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  • Palak 11:02 pm on April 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA 4.26.15 

    7:01//Call to Order and Attendance

    Absent: 2015, Cushing (proxy), SoCos (proxy)

    7:03//Consensus Agenda

    1. ViCE Student Music (Capital) $1519.98/$1519.98
    2. ViCE Special Events (Collaboration) $2500/$3000
    3. ViCE Special Events (Discretionary) $500/$2000
    4. SJP (PreOrg) $925/$925
    5. Outing Club (Capital) Full Minus Tents/$1700
    6. LiNK (Discretionary) $1500/$1500
    7. Class of 2016 (Collaboration) $350/$350
    8. WOCA (PreOrg) $100/$100
    9. UNICEF (Discretionary) $150/$150
    10. Scientific Research Literature Club (PreOrg) $130/$130
    11. Minutes From 4/19/15

    Finance: Student Music requested to buy amps from Capital. We are still doing well with the Capital Fund. The comedy festival happened and that was the collab fund. ViCE Special Events also asked for money for the paint party. SJP is putting on a panel and working with other orgs. Outing club asked for more equipment. LiNK is having a charity dinner with a CIA chef. 2016 in collabs with other classes is doing a Founders Day pre-party. WoCa is having a WOC brunch. UNiCEF needed extra funds. Scientific Research Club applied for funds.

    7:03//Traditions Committee Amendment

    Ops: We have two versions of it. We are making some changes to the committee.

    Adit Vaddi: My basic reasoning for that is that since the co-chairs will be appointed by the BOEA, I just felt that there was no need for additional help from BOEA. They should be credible enough by the end. BOEA doesn’t need to do everything for us.

    Josh: Are there any VSA bodies that are structured like that? I’m speaking ot consistency.

    Activities: There isn’t a lot like that. Student Gift, maybe. I don’t think it is a thing we should shy away from. The way that this structure works is a lot different than other orgs.

    Joss: Finance committee did that?

    Pres: They are moving to BOEA doing it next year.

    Ops: In the past, when Ops was in charge, we appointed Founders Day chairs. That’s the best analogy I can make.

    Vaddi: The traditions committee can be more comparable to a VSA org. We run our own events. We are independent of a VSA committee. We aren’t really tied to the VSA.

    2017: BOEA provides for uniformity of publicizing. If we are going to have a body that does this, we need to keep having it. THey have access to all-campus emails.

    Vaddi: My point would be to remove the additional beauracracy. BOEA would still be in charge. We will keep everything public.

    Ops: I move to adopt the one on the first page, the one being suggested by Adit.

    Strong, 2017 oppose. Motion passes.

    7:12//Annual Budgeting Report

    Finance: This is a new budget format. We grouped orgs based on mission statements and functions. They are in 16 different groups. That way we can compare orgs of a similar nature. We need to see how much we are spending with each particular org. We have expanded VSA internal funds. We’ve removed some things and put them into separate funds for the traditions committee. I’ve also included the stipend. These are all approximations. This needs to be approved by council, every step of the way. We all need to be on the same page. We increased Conference, Collab and Social Consciousness funds for next year. They were heavily used this year. We broke down classes and residences. We cut the house budgets. There was never a methodology for how to budget housing funds. We built in a methodology this year. Next year’s VP for Finance will also have more training for House Treasurers. Senior Class went down because we removed Senior Week ticketing. We broke down senior housing based on population. Our first grouping was Health and Fitness. These groupings are imperfect. Next we have a capella. If there is a dash, they didn’t submit an app. The asterisk is an org whose budget is gonna change. Then it is Issues and Activism. We’ve increased spending on this by 20%. I think that is inline with the current trend on campus. Next we have Identity orgs. They have been historically underfunded. We will see a 10% increase. Competitive orgs have a 4% increase. That may go lower. Then Political and Ideological orgs. Then Dance. Then Community Service and Charitable and Religious and Spiritual. Comedy Orgs. Theater. Publications. Hobbies and Interests. Then music and finally ViCE. The model is that we will budget for the events we know they will put on. We will put the money into a discretionary fund. We will empower the entire ViCE exec board. They want a new group as well. This is a collaborative process.

    Ops: How did you arrive at the number for the Exec stipend?

    Finance: I took work study info. Is that wrong?

    Ops: That’s right, but you have the wrong number.

    Finance: Please tell me the errors you see.

    StuLife: Thanks Finance. I know that the a capella group that is now known as Home Brewed, used to be called the Minstrels. I’m curious about what it will look like for orgs that submitted their app late or didn’t submit at all. How generous will you be?

    Finance: Shockingly generous. Every org received more than enough time, but we are still looking at aps right now. We will not NOT budget them. But people need to be responsive. They basically have until the end of the week.

    TA: For third semester pre-orgs, how does that work?

    Finance: I don’t think there are any third semester pre-orgs on here. They will have to do their annual budgeting at a different time. I’m not anticipating a problem. We just take money out of the discretionary fund.

    Josh: Three questions, will this be made available to treasurers?

    Finance: Yes.

    Josh: Okay. What does rollover look like?

    Finance: Some orgs do get rollover. Any org that does their own fundraising gets to keep their money, basically. We haven’t put in the money for Senior Week. With 80% certainty, we can put money into a student assistance fund. I wanted that to be earmarked. It can be informally distributed. That fund is going to change over time, but our growth should be placed there. I’m leaving about $25,000 unbudgeted. We don’t want to overspend and this will be our cushion. I think it might be time to do some transfers to our Student Life and Diversity centers. The disparity is silly.

    Seth Molwitz: How much do you think the org budgets will go up after appeals?

    Finance: If you include Senior week, it will probably end at about $700,000. This is all contingent on our student activities fee and our enrollment. I’ve talked to people about lowering the fee, but that’s something they don’t want to see done. The last thing I would like to say is that I will send you the most updated version later tonight. Finance committee met a lot this past week. This is an equitable breakdown. I think it is important that students see the percent change from year to year.

    Main: Last year, there was a ranking of who gets money?

    Finance: I can do that. Thanks Finance Committee.

    7:38//Constituent Concerns

    7:39//Executive Board Reports

    Operations: Food Truck Friday is this week! Huge thanks to Steph and Laura Schachter. We will have three food trucks: Mole Mole, Black Forest Kuchen and Sweets. Ops has been talking about Butch’s report. We are putting together a list of things to try to do next year. It’s hard because we are mostly outgoing. Send the report out!

    Student Life: We are working on a video project. It’s called Vassar A to Z and it will be sent out to incoming students to tell them about Vassar. I sit on the Faculty Training committee of CIE. There’s a Dean Director’s Retreat coming up. There will be a panel and breakout sessions. The faculty will talk about issues of identity in classrooms. It is led by Prof Hite and folks in the Latino/a Studies. We narrowed down some scenarios. It’s a cool project. I think it is a good place to approach teaching faculty things. All faculty are invited to attend, but not everyone attends. The survey has broken 1000 responses! That puts us over 40%, that makes us look good in comparison. The distribution looks good overall. We will close it out next week. There is also a mass exodus of young admin leaving Vassar. This is a problem.

    Academics: Do you know when the survey results will come out?

    StuLife: we will do presentations in the Fall. The desire is to have something available online, but also have a series of presentations around campus. The format is undecided, but there will be a tangible thing online later in the fall.

    Ops: Do you know when the open positions will be filled?

    StuLife: They are in the process of hiring Luz’s replacement now. Julian’s position will have unofficial interim director for a while. His position is hard to fill because he was also working as unofficial legal counsel to some. I don’t know when this will happen.

    SoCos: The last two on-campus interviews for House Advisors will be arriving soon. They should be starting July 1. HSAs have been participating in these interviews.

    StuLife: What will the House Advisor structure look like next year?

    SoCos: There will be five Advisors. They each will still have two houses. The clusters will change. They will all be full-time reslife staff. There will be post-baccs.

    Ops: In Cappy’s list of promises, one of them was a 6th house advisor. We knew that was never gonna happen. We should check on that.

    7:53//Council Updates

    Noyes: Nothing to report. We had an event. We have merch. We are redoing our MPR hopefully.

    Raymond: Not much going on. Fun study breaks! On Wednesday we are celebrating a dog’s birthday.

    TAs: We had a CPR class today. We are all ready for Founder’s Day. That’s pretty much it.

    7:54//Open Discussion

    Cushing: We with 2017, will be having a movie screening! Spirited Away. It’ll be the CDF quad.

    Main: This week we are hosting our Week of Love. It’s our low-key big event. Tabling all over. Fun food. More dogs. All the campus dogs on the library lawn.

    Finance: This is the first time that the VP for Finance has been a junior. I will be leaving, but I can still help Josh Tempro. What could you have had this year that would’ve made your job easier? Send me a list of house items that you are in need of. ResLife is supposed to pay for it, let’s just spend our own money. There are two ideas for feedback. How do you think your residents would feel to have more dorm dinners? What ideas do you think you could do for expanded programming? What would you do with $100,000? We should have the best programming of any liberal arts college, and I assure you we don’t. Congrats to those who won elections.

    StuLife: Are we gonna have bagels in the THs? How can we make it a safe founders day? What can we do to make it a safe and fun founders day? Day drinking will fuck you up.

    SoCos: For those of you living in Senior Housing, this is the last weekend you can register parties!

    StuLife: You cannot register parties after classes end?

    SoCos: Yeah, because that is quiet time. ANd you can’t do it Founders Day weekend.

    Joss: Joss merch is here.

    Ops: Two things. Yik Yak has become the worst thing ever here. I think it would be productive to talk to people about what anonymous posting affects others. Second, a few people attended a lecture. The VSA didn’t pay for it. Campus Activities did approve the event. This kind of event didn’t help. It was a terrible lecture.

    Finance: On that, I decided that we should include the names of lecturers who are coming.

    2018: Lighter note, 2016/2018 is having a collab event on the Vogelstein quad on Friday.

    TA: Question for Finance, for founders day bagels, we are pretty sure we can cover everything but what process can we get more money?

    Finance: we can make a motion to fund that from discretionary. Send me an email with how much you want.

    StuLife: I think we shouldn’t let the houses have this same generosity.

    2018: We just want to wake up with alcohol. Having bagels in the house will be good to have students eat something.

    Finance: I think more needs to be done to make going to the deece a tradition. I am erring on the side that if people need more money for food, we will pay for it.

    2016: I think in regard with juices and liquids, I think that helps to keep people from getting too drunk.

    Main: The way we did it last year, we had a full Panera breakfast. That’s what I would go towards.

    Maddy: In my three years in Strong, we got bagels every year. It is easy and just down stairs. I think it is important to have easy access to food, and free food.

    Pres: I think it is a nice way to create community

    2018: Let’s just have more meals in houses. How much money do we spend on food?

    2017: Move to vote on the motion on the table.

    The motion passes.

    Finance: Email me and let me know what you want.

    StuLife: Access and Fem Alliance are circulating a petition. The philosophy dept has invited Peter Singer to skype in. If you are upset by this, sign the petition. They will be hosting a talkback after the lecture. We are having a BIRT emergency meeting. Motion to adjourn.

     
  • Palak 1:48 am on April 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Election Results 

    Hi everyone! We are getting ready to reveal the results of the election this week. Stay tuned!!

    The referendum for paid exec board positions has passed.

    Town Students President: Adam Kruschka Gray.

    SoCo President: Josh Sherman

    TA President: Laura Schachter

    TH President: Maya Horowitz

    Main President: Mark Lawson

    Lathrop President: Antony Manokhin

    Strong President: Sumaiya Miah

    Davison: Nathaniel Lindley

    Raymond: Juleen Graham

    Jewett: Kohei Joshi

    Joss: Cecilia Hoang

    Noyes: Ashley Hoyle

    Cushing: Anish Kanoria

    Sophomore President: Rebecca Pober

    Junior President: Apoorva Natarajan

    Senior President: Lauren Garcia

    VP for Finance: Josh Tempro

    VP for Activities: Kevin Pham

    VP for Academics: Logan Hiill

    VP for Operations: Ruby Pierce

    VP for Student Life: Chris Brown

    VSA President: Ramy Abbady

     
  • Palak 11:09 pm on April 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 4.19.2015 

    7:10//Call to Order and Attendance

    Absent: Jewett (proxy), Town Students, SoCos (proxy)

    7::10//Consensus Agenda

    1. TAs (Discretionary) $180/$180
    2. HYPE (Speakers) $1350/$4185.42
    3. SoCos (Discretionary) $200/$200
    4. Hunger Action (Capital) $62.22/$62.22
    5. Hunger Action (Capital) $36.71/$36.71
    6. Vassar Haiti Project (Social Consciousness) $135/$135
    7. ASA (Social Consciousness) $200/$100
    8. Pianists (PreOrg) $50/$50
    9. Strong House (Discretionary) $200/$200
    10. CBS (Speakers) $1000/$3500
    11. VARC (Discretionary) $350/$350
    12. VC Punx (Collaboration) $400/$400
    13. Minutes From 4/12/15

    Finance: TAs requested funding for CPR training. HYPE was going to bring in a dance instructor, but that fell through so they have a backup. SoCos is also doing CPR training. Hunger Action bought beverage coolers. We tabled the Shiva. They want us to buy them a new genie. VHP is showing a film. Strong is painting a mural in their basement. The Pianist is putting on a concert. CBS is bringing a speaker. VARC will be doing a vegan tasting. PUNX wants to do a spring fling with two bands.

    7:12//Forum With Art Rodriguez

    Art Rodriguez: I’m the dean of admission and financial aid. I started this past August. Before here I was at Pomona and before that was at Carlton, where I also graduated. I’m originally from CA.

    Finance: I heard a rumor that the admissions rate went up this year.

    Rodriguez: That is true. I looked at our early decision data. When we looked at this info, I dropped down the amount we admitted early decision. As a result of that, we had to raise the regular decision rate. It went up two points. With early, we had about 45% of each class being ED, and I felt that was a little much. I think the numbers should be a little more even. We will monitor these numbers accordingly.

    StuLife: I wanted to ask you about the MeCHA petition. It affects your office. Right now, undocumented students are seen as international students. That impacts their financial aid. Give us an overview of the petition and a look at the future.

    Rodriguez: I think, originally, when the College decided to make this change, the early concern was the impact that it would have on financial aid. We still need to meet the demands of financial aid. That has been an ongoing discussion. I moved the process this year. I worked with staff members to consider them outside of the international pool. I want to see them as US students, not international. It’s all about cost, though. We have to fulfill stuff on their part to help, and that’s difficult to figure out. The petition asked us to move undocumented students to the domestic pool, and we are doing that. It also asked for Cappy to write a letter in support of DREAMers. We will continue to work with MeCHA to help provide support to these students. They might need support to move through their immigration status and they might need funding to help. The College isn’t geared to do that, but we will look to local resources to see who can provide pro bono support. Then we will do an inventory of the resources in the area. We are still new to the process. I think that we are moving forward in a positive way. We did receive some funding from the Cooke Foundation, so that might help. That is a one-time prize, though. It will cover four years of expenses. I think we are moving in the right direction.

    2017: I believe the education department wrote a letter about SAT/ACT optional admissions. I was wondering what discussions may have occurred.

    Rodriguez: I haven’t had any discussions right now. We have to finalize what the changes are before we make our own plans. I haven’t had any conversations about making Vassar test optional. I think it is about information we gain from the admissions and advising process. I think that is an important step to consider. My take on testing is that it is one point of reference to help us gauge what students grades might be in the process, but I’m more willing to push them aside and look at other aspects. We also see a self-selecting group that apply to Vassar. Testing isn’t going to be the determing point. Grades are more important.

    Finance: Have there been any conversations for moving to need-blind for international students?

    Rodriguez: There have been conversations, and there are hopes, but we just can’t afford that as a college right now. We are already being challenged to meet the demand with the money we have. I think every college wants to have a consistent policy across the board. The college is already committed to financial aid.

    Josh: I’m curious about budgets. How do we compare with spending our budget in regards to financial aid?

    Rodriguez: I don’t have the hard figures in front of me. Essentially, we have doubled our financial aid in the past five years. Next year, our budget is a little over 60 million. Most of our growth in the annual budget is through financial aid. I think our annual budget is 160 million, and I think 60 million is for financial aid. It depends on the schools for how we compare. Larger endowments and larger draws, but they only have so much set aside. We can’t fully control actual costs. We set aside so much money for each class and we hope to remain within that budget, otherwise we have to adjust across the board.

    Strong: There’s been some discontent within my constiuency about the number of women and men on campus.

    Rodriguez: We do have a skew in terms of gender. 68% are female. The college is interested in having some balance within the enrolling class. That means we have to deny more women than men. We see about 55-57% are female. This basically means that for every space we have in a class, there’s more competition for female applicants. I think there are variety of reasons for why they would have that balance. I think some of it comes from the students, but also higher up. I haven’t had those conversations. We don’t want to skew too far in one direction. I’ve never seen any information to suggest that would be the case, but school’s do see a challenge in keeping a balance. I haven’t seen anything, nothing has come across my desk recently.

    2016: We’ve talked about what would happen if you go over the allocation. What happens if you go under?

    Rodriguez: It will alter who we are allowed to take into Vassar. Waitlist is not need-blind. It is need aware.

    Presidents: Did we have a lower application this year?

    Rodriguez: We saw about 200 fewer than last year. It’s not a huge drop, but it is a difference. We look at the information. We had a drop in Questbridge students. Most colleges want to have more applicants. It is helpful to see a growth in the variety of students.

    Josh: Can you elaborate on the yield? Also, where is our student population now?

    Rodriguez: When it comes to our yield, I’ll pull early decision out of that number. Our regular decision yield has actually been dropping. Four years ago, the yield was closer to 28%, and now we are hovering about 25%. That’s a concern for me. Basically, one out of four admitted and choosing to enroll. We want to raise that up to 28ish %. We are working on how we reach out to students. The website was revamped. The admit packet was redesigned. We are reaching out to students through departments and faculties. You probably saw students writing post cards to admitted students. Is that enough? It’s hard to know. We want to spread out across the country so people don’t have to come here. We want to make a stronger sale and pitch to why they should choose Vassar. In the end, students have to find that Vassar is the right place for them. We are thinking about how we select students. How do they fit in here?

    Finance: You mentioned that the regular decision rate went up.

    Rodriguez: I think it is 1635. I think it is 22 or 24%.

    Finance: Do you think the higher acceptance rate has an affect on the yield?

    Rodriguez: Yes.

    Finance: Do you think it will drop below 20%?

    Rodriguez: Our hope is that it doesn’t.

    Finance: Do you have a number of admitted students who were taken from the waitlist, from last year?

    Rodriguez: I believe it was 55 students.

    Finance: Do you think that number will go up?

    Rodriguez: It depends on where we land on May 1.

    7:48//Constituent Concerns

    Pres: Anything?

    7:49//Executive Board Reports

    Finance: The annual budget app closes tonight at midnight. If you haven’t done it yet, you should. Finance will be meeting all of this week so we can have a draft of the budget by next Sunday. Then we will vote on the following Sunday. Talk about it with your house teams before we finalize the budget. Let me know of your questions. The way we are doing the applications is that each org was broken up into a group and each group will have readers on Finance Committee. They will make proposals to the committee as a whole. The last day to submit fund apps will be the 26 of April. An email has been sent out. I’ll send another email this week. The last day to submit an application is the 26. You need to submit for money by then. A lot of house treasurers have asked for what to do with their budget. Film screenings are popular. Don’t waste your money.

    President: Voting is happening tomorrow. If you are not running for a position next year, you have to table to help with elections. If you sign up, show up.

    Abby: Thanks for the help! I want to remind you that you may feel uncomfortable, but you have to do it.

    Pres: We have two meetings left. Spring trustee meeting is in May. If you want something brought up, let me know. Convocation is May 6. I have not written my speech yet. Zoe will be accepting a large banner.

    Davi: Where is the tabling?

    Abby: I will send an email. And you can get a VSA computer.

    7:55//Council Updates

    Ferry: We do our own thing. We had a PUNX concert. We will have do it in the dark.

    Cushing: I’m sick. May 1 we are planning an outdoor movie event. We will show Spirited Away in the CDF quad. And a huge screen. We had an all-campus event last semester and we didn’t want to do that. Changing this from a house event to an all-campus event is really simple. We are collabing with ViCE Film. Maybe?

    SoCos: I have updates from Ann. Ann is planning a series of surprise study-breaks. Ann is cute. Bagels for founders day. There will be a potluck in May. CPR training. Do it. That’s all.

    8:00//Traditions Amendment

    Ops: Max and I met with the Traditions Committee, kind of. We are trying to formalize the future of the committee with this amendment. If this passes next week, then it will have two co-chairs of staggered years. There will be a treasurer and a budget! Freshman rep as well. They will handle various events.

    Strong:Why is the treasurer appointed not elected?

    Ops: Max can explain this.

    Finance: It came about from discussions from last year and we took the founder’s day model. We liked the way that works. There was accountability. We never discussed having an election.

    Abby: In terms of an appointment, traditions committee should not be appointing it’s own members, BOEA should do that. Finance did their own stuff. There’s a body that already does this, so think about it.

    SoCos: A freshman rep is elected. That’s one elected rep in the committee. Maybe it would be prudent to strike nightlights if we just stole somebody’s thesis from a few years ago.

    Joss: I do think it is intellectual property.

    Pres: This year, Founder’s Day co-chairs are the same as Traditions co-chairs.

    Ops: From talking to Adit, there are four co-chairs who split up their stuff. We are ceding control to Traditions though.

    Pres: Two years is a long time to commit.

    SoCos: Have you considered a policy doc with Traditions?

    Josh: How are you defining Traditions?

    8:08//Open Discussion

    THs: Thanks to 2015 for 50 Nights! It was a great night. The buses are all in tact.

    StuLife: Super exciting event tomorrow night. In the Jade parlor at 8 p.m., StuLife and break the silence are encouraging people to take our survey. We’ve had over 800 responses so far! Tell everyone! Men, please take our survey. This is important. Big fucking deal.

    Joss: We are selling Merch.

    SoCos: I have concerns about the referendum. I haven’t seen anything sent out about the language. That is a major lapse in the process. There’s no information. Send that info to your constituents immediately. It’s important.

    Abby: When you log on to vote tomorrow, the info page has the referendum info. I can send info tomorrow as well.

    Cushing: I don’t want to have a political statement coming from me. When exec comes to talk about stuff, it should be neutral.

    StuLife: I think the public debate about it went well. I do want to caution us to not go too far down the rabbit hole of neutrality. I feel strongly about this.

    Ops: Everyone on council has had the recommended language for two weeks. We can send it out tonight.

    Finance: I think we shouldn’t misrepresent the issue. We have very consciously discussed how we send out emails and we took a more hands-on approach.

    Davi: Motion to adjourn!

     
  • Palak 11:06 pm on April 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 4.12.15 

    7:04//Call to order and Attendance

    Absent: Ferry (proxy), Main (proxy), SoCos (proxy), Cushing (proxy)

    7:05//Consensus Agenda

    1. BSU (Social Consciousness) $1000/$1000
    2. BSU (Discretionary) $1000/$4000
    3. Devils (Conference) $1200/$2050
    4. Quiz Bowl (PreOrg) $300/$300
    5. Business Club (Discretionary) $150/$150
    6. VISA (Discretionary) $1400/$2000
    7. FWA (Capital) $437.40/$3257.40
    8. Minutes From 4/5/15

    Activities: We are decertifying Sailing Club. We are allowing anybody else to take that up again in the future as a pre-org. We are also looking into getting somebody in Admin to help out with finding orgs that don’t do anything.

    7:06//Forum With Wendy Freedman

    Wendy Freedman: Thanks for inviting me. I’m the director of counseling here. I want to give you an update on everything here. We provide short-term treatment and short-term medication management. We also do crisis response on campus, so people can be seen that day. We also help facilitate on-call in the evenings. We provide support to everyone on campus, and some off-campus. We also help CARES and TLC. We have training for groups. Not only are we response, but we are prevention. Wellness and Wellbeing. We sit on a whole bunch of committees here. I want to talk about some of the changes. I want to start by thanking you all in getting our Post-doc position here. We are very thankful for that. We received a bunch of support to get our post-doc position back. She had a particular interest in working with international students as well. And now we know this will be a permanent position. Chris St. Germain, who was here for about six years, left in November to a different position in the faculty. The other change was that Lisa Redecker had to take a personal leave. You might have heard that we have been approved for another counselor position. We have a new assistant director in August. We also have somebody who specializes in LGBTQ interests. And we are currently looking for our post-doc for next year. We have our consulting psychiatrist who comes in for five hours on Fridays. We have been working with the college to try to get him here longer. We were approved for a mental health fund, which came from Chris Roellke. There are at least 20 students who access this currently. It is for hep with co-payments and travel off-campus. We are hoping to make it a more robust fund so more people can access that fund. We were in a bit of a pickle with our on-call services. For many years we provided 24 hour service. As long as the residence houses were open, so were we. But then we had an increase in need on campus, so it wasn’t sustainable for our counselors. We did some research and currently have a proposal to use an off-campus counseling service for off-hours. This has been really helpful now. We are planning to have more group therapy in the fall. This is the most counselors we have had in my 11 years here.

    Finance: I wanted to ask about the number of positions in your office. The assistant director left in November? Is somebody filling in?

    Freedman: Yes, eventually we were able to bring somebody back to fill that space. We want to train some people in the Fall in case we need them in the future.

    Finance: How were you able to function with people missing?

    Freedman: It’s been interesting. The college has been helping. This is probably why you’ve heard people talking about longer waits. We are back down to 8 days, but we are working on making that shorter even.

    Finance: With the new people, what’s the change in the number of positions?

    Freedman: If we were fully staffed, it would be plus one. Not including the post-doc. We are hoping for six counselors, a post-doc, and a social work intern.

    Finance: The consulting psychiatrist, seeing that they are only here for five hours a week, how many students is he able to treat?

    Freedman: People get an initial 1/2 hour appointment, then they have a follow-up 1/2 hour and then 15 minute appointments once they are stabilized. He is often booked three weeks out. There’s one psychiatric practice that is within walking distance, but we don’t like to refer them.

    Finance: How many students can even get to that initial appointment?

    Freedman: I want to get hard stats for you before I answer. Any student that really wants to see him, gets in. It’s just a matter of waiting.

    Ops: What do you think the ideal situation would be for counseling services and how we compare to our peer institutions?

    Freedman: it’s hard to compare. Compared to our peers counselor-wise, we have more counselors, but we are also more highly utilized. When you look at usage rates, we are getting closer to reasonable numbers now. Psychiatrists, we are not on par.

    Pres: There was talk of hiring a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I’ve heard this isn’t happening anymore?

    Freedman: We’ve been encouraging that that would be a good idea. It would cost less. I think the argument for hiring one for a permanent staff member has to do with liability. I haven’t had an opportunity to flesh that out with folks. We can also hire one in a consultant form, like the psychiatrist. I understand there are a lot of competing demands.

    2017: You had said there are liability concerns. Can you speak to that?

    Freedman: I’m not sure. It is true that whenever someone is a staff member of the college, there is a liability concern. They do pay for us to have insurance. I haven’t had a chance to learn more.

    Finance: There was a New Yorker article that came out in Dec. about US university policies about students who attempt suicide. What is the college’s official stance?

    Freedman: There’s been a shift in my 11 years here. The office of civil rights has created a shift nationally. What it means with Title II is that a student cannot be banned due to risk to self. If someone is at a high risk of hurting themselves, we know this isn’t the ideal place for them to get the support they need. If someone is at imminent risk, they have thoughts, intent, plan, we have to send them to the hospital for assessment. If they are at-risk, they are kept in the hospital, if not then we will work with them for a plan. Sometimes it is communicated to the community that the college makes people take a leave, but that’s not legal from the College. It comes from somewhere else, like family or self.

    Finance: I’ve heard that students can’t stay overnight, but they can come in the day?

    Freedman: sometimes in the process of risk-to-self, students have a large shift on campus. The college tries to figure out a way to balance. Sometimes students stay off campus with their family. It’s about risk to others and community impact.

    SoCos: As you know, there have been a lot of changes about confidentiality. Have you been able to foresee more changes coming?

    Freedman: Throughout the past number of decades, there have been national swings between parentis locus and seeing students as individual selves. This current standard of practice….We try to do the best we can. We always try to have the student take the lead, but it’s about that imminent risk threshold. We don’t break confidentiality. That’s from the community alerting people about worry. The student support network comes in here.

    Finance: You thought that the school has an all-time high. Can you talk about how you see that manifesting?

    Freedman: I think the main thing is the student support network. Ten years ago, there was nothing like that. I think Virginia Tech really shifted this. It’s about why didn’t someone know and why didn’t someone do something.

    Josh: About financial aid. Has that ever been an issue?

    Freedman: I can’t really speak to that. That’s not my area. They often try to figure out how to make it happen to the best possible way, financially. I think the financial aid office or the committee of student records and leaves and privileges can help the most.

    Ops: I know some students register with accessibility for mental issues. Is that your office?

    Freedman: Historically, we have not done that. When stuedents come to counseling services, we don’t get to make decisions, we just advocate for things. We want to separate ourselves from the decision making process with academics and accommodations. The challenge we run into is for students who don’t have means. It gets pretty complicated. It has to maintain the standards of the accessibility office. We don’t want people to just come in to get paperwork filled out. It needs work, to figure that out.

    President: There are higher levels of suicidality now then ten years ago.

    Freedman: Everyone is trying to figure that out. It’s a national thing. We have hypotheses. It’s a work with more anxiety and stress, post-9/11 world. There’s been shifts in parenting, in part related to that. Kids don’t go out and play in the street by themselves now. There’s a higher level of parent involvement. Similar challenges put people in crisis now than from years ago. There’s been real development in psychiatric medication now. They are coming here with more significant mental health issues. Research is going on at Harvard about resilience. It’s a national trend, though.

    Finance: Has anyone looked into demographic shifts?

    Freedman: I don’t know if they’ve made that link. Students are coming to college with a lot of challenges. It’s really hard.

    Finance: I think that this has been a trending conversation. I feel like these conversations happen all of the time, but everyone has different information. I think it would be useful to have more direct information from your office to help the people interested in these issues to advocate for that.

    Freedman: When people ask me, I’m upfront about it. I think it would be hard if every department publicized their wish list. Just so you know, like every other department, we calculate our statistics at the end of the year that goes in the annual report. I don’t think that is private information. I’m happy to share what I can. That’s all information we keep close track of. I can give you a quick link to something I found helpful: the AUCCD.org. They put out a survey every year and tabulate it accordingly. They compare a whole host of things. I just want to mention one more thing. We take student confidentiality very seriously. We have a different narrative than others on campus. Confidentiality is more important than anything else.

    7:52//VARC Resolution

    Alessandra: I’m here with my fellow exec board members from VARC. We wanted to introduce this amendment because we saw study breaks with animals in petting zoos. We thought it was stressful to have stress-busters with stressed out animals. We found it to be pretty exploitative. They pose a bunch of health risks. We think it would be a better opportunity for more community outreach. We worked with Eve Dunbar last year to get some alternative study breaks. There’s precedence for this.

    Pres: Does this also apply to when they bring therapy dogs?

    Alessandra: If the person who is living with the therapy animal is okay with it, then that’s cool.

    Ops: Can you speak to the specifics of what is being resolved?

    Alessandra: We are asking for three points. One is to encourage groups on campus to not host events involving animals as entertainment. Two to encourage groups to use alternative forms of entertainment and three to not finance things like this.

    Finance: I’ve seen stuff like this in the news. I was wondering if there was a precedent for having it banned at other schools.

    Alessandra: I don’t think we have. We are one of the most active animal rights groups in America.

    2017: You described it first as petting zoos and then broadened it to all events that would feature animals. Are you including events that would not stereotypically be petting zoos? I’ve heard about dogs and cats from shelters.

    Alessandra: I think that I would consider those as petting zoos. Just with companion animals, you have a human who has the best interests and a good relationship with the animal. Dogs and cats there for adoption fairs is to be given to as many people as possible. It doesn’t make sense to have adoption fairs here.

    Academics: As an apparatus for institutional memory, I think amendments are better.

    Finance: if it passes, I can put it in Finance policy.

    Josh: Is the language to discourage or ban?

    Alessandra: What do you think?

    Josh: I don’t think there’s anything else we tell orgs to do other than bottled water. This means the VSA will be taking VARC’s stance on this, like with the bottled waters.

    Alessandra: I think by virtue of the third part, you would agree to not fund events. Orgs can make it happen if they want it.

    Pres: In the future, who is going to be the judge of whether or not something is a petting zoo?

    2017: More pedantic, because of the wording of this and how it specifies the council, I think you want to put it in the permanent constitution. It wouldn’t be hard to write it up as an amendment.

    Ops: The bottled water ban. It went to the VSA to endorse and the CCL to codify. Secondly, I personally don’t think it is unclear about what is or isn’t a petting zoo.

    Alessandra: Basically just any events involving non-companion events make us uncomfortable.

    Finance: It’s very specific to our VSA council. There is precedence for us curtailing org activities. It goes with the rest of the policies for how we spend money.

    Josh: There’s a huge difference between philosophical beliefs and ethics and best practices.

    2015: How do you feel about instagram dogs?

    Brooke: I think that’s fine. The problem is with multiple animals.

    Ops: For VARC, what would you like us to do? Amend on the floor?

    Alessandra: I move to amend the resolution to say all councils, not just this specific one. All three.

    Pres: We are voting to amend the language.

    Ferry, cushing abstain.

    Pres: Now let’s vote on it.

    Ferry and cushing abstain. Activities, against.

    Resolution passes.

    8:10//Constituent Concerns

    Pres: Anything?

    8:10//Executive Board Reports

    Activities: Right now we are in the bulk of getting mission statements and constitutions and new exec boards for the year. We are finishing off our org reviews, so we might do more decertification.

    Academics: Majors fair was great. Pre-reg starts tomorrow. If you have questions, go to our peer advising system. Student seminars are happening. The search for the library director has been narrowed down to four candidates. They will be coming to campus! We will have meetings with them, email me if you want in. The curricular proposal conversations are still on-going.

    Pres: Council updates!

    Joss: We haven’t been doing a ton lately. We have merch coming. Tabling at the end of April. The designs are cool. Sweatshirts, t-shirts and mugs.

    Town Students: I’m here. We are all good. Doing well. *giggles* Spring is coming up. Parties will happen and neighbors get angry because we are loud. We haven’t had any complaints for a while, but it’s been cold. This is an ongoing problem.

    Lathrop: We are ordering merch soon. It’s cool. Lathrop art market is on April 25. If you want to be a part of it, email us: [email protected]. There’s no set deadline, but by the end of the week would be good.

    Finance: Merch! You’re not allowed to sell merch at a loss. A lot of you are ordering late. Elections are happening.

    8:18//Open Discussion

    Strong: We are selling merch on Fridays! Strong beanies and stickers!

    Ops: Shout-out to Davi for laser tag. I killed it. The former student leadership awards will be a banquet on May 8. Butch’s report will be here next week.

    2017: We are putting on an outdoor film screening on the 23, from 8-10. Film, TBD. There will be a poll.

    South Commons: I’ve been keeping you updated for the search for new house advisors. There will be two candidates coming soon. Every Wed and Thurs for the next few weeks. I’ve met all but one, and I really like them. This week starts Sexual Assault Awareness Weeks! Wear solidarity shirts on Wednesday.

    Pres: I’ve been asked by the BOEA to inform everyone on council not running for positions to table next week. You need to table or run for something. It will be a physical voting station.

    Council adjourns.

     
  • Palak 11:05 pm on April 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 4.5.15 

    The meeting is in CC204 today!

    7:07//Call to Order and Attendance

    Absent: SoCos, THs (proxy), Finance

    7:08//Consensus Agenda

    1. CHOICE (Speakers) $2339/$2339
    2. CHOICE (Discretionary) $2000/$3000
    3. QCVC (Speakers) $2000/$2000
    4. LiNK (PreOrg) $150/$150
    5. Vassar Alliance of Women in Foreign Affairs (PreOrg) $90/$90
    6. VHP (Capital) Partial Allocation (amount not specified in FC notes)/$614.41
    7. ASA (Speakers) $4250/$4500
    8. Miscellany News (Capital) $907.74/$907.74
    9. VC Punx (Capital) $149.99/$149.99
    10. VC Punx (Capital) $99.01/$99.01
    11. VJU (Discretionary) $2250/$2250
    12. ASU (Conference) $1200/$1500
    13. Barefoot Monkeys (Discretionary) $3000/$3000
    14. Transferring $5000 From the Discretionary Fund into the Conference Fund
    15. Executive Board Member Removal From MBSA
    16. Disbanding of JUMPS
    17. Minutes From 4/29/15

    Davison: What do the Barefoot Monkeys need money for?

    Strong: For an event.

    2017: What about VHP and HEL? How much money are they getting?

    Strong: The reason why is that they were asking was for stuff that was too high-tech. People in admin don’t even have that stuff. They will get what they need.

    Activities: Why did you only give them $2000 instead of $3000?

    Strong: We wanted them to go til the end of the year first.

    Activities: There’s an org that spent a lot of money on alcohol. You can’t do that. You can’t buy flowers. They spent money inappropriately. They must be reprimanded and removed. You should be able to be in orgs, but you should not hold leadership positions when you don’t follow the rules. For disbanding JUMPS, we are doing pre-org and org reviews now. I emailed JUMPS and asked them about themselves and they said they don’t want to be an org anymore.

    2017: Is there a reason the treasurer was singled out?

    Activities: Not all members of the org went to the dinner.

    Pres: We occasionally transfer funds. We are doing that now. We have more conferences than expected, so we are transferring from one internal fund to another so we can continue to support conferences.

    7:15//Forum With Jon Chenette, Dean of the Faculty

    Chenette: I’m Jon Chenette, Dean of the Faculty. I’m responsible for hiring, reviewing and supporting the faculty. And I do studies of the curriculum. I oversee certain parts of the curriculum. Everyone sort of reports to me. About three years ago I began talking about the curriculum and the fact that we haven’t really talked about the curriculum in thirty years. Our curriculum has not changed much for almost forty years. I’ve heard a lot of questions about whether students should be able to pursue triple or double majors or multiple correlates or whether there should be a required capstone project across the board. I find that seniors identify themselves by their thesis at this part of the year. This came up about whether this should be an experience Vassar students should all have. The question about distribution requirements. Some people think there should be a social consciousness requirement or that our quantitative requirement is too broad or that our language requirement isn’t clear enough. These were the sorts of questions being raised. The faculty asked for two of the three proposals to be brought up. There was a request about distribution and a capstone project. Along the way, the concerns about double majors and credentialing came up. Some concerns about the amount of work students are taking. I’ve seen somebody take up to 8 credits in a semester. All of those conversations led to the third proposal of an adjustment in the student course load per semester. The IME could be more than just a long paper. It can be collaborative and different. A key part of that is giving faculty credit in their teaching loads for this intensive mentoring. They already do for students who do theses, but by making this a requirement, it will expand. We want to make sure they have the time and the support. The third one is adjustment in student course-load. Currently, students can take up to 5 without special permission. This would lower that limit to 4 1/2 units.

    Town Students: For the IME, would each professor be required to participate in that? And would that be new professors?

    Chenette: The assumption is that all faculty would be involved. And that all departments would provide that support.

    Town Students: Would there be more 1/2 credits offered?

    Chenette: That is a point that has come up. Obviously a lot of what happens right now is fieldwork or music lessons or theater and drama. Some language courses are 1 1/2 units. Every semester there are a few six-week courses. These would need to grow.

    Joss: I’m curious if you could speak on behalf CCP about the redistribution were pursued ahead of social consciousness requirements?

    Chenette: That could be build in to the new requirements. The problem is defining what a social consciousness requirement is. There was a panel about social justice in the Vassar curriculum. We aren’t quite at the place we need to be to have a concrete idea. It’s the same with the QA requirement. It’s not really clear what it is intended to accomplish and what it is accomplishing. One of the characteristics of the IME is dealing with diversity. In order to do a successful IME, students would “seriously engage diverse perspectives.” It could mean anything. That’s a topic that needs more focus and discussion.

    Josh: I’m seeing a pattern of trust emerging. Like the trust of students about classes and workloads and balancing everything. Do you trust the student body?

    Chenette: I’d like you to rephrase your question.

    Josh: Does the committee that is proposing this trust the student body?

    Chenette: My own view would be that the IME heightens the trust in students. It is about students taking ownership about something they are passionate about. With collaboration and partnership, it is putting a great deal of trust in the students to create something. It will help bridge what they have done as undergrads and what they want to do in life. The distribution could take a number of different forms. Our current distribution requirement is that you must take a quarter of your units outside of your major division. This new one is just nine units outside of your division. What it is doing is managing those nine units better than the current 8 1/2. This would try to shake out the division experiences a little more carefully. I believe the conversations will still happen and still be important. How will you fill these requirements. This may not pass. If I were a gambling person, that might be where I put my money. Change is difficult. Part of the value of this is simply asking the questions we haven’t for a long time. There are so many different forms this could take. We are talking about some amendments in the CCP meetings.

    George: I’m a biochem major. I represent that committee. The biggest concern for us is the cap at 4 1/2 credits. It’s not in line with our peer institutions. When you are talking about applying to grad schools, it is assumed that you would have taken a difficult course load. This prevents students from engaging?

    Chenette: Our 4 1/2 would convert to about 18 credit hours. There are federal guidelines for how many hours a particular course can be. It turns out that a Vassar course should equate to 10 1/2 hours of work a week, minimum. A 5 unit courseload would require 52 1/2 hours, in and out of class. Our average student on the NSOSE, ┬ásays that the average student spends about 10 1/2 hours. That federal guideline should not concern Vassar, but it does help us define ourselves. I’m going to have to look at Cornell and Dartmouth and Amherst. I know Williams and I know the institution I came from. What do you think matters more: the number of courses or the depth of engagement?

    Bethan: You mentioned the drop in the maximum. Would there be a simultaneous reduction in the minimum? Do you believe this will cause a reduction in the number of double majors?

    Chenette: the minimum stays the same. I think that would be harder for double majors as well.

    Bethan: Do you think the committee thinks it is ideal to reduce that number? If so, why?

    Chenette: I don’t think the committee thinks that reducing the number of double majors is important. I think triple majors are overextending. At least it should not be a driver of your decision. Any limit we impose would not necessarily change what you would take. You can still take the courses and get the credential. We didn’t impose a two-credential limit. I think most faculty feel that it doesn’t matter how many credentials you are getting, as long as you are getting a certain depth. As long as you are getting your depth.

    Matthew: I’m on the Art Majors committee. Will profs teach fewer courses due to the IME?

    Chenette: What will be needed is some increase in faculty and the decrease in unit allowments. Some departments will need to think seriously about how they structure other courses. Would other departments benefit from changing their structures? Yeah, it’s a combination though. Thinking about models like Art 105 are also helpful.

    Tyler: If the change goes forward, would it be for the Class of 2019?

    Chenette: It would be for 2020.

    Tyler: Along those lines, one of the big reasons we were drawn to Vassar was because of the open curriculum. I was wondering with the proposed changes, how would CCP work with admissions to adjust how that is advertised.

    Chenette: I don’t think we should make any change that won’t improve the Vassar education. I think that one is particularly sellable from an admissions point of view. I think the distribution is a little more challenging. It still has flexibility, though. That is trying to hold on to something of the open curriculum.

    2015: I sent the proposal out to the senior class. The first proposal was mostly negative responses. The IME was more an interest. People wanted distribution of this information as early as possible. The concern with the first one was mostly that a lot of other instiutitons with these requirements have more classes. There was concern that there wouldn’t be enough options. There was a concern with finding classes people were interested in. If this was something that passed, would publication be passed on to our peer institutions and grad schools to explain why we do this? One of the suggestions was that there could be more knowledge of other departments and faculty members. I think the big concern I got was that this kind of goes against what Vassar means.

    Chenette: Are you saying that the current requirement doesn’t feel like a box?

    Bethan: If there are people who don’t know about this, who should they reach out to? Is it you or other individuals?

    Chenette: Any member of the CCP, including two student members, including Sam and Logan. I’m happy to receive feedback and pass it on to the next faculty meeting.

    Jillian: I’m a music major. I know that the drama dept has fewer faculty members than the number of students. I know that part of the proposal takes the weight off of certain departments to move students away from certain departments.

    Chenette: I think it depends on the students and how they respond and how it will all look. One way of looking at it is that if students must take two or three courses in each of the four divisions, it will be a little harder to take more courses in non-major areas. It could have an effect if non-drama majors are taking a lot of drama courses.

    Jillian: I guess I don’t have a solid, technical statement to make. What would you say about students who want to have more expertise in a specific division?

    Chenette: Currently, students can take their 8 1/2 units all in one division. What this requirement would do is make it so that as long as you have these units in the other divisions, you would still have your units spread out. One of the amendments that we have ready is lowering the requirement to 2 units for each division.

    2016: I just wanted to express concern about how well the new proposal would be advertised? A lot of advisors still don’t know what the requirements are. It should be really advertised.

    Raymond: I also got a number of responses from constituents. They stressed that why they came to Vassar was the open curriculum. I think we’ve heard a lot of the information from your point of view. Can you give us a short, synthesized response as to how this would help the students?

    Chenette: Many people feel that requiring this breadth over the first few years would help people make a decision as to what they do want to major in earlier on. Requiring this level of breadth earlier is that students would find something they were really interested in or passionate about earlier on.

    2017: I got several responses back. The IME proposal was generally neutral to good for reactions. I got a lot of negative feedback on proposals one and three. There’s a lot of emphasis as to the open curriculum and the desire to not have to go through a lot of general ed courses and focus on what they are passionate about. I know a lot of people were justifiably scared to do an entire year outside of their primary interest. They felt that both proposals would make it harder for students in the major divisions to specialize at the level they feel they should be. One worry I personally had was about a hypothetical student who was bad at math. They do fine in one class but can’t handle the second one. They would’ve basically lost that credit because they couldn’t use it. I have worries about that.

    Cush: I have two things. I know that a lot of seniors that have NROs left or more flexibility in their course selection take a lot of courses outside of their major in their senior year. The requirements for the majors can be very strict and don’t often offer them every year. It’s really hard to work with that. What I’m suggesting is that this goes on til senior year. The other thing is that I’m an international students and I don’t have a language requirement. One thing that is really important is that it is four our of five. That comfort is not available to us.

    2018: I wanted to emphasize that Vassar prides itself in the free curriculum. I know already that I wouldn’t be able to do everything I wanted to do if this change occurs. It seems like you are trying to require more breadth but not giving us the chance to do that. It’s not really as free as it seems. I think you should look at more peer institutions as well.

    Strong: I’ll keep it brief. There was a lot of negativity about one and three. It puts certain schools at a disadvantage from people who don’t have AP classes or IB classes. It is a concern that there are other things that play into that besides what you study at Vassar. It’s about where you come from as well. You said some of your colleagues believe we will gain more breadth. I did that for my first three semesters. I had no idea what I wanted to do.

    8:18//Constituent Concerns

    2016: My constituents are really unhappy with Baldwin. They are very understaffed on weekends. My council wants to see about creating a student committee.

    TS: I hear what you are saying and agree. But I also want to give Baldwin some support. I think they get a lot of shit. I want to stress that although it is their job to take care of students, if students have long-term issues, though Baldwin is supposed to help, it should also be on the students to take care of themselves.

    Josh: Baldwin used to be bigger than it is.

    2017: I wanted to add on to that. Baldwin is staffed entirely staffed by nurses, who cannot provide the same amount of care as doctors. They can’t prescribe medicine.

    Activities: They do have nurses available on the weekend. You can call. You can also just go to Vassar Brothers. I had one of the women call me on Saturday to check in. They do a better job of referring you on the weekends.

    2016: One of my constituents was complaining that they were underqualified because they couldn’t figure out that she had the flu.

    Davi: I went there and they told me I didn’t have the flu but my mom said I did.

    2018: That happened to me too.

    Tyler: I wanted to shout-out to Zoe about reslife. It was decided that seniors can’t sign in guests through senior week.

    2015: I do have a lot of meetings. What happened was that Luis Inoa put this meeting off for a while. He then emailed me to tell me about his decision soon. Then he emailed his class. We never actually had this meeting. He was supposed to consult us and he didn’t.

    2016: I don’t want to bring it back to Baldwin, but they charge ridiculous prices.

    TS: That’s not Baldwin, that’s the health insurance.

    2016: I also want to recognize the Food Committee.

    Davison: Our entire house gets trashed. People just post in facebook. If you have rowdy friends who come to my dorm, please tell them to stop. We are trying to do our best, but its hard.

    8:30//Executive Board Reports

    Operations: We are giving out a pillow pet. A ladybug. Filing opens on Tuesday! Butch’s report is finally here. Food truck Friday is May 1. The student leadership awards is being reconfigured.

    Bethan: Can you tell us when the official report will come out?

    Ops: In talking to Butch, we sent him an email about getting this report soon. He said he would give us a draft on Friday. The reason we are getting a draft is that he is still waiting on survey responses. No official date though. Schedule! Filing opens on Tuesday at noon. On Wednesday there will be a candidates meeting. Abby wants members of VSA to be there. There will be food. 5:30 in CCMPR. Filing closes a week later and then there will be a mandatory meeting. The Exec debate will be Sunday at 5 p.m. at Taylor 203. BOE will also send out an email.

    Student Life: We are working on an SAVP video. The Vassar A to Z project recognizes that people come to Vassar with different backgrounds. In terms of committees, I’m sure most of you have seen MeCHA’s letter. We are sorting through that. It is a well-done proposal. Privilege Campaign is up. The campus climate survey is up! Spread the word!

    8:41//Referendum Amendment

    Operations: This is what we saw last week. It hasn’t changed. It makes it so that the majority of those voting make the change. I move to adopt this amendment.

    Amendment passes unanimously.

    8:42//Referendum Language

    Operations: Ops committee worked on updating the language to make it a lot clearer.

    2017: Most of the stuff was in the other one. We just made it a little clearer. It would be like any campus job. It would be time spent specific to the position. Sitting in council or chairing a committee won’t count. If anyone reports any impropriety, the Jud Board has jurisdiction.

    Ops: We have to approve this language. We will also have a supplemental fact sheet with this and it will all be sent out closer to the election.

    Josh: Has Jud Board ever fined people?

    Ops: Right now, Jud Board does very little with VSA things. I don’t know if they have ever fined people before. While they can investigate a claim. We are voting on this now.

    Jewett: Do we need to suspend a bylaw?

    Ops: No.

    2017: Can amendments that have been approved via referendum be amended by VSA?

    Ops: Yeah. It’s sketchy to change something dramatically, but we can clarify for sure.

    TS opposes. Passes to go to referendum.

    8:47//Open Discussion

    Academics: Majors fair is this Wednesday from 3:30 to 5:30 in the Villard Room. I’ll send out a blurb for you to send out. If you didn’t know, the schedule of classes is coming out tomorrow.

    Tyler: I brought up last week about CARES hosting sexual assault awareness weeks. We have published all of our events on our social media. Follow Sexual Assault Awareness Month on Facebook. we will have an open mic and art show in the Aula. We are collabing with SAVP to bring Stacy-Ann Chin. We are doing a speak-out in the faculty parlor, but it can also be a space for art.

    Activities: Say you are me for senior week. Can I go on booze cruise?

    2015: In terms of ticketing, the idea right now is to have it online. Seniors will buy for seniors first. I think you can get tickets to most things. They will still sign in people for orgs.

    Ops: If you have not sent me a description, do it by Tuesday. Shout-out to Raymond and Strong for their event.

     
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