VSA Council 2.15.15

Good evening! This week’s meeting is set to be a long one, so settle in for a rollicking good time!

7:02//Call to Order, Attendance

Absent: Davison, Finance, Student Life

Proxy: THs

7:03//Consensus Agenda

  1. BSU (Speakers) $4500/$5000
  2. Miscellany News (Capital) $1344/$1344
  3. Feminist Alliance (Social Consciousness) $1000/$1000
  4. Davison House (Capital) $432.52/$432.52
  5. Democracy Matters (Speakers) $425/$425
  6. Organizations For Approval
  1. Beauty and the Beats
  2. Body Positive
  3. Committed
  4. Generation
  5. LiNK
  6. YDS
  1. PreOrgs Advancing a Semester:
  1. WOCA
  2. Quizbowl
  3. Chess Club
  4. VAWFA
  5. Mug Enthusiasts
J Street U
  7. Chabbat
  1. Class of 2016 Treasurer – Juan Fernandez
  2. Strong House Treasurer – Julianne Johnson
  3. Minutes From 2/8/15

Activities: We spent a lot of time assessing the pre-orgs. We are still reviewing other pre-orgs to see if we want to move them up or let them stay at the level they are at. We are still taking applications for new pre-orgs. They are due on Thursday.

Abby: We are appointing Juan Fernandez for 2016 treasurer and Julianne Johnson for Strong treasurer.

7:05//Constituent Concerns

Pres: Any consituent concerns?

2016: We have to deal with senior housing stuff. There’s no formal organizational tool. I used the one Casey had last year for my class. There’s no formal tool of listing of people who are singles or doubles who are looking.

7:07//Executive Board Reports

President: The biggest thing is the Trustees are coming back on Feb. 27 and 28. The main thing is if there is anything particularly you want stressed or focused on, let me know so I can make sure it’s covered. Admin meetings are starting up with Exec. If there is somebody you want to meet, let me know so we can get that taken care of. Last, forums are currently being scheduled this semester. If there is anyone you want to come in this semester, let me know so I can try to get them.

Town Students: I live with somebody who has done a lot of activist work about the Trustees. I’m curious what their level of awareness is for a lot of issues on campus. They are really involved and implicated in a lot of these issues. We should be able to have some form of conversation because it is not clear exactly what their…there was recently an email thread to remove some admins. They obviously know about this, but they could be thinking something else. I want to gauge their awareness.

Pres: They are aware of what is happening on campus. I also have a part where I address student  concerns and I try to cover that in the meeting. If you have specific things, let me know and I”ll be sure to let them know.

Strong: I wanted to request that we get Art from Admissions to come in.

7:12//Council Updates

Jewett: I know TA’s will be happy to hear that Jewett merch is coming in this week. We are also in the advanced stages for planning Seven Deadly, which will happen a week from Friday. You should tell your people. We will launch our publicity campaign this week.

2017: There’s nothing that class council is doing. We met. We are talking. Programming is still in very early stages. Since the beginning of last semester, we have wanted to bring in a speaker. She did the commencement of NYU Law last year. We are loosely keeping in touch with her. There’s a small power struggle as to who will bring her in. We are also working on having a movie screening in April. There will be food and candy. Get excited.

7:15//Elections Amendment

Jewett: The amendment is the same as it was last week. Basically what it will do is make Spring Elections the same length as Fall Elections. It shaves three days off. Originally ResLife room draw conflicted, but it’s not an issue anymore.

2017: You had mentioned that next year will also conflict with room draw.

Jewett: I didn’t say that.

Ramy: I might have said that. Luis has told me that ResLife has been trying to make room draw earlier and earlier.

Pres: it would basically make it the same as Fall Elections. Anyone have more questions? Let’s vote.

The amendment passes unanimously.

7:18//Elections Timeline

Abby: You should have a sheet with the new timeline. Filing will open Tuesday, April 7 at noon. A week later filing would close and then they would have the mandatory meeting. Then campaigning begins. Then voting will begin for a week.

Pres: We are gonna vote now.

2017: Before we vote, do we have confirmation that two days will be enough time.

Ramy: Yes we have confirmation.

Pres: Let’s vote now.

The timeline passes unanimously.

7:22//ResLife Task Force Charter

Ops: Some key points, the construction includes more students than staff, admin or faculty. Everyone who joins must be here this semester and next semester, for continuity. Other highlights: we aren’t giving it any funding outright. Anything we contribute will be matched by the Dean of the College.

Pres: How do you apply to be on the committee.

Ops: Chris Roellke and Carolina will send out a joint email. To join the committee you will contact Luis and myself. It will probably be via application.

Josh (at-large): Is there any reason why HFIs and Floor Fellows cannot apply?

They count as house officers.

Cushing: Which house team members will be on the force?

Ops: It will be this year’s house team members.

TAs: There are lots of seniors that were on house team, is there no way for them to join?

Ops: No.

Strong: How is this going to work for operations?

Ops: It means that I’m signed on for next year.

Finance: Is there anyway we can make this more flexible for seniors to join?

Ops: I don’t see why not.

Ferry: This is a small task force, would it be hard to fill it with a variety of students?

2017: I also think we need to loosen up on the rigidity of the task force.

Pres: Would it be possible to have seniors this semester and then have new members of house team join next semester?

Ops: That sounds doable.

Academics: I’ve been on year-long things, bringing in new people would be a detriment to the task force. Personally I don’t see a problem with not having seniors on it.

Finance: I’m not sure exactly how this is laid out in our constitution, but I also don’t care. We are creating a structure for a committee that won’t be reviewed for a year. My thought process about student government is that if students want to be involved, they should be able to. I think it should be as open as possible. I don’t see why we can’t make it more open.

TAs: I can’t speak for everyone but I can imagine that there might be some people who have been invested in reslife in the past. They might have a good stake in how reslife moves forward. It’s been their home for the past four years.

Pres: Having been on house team for two years, its different every year. I do worry that we will get a limited perspective, but I do worry about the continuity.

Academics: Well, Luis and Ramy can pick whoever they like and now they know our concerns.

Ops: Also the way that it is currently written, new members can be added.

Main: You can clear a lot of these issues up by adding two words: at least.

Pres: Given the discussion, I think we should wait a week to vote on it. Table it back to Ops to work on the kinks.

7:33//VSA Executive Board Stipend Amendment

Josh: Part of it was a discussion that came out of Spring 2013. I remember working with Alyssa. The original doc we wrote was a letter talking to administrators about a stipend. There was a concern about Exec board time commitment. We wanted it to be that all students could have access to these jobs, even if they have work study positions. There has been a long discussion about accessibility of exec board positions.

Ops: After that initial proposal, last year’s council wrote a letter to Cappy who wrote back saying it was Roellke’s stuff. Hannah brought it up to Roellke who brought it up to senior admin who said that we could get paid if we pay for it ourselves.

Pres: If an office is paying us, they have power over the VSA.

2017: The amendment as it is written would give every member of Exec a stipend. It would be equal to the amount allowable under work study. We never came to a decision about whether the only people who should be paid are the ones on work study even though everyone would be doing that work. They would forfeit the stipend if they work a campus job.

Pres: I also want to add that the proposed change would take place next year.

Josh: A point of clarification. If they are already on a campus job, they would not receive the stipend. The way the stipend works, is it is an allowance, not a guaranteed payment.

Finance: What I’m interested to hear from is that this is the third time I have seen this proposal. In my experience and from my memory, not having a program like this limits the pool of potential runners. I’ve been trying to uphold our commitment to diversity. The reason that this is so vague is because we aren’t sure how we are going to work this out. Supporting this, means that you are condoning us to go ahead and find a way to make it work. It’s very complicated. I want to hear whether or not these positions should be paid, what it will do to the structure, etc.

Cushing: Who is going to pay for this? Will house presidents get paid? We attend a lot of meetings.

Finance: The avenue that we are most currently exploring is that the money will come from our fund, which is the student activities fee. We are still restructuring stuff. We make more money in a week than what the exec board would get paid in a year. We would transfer the money to somebody in the controllers office or accounting and they will figure out how to pay  exec.

Strong: Why do you think that people who are already on work study and are willing to do other jobs and do exec board need to give up the stipend?

2017: Because this is being done so that people can run and find the time to fully execute their duties. The purpose is not to make sure exec gets paid, it’s so that people who join exec can do it without the extra job.

Strong: As somebody who has both, I would not do that.

Jewett: Can you petition to have more than one work study job?

Josh: It’s not recommended.

Pres: You could, if you are on Exec and want to keep you job, you can reject the stipend for Exec.

SoCos: I’ve worked two work study jobs. It’s not that hard to figure out.

Ops: In our present structure, it would cost us $1300-1400 to pay all of exec. It’s nothing to the whole fund. Pomona College actually uses their student activities fee to pay student government. And for Cushing’s question, this is a foot in the door to paying HPs.

Ferry: I don’t know if it needs to be on this particularly amendment, but we need to know what to do if somebody leaves int he middle of the year.

Joss: We can’t assume that we can offer a stipend and fix diversity.

Finance: I want to thank you for that comment. We have been making small adjustments to things to make council more open and council more accessible. We have made more progress, I believe. I do think that this is one of the million, trillion things that we have to do to make our student government more accessible.

7:52//Open Discussion

Joss: Battle of the Bands! This Saturday in the Susan Stein Theater. Nine groups will be playing. Check out our facebook event. It’s gonna be rad and sick.

Finance: I did want to explain what the $6000 for finance. BSU is bringing in Stephanie Covington Armstrong. It’s a joint event. The Misc needed to buy a new computer. Fem Alliance is going to start it’s second non-annual conference on campus. They also did a great job fundraising. Davison, in a triumph of sheer will, has been trying to get bike racks. We paid for locks. Sustainability paid for the bike racks. Democracy Matters is having a panel, or it already happened. It might be on Thursday. CIRC will be meeting for the first time this semester, tomorrow. We will discuss the divestment proposal. They can contact me about the proposal. I sent out an email before council about open positions on Finance. I’m going to be giving a, spurred by Josh, I’ve decided to compile the info from my presentation last year to send it to the Misc. Last semester we did an audit of three orgs and the results will be sent out later this week.

Academics: You can apply for student seminars. Applications will go out tonight.

2016: I have another bone to pick with reslife. I was interested in seeing the way the current timeline, you know now if you got into a 4-person draw. I wonder if they can coordinate with suite draw. Maybe people can combine. That is impossible, they said that to me. I found that ridiculous.

Jewett: I was going to ask Joss if we need to reserve tix.

Joss: No.

Ops: I’m gonna be student life. All-College Days is happening. The VSA helped fund it and staff it. Go to it.

Academics: Also for Student Life, the title ix survey, student life will meet tomorrow at 8 p.m. at the VSA. You get pizza and vcash.

Ops: A project that I’m working on this semester, student leaders don’t feel appreciated. I’m working on planning an award ceremony. And I move to adjourn.