VSA Council September 7, 2014

Welcome to the first VSA council meeting of the semester! In case you forgot, I’m Marie Solis, The Misc’s editor-in-chief.

For the first two meetings, VSA council will be held in Rocky 212. We’ll be getting started shortly!

7:07 p.m.//Attendance: VP Ops
Proxy: 2017, 2018, Raymond
Absences: Town Students

7:09 p.m.// EMS Fund App……………………………………………………………………………………….Finance (15 min)

Finance: We were intitially going to discuss this at the Finance committee meeting this Wednesday, but EMS needs the items sooner. We have the agency to not approve this fund app if that’s what we wanted to do. Carolina and I decided it would be good practice to talk about a fund app as a council. The way that this works is that Kevin from EMS has the opportunity to give us information about the organization and why this fund app is necessary and we all have the chance to ask questions.

Kevin: I’m requesting for a total of $2,400.50 to purchase CPR-training equipment. Vassar EMS requires at least CPR training to become a member of EMS so every year we have students take a certification class. This year we decided to have in-house training to certify three EMS members to be CPR instructors. We require equipment for the training including mannequins, AED, breathing masks and other learning equipment which is why we’re appealing to the VSA for EMS. We need three DVDs–each one will be for each of the three instructors. This year the company decided to charge rental fees. In addition we only have one AED trainer. We believe that it’ll be more convenient in the long run to have our own equipment.

Joss: You said you wanted to switch it to in-house training? Previously was there any cost to students for CPR training?

Kevin: Last year there was a large change in the athletics department which required us to hire individuals which was very expensive and didn’t work with students’ schedules. So instead of running into that situation again, we decided to switch to in-house.

Finance: Are you going to charge students for certification classes?

Kevin: People who are currently members or who would like to become members to VC EMS will not be charged any cost. We want to encourage Vassar students to at least try VC EMS. So if they do at least one shift after being certified we count that as completing their service. If they don’t complete that, we would charge them $25 which is for the certification card and the instructors’ time. If you don’t want to join EMS but want to be certified anyway, you can pay that fee.

Finance: I think this is a great use o our capital fund and I think it’s a great advantage to EMS and it would add a great opportunity to people interested in CPR certification on campus. The only drawback is that it’s very expensive. We don’t usually see capital-item purchases that are this large. But, as the VP for Finance I think the rewards outweigh the drawbacks.

-Motion to vote from VP Finance-

-All in favor. Motion passes-

Forum with Kelly Grab, VSA Advisor Kelly Grab (15 min)

Kelly Grab: I’m a house adviser for Lathrop and Jewett. I’m a Title IX investigator. I work closely with health education, SAVP and many other orgs.

President: Kelly is our adviser this year. Essentially she’s here to serve as an extra resource. If you want a different opinion on an issue, she’s great for that. I wanted her to come in and say hi.

Executive Board Reports

7:18 p.m.//Activities……(7 min)

Activities: After that we’ll review the Activities committee will be meeting on Thursdays at 7 p.m.

7:19 p.m.//Finance

Finance: I have successfully transferred almost all orgs’ funds into their accounts. We’re having Treasurer training this Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Rocky 300 and on Thursday it’s at 7 p.m. in Sanders Classroom. All treasurers are required to attend. Finance is meeting this week to look at fund apps we’ve received so far.

Activities: Can you go over the rough allocation of the funds?

Finance: We’re still deciding if we’re going to roll the 80,000 of unused funds in the budgets total. The only money that needs to roll over into a specific fund is for the capital fund. Some of our funds we’re used entirely, some of them weren’t used at all. Speakers starts with $50,000; discretionary starts with $60,000, which can go up or down depending on how many students are enrolled; social consciousness $10,000; Capital 65,000.

7:23 p.m.// 6 Guiding Principles South Commons and 2016 (10 min)

2016 and South Commons:

2016: We wrote up guiding principles based upon what we discussed last semester: Improving accessibility…

SoCos: Support each other; have varied programming; how Villard parties shouldn’t become the norm.

2016: Work more with Poughkeepsie and nearby and sister institutions. And foster better relationships.

-All in favor-

7:24 p.m.// First Year Elections Timeline BOEA and Operations (10 min)

Casey Hancock: I’m this year’s Board of Elections and Appointments Chair. First year elections begin this Wednesday and two weeks later–the thing is, they follow the format of previous elections timelines. If you look two years back, it’s almost identitcal. Seven days of filing, seven days of campaigning and 48 hours of voting. We’ll have an interest meeting during the filing period so people can learn about what the VSA is before they make the decision to file. The list of positions involved with this is listed on the VSA website.

7:26 p.m.// Declaration of Open Positions BOEA and Operations (5 min)

Casey Hancock: A lot of positions that became open over the summer due to transfers or resignations. we have a timeline to fill these positions as quickly as possible within reason. the list may include others. six days of filing for positions,  next sunday 3 to 7 pm. email will go out tonight. Town Students will most likely be filled by appointment according to the bylaws.

Activities: Can you speak to the decision behind appointment versus elections for the Town Students.

Hancock: The number of voters we had in the first election were between six and eight. It would be easier to make a decision through appointment: We wouldn’t have to go through CIS and burden people with emails. It’s simpler and more efficient. If you go under representatives on the VSA website, all open positions say “open” next to them.

Ops: I move to vote on this to officially fill this position by appointment.

In favor: All, except for Finance, who’s opposed.

Hancock: In the future we recommend you follow our recommendations because for the last election we found it demeaning to those involved and demeaning overall. We nominate Aleena Malik for the position of Raymond House President.

Activities: Can you speak to why the candidate is more qualified than others?

Hancock: The role of the Board of Elections is more substantial than in the past. We’re supposed to be making an independent decision.

Finance: We shouldn’t be voting on anything we don’t have. We have to consent to the consent agenda. Maybe this is a discussion to be had in Ops. If this is supposed to be a fully autonomous committee, we should be talking about that separately.

Cushing: Can we be clear about what the consent agenda is, because I’m unclear as to what we’re doing if the Board of Elections can make their own decisions without us knowing why.

Hancock: The applications are in the possession of Exec, so it’s not my fault they’re not in the consent agenda. We had two candidates, Aleena Malik and David Sampoli. Aleena seemed to be a strong leader who had a strong set of ideals moving forward. We also thought David could be a good leader in the position, but he seemed a little reserved. We thought about how the house team would operate after we made the decision and we thought he might have a hard time integrating himself into the house team. Both were very qualified, but we felt we made the right decision. A lot of Raymond house team was there and there were also members of David’s fellow hgroup there so the conversation was very tense and the questions were leading depending on the candidate. There might have been some scheming ahead of time as to how they were going to approach our appointment meeting. It shouldn’t have been an appointment, it should have been an election. It wasn’t ideal.

Activities: I move to appoint Aleena as Raymond House President.

Abstentions: Ops, Main, Davison, TAs, Jewett, Noyes, Activities, THs, Ferry, Activities and Finance.

SoCos: Why would you vote to abstain rather than ‘no?’

Finance: I’m abstaining because I’m uncomfortable with the process that just happened. And also I just abstain a lot. But I’m not voting ‘no’ to the candidate.

Hancock: It’s worth noting that, if it were logistically feasible, we would have rather have an election. Absentions: I totally understand.

Ops: I’m moving to table this.

In favor: Academics, Student Life, Strong, Joss, Cushing, 2015, 2018, 2017
Opposed: None

President: This motion does not pass.

Hancock: I move to treat this like a consent agenda.

Cushing: I propose to table this until everyone on the council and not only the council feels comfortable with all of the things they know about the two Raymond President candidates. That’s in the hands of the Board of Elections. I hope that happens next week or before this passes again.

2018: I think we should vote–in order for this process to be more fair, an election should occur. Raymond has been functioning without a president for a long time. Tabling it won’t do any good.

2015: I think we’re uncomfortable with the amount of information we’ve received. I don’t feel like we can make a decision on two candidates without knowing anything about them.

Hancock: This means at least another week without a Raymond House President. You all originally made the decision to make this an appointment.

Activities: The rest of exec doesn’t have the applications. I don’t know where it is. This isn’t always this disorganized. But we did vote to make this an appointment.

Ops: Motion for a 15-minute recess to review the applications.

-All in favor. This motion passes-

7:42 p.m.// We’ll be back in 15 minutes!

7:54 p.m.// Everyone’s back!

President: Has everyone had the opportunity to read the applications? Great. Who wants to make a motion?

Main: I move to vote in favor of appointment.

Abstentions: Raymond, Finance, SoCos
All in Favor: Everyone else.
Opposed: None.

President: We’re moving to Open Discussion.

Finance: Treasurer training is on Tuesday and Thursday. Everyone should have gotten an email about it. Make sure all of your treasurers are there so you’re not the one who’s doing that work all year. If you don’t have a lot of faith in your treasurer, you can come too.

Casey Hancock: Also you’ll get an email about council reps for BoE. That will alleviate any issues in the future. I’ll be sending out an email this week to gauge interest.

Activities: Vice is meeting in the Villard Room right after this meeting?

At-large: I just wanted to bring up the point that we’ve talking about lately. Calling the consent agenda the consent agenda is a problem because consenting to it is defined by the absence of a no. We can talk about this now or next meeting.

Student Life: Three administrators decided that at the end of last year with Aramark that they were going to take away guest swipes and enforce a rule that always existed, which is that you can only use your personal swipes on yourself and guest swipes on guests. There will be a forum on

Academics: We’ll be meeting on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. in the VSA office. You should come and talk about academics things, which you should want to do because we’re in college.

Ops: I want to plug my committee–this week we’ll be talking about the BoE and appointments. If you’re not on the committee you’re still welcome to come. Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in the VSA office.

Jewett: Welcome, Aleena. Also just because I’ve been on the BoE committee, I just wanted to point out that the point of having the BoE make appointments is to outsource it. So asking for more information and for more discussion is defeating the purpose of that.

2015: Serenading is on Saturday starting at 12:30 p.m. There’ll be dunk tanks, Twisted Soul and La Cabanita in Noyes Circle. The concert will be at 7 p.m. on the quad.

Main: Welcome, Aleena. For house presidents: Stick around for five minutes and get to know her. It’ll be nice!

Activities: Motion to adjourn?

-Motion passes-

8:01 p.m.// Meeting adjourned.