information to campus?

    GARZA: This opportunity came from speaker who recommended a Vassar delegation; it’s rare opportunity to travel with daughter of current president—Mariel Castro—and her social organizers. We thought a lot about what was feasible since 90 percent of funding comes from groups effort. More is not feasible, but we want to bring as many people as possible—each member is involved with different VSA org, not just coming to one org but to many.

    PRESIDENT: We’re at time.

    OPERATIONS: Motion to extend time to 10 minutes with 1 minute of speaking.

    MOTION PASSES.

    OPERATIONS: Does the amount change if we change the number of people?

    FINANCE: How the orgs allocate money is up to them. We try to give flexibility and the money doesn’t change no matter how many are invited.

    2015: The Finance committee debated for a while to reach decision. It’s a little unnecessary to scrutinize the decision, in the past it’s been bad, 3000 decision came from vote. We had conversations before and after, and after hearing about refundable deposit came to 3000 number. Talk to finance if you doubt the decisions we make.

    PRESIDENT: We shouldn’t discourage people from voicing their concerns.

    2016: It would be less confusing if we had fund app agenda—original was 45000. I was uncomfortable because it was a big amount, PL came in to give good speech, we should because we are contributing tiny portion, lots of other funding involved. I shared initial concern about numbers but it is more clear that we are funding small portion of it, and we’re happy we had the chance to talk about it in Council. There’s no reason not to discuss it.

    SOCO: I didn’t want to doubt finance, but we have consent agenda because we have checks and balances, and there’s this fear of taking things off consent agenda which isn’t good.

    Strong: If you want more info you should be able to express that, shouldn’t just let it go because you don’t feel comfortable.

    2015: We had long conversation with PL and they had to come here, too.

    GARZA: It would have been difficult to come here if hadn’t been in the area anyway, would be good to have reps here and let them know so they can figure out if they can be here for these discussions.

    PRESIDENT: Motion to approve 3000 allocation, can propose alternative.

    STUDENT LIFE ABSTAINS. EVERYONE ELSE VOTES YES. MOTION PASSES.

    7:33 // Executive Board reports…President

    PRESIDENT: Today we had conversation about shared governances and what info students don’t know and how to communicate it, create a Students Bill of Rights to send to Administration. Shared governance is ongoing, and there’s recognition that info isn’t available—looking into less available resources like financial aid and making that available to constituents. The Bill: Cushing offered to create task force open to students at large to create a document that could affirm that all students have rights and responsibilities on campus such as safety.

    STUDENT LIFE: I want to make sure there will be advertisement on campus for this.

    CUSHING: We can email out constituencies and members of council.

    7:34 // Executive Board reports….OPERATIONS

    OPERATIONS: Elections timeline—voting today and hopefully passing it. This Tuesday coming up is Tasty Tuesday. People have been issues with the Saturday shuttle: there’s been a communication issue with getting it started this semester. I called them and will again so it should be running this weekend and should be every Saturday when there are classes. The schedule online is out of date, but will be updated shortly. We’re working on a time for Student Life and Operations meeting to discuss audit. We will publicize to entire campus, next week or week after. Projects:continuing proposal to divide elections and appointments from regular OP stuff so it can be given a larger amount of time; under consideration to make 7th Exec Board position. We recognize positions are time consuming and a lot isn’t getting done, so spreading out workload would be good way to get stuff done. We hope to get a proposal and amendment passed by end of the year. The position could be elected next spring.

    TA: Last semester resolution on publishing results didn’t pass.

    OPERATIONS: We’re going to talk about this next meeting and discuss. We’re uncertain whether we wanted to move forward with it, results of special elections will be put up on line almost immediately.

    2016: Subcomittee that wrote it has written another resolution that will be passed along.

    7:42 // Letter Concerning Vassar Counseling Staff…South Commons

    SOCOS: wE did research about questions for Metcalf. And we’re looking for OP committee to draft letter. There’s a 27 percent increase of crisis calls, 375 percent increase of off-hours calls. We will send this to the Dean of finance and the Dean of the College. We request a post-doctoral fellow to help out.

    PRESIDENT: At the End of last semester, the goal was to make resources at Metcalf more accessible, this is wonderful.

    FINANCE: What’s the difference between post doc and regular?

    SOCO: They’re only hired for a year so it’s not as much of a financial commitment for the College.

    OPERATIONS: Make sure we have good follow up after it’s sent. We need to decide how to follow up after letter.

    PRESIDENT: All docs go on website and we can send to student body.

    MOTION TO ENDORSE AND PASS LETTER: PASSES UNANIMOUSLY.

    7: 46 // Spring Elections…OPERATIONS

    OPERATIONS: Spring elections timeline to be passed, 10 days for filing and 10 for campaigning, 2 for voting. Between filing campaign there is a candidates meeting to give rules for campaigning. Last year elections moved up to Monday after spring break, it’s now Wednesday after spring break. Give time for people to figure out their standing before applying.

    NOYES: If we adopt it what changes and if we don’t what happens?

    OPERATIONS: Can’t not adopt timeline and need to start planning, we need to get it to computer services, if we wait it won’t make a difference.

    FINANCE: First day on timeline is correct?

    OPERATIONS: March 2 is an interest meeting so people know what positions are and can decide to run, there will be food.

    President: Filing should be 11 days.

    OPERATIONS: I move to suspend bylaws that filing must be 11, have filing end later so that it is 10.5 days.
    Pres: Sorry, everyone, the wording is poor. Motion to suspend bylaw.

    All IN FAVOR EXCLUDING MAIN, 2016.

    MOTION TO ADOPT TIMELINE: 2016 OPPOSES. MOTION PASSES.

    7:47 // Annual Budgeting Timeline…FINANCE

    FINANCE: Annual budgeting timeline now corresponds with elections timeline. We need new execs to go to the meeting. The key thing is that you must submit annual budget to get money, send to houses, 48 hour appeal window.

    Saturday March 17 Application Available online
    Sunday April 6 Application Due
    April 7 – April 15 Finance Committee reviews applications and meets with orgs
    Wednesday April 16 Exec Reviews preliminary budget, preliminary budget made available
    Thursday April 17 -Friday April 18 48 HOUR APPEAL PERIOD
    Saturday April 19 Appeal Committee meets with orgs
    Sunday April 20 Final Budget Presented to Council

    OPERATIONS: Add Sunday, April 18 to elections timeline so people running for exec know.

    RAYMOND: To clarify—appeal process happens after elections, so do orgs know they should have new exec boards?

    FINANCE: It’s the outgoing exec that does the annual budgeting, but they should be in communication. This has been given to orgs, this is something to plan for next year.

    MOTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY.

    7:52 // OPEN POSITIONS…OPERATIONS

    OPERATION: 2 open positions—2016 Secretary and Jewett VP (2nd time this year). Declare both positions open with timeline—all apps due Thursday at noon and appointment for this Sunday. Reason being is the Secretary position has been open a while, reason for Jewett is their all-campus party is really soon and they need VP.

    2016: Point of info, freshman can run?

    OPERATIONS: yes

    NOYES: 2016 positions have people applied already so is it unfair to those that have applied.

    OPERATIONS: Didn’t bring it up in ops as issue, shouldn’t affect anything.

    2016: Request to extend it because the position opened up suddenly, and because of finals, not many people may have applied.

    2015: Position of Joss 2015 spring rep has been open for a while and we would like more people on class council.

    PRESIDENT: Motion to vote on appoitment.

    MOTION PASSES.

    7:57 // OPEN DISCUSSION

    2014: 111 days to graduation, not long. In 2 weeks is 100 nights at the Alumnae/i house, the cocktail party is 8-10. Rest of school can go to the party in the Villard Room from 11-2. New thing: playing on Vassar’s 150th class, we compiled 150 item bucket list for seniors and we sent it to students. If they tweet a pic of them doing an item on the list, they’ll get prize. Probably a DVD.

    STUDENT LIFE: Shout out to ACTIVITIES for the Spring Leadership conference.

    ACTIVITIES: Thank you everybody who did come. It was larger turnout than expected, had to order more food, info will be sent out to those that couldn’t make it. Founder’s Day interest: get in contact with me or STRONG.

    FINANCE: I want to applaud SOCOs for opportunity to talk about what we do as a council.

    MAIN: Did Activities committee decide to enforce fee for orgs who didn’t send reps?

    ACTIVITIES: We will present the list on Tuesday and go from there.

    2017: All College Day is Monday through Wednesday, Feb. 17-20.

    JOSS: Battle of Bands, Shiva at 9 p.m. on the 7th.

    2016: Event on divestment, public debate to give everyone the facts to get the chance to figure out position. Twisted Soul will be offered. To give council more info on Finance, include fund apps in email so people can look at it, everyone should feel comfortable with vote.

    STUDENT LIFE: Gender-neutral bathrooms forum from 5-6:30, Feb. 19, Rocky 200.

    TAs: Working on project with Stephanie George as liaison to Senior Class council to look at options to subsidize costs for commencement housing, esp with first class of transitions students. We’re also looking to lower travel costs for students.

    8:03 // MOTION TO ADJOURN…ACADEMICS

    MOTION PASSES.

     
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