VSA Council 3.29.2015

7:02//Call to Order, Attendance

Absent: Strong, SoCos (proxy)

7:03//Consensus Agenda

  1. Catholic Community (Discretionary) $0/$200
  2. Committed (Discretionary) $150/$750
  3. Poder Latino (Discretionary) $800/$800
  4. VARC (Speakers) $815/$840
  5. VARC (Speakers) $450/$550
  6. SEASA (Speakers) $4160 (minus additional contributions)/$3400
  7. ComedyNormative (Collaboration) $1800/$1800
  8. SJP (PreOrg) $165/$346
  9. Amnesty International (Collaboration) $500 (+$250 (Discretionary))/$3000
  10. French Club (Social Consciousness) $1220/$1220
  11. Crafts Not Bombs (Conference) $0/$1200
  12. VPI (Social Consciousness) $2060/$3000
  13. SEDS (PreOrg) $150/$150
  14. Vassar Devils (Conference) $325.40/$325.40
  15. CSA (Discretionary) $1225/$1425
  16. Act Out (Collaboration) $1500/$1500
  17. Minutes From 3/8/15

Finance: Catholic Community applied for money for conversation hours. Other languages already do that, so we didn’t think it would be appropriate to have the VSA fund that. Committed requested money for a master class and to see a show. Poder Latino wanted money for a carnival. VARC wanted to host two different lectures. SEASA applied for funding for another lecture. ComNom applied to bring somebody to do stand-up. SJP applied for money to build a wall, but they need to know the rules for installations first. Amnesty wanted to put on a refugee benefit, it sounds great but it wasn’t well-planned so we didn’t give them all of the money. French Club applied for a lecturer. Crafts not Bombs applied to go to a conference, they are a pre-org though so they can’t have money from that fund. VPI applied for money for Green Haven. SEDS applied for funding to bring in a recent alum who now works in space. Vassar Devils won a competition and have moved on to the next round. They applied for funding to go to the next round. CSA is putting on an event. Act Out applied for funding to bring in a speaker on prison abolition.

7:09//Forum With Terry Quinn

TQ: Thanks for having me here. I really wanted to say my heartfelt thanks to all of you in this room. As student leaders, you are the people who create this incredible community here. So thanks and welcome back! I’m Terry Quinn, my title is Assistant Dean of the College. I oversee campus activities, campus dining, summer programs and offices. I work with some really amazing people. I work with Michelle and Domi. Kathy Bush helps with campus activities. Maureen King is the face of campus dining. My office oversees every event you see on the calender. Everything that happens on campus goes through my office in some form. We run Commencement. It’s two months away! I’m also the advisor to the senior class. I wanted to mention I’m the director of the Palmer Gallery as well. My background is in the arts, actually. I also oversee the Shiva Theater with Bill Miller. I wanted to mention Monica Church. I mention these people because nobody gets things done on their own. I have a family, three kids. I live in the area. I came here right when I graduated from college. I’m really involved with the local community. I’m on the board of Mill Street Loft. I was a house fellow in the late 1980s. My first child was born there, in Main. I’ve seen a lot happen here. One of the reasons I have stayed so long is because of the students. You guys have a lot of passion here. I really value the opportunity to work with you.We have a very unique model here. It can be challenging at times. I also want to say that I think relationships are really important. Listening to you is really important. Small change matters. A couple things are going on. We’ve been spending a lot of time talking about space and dining. You can’t talk about one without the other. The other committee that I’m on is the College Planning Committee. Marianne Begemann is on that. There are plans that are going on in the lower level. The bio dept is moving out this summer, so we are going to change that space out soon. The dining review that is happening now is moving into April. We are accepting proposals from different vendors. Those are coming in mid-month. Our option to go in-house is still open. No decisions have been made as of yet. Sustainability is obviously still important. We are going to open up a lot of space on the main floor. The campus calender. Has anyone looked recently? It’s packed. There are still some opportunities for smaller programs during the week. Founders Day is May 9. We struggle with scheduling. We are always trying to find a better way to schedule activities. Last thing: the campus activities office has had some personnel changes. Two of our administrative assistants took the retirement plan. It’s wonderful for them, but bittersweet for us. We’ve hired some people, but they are new to campus. Please be patient with us and help us acclimate them to campus. With the restoration of the house advisor positions, we have to shuffle some things around. We are looking into a post-bacc position.

Josh: How did the dialogue for the lower-level college center shift? It was originally a VSA-focused dialogue. What conversations has Bob had with people?

TQ: Jason Rubin was the President when those conversations started. Marianne Begemann is the chairperson for the committee. When we started those discussions, we wanted it to be a student-centered space. Bob hired an architect from the art dept. The plans right now are very ambitious. It’s still a work in progress. It will be shared with the community. It is modular. If it moves downstairs, it can still be shifted and moved as needed.

Josh: Do you have dining updates?

TQ: We haven’t received any proposals yet. Bon Appetit has visited. Sodexo has also visited. They are all planning on submitting a proposal. Last time, Aramark has the best proposal, and they had a plan for a ACDC renovation, but that never happened. I know Maureen is very involved in the food committee. I think she has really tried with her staff, given the resources available. We, as a College, haven’t given them as much as they should have. There has to be a renovation in the deece and the retreat.

Maddy: You mentioned Senior Week is 9 days long. Are underclassman able to sign in still?

2015: That decision hasn’t been made yet.

StuLife: Are there any plans to change the way that events are advertised by the campus activities office?

TQ: I think that would be phenomenal to come up with a better system of communication. We know what’s going on. It is overwhelming and that is something we really struggle with. Within the system we have, our job is to put all of our information accurately into the system and other folks pull that info. I know there has to be a better way. We can do that through SARC. What would be a productive way to communicate with you?

2017: Shifting gears a bit. In your opinion, what can Vassar do to be better members of the community?

TQ: We are much better now than in the past, in my opinion. I think the best thing you can do is just venture out into the community. You may have to find it, but many organizations would love to see Vassar students show up. If transportation is an issue, we can help with that.

Ops: You’ve been here for a long time. Have you noticed any trends or changes in student orgs and what people do?

TQ: There are certainly a lot more orgs now. Some things are new, but some things really stay the same. The passion is the same. Vassar students are remarkable at being activists and getting things done. The one thing I would also say is we used to do a lot of leadership training, like more formal and structure. That is something that is always on our list. You all have this vision to get something done.

7:36//Constituent Concerns

Pres: Any concerns?

Finance: Black ice.

2018: Our class had a t-shirt contest for the design. Nobody submitted anything. What are some ideas?

Ops: Soup cans.

2017: Last year, we just brainstormed it ourselves.

2016: We had that problem this year. I was ready to go online.

Finance: Bryce Daniel does design stuff here. You can use your budget to hire somebody to do this stuff.

StuLife: I definitely feel like the first year t-shirt is important. But after that, I don’t think it’s important. I think there are cooler things to spend our money on.

7:41//Executive Board Reports

Finance: I don’t have the fund levels for you. I will email everyone the fund levels. Annual budgeting timeline is next week! We are going to push it back this year. Three years ago we found out that something like 60% of org budgets are spent in March and April. In committee, we’ve discussed changes to annual budgeting. What would be great would be for you to send us ideas. We are doing audits to see how people spend money. The ability to take out cash advances will stop April 3.

StuLife: Is April 3 the date they will start charging people?

Finance: No, they need a month.

President: I don’t have much. The one thing I want to remind people is that elections are happening. Encourage people to run. We will have an info meeting soon.

7:50//Class Gifts Co-Chairs Amendment

Operations: It’s back. The text is exactly the same. I met with Natalia, who is the post-bacc with Alumnae/i Affairs. This positions used to be elected until about six years ago. The concern about gift chair control, Natalia told me that alumnae/i affairs won’t do anything, but they have power.

Finance: I was a class gift co-chair. I think this is important. If people want for it to be elected, that’s fine. Its function is different than any other elected positions, though. I don’t think it should be under this body or for it to be an elected position.

Elected position passes.

7:54//Referendum Amendment

Operations: I had a meeting with Abby and Deep. Last time a referendum happened was Spring 2011. It was initially an amendment, failed in the VSA, passed by referendum, turned over in Jud Board. The problem is with abstentions. The instruction will be added this election. We won’t vote on this this week. This will be in Spring Elections.

7:56//Open Discussion

Academics: I emailed you all. Please forward info to your constituents. Student seminar signups open tonight. They will close on Friday. This Wednesday from 5-6 about thesis prep. Majors fair is next Wednesday at 3:30 in the Villard Room.

2018: External review?

Ops: I talked to Butch. The results are coming. We already paid him. At first he told me March 20th. That came and went. At the latest, the second week of April. I wrote a strongly worded email asking for it for the end of this week.

SoCos: We talked before Spring Break about the house advisor positions. The candidates are great. The salaries are really good too. There will be on-campus interviews in about two weeks. These are not confirmed yet. There should be a student interview portion. Unrelated to this is that CARES, Break the Silence and SAVP is doing Sexual Assault Awareness Weeks. Starting two weeks from tomorrow for two weeks.

Raymond: This Friday is Roaring Twenties. 8-12! Gambling! Raffles! Nutella Cake! In Main!

Ops: Interest meeting on Wednesday April 8 5:30-7. For the debate, it will be April 19 at 5:30-7.

Finance: In this position, I have done some exploring as to how other schools spend their money. We do it differently. Hamilton has a huge speakers fund. We could decide to not have a Spring concert and bring in double the speakers. We can adjust the budgets. Ask your constituents what they like and what they want more of.

Pres: The student-faculty basketball game is this week. Exec will start coming into study breaks to talk about the referendum.