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  • mariesolis 11:08 pm on April 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council April 27, 2014 

    Welcome to the last VSA Council meeting! Let’s get started

    7:00// Attendance: VP Ops
    Absent: Ferry
    Proxy: Cushing

    7:01//Consent Agenda:

    Finance: There’s been a recent request for $1500 to purchase Vassar devils for post convocation treat.

    Deb: It’s something I’m working on with Vassar activities. We want to encourage more people to come because everyone likes Vassar devils. It’s a nice way to bring the community together and sometimes people need the incentive of food. Campus Activities didn’t have the money for it so that’s why it’s here.

    2015: I move to add money for human hamster balls to the consent agenda.

    -Motion removed-

    7:03//Forum with Terry Hanlon, VSA adviser and fellow 2014 graduate

    Hanlon: I’m the outgoing VSA adviser. One precedent we did set which is a very important one is that this is the first time the VSA was actually able to pick its own adviser which I think is something that should continue in the future. I think it echoes some of the areas of shared governance. It’s been something we took very seriously when we were crafting the job description for my position. This person would be a liaison to, not necessarily the adviser to the VSA. We want them to be available in terms of working on leadership programs and things like that. Certain things still remain at the discretion of the VSA.

    TAs: What has been the most challenging part of working with Vassar students?

    Hanlon: The fact that Vassar students are always willing to challenge. When new employees, new administrators come in, that’s a real concern for them. But it’s something I’ve really loved about it because it challenges me. Especially working in Res Life in an office where we so often continue to say no. It forces us to evaluate why we say nos so often, and because Vassar students are so intelligent it really helps pointing out our flaws. Being called out when there’s something offensive happening has been a huge learning experience for me.

    Finance: Where are you going?

    Hanlon: I will be pursuing a PhD in higher education at the University of Virginia.

    Student Life: What advice can you give to the incoming council in choosing another adviser?

    Hanlon: Look to someone who you can find support from but someone who will also push you and ask VSA to think about decisions and what it could signal. A hard part for VSA is that being collaborative it can be hard to see forest through the trees, this council has gotten back from that but an adviser who can keep big picture in mind without getting bogged down in the day to day is an important thing. Y’all are doing great work for great students.

    VP Ops: What projects did you work on during your time here that you want to see continue?

    Hanlon: In terms of projects, one is the Brewer House Cup. That sort of coming out of a joking conversation (Who has won has yet to be announced). That’s one that not necessarily an administrator has to take on but a few students could take it and run with it. In terms of Res Life, it’s continuing to strengthen the ties between Res Life and Campus Life. That’s a relationship that didn’t exist in a lot of the training which is odd because there’s a lot of overlap in those areas. I always want administrators especially–I want administrators to remember why they’re doing the work they’re doing and not get bogged down by the minutia of it, but also for students to remember that administrators aren’t in it to say no.

    Deb: Thanks for everything you’ve done! It’s been wonderful to work with you. I have personally worked with you for three years and I’ll miss you.

    Hanlon: Ya’ll do an incredible amount of work and sometimes you aren’t being thanked enough. Especially being on council–house presidents have at least 10 to 11 hours a week and a lot of you put in way more hours than that. Thank you, seriously. The work that you do is sometimes work that admnistrators should be doing, I think you know that. All of the things that you’ve accomplished this year, even if they seem small to the general populace, they make waves and they’ve made change. On behalf of the administration, thank you. You’re all incredible.

    Royal: Just a reminder, all at-large members are invited to speak and if you raise your hand you’ll be put at the top of the speakers list.

    7:14//Exec reports

    Student Life: We’ve done two events and everyone’s been working around the clock. Monday we had our Munchies study break, which was great. It was a great way to show students that the work they’re doing–even when it’s not finals time–is important. Wednesday we had a forum on Title IX which was very productive. There was a lot of insight in the process and the relevant administrators were in the room to take notes on that. We have documentation of that that we are able to send out and we have a line of accountability. They are planning on reforming the entire process for the fall. There’s a lot of things that fall through the cracks and this was a great way to address that.

    Academics: All of you who are in campus with tenured professors will be filling out new CEQs, so that’s exciting. If you have any other thoughts you should definitely let me know. For the capstone project, the VSA has certain reservations about it even though it has potential. There’s a  mural happening this year that will be in the College Center from May 7 to 9 about issues on campus. It’s very meaningful and a lot of students have poured their hearts and souls into it. The newsletter is done and has been completed.

    Student Life: Joss still doesn’t have laundry.

    TAs: On my way to the pre-council dinner I saw something a little troubling to me–There was a mix up with people in the Pouhgkeepsie community and security. Particularly children of color being stopped by security for trespassing or not feeling safe. I wanted to bring this up because it could potentially be a traumatic experience for preteens in the community. Perhaps future council members should take steps to ensure the safety of not just Vassar students but people of the larger Poughkeepsie community.

    Student Life: Vassar security saw the kids trying to leave campus on their own bikes after having a noise complaint called about them and security thought they were stealing the bikes and wouldn’t let them leave.

    Joss: I think it says a lot about a young kid understanding the implications of his skin tone in an institution that’s predominantly white. Speaking up, I’ve had my own little incidents of safety with a white student on Friday night. What it comes down to is that for next year’s council to make sure that safety is not only heard for those on campus but also those off campus. We tend to put ourselves in a sense of hierarchy and we don’t always understand the implications of the things we do or say. Keep your eyes open and know when to act and listen. Don’t be ignorant.

    2016: I’ve had various complaints throughout the year that people weren’t being treated well by security especially students of color. Student Life Committee: this should be picked up and continue. It’s unacceptable.

    Student Life: There’s a security review committee which is an ongoing project. It would be great to follow up because this isn’t something that just happens occasionally. It’s something that happens all the time. It’s a reality for students of color on a predominantly white campus.

    TAs: My piece of advice for the incoming council is that just because you’re now on the VSA council doesn’t mean you have to only act through the VSA. You can make change and be active outside of council to get things done.

    Ops: I spoke with director of security about this, and she was angry that officers were behaving inappropriately. There is regular sensitivity training, but at this point she said that if a security officer can’t do their job appropriately it’s unacceptable. If you feel comfortable I strongly recommend that you bring up your individual incidents, though I recognize that’s a lot to ask and it’s hard to do.

    President: We tried to get them into council this year, but Sunday nights didn’t work for them. Incoming council, please try to bring them in.

    Finance: There’s one edit to the Budget Report: ASA’s allocation is $9,000 not $8,000. At this point if anyone has any objections we listen to them because we have to balance this budget. We’ve had two opportunities to meet as a committee with orgs about their allocations. We met with four people to appeal a second time and make small changes, which is why it’s not surprising that people aren’t here tonight to appeal.

    2017: Aircapella has no budget?

    Fianance: Aircapella won a prize several years ago and so they are now funded through that.

    President: All in favor of approving the budget next year?

    -This motion passes unanimously-

    7:28//Gender neutral bathrooms resolution with Student Life

    Student Life: We changed a little bit of the wording so that next council would keep going on this project. It’s been a contentious resolution.

    Ops: We discussed this during Ops committee. The biggest complaint brought up at the time was that, whereas resolutions are great in general, just as we can’t resolve administration to do things we can’t resolve all of council to do things. Our suggestion is that we present this to next year’s council as a document they can potentially pass at the first council meeting to provide continuity for the project.

    Davison: Three members of my constitutency have expressed increased levels of comfort due to these gender neutral bathroom signs.

    2016: I just really wanted to say thank you to Danny and Student Life for doing this. For everyone who’s new: Danny worked so hard on this thorughout the semester.

    Joss: Shout out to Danny for #genderneutral bathrooms. I want everyone to keep in mind that while we have accomplished this you still need to be respectful of people’s pronouns.

    SoCos: I want to make sure that people realize that voting no to this is not voting no to gender neutral bathrooms, but voting for the idea of committing another body to continue this.

    President: The motion on the table is to adopting the resolution.

    Ops: I don’t think we should vote down the resolution, but I think it’s a much powerful statement for the incoming council to vote in this resolution.

    President: Incoming council, would you like to vote on this next week?

    Student Life: I appreciate all of the congratulations, but a lot more people worked on this. It was started by previous Student Life. Judy Jarvis from the LGBTQ/Women’s Center has been working on this as well as a number of trans people. I feel uncomfortable as a cis male taking all of the credit, but I appreciate the gesture.

    President: You can abstain, vote to pass this motion or table it to next week.

    Joss: What’s the difference between voting this week or next week?

    President: It’s a pretty powerful statement for new council to do, which is what resolutions do–make a statement.

    -Tabled to next week-

    7:35//Traditions co-chair amendment

    SoCos: There were a few minor changes made.

    Raymond: There were a few semantical changes made.

    President: We have a general understanding that the semantical issues will be changed and don’t need to be worked out now.

    SoCos: The minor change we did make was the make-up of the Halloween committee. We thought it would be worthwhile for the entire senior class council sit on it. This will help us with communication with the Daisies.

    -The motion unanimously passed-

    President: A huge congrats to 2014, Strong, Activities and whoever was working on this. You were working on this all year, congrats!

    2015: Saturday we met to break the ties for the position of the SoCos President. we had a consensus of seven people recommending, or rather appointing, George Beyer. The discussion that went on had to do with his experience and potential to make his constituents’ voices heard.  For Main Secretary we had a consensus for a recommendation of Serena.

    SoCos: While it was a closed appointment, it was an open meeting. All of the constituencies were invited to come in. No one did, but it was an open appointment in that sense.

    At-Large: I would like to know why we had a special appointment and not a special election?

    2015: Bylaws state that those members should come before council and make a statement and then council votes on it. Essentially we’re adhering to our bylaws, but in a more relaxed way.

    Ops: Last council meeting I tried to explain this complex voting theory argument about this. Basically, there are ties that can be broken through rational means, and those that can’t be broken through rational means.

    President: We voted that it was the most fair way to do it. I strongly suggest talking to Ops more about it after the meeting. If you would like to contest it, please feel free to do so.

    Jewett: I’d like to point out that though there was a majority vote, it wasn’t unanimous.

    7:42//Appointment for Board of Elections

    Ops: Operations committee met with the four candidates for 2017 and the one candidate for 2016 rep for the Board of Elections. We had a lot of discussion about experience versus new voices, and things like that. For the 2017 rep we appointed Abby Johnson. She really understood the elections process. There’s something specific about winning and losing elections that give you insight into how elections work. We unanimously recommended her to that position. The 2016 rep was Michael Saugstad. What he offered to the position was that he’s a very procedure-focused person and we’re talking about a new body that doesn’t have these processes built into it, so we thought he would do a good job helping build these structures. He also seems really nice.

    President: We’ll consider those two people appointed.


    Ops: We have all of this anecdotal evidence about who is and isn’t on council, but no data. So basically what we’ve created is a survey that asks a lot of demographic questions. The goal of the survey is to ask council to share as much of their demographic information that they’d like to. We’ll send it to the previous council, this year’s council and the incoming council which will create three years of data. Hopefully this will lead us to answer why the VSA council may not be as diverse as it should be. There’s going to be another set of data about who runs and who loses.

    Jewett: Is there any way we can see the questions you’ll be asking?

    President: They’re in the agenda. We’re not voting on it, but if you want to check it out and provide feedback, that’d be helpful.

    Strong: Are you going to look at specific positions?

    Ops: Because we are a small council and it will be immediately evident whose data belongs to who. We’re agreeing that we’re not going to look at individual data points because the goal is to examine general questions.

    Davison: When and who shall be reviewing this data? Is there a set time?

    Ops: The data will never be made available. The way that the data is going to be collected is through Operations as the sole people who have access to the raw data of any given survey. It will be made into graphs which will avoid the individual identification of people.

    Student Life: This is a great survey; I just want to point out that the results will be helpful, but–for example, if it shows that a lot of people who are on work study are running or on VSA that will not show that we are completely accessible to work study students.

    Ops: That’s a great point. We’re not trying to draw conclusions, but just to get a look at what’s happening so we can better deal with these problems.

    2016: We don’t really know what the VSA is. It changes every year and unless we start collecting information we’re not going to know what the problems are. We might not be trying to draw conclusions, but I think the data will show that there’s a disproportionate number of those who are not on work study and this is only anecdotal now.

    7:52//Open discussion

    2014: There are one day for every person on council plus the assistants plus Terry until graduation. Convocation is Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Seniors get there at 3 p.m. and line up. It’s a nice little moment for seniors to put on their gowns before the real thing. The senior week schedule is going to be sent out super soon, but I’ll be sending out an email soon with information about the bigger events. Contribute to the student gift, that’d be great! Personally I’d like to thank this council for all you do as well as the members of senior class council for helping me with everything that wouldn’t happen without you. Thanks to the incoming council as well!

    Royal: I’d like to give a shout out to all the awesome things that happened this weekend and the people on this council who made them happen.

    2017: There’s Freshman 15 at 7 p.m.

    2015: Related to convocation on Wednesday–bell ringing for juniors will start at 5 p.m. and go to 8 p.m. Each group of five people will have exactly seven minutes to ring the bell. Juniors will get an email tonight with a Google doc for scheduling. It’s going to happen and we’re all going to be seniors and it’s going to be great. During study week we’re having a picnic for all of the juniors, though everyone’s invited. There’s going to be a lot of potato salad. On a personal note, I’ve been working for council for three years and it’s been a trying experience, though great. I’d like to thank everyone on council and all the seniors who taught me stuff.

    2017: Come to Hype’s showcase this Friday in the Villard Room. The first 50 people get free cupcakes from Twisted Soul. I’d just like to say, it’s been real guys.

    2016: This year I felt really close to everyone here. Everyone works really hard and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks to exec. It’s been a rough year. Especially thank you to Danny for joining us halfway through. Thanks to Ali who’s mentored me over the past two years.

    Davison: Thank you to everyone who has expressed that my presence here is important. I grew, I learned, I experienced. New council: I hope you have just as great an experience if not a better one.

    TAs: I’ve done this whole council business for two years and people constantly ask me why I do it. Usually I don’t have an answer, but I think it’s just seeing this motley crew of people who get shit done and care about people.

    Student Life: Good luck to everyone as you go through finals. Remember your self-care. I did come in at a very difficult time for this school, it was also a very difficult time for me personally, but this job has been a lot, but it’s meant a lot to me. I didn’t come here looking for friends initially but I did find a lot. Thank you for being so welcoming. Wherever you’re off to next, good luck and do big things.

    SoCos: I remember sitting out here last year and I remember being scared because council sounded scary and intimidating. Just do it–I’ve gotten more done in this month than I have before. If you want to do something, just do it and make it happen.

    Town students: To all the lucky shits who are graduating I have a quote from Foucalt.

    Ops: It’s been the greatest council. You’re all super passionate about everything you’ve done and supported each other and me–honestly I think, look around at the people you’ve been working with and think of all the things you did together. You should all be very proud of yourselves. To the incoming council, you’re going to do an amazing job. The thing about these positions is that you go in and you don’t know what you’re doing, which is true of every person. Fake it til you make it. You know more things than everyone else so make it up if you have to. Keep caring.

    Raymond: Shout out to this year’s exec. We have enormous shoes to fill–thank you so much. Board of House Presidents. Shout out to Max and Danny for convincing me to run for this position and shout out again to Danny for convincing me to run again. Thanks to Raymond House Team. Shout out to Ruby Pierce–I couldn’t have gotten through this year without her.

    Activities: I remember once saying that I would never run for VSA. I’ve really enjoyed this year and it’s been such a wonderful experience and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know all of you and I have so much respect for all of you. I don’t think you realize how much I’ve enjoyed seeing all of you on Sundays. Exec–you’re all wonderful.

    Academics: I wouldn’t have done this if Steph wasn’t here. But I just wanted to say thank you to Academics; you were so fabulous. I’m so proud of everything we did this year. That was the one meeting I never dreaded. You had such wonderful opinions and got along and we wouldn’t have gotten all of this done without that. Council was great. Exec, you’re awesome, I like all of you. I didn’t think I would, but I really really love you guys and am so glad we got to do this together.

    Noyes: I hope I stay in touch with you all for years to come. Thanks you guys.

    Josh: There are a lot of people on these other committees who do a lot. We should reach out to those standing committee members and thank them. Those at-large members offer a lot of valuable perspective.

    Davison: Shout out to the Misc!

    2015: I’m giving a shout out to myself and the assistants: Thanks for making this happen every year. They do a lot.

    Main: Shout out to new council for sitting through these sappy speeches. Shout out to Estello. I’ve been working with him since last year. As frustrating as this process can be, it has been equally or more so, rewarding, which is why I’ve chosen to do it again.

    Joss: I just wanted to give a shout out to all queer, trans and students of color on campus who have empowered me. It’s treacherous out there dealing with all the white people. Shout out to us for taking over shit.

    2014: I wanted to give a special shout out to Deb Steinberg who has helped make this school a better place and has been one of my best friends.

    Strong: I thought it would be incredibly remiss if I didn’t say that last year I thought about only focusing on Strong House and not caring about the VSA. But it wouldn’t be without a lot of people and those in this room that I’ve run again and believe that we can create real change. My advice to the council would be that the most important thing you can do is to be a good person. If you make people feel like their voices matter you’ll do more than any amendment or resolution can do. There are so many people in this room and not in this room who have been so nice to me and I can’t thank them enough.

    President: You’ve all said what I’ve wanted to say a lot better than I can say. I’ve done this for three years, and I don’t know why I do it. But it’s obviously because of people like you who care and have done so many amazing things this year and every year. But in all seriousness, this is the first year I’ve done it where I’ve had to sit through this many people talking before me and that was beautiful because I’ve never seen anyone around me care that much and it’s really great. I’m so honored to have worked with you and you’re all going to go on a do amazing things. It’s a really special group of people and you’re in an incredibly special position. If people trust you your peers will come to you. Thank you for empowering me and trusting me to do this with you.


  • mariesolis 11:06 pm on April 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council Meeting: April 20, 2014 

    Welcome to VSA council! Chris Gonzalez is officially an outgoing Editor-in-Chief, which means that I, Marie Solis, will be taking over from here on out. Let’s get started!

    Absences: 2017, Ferry, THs
    Proxies: Cushing

    7:01//Consent Agenda:

    a. Christian Fellowship (Conference)…………………………………………………….($2800/$2800)
    b. Chronicle (Capital) ($3199.98 /$1599.99)
    c. CSA (Discretionary) $250
    d. Charmaine Branch (Discretionary) $400

    Consented to.

    7:02//Forum with ViCe

    Tillan: Most of us were here when Vice was known as the org that spends a ridiculous amount of money. This year we’ve been more mindful of our spending. Another one of our goals is to be a lot more open and be seen more on campus and speak more with different orgs and I think we’ve built a lot of partnerships that way, especially with the VSA. However, in terms of things I wish I’d worked on more–perhaps being more intentional with events. That is, making them physically and emotionally possible. As entertaining as our acts are, I became aware of how problematic some of them might have been. Next year that will be our main concern.

    Jewett: Yesterday’s concert was amazing. It was very wonderful.

    Main: What’s the most difficult thing about being the director of ViCE?

    Tillan Mbindyo: What I think to be important in terms of events is that other chairs don’t necessarily agree. I’ve never been a person about numbers, but I’m more interested in how people feel about a particular event.

    2015: Do you have a favorite show that ViCE did?

    Tillan: Solange! It was nice to have Vassar be mainstream for a day.

    7:06// President: We’re reviewing applications for the Dean search committee. Hopefully it will get wrapped up by summer. In the upcoming week’s convocation–it’s in  week and a half. It’s when the freshman become sophomores, the sophomores become juniors, the juniors become seniors and the senior become alums.


    Raymond: In student life we wanted to have the admin give us a written promise that there would be gender neutral bathrooms included in all new buildings.

    7:08//Traditions co-chair amendment

    Activities: Traditions committee was presented to committee way back when about having a performance committee that would oversee Vassar’s larger events. We came up with an amendment that would create co-chairs similar to the structure of Founder’s Day that would have subcommittees and things like that.

    SoCos: We are just going to have co-chairs oversee subcommittees so they could all work separately. We wrote out an amendment following the same format as Founder’s Day.

    President: How would we transition into the Traditions committee?

    Activities: I envisioned us having the new VP for Activities and council select by application the co-chairs like what we do for Founder’s Day so those co-chairs could take applications for serenading and we’d go chronologically by event. In the fall, the co-chairs would work on Meet Me in Poughkeepsie followed by Halloween and so on.

    SoCos: The idea behind this is having accountability from groups beyond Senior Class Council/

    Strong: Logistically I was wondering if the appointment would fall under Board of Elections.

    Activities: It would potentially be by Board of Elections.

    Strong: Serenading and Meet Me in Poughkeepsie happen almost immediately. When would those chairs get chosen?

    Activities: Probably by the end of the year so that they had some time to plan it.

    TAs: Did you talk about the potential of having Tasty Tuesdays have their own chair?

    Activities: We’re going to see how this plays out: If the co-chairs have a bunch of time on their hands, maybe they will undertake that.

    Ops: In terms of how we’re going to appoint them, we can add that as a clause.

    2014: I’m concerned about the planning of these events, like Halloween. How are you going to recruit people to help out with that?

    Activities: Almost identical to Founder’s Day.

    Raymond: In Operations Committee we talked about how in the first year it would have to go through collaboration with the senior class since we couldn’t budget it since the budget deadline passed.

    Activities: One of the Founder’s Day committees is Activities Committee. It could be that Senior Class Council reaches out to the Daisies and see how involved they want to be in these events.

    SoCos: Right now Senior Class Council does almost everything related to Halloween. Even if the only thing the Senior Class Council was responsible for was the event itself that would still be a huge relief from what they’ve had to do this year.

    President: We’re opening up appointments today. Could we group this together with those appointments?

    Ops: I don’t recommend pushing this through today because there are still problems with it. If we pass it next week, there’s still two weeks to handle it.

    President: It seems like a lot of the questions we have are kinks that could be worked out with those people who are appointed. A lot more people sign up for appointments than elections because they are less scary. That might help get a lot more people interested.

    -Tabled until next week-

    7:17//Second viewing of Campaigning Funds Amendment
    The motion passes unanimously.

    2014: You all have a list of the open positions for the agenda with the timeline for the Board of Elections. The positions that will be filled by special election will be 2015 Secretary, President and Vice President as well as Town Students, SoCos, and secretary of Main. What happened with the SoCo president is that no president was declared a winner because they didn’t reach the quota and there was a tie with a write-in. According to VSA bylaws, we’re required to bring those people into VSA council to have them duke it out and then vote on them. We’re voting to suspend those bylaws and move it to an appointment position determined by the Board of Elections and Appointments.

    President: All of the write-ins were for the same person.

    SoCos: That person showed interest although filing had passed. They campaigned for a write-in.

    President: We’re running on the assumption that it was a tie–I’m more comfortable treating it as a tie since two people expressed clear interest.

    2014: In order to do that we must suspend Article 10 section 10 C1.

    SoCos: C1 says that those people must come to council and present their platforms. Another clause says they are eligible for an appointment.

    President: What we’re doing here is recognizing that it’s really awkward to have people come in to council under the circumstances of a tie. We’re voting on it here to send it to the Board of Elections.

    Ops: If we’re doing this right now it’s still not according to bylaws completely. We must suspend another bylaw because technically an old Board of Elections would be doing the appointment.

    President: If we decide this is an appropriate procedure, we’ll suspend all appropriate bylaws to do that.

    2016: So the person who didn’t file and did file can both run? Shouldn’t we just open up the position since one of them didn’t file?

    2015: I think in terms of the Main position: because it was  a tie between two particular people it seems like a good idea to have a closed appointment. In the SoCos case it’s the difference between an election and an appointment. I think a lot of people will have to be removed from the appointment procedure due to conflicts of interest with the people who know the candidates. Since there were six nos, it might make more sense to do an election

    Raymond: I am kind of in favor of a special election because it’s a council position.

    President: Is everyone okay for doing a special election for the other elections? The issue is only for the SoCo President. (Yes). Can we vote on settling those issues now so we can direct our conversation? Let’s vote on those timelines as-is and handle SoCos as a part of separate conversation?

    All in favor in this timeline?
    -This motion passes-

    2014: Condensed filing opens tonight at midnight for 2015 President, Vice President and Secretary as well as President of Town Students.

    Josh Sherman (at-large): We had lots of discussion about that–It seems that opening it up and letting anyone file would remove lots of what-if scenarios.

    Ops: Basically the issue is that we shouldn’t do a second election because as weird as it sounds it’s a very undemocratic thing to do. We run an election under very specific rules where in they file, run and are elected. There is a write-in option and must get at least 50% of the student body to vote for them. For a second election you’re depending on a different subset of the constituency is going to vote. Therefore you’re disenfranchising anyone who voted in the first election. If the second election has a smaller turnout you automatically have a less democratic process. If you have more people voting the second time–it’s basically probabilistic. A second vote would be no more fair than the first election. My recommendation is that this be done by special appointment. Anyone who has a conflict of interest has the responsibility to abstain.

    2015: I find voting theory is one thing to consider. Also just knowing the amount of different conflicting interests–it just might be the easiest to give the decision back to the people since there’s changed information. Knowing there’s a tie, it might be easiest to do an election.

    President: If we’re allowing both of these people to run or more people to run that means people will be voting differently than they would before. Just for the sake of making this quicker: Your choices are about whether or not this should be open to two people or anyone?

    2016: I think it might be unfair to open it up to everyone because people who didn’t win in the last election could use this as an opportunity to run for a different position. I don’t think it would be fair to have an election opened up to everyone.

    Ops: There’s a complex problem which is that technically only one candidate showed up on the ballot which is what makes this more complex.

    President: Also we should consider if we should privilege the person who filed on time over the person who didn’t file on time?

    Ops: Does the failure to know the rules excuse you from following the rules, is the question I guess.

    President: I think we’re limiting the pool of people who could be running by keeping only these two people in mind.

    Just two people running: 2015, Tas, THs, Noyes, Ops, Jewett, Davison, 2017, Ferry, Town Students, 2014
    Completely open: Lathrop, Main Strong SoCos, Activities, Academics, Cushing, Raymond, Joss
    Abstentions: 2016

    2016: I don’t really understand why we allow write-in candidates to begin with. We have all of these procedures and a fair campaign process. I don’t understand why we should allow write-in candidates to begin with.

    President: That’s a great question that we won’t answer this year. The motion passed to have only two people running.

    VP for Finance: Why isn’t there a ‘no option’ when there’s more than one candidate?

    Ops: If we’re going to have two candidates than Max’s [2016’s] question is completely relevant. If a write-in candidate is a write-in candidate that should be used as information that informs how you vote. Is it necessarily a good process? A better process would be to do an appointment and have anyone who has a conflict of interest not participate in the decision.

    Jewett: If a lot of people voted for the write-in candidate that means a lot of people were considering them. I think it shouldn’t be us students to appoint them because only two people have a conflict of interest.

    2014: Often when an appointment is being made the relevant constituencies are invited to participate in the appointment process. We would invite people from the SoCo board to come in and the elected people from Main House.

    Special election: Raymond, 2015, Lathrop, TAs, THs, Student Life, Jewett, Davison, 2017, Cushing

    Appointment: Ops, Finance, Main, Strong, SoCos, 2016, Noyes, Activities, Academics, Ferry, Town Students, 2014

    -This will be an appointment position-

    2014: To accommodate what could go wrong, we would suggest that we not do full 48 hours of voting and do 24 instead, from Saturday noon to Sunday at noon.

    2015: The people who are elected that day will be released at 4:30 in the afternoon. It might be best to let them know that there will be a meeting that happens afterward.

    Lathrop: Doesn’t any appointment still have to be approved by council?

    President: Technically it’s like the consent agenda. It’s a formality and we’ll let them know about that.

    All in favor of the changed timeline that would make the voting period 24 hours and not 48?
    All in favor: All except for 2016.

    7:43//Gender neutral bathrooms resolution

    Student Life: We had this resolution so that council would be committed to this. Separately, the Gender neutral bathroom committee is still working with administration. I don’t want to do another letter to administration because they’re already working toward those goals and I don’t want to make the administration feel like we’re putting unnecessary added pressure.

    SoCos: I sent this Ramy [Raymond] because it sounded like more of a letter.

    Student Life: We haven’t sent a letter to them, but we know that they are working with administration already. Let’s postpone it a week and vote on the resolution next week.

    2014: There are 34 days 14 hours and 14 seconds until 2014 graduation. We have still not heard back about how much money we owe the bus company after the nonsense that was 50 Nights. How that’s going to affect Senior Week events is TBD.

    Royal: I really like all of you guys–you guys are the reason I ran [for VSA council] in the first place and I’m so glad to be able to sit on this council with you guys. It made me realize there isn’t one type of person who’s on the VSA and I feel like we’ve gotten a lot done even though we haven’t gotten everything done.

    Jewett: Do you remember that time Jewett had that thing and the power went out? Jewett’s doing it again. I’m DJing. Tell all of your constituencies. [7 Deadly Sins part II]

    Activities: Pre org applications are due today!

    Student Life: Could I please meet with my committee after this? There’s a possibility we might postpone the munchies study break. We could just postpone it a week.

    2015: I have a meeting with TQ this upcoming week about how we’re going to organize bell ringing and you will all be getting an email soon. Get excited!

    Noyes: The Noyes Soiree is postponed.

    TAs: We’re hosting Professor Diane Kelly. It’s at 4 p.m. in Blodgett. She gave a Ted Talk, you can look her up. The Sustainability Committee is doing an all-campus project for Earth Day. On Wednesday they’re doing bird house painting for the space behind Baldwin and it’s part of my senior project that I’m working on.

    President: Next council is our last council meeting. We’ll be doing a dinner beforehand with the incoming council and we’ll do one-on-one sit-downs with your successors. Also we will have our council and during that time people can make sentimental speeches if you’d like. It’s typically something that seniors do, but you’re all welcome. We’ll do the budget, we’ll go over the appointments and then new council will have their first meeting. Everyone will cry–it’ll be like Rent all over again. Committees are meeting this week. Thanks everyone for coming today. You’re all special.

    Activities: Great job to Cushing for your event on Friday.

    Student Life: I’ll send out an email about whether or not the Munchies study break is still happening tomorrow. On Wednesday the Title IX forum will be happening from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Jade Parlor. We’re looking for feedback about how Vassar handles these procedures.

    2016: CIRC had their first meeting of the semester the other day. They will reach out to the VSA next year. Luis Inoa sent out a survey about Vassar’s counseling services. I’d encourage everyone to tell their constituencies to take the survey since we’ve talked about the problems with Metcalf all year.

    2014: Seniors. Do the goddamn senior survey. We have 40 people left until we get $2500 from Cappy and 30 of those people have started the survey and not completed it. Just do it. We’ll get money.

    7:55//-Meeting adjourned-


  • mariesolis 3:56 am on April 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA 2014/2015 election results 

    11:56 p.m.//Students are gathering in the Retreat to hear election results. Stay tuned for live results!

    12:00 a.m.//Board of Elections announces that they will begin announcing results at the bottom of the candidates list and ending with the Executive Board.

    Note: If a 50% quota has not been met, the person elected may not be announced as the winner because not enough of the constituency has voted.

    More details on who the 2015 Senior Class President will be at a later time.

    12:01 a.m.//Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid: Gabriel Ramos ’17, Emily Omrod ’16 and Delaney Fisher ’15.

    Committee on Sustainability: Adam Eichen ’15.

    Master Planning Committee Representative, Gabriel Ramos, Richard Le, Ariadne Skofous

    Food Committee Chair: Andrew Eslich

    Committee on Academic Technology: George Beyer

    Committee on College Life: Casey Hancock ’15,  Laura Schachter ’16, Adam Ninyo ’17

    Campus Investor Responsibility Committee: Adam Eichen, Tinatin “Tiko” Nikvashvili

    Town Students Treasurer: Danyelle Hamilton

    **Special election for South Commons President

    South Commons Programming Director: Aja Saalfeld

    South Commons Tresurer: Jacob Moore

    TA President: Simon Patane

    TA Programming Director: Daniel Killian

    TA Treasurer: Jennifer Barone

    TH President: Kelly Wilkinson

    TH Treasurer: Michelle Forman

    TH Programming Director: Alex Voynow

    Main 2017 Rep: Jane Bader

    Main 2016 Spring Rep: Elena Riecke

    Main Treasurer: Anna Blum

    Main Secretary: Sophie Dewil

    Main Vice President: Julia Pantalone

    Main President: Drew Leventhal

    Lathrop 2017 Rep: Emma Guy

    Lathrop 2016 Rep: Adam Mittman

    Lathrop Treasurer: Juan Felipe Laso

    Lathrop Secretary: Libbey Prosser

    Lathrop Vice President: Mr. Jacob Devasagayam

    Lathrop President: Sam Rosenthal

    Strong 2017 Rep: Caroline Coleman

    Strong Treasurer: Leah O’Brien

    Strong Secretary: Kimmie Ross

    Strong Vice President: Nnennia Mazagwu

    Strong President: Neena McBaer

    Davison 2017 Rep: James Falino

    Davison Treasurer: Joey Weiman

    Davison Secretary: David Pham

    Davison Vice President: Stefan Richards

    Davison President: William Chaudoin

    Raymond 2017 Rep – Cristian Ventura

    Raymond Treasurer: Sherry Imran

    Secretay: Alayna O’Brian

    Vice President: Priya Misra

    President: Matt Ford


    Jewett 2017 Rep – Gileann Tan

    Jewett Treasurer: Hailey Prather

    Jewett Secretary: Laura Barreto

    Jewett Vice President: Zichen Chen

    Jewett President: Calvin Lamothe


    Joss 2017 Rep – Kayla Schwab

    Joss Treasurer: Eric Hong

    Joss Secretary: Carson Packer

    Joss Vice President: Elijah Lucey

    Joss President: Luke Dowker


    Noyes 2017 Rep:  Tyler Welch

    Noyes Treasurer: Rosalind Lytle-Rich

    Noyes Secretary: Rose Hedreen

    Noyes Vice President: Cristian Uriostegui

    Noyes President: Karen Crook


    Cushing 2017 Rep:  Gabrielle Crook

    Cushing Treasurer: Daniel Gu

    Cushing Secretary: Hailey Brown

    Cushing President: Essie Asan


    Class of 2017

    Treasurer: Saisha Srivastava

    Secretary: Chealin Won

    Vice President: Emma Davis

    President: Jonathan Nichols


    Class of 2016

    Treasurer: Chelsea Carter

    Secretary: Elayna Horvit

    Vice President: Lauren Garcia

    President: Stephanie Zhu


    Class 2015

    Treasurer: Gregg Watts


    Board of Elections and Appointments

    2017 Rep: David Pham

    2016 Rep: Laura Schachter

    2015 Rep: Delaney Fischer, Collin Crilly

    Chair: Casey Hancock


    Judicial Board

    2017 Reps: Joe Syzmanski, Vincent Palladino, Emily Bender, Thomas Jin

    2016 Reps: Maximillian Cordeiro, Amreen Bhasin, Matthew Gabriele, Zoe Tong Kurtz

    2015 Reps: Michelle Yuan, Briana Pedroni, Sarah Mincer, Louis Cheng

    Chair: Gagandeep “Deep” Anand



    VP for Finance: Max Moran ’16
    VP for Activities: Reuben Moncada ’15
    VP for Academics: Logan Hill ’16
    VP for Operations: Ramy Abbady ’16
    VP for Student Life: Hannah Matsunaga ’16
    VSA President: Carolina Gustafon ’15

  • Chris Gonzalez 11:00 pm on April 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council Meeting—April 13, 2014 

    Hey, everyone! We should be getting started soon. First, I wanted to make a note. This will be the last time that I will liveblog the council meetings as Editor-in-Chief. Let’s get started.

    7:00 // Attendance…. President
    PROXIES: Town Students, 2014, Cushing, Davison
    ABSENT: 2016, 2017, Town Houses, Finance, Operations

    7:03 // Consent Agenda

    a. Gabe Ross(Disc).………………………….……………………………………………..(0/1500)
    b. SJP (Pre-org)..…………………….……………………………………………….(175/175)
    c. Phil Majors (Disc)……………………………….……….…………….………..…(550/600)
    d. WVKR (Collab)……………………………….……….…………….………(2000/2000
    e. CHOICE (Speakers)……………….…………….……….………………….…(1200/2500)

    Council consents to the agenda.

    7:04 // Forum with Ben Lotto

    LOTTO: Deb asked me to come and talk to you guys; I’m starting as Dean of Studies July 1st, I’m replacing Joanne Long, it’s a position I’m excited about. I worked as the Dean of Freshmen for 4 years, and have been on lots of committees; it’s a vital office for students. To remind you, the Dean of Studies Office consists of the Main Office with class advisors and transfer credits, domestic programs; it oversees 4 offices: Study Away, Fellowships, Accessibility, and oversees many committees—student records. I’ll be chair of the academic panel, I’m on a bunch of other things, most important is the curricular committee. I watch lots of students going through the curriculum. It’s always been a well-functioning office that was visible from the moment I walked on campus, and I’m honored to take on this role. I’m here to talk about what I’m interested in doing. I also want to hear what you guys are interested in, and I’ll make it open to anyone who has concerns about the office or committees.

    TAs: What sorts of problems have you heard of that the Dean of Studies has had, how can that be changed?

    LOTT: It seems to me that the volume of students that come through the Career Development Office and JYA and Accessibility, those offices seem to have gotten busier in my time, so I want to take a look at those offices, I want to hear from them how thy’re doing and what kind of solutions I can bring, it’s the main thing. Within the office itself, I’m walking into an office with a great reputation, it’s a privileged position, and I want to continue to nurture that relationship and be as open and transparent as possible, the conversations we’ve had when applying a rule need to be more transparent. The student might not walk away happy but will understand.

    2015: Often there can be rumors about offices; I’ve heard the office has been intimidating or insensitive, for me that’s important, do you have plans for student feedback?

    LOTTO: My door is open to anyone who wants to talk about any concerns, if there is this perception that the office is not fair or is being inconsistent I want to know about them, this goes back to the transparency issue: students don’t always come away happy, they often ask for an exception and often we say no. The language I always use is that we weigh the needs of one against the needs of many—if I say yes to everything I’m being unfair to everyone, and there are cases where there is an exception. I make sure the student is heard and that either the advisor meets with us once a week. We get back to the student with whatever the decision, we want them to feel heard, even when I make the decision in favor of the student I say I’m doing this but it was a close call. That’s how I address someone who comes to me with those complaints.

    PRESIDENT: I want to follow up on that. I think generally it’s what you’re staying that students may feel heard but they don’t feel listened to, if that difference means anything, especially those who have had a triggering experience with films they’ve watched or panic attacks in class. It’s frustrating for them. My interpretation of it is that the policies in place are great for dealing with death in family, but with regard to trigger warnings and such the Dean of Studies is behind. There’s a request for more interaction with counseling services; TLC has training every week, maybe there’s a disconnect between Administration and students.

    LOTTO: The Dean of Studies sits on the Student Support Network. I know it has a mixed review but it’s a point of contact, if there is an issue with a student or someone has heard something, every week I and others sit in room with director of counseling. When I was the Dean of Freshmen the counselors knew me better than maybe they wanted—it’s a funny relationship with privacy, it’s an unequal relationship for the generic student, and I can tell counselors about student or review them. The counselors can’t tell me if a conversation with a student has happened. I tell the student if I’m going to talk to counselor, and I’ve gone through many trainings with different people. One helpful group has been the consultant about Title IX training, those are the contacts we’ve had. When I go back to my room I keep a bullet point list; so I’ll put these concerns on there, what conversations might we have not about specific students but about the impact of mental health issues, it came up in my years so there aren’t maybe best practices out there.

    PRESIDENT: Well our country doesn’t have the best grasp. On another note, I’ve worked with the dean of studies, how can you better acknowledge the good things your office does like fellowships so that it’s less intimidating?

    LOTTO: I don’t have a handle on all of these resources. July 1st I’ll learn more. I do think Lisa Cooperman in the Fellowships Office does a great job at identifying them and promoting them. It’s overwhelming at this point. I was on the fellowship committee 15 years ago, and the amount they handle is probably double; she works to make sure students know about them and helps with applications so they can go through process. The Dean of Studies has funds, like the academic enrichment fund to support an academic project. “Navigating Vassar” was a publication meant to provide a list of all resources, but there are so many that it is overwhelming.

    PRESIDENT: May I make a suggestion? I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Our generation likes Buzzfeed quizzes so maybe something set up like that, they’re bunched up together so it’s hard to read.

    LOTTO: Dean of Studies just went through a website overall that’s better but not there yet, so making that better could be good. The IGF is well publicized, so there are some resources everyone knows about and some nobody knows about, and everything in between; it’s been true of many things for a long time.

    AT LARGE—JOSHUA SHERMAN ’15: I recently went through the academic enrichment fund, and in that process I learned that it’s through the dean of studies. Some others are similar like transfer credits like AP’s and coursework taken in high school—these are all things floating under the dean of studies office, but is not well publicized. My professors didn’t know about grants that existed.

    LOTTO: The academic enrichment fund has a funny history: it used to be under the President’s Office then moved. I don’t understand the history but I’m going to learn so I’ll take a look at that; we all know each other, Fellowship knows all the funds.

    SHERMAN: The grants are very vague because they’ve been pushed around.

    LOTTO: I think two or three others I don’t know much about because I haven’t interacted with them personally, so I’ll take a look at that and why these funds are administered directly. I should get some more concrete examples on there. Transfer policy is written down explicitly in catalogue, which no one reads, and there is a point person in the Dean of Studies Office; it would be great if you told me how to smooth that process. I’m more familiar with that from being the Dean of Freshmen; I’d love to hear what you’ve struggled with.

    SHERMAN: It’s more about the publicity of it all.

    ACADEMICS: Generally I’ve heard there could be more sexual assault sensitivity, how can offices deal with more diverse student body, and what sort of training do you see to better foresee that?

    LOTTO: We receive regular training on sexual assault. I strongly encourage and require certain people to get that training regularly; having Lisa Cooperman as an in-house resource is good. I feel like we have good training. There’s been a lot of legal issues and that’s a shifting landscape too, and it’s my job to keep on top of that, as things evolve we need to adapt our rules. We want to be ahead of the curve
    with regard to shifting demographics. Our challenge is the entire faculty and administration—it’s our job to meet students where they come from. I don’t know what specific training would cover it. I think listening carefully, hearing, understanding other factors at play, and hitting the pause button to consult with expertise and be very deliberate so that any student who comes no matter their background feels like we gave them a fair decision. We want to communicate that in a sensitive way.

    SoCos: One of the things when people have complaints, some people don’t have the follow up they thought they should have, someone was told to make an appointment, they didn’t and they had no follow up. At a small school it would be good to follow up to make sure things are OK if a student hasn’t gotten back. We talked about “Navigating Vassar” as being a great resource, but we’re here 4 years only, so it would be a great project for the Offices to work on if they had the time.

    LOTTO: The idea of the publication was to be a student-to-student thing. There is a lot of truth that information is not uniformly available and accessible to every student. It’s on my mind all the time, so figuring exactly how to do this comes to uneven information, its vital. I know I’m manic about follow up and details to figure out how to loop back to student with balance. I reach out to a student who’s not going to class, I reach out and I don’t hear back, and I reach out to the student fellow if it’s freshman. Navigating that with emerging adults is a hard balance to find.

    PRESIDENT: Thank you for coming in. Thee criticisms aren’t all addressed to you since you haven’t started yet.

    LOTTO: That’s the beauty of coming here. The interactions we have are high stakes; it’s important to get the feedback especially when it’s vague so it’s on my mind and so I can pass it on and make sure other offices know that this is the reputation that’s out there so they can be more inclusive and accessible. Feel free to come to talk to me anytime.

    7:34 // Activities Reports

    ACTIVITIES: The storage space project is complete; we’re still looking at spaces especially for free market, we’re trying to find them a permanent location, VSA org yard sale was a success yesterday. Founder’s Day is approaching—those committees are in good standing. Merch has arrived—merch like hats and sweaters will be sold starting soon in College Center. VCash will be accepted. Pre-org apps are open until 4/20. The Activities Committee and I have talked about getting a drum set for org usage. The one in the Mug is not useful. We’re looking at the idea of a recording studio.

    7:36 // Finance Reports

    2015: Activities and finance committee have access to see everything that’s been done with annual budgeting.

    7:37 // Constituent Concerns

    PRESIDENT: I will start with YOU *points to 2015* There is a new fro yo place across from Barnes and Noble on Route 9, all you can eat for $3.50 on Mondays.

    2015: There was a bathroom sign hung on the LGBTQ center over the sign, we should say something about that.

    STUDENT LIFE: The Joss laundry room is still not fixed. It sucks.

    7:38 // Campaign Funds Amendment

    SoCos: When we had candidates speeches, we were supposed to say we could help funding for campaigning. I wrote this amendment so that you contact the chair of board of elections for that to avoid conflict of interests.

    7:40 // Decertifications

    ACTIVITIES: 3 orgs that we recommend to be decertified. The Nordic Team has been inactive for 3 semesters, Vassar public art and polo team has mismanaged funds for several semesters.

    JEWETT: Some have been inactive, does polo know about this?

    ACTIVITIES: They do, some orgs have tried to get it going, polo team has told me that they are done.

    Nordic Team: All in favor.
    Polo Team: Noyes abstains. All in favor.
    Vassar Public Art: All in favor.

    7:42 // Open Discussions

    JEWETT: 4/19—spring concert, please come on time and show support.

    STUDENT LIFE: Student Life committee is doing an all-campus study break on 4/21 for “Munchie Study Break” unofficially. We’re baking chocolate chip cookies and cupcakes, and crepes. Hopefully it will be held in the Rose Parlor at 9 p.m. We’re planning a forum to open dialogue on the Title IX process, and the training IVP’s go through. People feel like the process has not represented them well enough. On 4/24 we’re working out room reservations.

    SoCos: Elections are this week so if you’re campaigning, posters must be down on noon, April 15, Tuesday. Voting begins that day and ends April 17. Seniors can vote in exec positions. Elections results are Thursday, midnight in the Retreat.

    JEWETT: Why are seniors are allowed to vote?

    PRESIDENT: They’re proxies for freshmen.

    SoCos: We kind of get to choose who we want as we leave.

    RAYMOND: Mr. Vassar on Thursday, 8 p.m. in UpC.

    TAs: This is in response to the quasi-cyber bullying that happened during exec debates. I respect those putting themselves out there in running for exec position.

    7:48 // Council Adjourns.

  • mariesolis 10:09 pm on April 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Debate 

    Welcome to the 2014 VSA Debate! Our Editor-in-Chief, Christopher Gonzalez will be moderating the discussion.

    We begin with opening remarks.

    The following are candidates for VSA President.

    Regina Krawiec: “As president I hope to bring a fresh perspective to the VSA…I want to focus on bringing strong morale support to VSA council and its respective constituencies to have a student government that runs effectively and efficiently.”

    Carolina Gustafon. “Through the experience of being Strong President I got to be on the VSA and I noticed that there wasn’t the same kind of community and empowerment that there is on House Team. I was disappointed to see that because I think the best progress and the best growth can come from environments where people work together instead of simply trying to force their own agendas. We should be reaching out to hear a variety of perspectives and we know that VSA is not a completely representative body right now and that’s not how a student government should be. I want to bring new ideas to create an effective body to move things like social justice and awareness that the students have pushed the VSA to recognize while the VSA has continued to make bylaws that haven’t effected any change.”

    Ali Ehrlich: “I would really love to serve as your 2014/2015 President. I think that student government can have a purpose and do something well, and we only do a few things well. I love Vassar, I love Vassar students, and I love the Vassar Student Association. Student government can do something. I don’t think the VSA is what it can be or what it should be and I think we’ve lost the purpose of it a little bit. The VSA isn’t something that we join because we think we’re going to have a ton of fun doing it, though it will also be fun–but we do it because we want to serve the student body and offer them change and empowerment. I would like to see a VSA that doesn’t focus on itself, but on the students.”

    Vice President for Student Life candidates make their statements:

    Hannah Matsunaga:  I’d just like to list 3 things most important to me: accessibility. I was shocked to learn that the majority of residence halls are not wheelchair accessible. This affects families and students. Access to mental health services: increasing number of counselors at Metcalf is good–making the position 11 rather than 10 months. We can’t have counselors over spring break. Institutional memory: lots of great projects have been started and I do respect that.”

    Iyana Shelby: “For some of though who might be asking ‘Who am I?’ as I often ask myself, I like to align myself as a black woman from a low-income background. I have found that while this school claims to be open and diverse, it often doesn’t offer me security and a place on campus. Simply, I am running for your VP for Student Life because, as my statement says, ‘I care.’ I want to reach those who feel unprotected and unhappy and give them a sense of security.”

    Adit Vaddi: “I’ve been on he executive board of the South Asian Students Allianc where I have been able to collaborate with ALANA orgs. Working with these people, in addition to working on Cushing House Team, has exposed me to a lot of problems on campus. I would like to create a more accessible and inclusive VSA by incorporating more classes of the community. This extends to adding resources in Metcalf, supporting the LGBTQ community, athletes, and our beloved workers. I feel like I could represent your ideas, hopes, and opinions as a successful VP for Student Life.”

    Marcos Vargas: “I personally think right now there isn’t enough support for certain groups of intersectionality. There isn’t enough being done there. In my opinion, I think orgs like the Woman of Color Alliance is a great initiative to give students a voice. This extends a lot in academic situations where often we deal with some classes in which you feel like your voice is unheard even if you’re discussing topics that have to do with who you are. Recently there has been the problem of no representation of Asian women in the women’s studies department. There are different areas where these issues come up in the every day.”

    Open statements for Vice President for Operations.

    Josh Tempo: I have noticed there are some areas on campus where the VSA isn’t as present as it should be. As VP for Operations my goal would be to make it an obligation to be absolutely present. I would like the VSA to have a better reach on campus.

    Ramy Abbady: I’m a sophomore physics major. This year I’ve been Raymond House President, I’ve led house team and served on council. Because of my involvement I feel i’m qualified for the position. The position involves reaching out to student body. The two biggest issues I see are inclusion and accessibility. I feel the VSA needs to increase its social consciousness. I’ve attended dialogues regarding issues students of specific identities have faced. As VP ops I would work to improve VSA training because it caters to only certain students. As student leaders we need to be versed in these issues to better understand the work ahead. I have more ideas I hope to talk about.

    Logan Hill: I’m unopposed but passionate. In terms of what I’d like to do, lots of suggestions have come up such as things that are very basic such as releasing syllabuses online earlier. They weren’t accepted by faculty but I want to work collaboratively with students and faculty to find solutions. The academics committee has put out newsletter, it hasn’t happened but I want to work more on it. I think this is an opportunity to showcase work that students do. I would like most things other people have suggested so far.

    Opening statements for Vice President for Activities.

    Reuban Monocada: In the past I’ve been house VP and am currently house pres, working in SARC. I’ve eitnessed problems that occur with events planning. I watn to improve programming overall by reaching out to student body. Better representing the student body especially those silenced.

    I want to run for VP for Activities because, having been Noyes President this year, we’ve had a lot of difficulties doing programming, and that isn’t something that’s specific to Noyes. For example, we were just notified that we had to postpone the Noyes Soiree for three weeks. We put a lot of work into that event and it’s too bad that it had to be postponed. I want to promote new organizations like club sports so students who might not have the time to play on a team have the opportunity to play.

    Ashley Forjoe: “I believe I’m the best candidate. I bring experience as an intern for the Women’s Center, I’ve worked with lowest budget campus organizations. This has taught me how to organize activities on campus. I’ve learned how to serve others and organize successful events and work with SARC office to adhere to Vassar rules. I bring diversity open mindedness and an empathetic year. I am confident in the value I can ad I want to be a resource for the people and make sure everything on campus runs smoothly and is successful.

    Opening statements for Vice President for Finance.

    Max Moran: “I remember when I was running for my first position at Vassar and everyone kept telling me that it goes by so quickly and to make sure you enjoy it, and here we are, almost halfway done. Working on the VSA, is about serving the itnerests of the student bodies. I have a bunch of ideas about what we could do, but none of that matters because it’s about you. This is my second term as class president and I really love the position. I have also been org treasurer for a couple years.”

    Kain Smith: “I learned early on, and have been continuously reminded since then, that the VSA is a bureaucratic institution within an even larger institution. I learned most of my academic year learning how to operate within a relatively static beuaracracy. Being a treasurer within the context of working outside of the VSA, those sorts of things are what’s propelling me to run for this position as VP of Finance. As treasurer for VPL I’ve been affected by VSA’s decisions and their general impressions. I’ve learned how to navigate within static and permanent beuracracy. Being an outsider of VSA but sitting through 2 leadership conferences as well as wanting to provide great programming, this has made me want to run for the position and expand on social consciousness funds.”

    Chris Gonzalez: How do you plan on garnering interest in student government from an apathetic student body?

    Caroline Gustafon, Presidential candidate: I would like to first get VSA more involved in House Team. I know that I had no idea what the VSA did before I served on council. I would like to incorporate the VSA more into house team training. I had the idea to make a VSA study break where we bring VSA council into houses so that students who are generally interested but might not want to reach out to us directly, can begin to understand the issues we deal with. Also right now the VSA is very closed off. I want a VSA that goes out of its way to be friendly. I think right now the structure we have prevents our council from talking to the students at large. I would like there to be more presence and let students know that we actually want to hear their opinions. We say that we do that right now, but students know that isn’t true. Students aren’t apathetic, the VSA is just incredibly closed off.”

    Ali Ehrlich: I thought Carolina’s answer was fantastic. I think calling students apathetic is an insult to the student body. I think that impression very much has to do with the fact that they don’t know what the VSA issues are, and that’s our fault. They do great things on campus. They might not vote in student elections, but they aren’t apathetic.

    Regina Krawiec: I think we should allow students to speak directly to administrators and the Board of Trustees by allowing them to send the president questions. You can send these questions in via email and it’s a way to ensure that your opinions are reaching the people you want to reach.

    Chris Gonzalez: How do you plan on balancing responsibilities and facilitating communication among campus centers?

    Hannah Matsunaga, candidate for VP for Student Life: I feel like a lot of centers on campus are under utilized. I think that my way of reaching out to various centers–which I think those channels are in place, we just need to use them–would be to reach out to actual students with actual voices and not just relying on committees. We need something that goes beyond the official bureaucracy that exists now. If we can change the culture, that’s great, but if we can’t we need to start reaching out to the student body as whole.

    Iyana Shelby, candidate for VP for Student Life: It’s not only working with these organizations but directing them to who can effect that change. It’s about working together and collaborating and creating a sense of solidarity among students on campus.

    Adit Vaddi: I think hearing those voices are the most important thing. We need to have representatives from every single facet of our community, whether it be student life or campus in general. I’d invite representatives from the food community, for example, or an individual from Res Life, to talk to student life so we can communicate our concerns. We can change the culture, but changing that and the attitude of individuals takes a long time. I’d like to start off with inviting representatives and gradually we would start to see larger change.

    Marcos Vargas: You can invite all of the identity orgs, but some of those people in those orgs might not feel comfortable expressing their opinions. I would like to try to explain that I want to be there to listen and hear anyone’s concerns and talk to them about it and make as much of a safe space for everyone as possible.

    Chris Gonzalez: One of the things that came up this year was the VSA audit–do you think that would be something to pursue next year? What do you think happened with it this year?

    Josh Tempro, candidate for VP Ops: I was aware of it and I thought it was a good idea because it was trying to address issues within the VSA. The audit should be something that’s pursued next year. It’s concerned with representation and that’s something we do care about.

    Ramy Abbady: This year I also sat on Operations committee. I think it’s very important to pursue this because we were really trying to work on what issues matter to students. We will definitely be pursuing it next year and hopefully we’ll be able to make some changes within VSA.

    What’s one of the first things you hope to accomplish if elected VP of Academics?

    Logan Hill: I think things aren’t always clear. People are always posting, ‘How do I declare a major?’ and things like that. There is a lack of information there about things like what courses you can NRO or how to fulfill the Quantitative Analysis requirement. I think accessibility is a very important thing.

    Why do you have the desire for club sports to exist and do you think this issue is present within the Vassar community as a whole?

    Raph Korine: In terms of intramurals, they only meet once a week. Sports are a wonderful and important aspect of education. But for a lot of people that time commitment of varsity sports is too much. The idea behind club sports is to open it up to people who want to be involved with other things like theater, and allow them to set aside time for all of those things. Club sports meet twice a week and have an actual coach and have the opportunity to compete against other schools and in terms of commitment fall in between intramurals and varsity sports.

    Deb Steinberg: I was wondering if you could speak to how you plan on filling the gap in 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. programming?

    Reuben Monacada: People don’t really know how to proceed with events, oftentimes. Making these resources more accessible to students will be a huge help.

    Ashley Forjoe: It doesn’t take a rocket science to program anything–you just have to have an idea about what you want to do. Most people just need a little guidance. I feel like the principle goal of the Vp for Activities is to help people and guide their ideas to ensure that they have achieve their goals for a successful event. I think there’s a big issue with incoming exec board leaders. The spring preparation, though to some extent effective, you leave without a lot of the working knowledge about how to submit things to the SARC office and work with them. Many groups don’t realize they don’t have priority for certain events and they turn out poorly. There should be a more interactive interface thing so that they can send in a request to SARC.

    Raph Korine: I think the way you can promote events during the day–there are some orgs that are specifically catered to having events during the day. I would strongly urge orgs to collaborate with other orgs so that a whole variety of programming could fill in the 10 to 2 timeline.

    Can you speak to the way Finance is run–what work does it need and how would you address those problems next year?

     Kain Smith, candidate for VP for Finance: One of the first things i’d like to change is the image that embodies the position. Going to five different meetings I’ve spent time outside before and after and people enter that space with apprehension and leave with disappointment. They might feel like the VSA has their grips on this money and they have to coerce them to give it up. I’d like to talk about the ways we’re carrying ourselves, because body language does have a big impact on how comfortable people feel. . also make sure fin com members are aware of what orgs are doing. I had to fill out funding out and had to reiterate what it was that my org is

    Max Moran: Sometimes I lack the insight on what it’s like to sit on the other side of the table. I think that Finance has been having a big problem with its image. Every time we bring people into the room I feel that people are scared or apprehensive and they might feel like the VSA is keeping a hold on all of the money and keeping the $750,000 for itself. I’d like to have finance committee members designated for specific orgs–attend meetings and find out more information about how they operate. If people feel they are being advocated for and they know someone on the committee knows their org well, it will ease some of this tension.

    Deb Steinberg: If there’s a bias incident on campus, how would you respond to it?

    Ali Ehlrich: One of the primary jobs of a president or leader is to recognize when there’s a crisis. That requires us to stop and make that a priority. The first step is to talk to the people who are affected. I don’t think there’s ever a way to understand how someone is affected by a bias incident unless we ask them and show we care. I believe the most important thing we can do is try to emphasize a community and a restorative justice practice where we focus in on the people who are directly affected and follow up their wishes. Every bias incident is different and you can’t treat it in the same systematic way.

    Carolina Gustafon: It’s important for me to first recognize that I do have a lot of privilege and we should be listening and not telling. On house Team we dealt with bias incidents this year and I can speak to how it feels to have someone tell you how you feel about an incident and what you should do. Strong has taken it upon themselves this year to move away from house team to tell people ‘this is how you should feel.’ We’ve tried to open up spaces where people can share their positive and negative experiences. I would like to take an approach of listening first and ask them how they would like to move forward.

    Hannah Matsunga: Student life has a unique relationship with Res Life and Security. The first response to a bias incident should be making people feel safe, because that’s what bias incidents do–rob people of their security. Would more security make people feel safe or is that part of the problem? I also think smaller more closed-off groups of people directly affected by the bias incidents are more effective so that, for example, people of color don’t feel like they need to explain why they are upset.

    Marcos Vargas: After a bias incident one of the most important things is that we create a healing system. As much as last year when Jewett dealt with bias incidents in our house, we opened up spaces for discussion. However, a lot of people don’t feel comfortable speaking in that space. Part of my position would be recognizing that I can’t always help someone cope and recover from a bias incident. I would then direct them to campus support systems who could help them.

    Iyana Shelby: I think something that would really be important is moving forward from the bias incident. I feel as if, at least in my history, when bias incident do happen there is some transparency that comes along, but not much. However, after that it’s kind of swept under the rug and we forget about them. There is something to learn from these events and we should remember them. I would like to make sure that of course people feel comfortable and there is a sense of transparency, but I think the most improtant thing is to take a chance, take a pause, and see what happened, why it happened, and give people the opportinity to be upset about it. A lot of voices were silenced when it came to bias incidents this year. Simply, as VP for Student Life I would want to make sure that those who felt unprotected have the chance to feel heard and heal in the way they wish.

    Regina Krawiec: As a president it’s important to first make sure that you’re not biased. For example, I’m a person of color. If it’s a racially charged bias incident, I too would be upset. I also think that it’s important to figure out why these incidents are happening which is difficult, because even though you want to inform people, the people creating these incidents don’t care and many people aren’t receptive. I think that’s something that needs to be discussed among council members and in the Vassar community at large. I think it’s important for people to have support systems. It’s not the responsibility of the people offended to inform other people and fix the problem, but I think it’s the council’s responsibility to keep people informed.

    Adit Vaddi: If people are educated about the nature of the incident rather than just getting an email, it would promote an environment in which

    Closing statements:

    Regina Krawiec: If elected president I would like to form a student government that we are happy with. Currently the VSA isn’t viewed in the best light, and I would like to change that. We need to promote environment where community is supporting them and they feel comfortable.

    Carolina: Students care and it’s time that the VSA starts respecting that. As VSA President, I would want to emphasize that I’m in no way of knowing every student’s view, opinion, experience, but I would hope to reach out to enough groups on campus to begin to understand and represent those experiences. I think I’m ready to begin to change the culture of the VSA.

    Ali Ehrlich: Everyone on this platform has something in common which is just that we want to serve the student body and help and whatever decision you make is going to be great. I’ve served on council for two years and I’ve sat on every single standing committee of the VSA. In past years since I’ve been on council we have been far from a perfect body. But we learn from our mistakes and I hope I can mold them into something that will make a better future. It means making yourself a resource, looking at what resources that exist, creating a community within council and with the student body.

    Hannah Matsunaga: It feels good to know that pretty much we all have the same goals. We all want more transparency, we want more accountability and a more socially just VSA. Everyone in this room wants the same thing. Someone is going to occupy the position and make those things closer to a reality. But I feel really blessed to be among a group of students who care so much that they would sacrifice so much of their time to make these goals a reality. I want all of us to keep each other accountable because we have great goals and I don’t want anyone here to give up what they believe in.

    Iyana Shelby: I care. Basically, I wish to offer all of those out there the ability to be heard and represented on campus, and to feel safe and protected. Last year as a freshman, I didn’t feel those things and I shouldn’t feel that way about the school I go to. It’s a process in getting these changes enacted and it won’t just happen with us, but it’s something that will happen within the years to come. I want to break down the sense of hierarchy that exists with the VSA. I want to be there for you and first and foremost I’m also a student.

    Adit Vaddi: I feel like my ideas and experiences will allow me to be a successful VP. It’s most important though that you do vote, for whoever.

    Marcos Vargas: I think I’d speak for everyone here when we say that, in trying to represent students, personally if elected for student life it’s important to make this a welcoming environment for everyone. That holds not only for big events and big things, but student life is something that happens day-by-day and includes all of the stuff of our everyday lives. The position is here to make every single day comfortable for everyone on this campus.

    Josh Tempro: When it comes to VSA council and VSA as a machine, a lot of voices go unheard because it feels like an isolating presence. We are all individuals. I’ve been an observer and a participant. It’s been a good experience at times. I do have experience with a lot of areas on campus and I know a lot of people who have good things to say.

    Logan Hill: I’m really passionate about this position, and I also really care about making our experience at Vassar the best it should be. I’d like to make the experience a great one for students to come as well.

    Reuban Monocada: No one has to be in  VSA elected position to make changes.

    Raph Korine: Ability isn’t enough, experience isn’t enough. You need a drive and passion and I really believe I have that. I’m an international student–I have families and friends across oceans and time zones. I’ve made Vassar my home away from home and I care a lo about making it the best it can be.

    Ashley Forjoe: I’m the person not to half-ass anything. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to give it my all. With my friends, school work, everything I do–it’s all or nothing. I would like to lead you and serve you in terms of activities. In regards to experience I love to organize and program–It’s something I actually have a love for. As a president of a breast cancer charity, I organize events, I organized things in high school that are still happening today. If you want to organize an event, come to me. I’ll make it happen.

    Max Moran: I think that change is really important, but you can’t change what you don’t know. And I know this position very well. This is what I’ve been passionate about since my third week at Vassar. It’s something I really care about doing and that Ic an do really well. I think you can read my statement for more information because there are some things that I’d like to change. If you have meal swipes left over at the end of the semester, you should be able to donate that food to a local shelter. I think there should be a student activities fund so that students with financial need can participate in all campus activities that they want to.

    Kain Smith: I believe there are merits in not having an entity with a long leadership of those with experiences. the ability to take into account perceptions is important. I’ve realized that policy exists for a reason but institutions who are empathetic are important. being a member of the listening center that’s a component i can guarantee is elected. the position is here for student orgs i envision a space where orgs don’t have to I envision treasures to be as involved as possible with myself and the exec board of the previous year. I am prepared to make emotional and time commitment to the position. I would like to be one of the first working class person of color VP of Finance we’ve had in a long time.

    7:30 p.m.// That concludes the debate. Vote!


  • Chris Gonzalez 10:59 pm on April 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council Meeting—April 6, 2014 

    Hey everyone, hope you’ve all enjoyed your Saturday nights. We should be getting started shortly.

    7:02 // Attendance ….OPERATIONS
    Proxies: 2017, JOSS, TAs, THs,
    Absent: MAIN, FERRY.

    7:05 // Consent Agenda

    a. Outing Club

    b. Poder Latino (Collab)…………….……………….……….………………..($1500/

    c. Minutes from 3/30/14

    Agenda Consented to.

    7:05 // Forum with Elizabeth Schrock

    SCHROCK: Who can tell me what month it is for a prize?

    2014: Sexual Assault Awareness month.

    SCHROCK: During the the month of April we’re doing cool things I’m excited about. Next Tuesday we’re screening a documentary, ‘Very Young Girls.’ It’s empowering and mentoring services for victims of trafficking who have been exploited through sexual assault. The founder now runs foundation in NYC; it looks at commercial subculture through the eyes of pimps and victims—personal vignettes that show their every day lives. It’s a really triggering documentary but talks about something important we don’t talk about in the US that’s important for this month. Three staff members will give a panel after the screening, which is from 6-8:30 p.m. in Rocky 300.

    JEWETT: Is there an event mention for it?

    SCHROCK: It’s on the Facebook page and there’s a blurb on the events page. The next thing is that throughout April we’re doing a “self care series” for all of you who are activists, and since you all are on VSA, you’re very active students—self care is important, we already did meditation and we’re doing empowering self defense on Tuesday, April 22 in the Aula. There will be a discussion before and after of how it can be used for empowering and how it can be talked about in victim blaming way; there’s also “Yoga for Empowerment” on Tuesday, April 29 from 1-2 p.m. The keynote speaker is Sonya, a spoken word poet, and her performance uses media examples and poetry to talk about body terrorism on Monday, April 21, 7-8 p.m., Rocky 300. Break the Silence is making a zine this month contributing stories of survivors for Break the Silence. The dates are on the website: April, 6, today, 9-10 p.m. in the LGBTQ Center. MVP was a 4 week course.

    PRESIDENT: It ended up being 5 weeks due to snow. Two people from Family Partnership Center who do victim assistance for domestic violence taught it; it was bystander training. I liked that we made our own role plays and we ended up making some that were relevant and that happen to us and friends; we talked about how to respond to it, we made up a nice community, and we graduated last week.

    SCHROCK: It was a great intro; we all use bystander intervention, it’s integrated in orientation, but we haven’t made Vassar’s own program until now, which was born of MVP and realizing strengths and weaknesses. We’re starting a peer bystander group, which meets May 4, Sunday, from 9-5 p.m. We’re bringing in people from University of New Hampshire to train us to be trainers of bystander courses. Over the summer we’re adapting that curriculum to be better suited for Vassar: maybe we need more levels. I’m really excited about this training, and I would love VSA members to go through it; it’s training for next year so more for freshmen, sophomores and juniors. It’s called “Bringing in the Bystander,” and there’s an application process; there will be a group of us who help to gather students and adapt curriculum. If you know an administrator who would be a great advisor let me know, I’d love to have more people. That’s the summary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, does anyone have questions about resources?

    PRESIDENT: Can you go over which resources are confidential?

    SCHROCK: [passes around pamphlets] We have 3 levels of confidentiality: some people have to disclose the information and some don’t. Confidential: Baldwin Health, Counseling and CARES, and anyone off campus such as hospitals. Private is me; I don’t disclose private info but I do disclose statistics to report to the College; others include student leaders and professors who aren’t in leadership positions. The SART team and their 24 hour hotline. Mandated Resources: any professor in leadership positions such as deans and coaches and administrators, house advisors—if you disclose to them it’s hard, because I want people to feel comfortable and not ashamed for what’s not their fault at the same time good practice is to ask ahead of time who someone has to tell before disclosing.

    TOWN HOUSE PROXY: Is there a way for students to get involved outside of CARES? I know that CARES selects students, so is there any other way students can get involved if they’re not picked for CARES?

    SCHROCK: CARES is the only student group who deals with issues relating to student violation, if a student is interested in these issues joining the bystander group would be a good way. You can volunteer at a rape center off campus, there’s a core people from Vassar every year.

    STUDENT LIFE: There’s a discrepancy with student fellows, there was a miscommunication during training, some student fellows were told to fill out incident form but no name, is that correct?

    SCHROCK: Privacy is called anonymous report. You don’t put any identifying information and you fill out as much as you’re comfortable with; it’s sent to me and you can tell me if you want to be contacted, and it goes in my filing cabinet and the number is given to the College at the end of the year.

    SOCOs: I’ve gotten complaints about professors not giving trigger warnings because they don’t feel it’s necessary, how can we encourage that?

    SCHROCK: I’ve had the same complaint, it’s a hard debate, recently people were going at each other. Oberlin has an interesting policy, it’s included in the student handbook with what’s recommended but not required; it might be a direction that would be useful, we though about having a forum about trigger warning to find some kind of consensus about where students are coming from in wanting these as well as professors. On an individual level I think talking to professors is useful. If you wanted myself to come in and talk with you and a professor, I’d be more than happy. I can’t guarantee they’ll put trigger warnings on anything, but I don’t want someone to feel discouraged.


    STUDENT LIFE: This has been a heavy week but one good thing is that gender neutral signs went up. I don’t know how widespread the dialogue is, but to give background we put it through because we wanted to increase the number of gender neutral bathrooms and also make existing signs clearer. The previous signs had male and female icons to indicate gender neutral, and clearly there’s problems with that. The new signs are just words and the new icon is the up-to-date version of what we should have. Most dorms that have accessible restrooms have them, there’s a discrepancy, it’s been a long time coming so I’m glad to see them, it’s a powerful indication of work done this year. If you helped out, thanks, we’re going forward with Judy and rest of team on how to move forward and get into academic buildings with no gender neutral bathrooms such as renovation of Sanders Physics where that wasn’t included in the plans. We’re figuring out how to integrate that with plans, which is similar with the bridge building and all future projects we’ve gotten a promise but not in writing that gender neutral bathrooms will be there. The work study letter we went over last week—the letter was great, there was a lot of feedback given, we met with Cappy and she kind of did a 180 and it turns out this is more of Dean Roellke’s project and agree to pushing for paid exec positions because she would “step on his toes” since he’s on sabbatical and can’t make decisions right now. I’m planning on working with my sucessor and pushing it through in the fall. It’s important and it’s such a small thing to make a big deal of, the precedent that’s been set with other orgs asking for work eligibility, it’s an inconvenient setback, ask me any questions. The SAVP student subcommittee has been working on a video that will give students who might not be comfortable talking to someone the info about offices with title IX and other protocols. I have gotten contact from students with experience with SAVP hearing and such and it does seem like there’s student interest; I’m meeting with a student about it. It may be a project for other students, I don’t have much info yet; there’s good and bad with system we have, it would be productive conversation.

    NOYES: I’m curious about future gender neutral progress, how is this being discussed with the future bookstore?

    STUDENT LIFE: We talked to bob and he said that code is the real issue, it’s not an unwillingness. With Sanders we’re too far along, with the Juliet space we have to put in women and mens’ room but we can label them as we want. Bob said we can do whatever.


    ACADEMICS: Student seminars are happening. I only hear if they’re not going well so I assume they’re going fine. The majors fair happened, largely went well. The CEQ new version—I’m meeting Thursday for official meeting. Probably a new one by fall that will be online on moodle; the creative arts grant we have will have student input. I met with CIS and I talked about resources on campus; it turns out CIS has classes you can sign up for like Excel and other programs, but no one ever uses them. And there’s a continued effort on the social consciousness requirement; we’ll create document of why students want it, that will be next few weeks.


    2015: We would really like a “froyo” at the new bookstore.

    SOCos: Complaints about shuttle running, we appreciate the email about when it’s not running and would appreciate more.

    STUDENT LIFE: There’s still problems with the Raymond card swipe.

    OPERATIONS: They’re checking on card swipes at least once a semester, it would be helpful to send report to CIS. I was sent a resolution passed by freshman class council that they want a Chipotle in the new space.

    2017: We would like it noted that this was passed on April 1, but if we inadvertently bring this about that would be good.

    7:35 // Eligibility Amendment….. OPERATIONS

    OPERATIONS: This is slightly different than the amendment sent with agenda; we want to make it more in line with the ResLife policy. I thought it was passed next week but this was a miscommunication and it was tabled to my committee. We should pass this amendment to make our policies in line with ResLife. Those in residential positions can’t run for VSA council positions.

    PRESIDENT: This was unclear before and we decided not to just accept what ResLife had said, we talked to relevant constituents.

    NOYES: Positions that are hired or all of house team?

    PRESIDENT: Exec positions can’t do anything else.

    RAYMOND: Right now section f contradicts another amendment.

    OPERATIONS: Yes that was a typo; we can vote to change that amendment, it should say any student holding selected or elected house position, should really say house team.

    2015: If they’re already elected they couldn’t hold that position right? if you’re holding ResLife position, this is confusing.

    RAYMOND: Instead of dealing with typo can we make this a separate point.

    OPERATIONS: It wouldn’t be a problem because there are no ResLife elected positions.

    RAYMOND: This replaces the point that says house officers can’t be on council.

    SOCOs: We talked about this only applied to VSA council.

    OPERATIONS: Doesn’t it say you can’t hold two positions on council?

    PRESIDENT: I’m going to make a motion to table this to operations, because there are still issues.

    2014: I’m wondering whether or not we should proceed with current bylaws.

    2015: I move to vote on the amendment that was shown to council, that’s in bylaws that were presented to people in elections so that it can be done.

    OPERATIONS: That amendment makes no sense.

    STUDENT LIFE: Wouldn’t the other stop a student fellow from being a floor fellow?

    RAYMOND: No, because we’re not controlling ResLife stuff.

    PRESIDENT: It’s going to be tabled to ops committee.


    7:43 // Open Discussion

    2014: You should know there are 48 days until May 2014 Commencement. A shout out to students at 50 Nights who left the bus without making a mess, and those who punched security, they should do something to themselves that I’m not going to say.

    FINANCE: In 4 hours and 15 minutes Annual Budgeting is due. Houses need to apply for a budget but no constitution is necessary. Class Councils also need a budget.

    NOYES: Do we need to put on community action?

    2015: It might be helpful to the future of the house.

    FINANCE: Right after this can we meet briefly, be nice to members of finance committee this week, we have a lot of budgets to look over.

    TOWN HOUSE PROXY: Student faculty basketball game happened and we won and it was pretty well attended so we made money for student gift.

    RAYMOND: Roaring Twentis is this coming Friday, food jazz and gambling from 10-2.

    DAVISON: We’re having Sock Hop this Saturday, live it up with Raymond on Friday then come to ours, we will have milkshakes and apparently an inflatable juke box.

    JEWETT: Can I motion to adjourn?

    7: 47 // Council Adjourns.

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