I hope everyone had a nice weekend! We’re getting started a little late tonight, so bear with us.
7:04 p.m.//Call to Order
7:05 p.m.// Consensus Agenda
a. Vassar Bikes (Capital) $892.50/$892.50
b. Council of Black Seniors (Discretionary) $500/$1000
c. GAAP (Conference) $1113.06/$1113.06
d. Devils (Conference) Tabled
e. Devils (Speakers) $360 plus extra costs for additional groups/$360
f. Philaletheis (Speakers) $1000 minus additional contributions/$1000
g. WVKR (Capital) $2438/$2438
h. Strong (Collaboration) $240/$180
i. NSO (Speakers) $3000/$3000
j. 2018 (Discretionary) $400/$397.80
k. Matthew’s Minstrels (A Cappella Recoding) $2000/$2000
l. Abby Johnson for BOEA Co-chair
m. Minutes From 10/26/14
n. PreOrgs for approval:
a. Vassar Model Congress
b. The Pianists
d. Vassar Mycology Club
e. Crafts Not Bombs
f. Traditional Korean Folk Music
h. Novel Noshings
i. Vassar World Affairs Council
j. Vassar College Tech Conglomerate
k. When Geisha Meets Pina
l. UJIMA: A Groove Society
m. Women in Science At Vassar
n. Native American Students Alliance
o. Our Club
p. Brewer Investments Group
q. Casual Improv
Jewett: Abby Johnson is one of the 2017 reps on BoEA. She’s been on BoEA all year basically and has co-managed a lot of things Casey did this year. She gave a really great interview and she has a lot of great ideas. She’s very excited to take on the position.
Activities: We finally finished approving pre-orgs. This is the list of the one’s we’ve approved. Some of them have stipulations. Kiva is a microloan organization where they fundraise and make money to give to in-need communities. Mycology club was approved with the stipulation that they not make beer. Crafts not Bombs was approved on the stipulation that they depoliticize their org. unFramed is an art org. Novel Noshings is a book club. College Tech Conglomerate is for the drama departments. When Geisha Meets Pina is an org within the ALANA center. The Native American Students Alliance was approved with the stipulation that they had to organize themselves in a better way than they have in the past. Our Club is for alternative programming, essentially. Things you can do on the weekends that don’t involve alcohol. Casual Improv is an improv group you don’t need to audition for.
2017: Why was it required that Crafts Not Bombs depoliticize?
Activities: In terms of finding people who wanted to do crafts and wanted to talk about specific topics, like drones and stuff like that, would decrease the amount of people who might want to join. We also already have a lot of political orgs on campus, so we didn’t want to make another political org as well. They wanted to just do a craft org but thought they needed to put a spin on it so people would want to join it, but people will want to do crafts.
7:12 p.m.//Forum with Art Lidsky on Campus Strategic Planning
Lidsky: We’re working on how much space we have and how we’re using the space. There are currently 116 legal parking spaces on this campus, in case anyone wants to know. What I wanted to do was get a sense from you all about those things that are interesting or important to you as students because you live on and interact with this campus differently than the faculty does. I’m looking for issues and concerns that should be included in this process. We are a small firm in Boston that does campus planning. We’ve worked with about 450 campuses worldwide, so we’re familiar with this scale. We’re not interested in hearing about the plumbing, or the heat. We’re looking for broad spectrum ideas about things. Is this building, for example, a good building for the center of campus. When the biology students move out of there, where should they go? We have a mixed bag on this campus, architecturally–you have a beautiful library right next to a cheap lasagna building. I think the Admissions building is in the completely wrong place. I don’t know where it should go, but it’s wrong.
2015: I’m really concerned about student spaces. It’s really important for this plan to include a selective student space. I don’t know that that is necessarily the best spot for it–where the labs are now. We need a space that’s like the second floor of the dining hall, but something that’s more accessible. We’re concerned with having places where students can go at night without having to go to a party.
Lidsky: ACDC is a terrible space. I’m surprised you’re using it. Should this building be the center of campus? Should the student space be here?
2015: It wouldn’t be a bad thing. But what if you put Admissions down there and gave the Admissions building to students? We need different spaces and we need spaces that are accessible to those with disabilities. Obviously you have a broader perspective of what is possible, but we’re very interested in finding places for students.
Lidsky: This particular building doesn’t function very well for students. Especially the bookstore being at the Juliet. But there are also administrative spaces here where they shouldn’t be.
2015: And that’s a huge problem when we’re talking about event planning. We really only have the Villard Room and it’s next to the nicest places on campus. When we had our campus party last weekend we needed to make sure that the antique furniture didn’t get ruined.
Maddy (Social Media Editor): I posted your question on Twitter and people responded that they wanted more accessible doors to buildings on campus.
Davison: I was just wondering if you could elaborate on what master planning actually is? What does a master plan look like?
Lidsky: There should be a sense of direction as to where the college wants to be over the next 15 years. It’s both physical changes and policy changes. It might be that the institution might want to change the way they’re scheduling classrooms, or it wants to think about collaborative spaces across campus. It is a 15-year time period, but none of us can think about what’s going to happen tomorrow. Campus planning is the road map for how to get there though and you change it along the way. It’s a physical map of a vision statement.
Town Students: In Main Building in the College Center there’s the Kiosk and it’s dumb because the line blocks the door and intersects with the post office line. At busy times it’s a really hard place to walk through because it’s silly because everyone needs to walk through there.
Main: Addressing a mid-level issue: The College Center in general isn’t very well used. The second floor is only really used for meetings that don’t happen frequently. The second floor is a dead space and the first floor is super crowded.
Lidsky: What would you put in this building?
Main: Maybe spread out where things are more, especially with the Kiosk and post office.
Strong: I’ve spoken with a lot of my constituents about this and we’ve talked about how the kinds of spaces that are available in dorms are very variable when you’re talking about study rooms that have tables and chairs and a microwave or meeting spaces. And things like that can make it hard to interact with the people you live with.
Lidsky: My understanding is that all the dorms used to have dining spaces and those spaces were changed to multipurpose and study spaces.
2017: Noyes, where I live, is the dorm that stays open for students all summer. It has more kitchens than the others, but they are in disrepair. Over the summer when they’re the only places students can get food, things are frequently broken. That’s a space where kitchens are very important and neglected.
Ops: I live in the South Commons and there are no paths to get there. We’re very isolated.
South Commons: There’s a road you commonly take to get to the South Commons and there’s no light. It’s completely dark.
Tyler Fultz (at-large): As it stands with the construction, there’s no way to get to campus except for walking along a dirt path or walking on Raymond Avenue. There’s no accessible way for someone who needs an accessible path.
Ferry: For orgs that don’t have a specific affiliation with a center on campus, it’s harder to find good work spaces. Especially since there are some orgs that frequent the parlors, it eliminates spaces for other orgs. My group currently meets in the Jade Parlor and I know that certain groups can meet in dorms, but that fluctuates depending on where their members are living, so there’s no good center-of-campus spaces. I don’t know if there’s necessarily that much room in these buildings for that, but if there were other spaces in the area that’d be great.
President: We have a lot of theater orgs that have a big general budget, but not spaces.
Cushing: First, to comment on what Town Students said before: I think having a Starbucks on campus is really important, but the placement of it isn’t a good space. The line gets so long and you can’t really enter the college center. If it’s Tasty Tuesday it’s even worse. I think the space below the College Center could be used to have a cafe. There’s so much space there. The Retreat is not enough. It’s always crowded and it’s not enough.
Lidsky: My understanding is that there’s the ACDC, the Retreat, the Kiosk and another cafe that’s on the third floor of the ACDC. Are those the only dining spaces on campus?
All, in unison: Yes.
Lathrop: There are no places to get food after midnight. BurgerFi is super expensive.
2015: A lot of our late-night food is student staffed. It’s students taking time out of their days and it’s always closed during finals.
Cushing: For off-campus places, you need to pay with your own money. You’ve already paid for a meal plan and you don’t want to spend more money. The kitchen hing: In my house the kitchen is absolutely disgusting. There’s a big mass in the oven and we don’t know what it is and we can’t scrape it off. We’ve tried. A lot of the people in my house love to cook and still go there and we try to clean it. Cushing has a lot of problems with not being clean in general, but that’s a maintenance issue. Cushing House in general is being renovated and the only thing they’re doing is painting the bathrooms. They keep painting them over and over again. It looks clean, but it’s not clean. We haven’t been renovated since we’ve been built, which is in 1927.
Tyler: I, like Maddy, asked on Twitter if anyone had any questions. Someone wanted to know about the future locations of the multidisciplinary departments.
Lidsky: Some people have come in and have done some thinking about that. There hasn’t been a decision about it yet. There were some very clever concepts that came out of that though.
2015: Is it possible to put an emphasis on a technology update for this campus?
Lidsky: Is the campus entirely wireless?
Jewett: Yes, but bad.
2015: The technology in the classroom varies.
2016: For the first two months in computer science we couldn’t do labs.
Student Life: How closely are you working with the team of people who are redesigning the College Center?
Lidsky: As far as I know, there’s no one else doing that.
Student: Maybe that’s under you and you haven’t heard about that.
Lidsky: Whatever new construction happens will come out of this process, so our master plan will dictate how the College Center gets redesigned.
Student Life: All of these concerns are super important and I would be very frustrated if they were happening in two separate, but simultaneous service. Other things: Food. Students like food and they think the food here is bad. Accessibility is another thing people are passionate and upset about. Carolina once had to help carry a man upstairs to see his daughter’s room. Another concern is a space for student bands to practice. If you’re a student band and don’t have a relationship with the music department, you don’t have a space to practice. That means a lot of people are practicing their instruments in their rooms, which leads to other problems as our walls are very thin.
Davison: People frequently use the Davison kitchen because it’s nice and was recently renovated. So I would recommend renovation rather than gutting. Our basement is actually really nice, but there’s not a good use of the space. The only space people use is the pool table. There’s a lot of room, it’s all well lit, but no one’s really doing anything with it.
Lidsky: When I think of other campuses I’ve seen small group collaborative spaces throughout the buildings. Fitness centers. What works on this campus?
Davison: Honestly, I think it would be possible to put an eating option in the dorm which would change the campus dynamic as a whole.
Lidsky: If there was a cafe down there would other people be able to access it?
Davison: Yes. It might create a riff because my dorm would have all of the facilities.
Lidsky: Are all of the dorms elevator accessible?
Student Life: The basements in most of the dorms are really scary, but if they weren’t scary they would be amazing spaces.
Lidsky: Let’s talk about scary. Are there any places you’re scared walking through?
Bethan (Contributing editor): The South Commons, also the TA path. There’s also a section where you have to walk either on the street or in the forest. I know personally that there are people who have hid in those bushes to scare people. There are blue lights if you get across the bridge and up the hill, but it’s not near where there are no lights.
Raymond: There’s been talk about changing the computer clusters. Every dorm has a little room with one computer and a printer and they talked about killing all of the computers and moving the printer to the MPR. But I need to stress that there are students who don’t have access to personal laptops or if something happens to your laptop, it’s really important to have that communal computer.
2017: Dorm basements are badly lit. Getting back to the College Center: The thing that everyone’s getting at is, not counting the res areas of Main, there’s no part of the building where you can be comfortable and be in a group. There are rooms like this that are great spaces that are always locked if there’s no event happening. There’s the Retreat, but you almost feel guilty taking a table if you’re not eating. The only place where you can find a couch with a friend is the Rose Parlor, which is antique furniture. It’s dimly lit, you feel a little too regal. There’s some other furniture shoved into the second floor, but I’ve never used them because it feels weird to be sitting in a dark corner in a hallway.
President: If anyone has any other questions, email [email protected]
Lidsky: I’ll be back in February as well with updates.
7:46 p.m.//Forum with CIE, George Beyer and Susie Martinez
Martinez: I’m Susie, one of the CIE reps. It stands for the Committee for Inclusion and Excellence.
Beyer: It started on the 10th of October, so we’ve gotten a late start. We’ve only had two meetings. The first one wasn’t super productive, but we were figuring out what shape it will take and what our goals are. It’s not an official committee and it doesn’t have substantitive power, but we can make recommendations. So we talked about how we should move forward and if we should. Last year the recommendations weren’t taken and moved forward with. So it’s an important thing to keep in mind that when you hear about CIE we only have the ability to make recommendations.
Martinez: We had our second meeting last week and we talked about some of the recommendations we made in the annual report we gave Cappy. One of them was about the Transitions Program and legitimizing it within the College and making sure it gets the proper funding. It’s in its fifth year and the first cohort has already graduated. This subcommittee is working on supporting the pre-orientation program and highlighting what Transitions has contributed to the Vassar community in analyzing data about current Transitions students. One of the goals of this subcommittee is thinking about how students will be transitioning out of Vassar because being a low-income first-generation college student presents some obstacles. We made the recommendation to have faculty members attend workshops over the summer to talk about how to better address issues of race, class and gender in the classroom. We’re assessing the needs of faculty and making this training seem more appealing, specifically looking in-depth at inclusion. Some faculty members on CIE said that it felt awkward not to have the language to meet a student halfway, whether it be an advisee or just a student. So they’re also looking at the pre-major advising process and considering additional features to what the summer workshop would look like. The third subcommittee is for financial aid and transfer students. We’re talking about how to include transfer students in the community. The rate of transfer students, especially from community colleges is about 11 or 12 a year. Not all of them are able to attend the new student orientation that happens. That involves us looking at how financial aid is distributed, what kind of programming transfer students need to adjust to Vassar life, especially if they’re a junior coming in and only has two years left on campus. A lot of that is about gathering data of current transfer students and highlighting the important of Vassar’s need-blind policy. These subcommittees were pre-existing so they carried over from last year. The final subcommittee is the gender and sexuality subcommittee and its purpose is to work on talking about these things on campus and connecting with the centers on campus–the campus life center, the LGBTQ center–and considering different strategies to addressing these issues.
Beyer: CIE is a committee of roughly 20 people. So it’s a lot of people who can’t meet regularly, so it’s not feasible to talk about all of these things on a biweekly basis. The work gets divvied up into subcommittees. This year we’re looking at three more subcommittee. They’re unnamed, but they have loose named. The first one would be an assessment of the mission statement subcommittee. Four years ago there was a diversity mission statement. Three years ago it was combined with the original mission statement and within the last two years it has vanished. It’s not clear what happened to this statement and we’re looking at what led to this being omitted. We’re also looking at, if you Google diversity at Vassar you’ll get a lot of statements from Admissions which doesn’t tell you that much really. A second subcommittee would be the international students subcommittee. We have a new director of admissions this year and he wants to look at how international students are adjusting to Vassar. They want to look at the amount of students from Asian countries, their English proficiency. Some professors have concerns that their language skills aren’t what they say in their booklet. It’s questionable, but that’s what professors are saying. The last one–in the past five years there has been an expansion in the diversity of Vassar. It’s gotten significantly more diverse than it was five years ago so they want to see what the experience has been. They want to see how much good diversity has done for the College.
2017: I was wondering roughly how many administrators vs. faculty vs. students are on CIE.
Beyer: It’s hard to say because there hasn’t been any one meeting. There are at least three students. There’s a lot of faculty.
President: You mentioned thinking about diversity: The more important question is not about what diversity is doing for the College, but how we’re supporting those students. Do you know if the committee is looking at those issues too?
Beyer: I believe it is. They go hand-in-hand. I can ask for more specifics.
President: And I want to make sure we’re not just tooting our own horn, but that we’re actually doing something.
Martinez: There is a little bit of overlap in terms of who’s sitting on them and what they’re trying to address.
Ops: Since CIE just makes recommendations, what’s the relationship with the Committee on College Life?
Beyer: They make recommendations straight to Dean Chenette and Cappy.
8:00 p.m.//Forum with CAT
Beyer: It’s Computer and Academic Technologies. CAT has been pretty productive. We met pretty early in September. Traditionally CAT would only meet in November to address grant apps. Every year we have about $10,000 to distribute to faculty for introducing tech into the classrooms. Some professors have interactive pictures of cathedrals where you can zoom in and have panorama views and things like that. A lot of things get brought in as a trial, so we’re entering that part of the year. One app that spawned from CAT was an app wherein a professor wants to review papers from a number of different classes and address the degree to which plagiarism is a problem on campus. Many professors have complained that we don’t have a system to check for this. My understanding is that those services aren’t widely used at our peer institutions. Another big thing that’s being addressed is this notion of distracted learning. It’s the notion that surrounding ourselves with technology has distracted ourselves and hindered us from learning a text. Some professors are disappointed with the frequency of computer use in the classrooms. A lot of professors are wondering whether it’s a good thing to ban laptops in the classroom. There will be an entire weekend where we’ll have a conference to discuss this issue.
Town Students: With computers in the classroom–are you looking at it as a campus-wide issue? It seems to me that it’s so different professor-to-professor, course-to-course. It has been for me that every professor has their own policy and that’s legitimate.
Beyer: The overwhelming opinion was that there shouldn’t be a campus-wide policy. It just depends so much on the context of the class. I wouldn’t expect a campus-wide ban.
8:06 p.m.//Forum with Food Committee
Food committee rep: I talked to Sarah King who was the committee chair last year. We started a WordPress blog students can contribute to. We also have bi-weekly Food Committee emails. My personal goals are working on the worker-student dynamic. A lot of students feel like they don’t know who’s making their food. We’re trying to break down that wall. I interviewed one staff member, TC, to get to know him better. You can read about him. We’re also trying to implement the idea of kitchen tours. We’re trying to get more people to take them, but there’s not a lot of interest. Those are happening. You can contact me, I get eight to 10 students together and you can take a kitchen tour of 30 minutes. This week or some time next week there will be a monitor that shows a plate with all the food groups to give students an idea of how much of it should be taken up with protein, a vegetable, a starch and things like that. The last thing is sustainability: We’re looking at UpC and getting compostable cups. We also implemented stirfry station demonstrations. Every Tuesday there will be a chef there making a stirfry and will give you a recipe card. A lot of my friends still don’t know how to utilize that station. We’re also trying to get something in the freshman orientation about food. There are people contacting us now still saying that they have allergies and can’t eat anything in the ACDC. It’s hard because the orientation week is always so set and packed that there’s no room for a food-related event.
Student Life: Has there been any conversations about better labeled food?
FC rep: Yes. We’ve talked to Aramark and that’s a big issue we’ve talked at at every meeting. It’s not something the College can control, it’s the company, but we’re working to address that.
Jewett: I think the stirfry demonstrations are a very good idea, but there’s already a long line during dinner time. Have you talked about getting more stations or something?
FC rep: We’ve talked about getting more utensils and more ingredients. But if you want to expand it, I can bring that up.
Activities: There used to be a website that would have the menu for the night.
FC rep: We’re working on that. It’s still under construction and the company is working on updating that. But we’re addressing it.
Main: Has there been any discussion with admin about Aramark?
FC rep: We don’t have a lot of say in the contracts. We do get a little leeway with locally sourced foods. But the prices and stuff aren’t something we can control. We’re also talking about different PR campaigns for the Deece.
Lathrop: Have you been talking about composting at all?
FC rep: In the past, ACDC has composted everything. The little butter packets they have aren’t compostable and they get thrown in with the compost which contaminates it and then the entire thing gets thrown out. It’s hard to get people put all of their things in the right bin. It’s a PR thing at this point.
Lathrop: Can you talk a little more about people taking our compost?
FC rep: I don’t know that much. But there are people on the Sustainability Committee who can answer your questions.
2016: A couple years ago they did expand the stirfry station. I was wondering why they took that away.
FC rep: I didn’t know about that, but I’ll talk to Laura about if we can go back to that.
2016: For the butter thing, maybe you could just have a chunk of butter instead of individual packets.
8:17 p.m.// Exec reports
Ops: This Saturday, we’re having the constitution-thon in which we’ll be gathering in the VSA office for several hours to update the constitution. We need it to be up-to-date because the external review is happening. Chris Roellke is paying for half of it and I’m submitting a fund app to Finance this week for the other half. This reviewer would be coming on the 3rd and 4th. He’s going to interview some people, but there’s flexibility on what we want him to do. I’m getting ready to think about Tasty Tuesday for next semester because a lot of vendors have reached out to me.
Bethan (contributing editor): What has facilitated the change from “audit” to “external review?”
Ops: The audit usually makes it sound like they’re looking at money, whereas when departments do this it’s called an external review. There’s no real difference.
Student Life: There were 11 calls and four hospitalizations on Halloween, which is the same as last year. But there were no dorm damages. We want to do a survey about interpersonal violence, stalking and sexual assault. But we don’t want it to take an hour because that would be really terrible. Rebecca has been going full force with our food subcommittee. We’ve talked about laptops for students on financial aid. There are no written rules and Financial Aid doesn’t know what we’re talking about. BIRT, assuming they finished the letter, there will be a letter submitted to the VSA because they have been trying to create a system for people to see how many people are reporting. It would be a database–we just need a login system where we can see how many instances of sexual assault have been reported, but it’s been stalled at every turn. In the past, there has been an initiative for VSA to be a work study position to make it accessible. I’m talking about Chris Roellke about it. He said [paraphrased], “It seems to us that the VSA wants to compensate these positions for the accessibility reasons you mentioned…However, it would not be appropriate for the College to fund this. If the VSA wants to fund that within, that’s fine.” This wasn’t what we’re asking for. We want it to be a work study position.
Ops: Point of clarification: As Hannah said, there would be a lot more things in writing with regards to the HSA and Res Life situation. Because of the timeline we need to have a doc in council next Sunday and we’ll be talking more about this. As I mentioned, we went to Wellesley this weekend for the Seven Sisters Conference. We talked about what the coalition is and how to improve it. A lot of the schools just want to be in communication with each other, because we work on a lot of the same issue. We’re going to go through the break-out sessions.
Ferry: I went to the finance break out session. We have approximately $250,000 more than the next sister school for activities. We seem to be functioning better than every one of them. Smith stopped giving orgs budgets because people weren’t asking for it. People were fascinated with how we’re doing it.
Lathrop: The interesting thing between us and the other Seven Sisters is that we have designated senior housing. A lot of their seniors just live in dorms.
Davison: We had to explain that our dorms are mostly filled with freshmen and sophomores with a smattering of juniors. That was very different from all other schools. I think they have a lot of different residence halls. We talked about where the centers of campus are in relation to nightlife.
Lathrop: We talked to people who held positions comparable to house presidents and they have systems similar to house teams.
Jewett: Something that was a frustration to me during the conference was that there was a lot of comparing structures versus analyzing them. We didn’t really get a chance to do that because of all the background discussion.
Strong: Raymond and I ended up staying in room with the Wellesley girls which gave us a different experience on the first night. She was a house president in her house. While that position was extremely different, it was interesting to hear that most of their house teams don’t get nearly as much money as we do or put on as much programming. We’ve been talking about the issues we’re facing with the three Bs. For some institutions it was a given because they aren’t elected by their student bodies but appointed by student life.
Raymond: They also don’t have a relationship with their student government body. They have a council like BHP, but they just have one head that represents them in the student government.
Cushing: Not being elected was just for Wellesley, but another thing was that other houses needed to have fundraisers to have programming of any kind.
2018: I didn’t get much out of the conference, but I did realize that our programming is much better than other schools. People have to budget very carefully for their orgs or just don’t have enough money. Or for events, people don’t just show up to most of them. Most of our events get pretty good attendance I feel.
2017: I went to the student rep group. It was largely a prelude to the actual Seven Sisters meeting which happened an hour later. We started off the discussion with talking about how to represent our schools and how to work together. The conversation quickly turned to forms of social justice and working with schools. We talked about how we’re moving in the same direction, but with different strategies. So we talked about how we can advocate for policy changes collaboratively. Some Seven Sisters have gone SAT/ACT optional, so we felt like there should be more communication between institutions. We talked about how to move past community discussions that are optional in attendance, like for bias incidents. Smith has formed a committee with students and admins that meet once a week to try to move past those issues. They brought in an anthropologist to put together a report about how race and gender and sexuality affects the atmosphere. They also talked about more diversity training for faculty and staff. We then went on to talk about a social justice requirement. Everyone seemed very in favor of making some sort of roughly uniform requirement across the Seven Sisters institutions. There was also a discussion about how to be trans-inclusive in admissions policies. I don’t know exactly what stage Bryn Mawr and Mount Holyoke are at with that, but there’s something in writing that something’s going to happen.
Ops: I went to the president and vice president’s group. I got to talk to the other student body presidents at their schools. What I talked about with them was tangible things we do that work well. Wellesley has a fund-a-thon thing to fund small projects that’ll produce something tangible. It’s kind of like a fund auction. In general, people were fascinated by our structure. They loved that we have five VPs. They all had a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer structure. I’m essentially a vice president and a secretary. I have a few ideas, but I’m going to email them and follow up.
Strong: A small point: While I found the experience valuable, I also wonder if it would not be valuable to find another resource in which we’re interacting with schools that are also co-ed.
Joss: I wonder if 2017 could expand on a forum they were in about trans students.
2017: Recently Mount Holyoke and Mills changed their policies and began admitting trans women. There’s a lot of discussion and there are several levels they have to work through for a trans-women-inclusive admissions system. The first of which is to identify what exactly it is they’re pushing for. Mills’ policy is that trans gender women can apply. Trans men–I’m not sure if they can apply or if it is that if they identify as male after attending they can stay. Female-designated at birth non-binary people can attend. The discussion seemed limited because they were having this conversation without the voices of trans women. The students are having a hard time agreeing what exactly they want to see happen. The next level is convincing the administration and the board of trustees. It’s a conversation that is extremely unlikely to go well, so there’s a lot of work to do there. What needs to happen is forums with trans women and not just the people who have been admitted to the College because that’s exclusionary of crucial voices.
Ops: We talked about the Seven Sisters coalition and if we belong there. We’re not having some of these problems because we’re coed. While there are issues that we have mutual interest in, but I’m not sure if we belong there. I’m not sure if our presence at the conference diminished conversations about empowering women.
8:47 p.m.//Open Discussion
Academics: I just ordered a lot of La Cabanita for our peer advising dinner in UpC. Tomorrow is also the submission deadline for the fall preview of the newsletter. All submissions to [email protected]. The multidisciplinary programs are underrepresented in peer advising. Right now we have roughly high 20s, low 30s of programs represented. It’s the majority. More than last year.
8:49 p.m.//Council adjourned.