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  • Palak 11:01 pm on September 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 9.27.15 

    7:05//Call to Order and Attendance

    Proxy: Joss, Main, Strong, TAs, activities (absent)

    7:07//Consensus agenda

      1. Collaboration and Discretionary to Punx ($300/$375)
      2. Community to Davison ($3000/$3000)
      3. Conference to SJP ($1163/$1312.75)
      4. Discretionary to SJP ($1500/$3000)
      5. Appointment of Kerri-Anne Bell to Raymond Jr Rep Fall
      6. Appointment of John Lopes to Davison Jr Rep Fall
      7. Minutes from 9/20/15

    Finance: PUNX is collabing with VC Bikes. Davison is planning event. SJP is a full org now and applied for a budget and a conference.

    Pres: These are old appointments. BOEA had one applicant for each position.

    Finance: Punx is doing a DIY repair day in the bike shop.

    7:08//New Meeting Procedures

    Ops: We want to reformat discussions and forums. If you agree with something, knock. Do not repeat something. You may speak twice and direct respond once per topic. You can add anything to the agenda. At-large members can participate at any time, but will not go to the top of the list

    7:10//Serenading Debrief with Traditions Committee Co-Chairs

    Adit Vaddi: Serenading was last week. I went and had a good time. In our opinion, we feel that the event went well considering everything. Everything started at around 3ish. At 5, Seniors convened at Blodgett. We started at Cushing. I was concerned about windows breaking, but that didn’t happen. We went house to house and houses combined on the quad. I want to hear opinions about how the balloon fight went. Other issues were that we were ahead of time by about 30-40 minutes. It allowed the seniors to reach Ballantine early and play kickball. Everyone else reached by 6 and Serenading started. The songs were good. They weren’t ratchet or offensive. Raymond did a good job. Relatively good turn-out. I talked to Anish and he told me he was surprised by the turnout. It was lively and people enjoyed themselves. The pizza should’ve been handled better. One thing I didn’t like were the number of TA residents just took boxes and drinks and went home. The houses that didn’t participate showed up around 7:20. They came for the food. I would’ve liked them to at least witness Serenading. Our DJ started at 6:30. Due to the cold and wet and darkness, his set was virtually unwatched. There was a significant amount of my that went down the drain. We want to make it earlier in the year next year though.

    Derek (at-large): As a freshman who attended Serenading, I had a good time. It was fun.

    Pres: We are going to break up into small groups for discussion before coming back for a larger discussion.

    ~15 minute discussion break~

    SoCos: My biggest point was communication.

    Ferry: A good point was fireworks. A lot of people don’t like fireworks. A warning should be sent out.

    SoCos: There are a lot of people negatively affected by the sounds.

    2016: We were talking about what we could do with $3000 dollars.

    Finance: Two ferris wheels.

    2016: Make sure people check their emails.

    StuLife: We talked about…working on the catering. Sub sandwiches would be harder to steal.

    Jewett: I didn’t think the timing was right. We told everyone that some dorms wouldn’t participate two days before the event.

    2016: We were talking about having us serve it lunch-lady style.

    Ops: We spitballed. Raymond freshman had fun. Main freshman were okay with it. We sensed a correlation between house team attitudes and freshman attitudes. We wanted to talk about social anxiety. Increasing solidarity and shifting the focus to house pride.

    THs: Raymond had their griffin. He went for it. If people are  anxious, a crafts oriented aspect could help. Everyone is a Jewett Owl or a Davi Cow. It’s more about house unity and house bonding.

    Main: We felt a lot of pressure to put on programming.

    Davi: We talked about social concerns. We felt that maybe we shouldn’t continue with this event with this kind of history and find a different way for seniors and freshman to interact.

    Noyes: We talked about communication and the ideological aspects.

    Vaddi: I think the input is really valuable. It was very constructive. We will evaluate a lot of aspects of it.

    Ferry: I discussed previously about the weird dynamic. We should have a more even playing field. Seniors can sing the Vassar song.

    Raymond: I do like the idea of making it house centric. We made it about Raymond.

    Noyes: I agree. It has to be focused on house pride or the dynamics between seniors and freshman.

    Strong: I agree. Communication is really important.

    THs: It’s awkward to tell people to talk to each other. We can incorporate more camp-style games. People can get physically acquainted with each other.

    SoCos: In regards to timing, nobody wanted it last weekend.

    Joss: I want to second what Noyes said. No correlation between water balloon fight and singing.

    Finance: It’s important to introduce everyone else on campus to each other. Sophomores and Juniors are still here after the year ends.

    Vaddi: Can I get a poll on how many want to see this even next year?

    Pres: 14 said yes, including at-large. Slim majority.

    TA: I want to qualify that with this event in some form.


    Academics: Peer-advising is slow right now. We are waiting for CIS to help us out. CCP met last week. Nothing passed and moved on. We talked about a few things. We are going to start talking about pre-major advising and maybe revising that process soon. We will take that to Academics this week to chat. Library committee is meeting soon. Academics is Thursdays at 6 p.m.

    Student Life: Few updates. CIE met this past Friday. There are various subcommittees under CIE. We discussed the addition and subtractions of subcommittees. One is on the Social Justice requirement. We are morphing a committee for undocumented students. We didn’t want to conflate that to one-kind of student. Transitions has been trying to incorporate undocumented students for a while now. We are trying to get upper admins to help for the report. CCL is meeting on Wednesday. 

    SoCos: Can we talk about stuff next week?

    Pres: Yeah.

    7:57//Update on Restructuring

    Ops: We had our second meeting this past Saturday. More people showed up. We talked about general structure. Meet us on Saturdays in the Faculty Commons at 12.

    Pres: Please tell your constituents, House Presidents.

    Noyes: Somebody had asked if we could have the reports emailed out at some point?

    7:59//Constituent Concerns

    Joss: Updates on Halloween funding?

    Finance: We will meet soon to discuss it.

    2018: Last year, it came from Dean Roellke, not the VSA.

    THs: It came to my attention that in regards to the traditions committee amendment, the co-chairs were not notified. We should incorporate them in the discussion.

    Raymond: Do you know when  heaters turn on?

    Ferry: We are only allowed to have 40 members in a party, and we have 20 housemates already. We want bigger parties. We are also used by other groups on campus. There is a ban for parties on Halloween. But Ferry wants to have a Halloween party if we want. Additionally, during the religious holidays teachers are not very accommodating.

    Pres: Parties are controlled by state fire code.

    Ferry: What about dorms? Like Seven Deadly?

    Pres: That’s an event?

    Ferry: We should call it an event then?

    2016: We are hesitant to allow people to have events during all-campus events. We accidentally had that happen last year. We do that so that people have proper security.

    Vaddi: It’s also to minimize alcohol consumption.

    Lathrop: We have tour groups. There needs to be some sort of guidelines for parents and families. One constituent went outside to walk their dog and they came back to parents in the room. Parents are vehement on looking at the rooms. It’s absurd. I’ve had multiple constituents do it.

    TAs: I work as a tour guide. That should not be happening. I’ll mention it to admissions.

    TAs: We would like to put in a formal concern about the robberies this past week.

    2017: It’s unfair that we are the dorm that gets the most toured. I need to do homework.

    2018: My mom is big on going in rooms. Even though admissions says no, parents will still do it. Sucks for Lathrop.

    THs: This has to do with CRC and safety and security. If anyone has had any issues with being responded to in a not-polite or professional manner, tell me. If you call and feel in danger or are hurt, they have to pick you up. The discrepancy between CRC and Safety and Security. EMS met with me about this, even though it’s not their issue.

    8:11//Traditions Committee Amendment

    SoCos: We talked about it and withdrew it.

    8:11//Open Discussion

    Pres: Elections! Voting is tomorrow at noon through Wednesday at noon. We will have physical voting stations too. We are unable to conduct a test election, so there might be issues tomorrow. Results will still be released on time. Shout-out to Raymond for a great event.

    THs: We do need to consult the chairs of Traditions moving forward.

    Vaddi: We don’t know the Amendment.

    SoCos: It was basically saying Traditions Co-Chairs should meet with Senior class council more.

    THs: It’s still drafting.

    Ops: We will talk to you.

    SoCos: It’s to get ideas right now. It’s too early though.

    Vaddi: Why, Josh, didn’t you approach us first?

    SoCos: Just my decision.

    Raymond: Thanks for coming to the event.

    StuLife: Two things, Happy birthday to my good friend Palak. Also, Kelly Grab about bystander invention, you can’t go for two orgs. Every org needs to be sending one person to this. Many people need to be trained.

    Noyes: You can go again?

    StuLife: Somebody has to go. You can go again, but the logic is for somebody else to go.

    Jon: I was going to talk about Traditions. I think one problem the VSA has had is that it wants student voices and input and be transparent, but it is very self-contained. By the time you ask for input, it’s basically just to say yes or no. Bringing in people before is really important.

    Derek: Small question. This is the third time in here. Is this going to be the permanent council space?

    Ops: Still trying to figure out how to reserve rooms in New England. We can stay or move whenever.

    Vaddi: In response to concerns about the committee not being in touch with the student body, we are considering proposing an amendment would be that we would have a position on VSA council so we can get direct discussion with the student body.

    2016: Are we talking to Michelle Ransom?

    Ferry: There should be a better way to reserve rooms.

    Jewett: Is that something we still want to do, change rooms? I’m fine here.

    Pres: Poll next week.

    2016: Can we try and get New England next week?

    Council adjourns.

  • Palak 11:30 pm on September 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 9.20.15 

    7:35//Call to Order and Attendance

    Absent: 2016 (proxy)

    7:39//Consensus agenda

    • a. Capital Fund to Barefoot Monkeys ($526.05/$862.80)
    • b. Discretionary to Raymond House ($400/$1000)
    • c. Capital Fund to Miscellany News ($19.99/$19.99)
    • d. Collaboration to HYPE ($600/$600)
    • e. Speakers to GAAP ($1950/$2100)
    • f. Collaboration to Main House ($1650/$3000)
    • g. Appointment of Ellen Jones to 2016 BOEA Rep
    • h. Appointment of Nora Eigenbrodt to 2018 BOEA Rep
    • i. Minutes from 9/13/15

    Finance: Barefoot Monkeys came in for new supplies, Raymond for their fall event, Misc for supplies, Main for their fall event.

    Ops: We appointed two people to BOEA. Ellen Jones and Nora. We are now missing two junior reps for BOEA.

    7:40//Forum with Marianne Begemann, Dean of Strategic Planning/Academic Resource

    Begemann: I hope you all had fun at Serenading. I went to In Light Of, and it was amazing. It was moving and powerful. It made me really proud to be a part of the Vassar community. I had nothing to do with it. When Ramy asked me to come, he asked me to talk about the college center renovation. I did want to talk about a couple things that relate to the library as well. Let me start with the renovation in the college center. We got a little delayed with the plans. What we are planning down there is to turn that space into a student space. Really simple with a variety of different kind of furniture. There will be a projector down there. There will be a performance area as well. It’s simple and not too expensive. That will begin during Oct. Break and it will finish in the Spring. We will also be renovating the SARC space. What we will do over Winter is improve the lighting and improve the circulation through there. It will be the same function, though. My question for all of you is related to food. A suggestion was made to move UpC into that space. We have room down there. The idea would be to serve the same stuff, little bit reduced menu. We are trying to get the pricing for it as well. An alternative suggestion was made to keep the Kiosk open for late night hours and not have food. That would be an alternate plan. The idea was to close the Kiosk and have a cafe in the bridge building. Which do you prefer?

    Lathrop: One concern is that the kiosk has a central location. The idea of closing the kiosk in main building is sad.

    Begemann: But there is coffee in the retreat.

    Lathrop: We want starbucks.

    Cushing: Definitely not closing the Kiosk. Even just serving better coffee in the retreat, that won’t solve the problem. In terms of moving UpC to main, I’m against it. It’s a good location right now. Keeping the Kiosk open longer in the night as well as having UpC open is better overall. This campus doesn’t need fewer dining options. Transferring one location to another is not the answer.

    Jesse: There is an extent to which the location is part of the appeal.

    Strong: Would they accept meal swipes at the Kiosk?

    Begemann: That would be a food service question. We originally were going to close the Kiosk down for the cafe in the bridge building. It would be a duplicate. We are looking at a different issue. What we kept hearing last year was that UpC didn’t work. People didn’t stay. UpC is a place to go and get your smoothie and leave. We want a place where you can stay.

    Ferry: I think that UpC is a place where people go to hang out. So many people go there to study. It’s so big, too. There’s so much overcrowding in Main already. I’d be concerned with how you were going to fit everyone in UpC. It’s not a huge space downstairs.

    Begemann: It would go from the front of the stairs to where the hallway starts. It’s probably about 50 or 75 seats with tables as well as soft seats. It’s different than what we heard from students last year.

    Ferry: What will happen to the old UpC space?

    Begemann: The idea right now is just to move the cafe function and leave the rest as it is. It just wouldn’t have food.

    Noyes: It’s a nice thing to have something closer to us. There’s no plan to put something else in UpC?

    Begemann: For right now, there is no plan. Give us your input on the Campus Master Planning website. Encourage others to do the same. Right now this space doesn’t do what it could and should.

    Noyes: Is it at all a possibility to have a new cafe?

    Begemann: We can start thinking of it. It comes down to money.

    At-Large: Is there any plans for any additions? I don’t see what the benefit would be to have a more inconvenient location?

    Begemann: What’s convenient and not convenient is hard to know. Main is the hub of campus during the day. It’s all a question of where you are.

    At Large: Are there any planned additions or things to improve UpC?

    Begemann: No. We will have to wait and see. It should be nicer downstairs.

    Student Life: I personally like the idea. There’s already a lot of foot-traffic to the Kiosk. It’s not a convenient space right now. If we had more dining options, that would be ideal. It’s inconvenient to walk through Main during the day.

    Main: I want to talk about having that space downstairs open during the day. I like the idea of having it open during the day and at night. Just having the Deece as a one-story entity is weird. We need more food options. I want to keep it cohesive. Food should stay with food. Main is this huge food thing that will be amazing and yummy.

    Begemann: We are going to see additional changes in the future. Hopefully some good ideas will come on the table. The kiosk was supposed to go away in January. I don’t know anymore. To keep the Kiosk open at all is going to cost additional dollars. I totally understand that we need multiple food places and options.

    Ferry: You said there would be a reduced menu for UpC if it moves?

    Begemann: We just can’t do everything downstairs.

    Jonathon: I know this might be hard to answer…but you keep on saying that it would cost additional money. Do the cafes pay for themselves? Is the college losing money on them?

    Begemann: I really don’t know. We just contract through Aramark. I don’t think the college makes a profit, but they certainly do.

    SoCos: I have a lot of info to clarify. What is the nature of the bridge cafe? What will it serve? What will it look like?

    Begemann: It’s essentially like the Kiosk.

    SoCos: UpC doesn’t have a kitchen either. Everything is brought in from somewhere else. Nobody is talking about the Bean. It’s a student-run coffee place. If we care about the Kiosk, we can fund it in different ways. To clarify why this is a different sense of voice for UpC is that people don’t see all late night spaces in different ways. Students leave UpC because it’s a big space but it’s not set up properly.

    Begemann: Stuff hasn’t been set in stone yet. What’s better for the college though? If we did move UpC, they would accept dining bucks similar to what it’s like now. I also wanted to get your input about something else. We are bringing in an exhibit into the Library in October for five weeks. There will be several lectures on Ulysses as well.

    Lathrop: That’s great. We think library programming is great. I wanted to bring up CIS. They haven’t upgraded the wireless connectivity.

    Begemann: Any specific spaces?

    THs: It doesn’t work most places. Senior housing particularly. But these conversations get talked to death with no actual goals. We need a vision. We need to stop having these huge discussions. We need to have a focused group. Stop experimenting. These are important issues. I support things in the library though. Utilize the spaces that are there. We need to create action committees.

    Begemann: We haven’t given up on the full renovation. It’s a long term goal with millions of dollars on the line.

    THs: We don’t need band-aids though.

    Begemann: This is what the campus master planning is about.

    Cushing: We don’t have food on this campus that people like and want to eat. If the problem is staffing, create work-study jobs. Just move stuff around. These are simple changes.

    Begemann: I really appreciate this.

    SoCos: I motion for a five-minute extension about alternative discussion.

    Pres: It’s a tie, I have to vote. I’m saying no.

    8:31//Indictment of BOEA Chair

    Pres: Adam resigned.

    Jesse: Was there a reason given for his resignation?

    Pres: There were several, but none are appropriate.

    Abby: I can help with whatever you need.

    Joss: If we could get those dates immediately, that would be great.

    Ops: This will be as transparent as possible.

    Pres: Everything but the debate is set in stone.

    TA: The meeting is not set in stone.

    Ops: We are now accepting applications for the BOEA chair.

    StuLife: I would like to say thanks to Ruby.


    Operations : We had a meeting on Saturday and nobody came. It was me and Demaris. We got stuff done. We will advertise that in the future though. Can  HP send that out to their constituents. There will be food in the future.

    President: As I mentioned at FLC and stuff. Bystander intervention needs to happen, legally. An email will go out soon. There will be six dates. Each org will be required to send one person to be trained. Any org that doesn’t attend will have their budget frozen. The Seven Sisters conference is in November. If you’re interested, let us know.

    Lathrop: House teams included?

    Pres: No, you were already trained.

    Cush: When is the first admin meeting?

    Pres: We talked with Cappy already. Roellke isn’t fully back yet.

    Jesse: Is the specific content of the training mandated by the state?

    Pres: The state just mandates that it has to happen. We will use our own content through SAVP.

    Jesse: Very little information has been given about the reporting process. Nobody knows how to do this.

    StuLife: In terms of reporting, we are currently working with the stats from Hannah’s survey last semester. Bystander intervention is different than reporting.

    2016: If you are in charge of multiple ogs, do you need to send someone else?

    Pres: I’ll find out.

    Joss: Thanks Jesse. Individual houses are working on setting up study breaks to learn about this stuff.

    Jesse: I think a lot of the culture is centered around reporting. Sexual assault is difficult to prove. There is still a stigma to reporting.

    Joss: I just have to disagree. That places the onus on the survivors, and that’s not where the onus is.

    Strong: I understand why you are talking about this, but I think you need to be a little more sensitive about how you speak about these issues.

    Noyes: If a person has already been trained, do they have to go again?

    Pres: I’ll find out.

    8:47//Constituent Concerns

    Cushing: We’ve sponsored a resolution. It’s a concern. We don’t live in safe housing, which we pay for.

    Ferry: We have bees too. Anders has yet to come to a meeting with us.

    THs: We have critter issues. If you see something, say something. Please do not feed the animals.

    SoCos: We have mice. We need to document this.

    Abby: I would encourage those with bee problems to find out about bee allergies. Talk to your house advisors.

    Joss: Keep talking to your house advisors. They have all of the info if you keep talking to them. HSA Luke said that we got money for halloween night. We want to do that again.

    Ferry: Is there a way to get a time-stamp on googledocs?

    SoCos: I’ll make a googleform.

    Jewett: Regarding minor issues, but it might be worth getting in touch with the building managers.

    8:53//Traditions Committee Amendment

    SoCos: This is part of a greater discussion. Senior class council has been talking about ensuring better communication with Traditions Committee. We can clear up the language. The core idea is to have them meet with us every two weeks. It was different last year because we had all of the money. Now they have their own money. Traditions committee is a partnership.

    2016: Did they talk to you about serenading, Kevin?

    Activities: No.

    Jesse: Why not VSA in general?

    SoCos: Because they already do that after said events. Senior class council used to do these events. They are supposed to collab with certain people. We just want a smaller scale and they have a large relation with seniors. Institutional memory.

    Pres: The senior class has never had anything to do with MMiP and Founders Day.

    Noyes: If there could be something added about Serenading. They should meet with BHP.

    SoCos: It came out of the thought of Serenading. It sounds like it’s just going to be Serenading and Halloweekend for Senior Class Council. And also BHP for Serenading.

    8:58//Open Discussion

    Joss: I think there is some bitterness and misinformation about Serenading. I want to clarify the three houses that chose to withdraw. Not everyone will agree with the hazing definition. I don’t think we can ignore the feedback of this event. A lot of people were concerned with the power dynamic. I respect that we tried to move away from the power-dynamic. Thank you for the work that was done though. There are opinions out there that are calling our decision making process autocratic, lazy, deceitful…it’s hurtful and untrue though. We need to speak our peace. We extended a great deal of energy to ensure we were representing our constituents. People came to me with concerns. I had to hear these things and respond. We opened those conversations. I presented to individual fellow groups. I gave them the chance to make their own decisions. Receiving the feedback afterward has been very helpful. People have thanked us. As long as our representatives are happy, I would hate to feel that we have done something terribly wrong. We wanted to support quality programming. Everything we’ve done has come from a place of deep respect. We didn’t make these decisions on our own or light-heartedly.

    Jesse: I respect the three houses that decided to withdraw. I understand that there is a power dynamic. I’m not saying get rid of the tradition. But maybe a discussion needs to be had about how to make this a fun tradition for everyone.

    Lathrop: As a member of CARES, all HPs should of received an email about a CARES/TLC study break. Please do it. These groups are important.

    Pres: Congrats to Ashley Hoyle and Aiden Lewy on their wedding. More seriously, part of what we did with Traditions Committee is that we made the chair a two year position. Audrey will stay in that position next year. We will make a future of serenading working group.

    Davison: We just want to ask everyone here who just heard Joss to please spread that message. People are disrespectful and hurtful.

    THs: Not serenading. Marianne did offer to come back. I think we have issues to discuss.

    SoCos: Briefly, we should think ahead of time of how to frame forum discussion.

    2018: I appreciate what you said Maya. I went to a lot of meetings about Master Planning. It’s the same conversation all the time. A student committee is a good idea, but why are we just talking?

    2017: I don’t know why she came, honestly. She didn’t come here with an open mind. Maybe I’m judging her. Her body language wasn’t open.

    Ferry: Can Joss write an article for the Misc about their point of view?

    StuLife: I don’t think it’s fair to say she came wanting to be unproductive. I think that although what they do can be muddled, it’s unfair to say they don’t have the student’s best interests at heart or in mind. Yes, there should be some sort of vision, at the same time, they need student input. Honestly, she may have been taken aback by the way we talked towards her. I think it was very aggressive. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    TAs: There are student reps to the master planning committee. Student committee members haven’t been contacted though. They need to meet.

    Jesse: I was looking through last year’s campaign statements and people don’t always take their jobs as seriously as they should.

    Abby: I find it offensive that you blame the board of elections for that.

    Jesse: I think we can all just do better. I don’t want to blame the board of elections.

    SoCos: We get it. It’s hard for elections to work. Admins are pushing us around, but we need to hone how this is all structured.

    Finance: Dashboard is working! If you have questions, we can get in touch with the web manager. Fill out pcard policy.

    2016: Back on Serenading. I was talking to TQ and she asked about it. She was happy that it was something that was being talked about. Reach out to her.

    Raymond: I wanted to talk about that was sent. Be purposeful of your words. Be careful about the language.

    Town Students: When we voted a few weeks ago about the VCLU, abstaining is  no? Can we change that?

    Pres: Roberts Rules is very specific. Ruby and I talked about this. We had so many abstentions that only 15 people voted and that means we didn’t have quorum, which is 16.

    Lathrop: Does the new webmaster has full access to the website?

    Ops: We are working on that.

    SoCos: Have you talked to CIS?

    Ops: No.

    Joss: Thanks to Sherm for taking our pics. When emails are sent to house presidents, they go to the old presidents, not the new ones.

    Activities: That’s me. I’ll do that.

  • Palak 11:02 pm on September 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Council, Transitions, VCLU,   

    VSA Council 9.13.15 

    7:02//Call to Order and Attendance

    Absent/Proxy: 2016, 2019 (proxy), Ferry, Raymond (Proxy), Town Students, SoCos

    7:08//Consensus agenda

    1. $2,250 to QCVC
    2. Fem Alliance ($100/$1100)
    3. Hip Hop 101 ($0/$2100)
    4. QCVC ($500/$700)
    5. Minutes from 9/6/15

    Finance: QCVC has changed their event, so we reallocated their cost. FemAlliance is going to a conference. HipHop is going to conference.

    Cushing: Why only $100 for Fem Alliance?

    Finance: Their budget went down since the fund app went in.

    7:09//Forum with Transitions Co-Coordinators

    Luis Inoa: The program is now in it’s 6th year. Created and imagined by alums and students as a fuller pre-matriculation program. They presented that to CIE six years ago. In an effort to assist the program, we took their 6-week model and created a 3 day pilot. We’ve done that for a while, expanding the program every year. We invite about 130 students, but they have to be low-income. They have to have no-to-little parent contribution. This year we got 56 students who attended the event. It’s now six days. We have co-coordinators. We have transitions interns as well. They spend time together and they have small, almost mock classes. We think about what kinds of classes we offer. There are also a series of social activities for the students to get to know each other. It sets the tone for the rest of their experience. We have conversations about campus life here. We make sure the interns are not duplicating the efforts of student fellows. It is an institutionalized program now. We receive funding every year for it. It’s a matriculation to graduation program. We try to be there for all four years for them.

    Tyler Fultz: We try to keep this as much of a family as possible. We bring in more students who don’t always attend the pre-orientation session.

    Diane Eshelman: We also have a monthly brunch for all Transitions students.

    2017: I know you mentioned the conception of the program was initially 6 weeks. Are you planning to expand further?

    Inoa: I don’t know. I want to put energy into helping students while they are here. I don’t know if we spent a lot of time or energy to six weeks. Maybe a full week eventually. It allows for some time to relax and breathe. Now that we have two classes that have graduated, we want to get support from those alums as well.

    Lathrop: Are other staff going to be involved in the future? Additionally, there’s nobody dedicated only to transitions? What about turnover and who can take care of the program?

    Fultz: First, B is involved in the program, but not as a co-coordinator. That’s voluntary on her part. As far as a dedicated person? We want that to happen, but it’s down the line for sure.

    Inoa: CIE met with Cappy last year. They requested a post-bacc. Given some of the changes that did happen. There is something about having somebody with administrative capacity be center to the program.

    Pres: Have there been any trends you’ve noticed in Transitions students?

    Inoa: That’s interesting. If I were to do a pre-arrival major survey, many of them would start in the sciences and STEM field. That comes from pressure of wanting to get a job after Vassar. That changes once they get here. There’s an interesting pipe from the Transitions women to the rugby team? And for a while it was to the Barefoot Monkeys. I have noticed that there are students that connect really strongly and it’s neat to see those friendships carry forward.

    Fultz: Studies can be done on campus about this stuff. The CDO does these all of the time.

    Cushing: How can you get most students to attend the pre-orientation program? Are there any complaints or concerns from students?

    Inoa: It’s a little like admissions. I don’t know what we would do if everyone came. The budget isn’t built for that. What can we as an institution do for all students, first-gen, low-income? I think what we do there, a lot of students would benefit. That’s part of that brainstorming. We have that list. We continue to invite them. Do I invite some people who don’t attend those to come to meet me.

    Fultz: Because of the institutionalization of the program over years, there are places on campus that being a Transitions student can work as capital. It’s hard to know. It’s a conversation every year. We work really hard to create a different type of space in the program. Once pre-orientation ends, there’s a lot of culture shock. It takes a lot of education and outreach. We also have graduating seniors write letters to incoming freshman.

    Eshelman: We also are working on a transitions blog or website. I want faculty to contribute.

    Pres: What’s your ideal for Transitions and how can the VSA help support students?

    Inoa: I’m trying to figure out how to help students understand what they signed up for. We want more admin support. It’s in thinking about that totality of the experience. It’s monthly brunches, workshops, guaranteed paid internships your junior year. You receive support for your GRE, MCAT, LSAT your senior. You are given to the program.

    Fultz: The class gift a few years ago was to open up the IGF to seniors. Things that the VSA could do. I would love to see creative fund opportunities. One of the grants that a lot of finance focus is the Tannenbaum.

    Eshelman: I want to see our increasing cohort continue to increase. We need more human resources though. A lot of Ivy Leagues are doing similar programs. We want more money to send students to these conferences.

    Inoa: We just really need the support of the VSA for any changes we make in the future.

    Eshelman: There’s a website called I’mFirst.org. It lists colleges and universities that are low-income friendly. We are not currently on that, but we are trying to get there.

    Davison: As a house president, what can I do to help?

    Fultz: I think a lot of where these tensions play out is in residential spaces. I think a lot of it is just being intentional with these conversations. It comes from little microaggressions. We need to have intentional discussions in house teams about how to support these students.

    Eshelman: Tell your residents to lock their doors.

    Inoa: One of the things I posed to house advisors is to take a look at parlor spaces and MPRs and can they say welcome in a different way?

    Derek (at-large): Is there anything the students can do to be more open, welcome and aware?

    Inoa: Pick your head up. Make eye contact. Say good morning. It’s small things. Not specific to transitions students, all students need to do that. Be mindful though.

    8:08//New Meeting Procedures

    Ops: we are changing our meeting procedures. New discussion procedure. We want to have people introduce the motion first, one person for it, one against, then vote. We can change it if it doesn’t work out.

    8:10//VCLU Appeal to Suspend Bylaws

    Pietro Garaci: We are here because we heard that our budget is frozen and that we are suspended. We are here to propose a motion to suspend a bylaw about the one-week appeal period.

    Pieter Block: No follow-up was ever recorded. We came to this conclusion after a meeting our our exec boards. We want to have an open process here.

    Cushing: Does the VSA have records of the decision being translated to VCLU?

    Pres: No, we could not find it.

    Jesse: What’s the process?

    Pres: It would go to a Judicial board.

    Jonathon: If there are no records, then what can Jud Board do that VSA can’t?

    Pieter: We believe the board will side with the VSA, but we want to see due process. We promise to fully abide by the courts here.

    2017: I remember discussing this at the final meeting of the year prior.

    Pres: Yes, there are minutes. But nothing was communicated to VCLU.

    Pieter: There’s no doubt about the sanctions, we just want the process to go through on the record.

    Jesse: I feel very strongly in favor of this motion. Let’s put away all personal feelings. We don’t have any evidence that we let them know about the sanctions. They should have the right to go to the judicial board.

    Finance: I do think it is important that the previous goal to help VSA aide VCLU do future program. It would be beneficial to them.

    Town Students: Is there any other group this could affect?

    Pres: I think the motion is specific for VCLU.

    Abstain: 2016, Ferry, Joss, Lathrop, Town Students, Student Life, Ops

    No: Noyes, SoCos

    Pres; We need 2/3 to pass it, but we do not have that so the motion fails.


    Activities: Next week we will be doing Pre-orgs. Everyone should come to activities committee. Somebody from the wounded warrior project is looking for volunteers.

    2016: What type of event is it?

    Activities: I think it’s like a fair. You’d be working events.

    Finance: We had our first treasurer training session last week. Applications for finance committee will go out tonight. Funds are available. Three new funds were created last week. We have a new Finance co-chair, Neena. Every org should apply for a pcard.

    Cushing: Any estimate on pcards?

    Finance: Still mid-October.

    President: Serenading is next Sunday. Food will be served starting at 6:40. Voting to have our meeting is at 7:30 next week. Motion passes. Exec can only meet on Fridays until October break. Agendas will have to come out on Fridays, until October Break. Motion passes. I was cc’d on a long email chain about a lot of off-campus noise. Not from people who live off campus, but from drunk freshman looking for parties. Email VSA emails, not personal ones. Sophomore and Junior reps need to be on one VSA committee. The Campus Life Resource group is looking for students to join. It’s an open committee. Orgs can publicize their events on the VSA facebook page. Go to your committee meetings. Campus dining is going through restructuring. Starting this Friday there will be open forums for people to attend. Antony contacted me reminded me about making MetroNorth tickets free or subsidized. I also need help with food truck Friday.

    Ops: We have finally worked out a VSA restructuring group. It will be well publicized and there will be food. Open to anybody in the Vassar community.

    8:36//Constituent Concerns

    Strong: Marist has a program that gets discount Broadway tickets. We should do that.

    Noyes: Freshman do not want to go to Serenading. Joss has seconded this feeling. This is a general point of view. They don’t understand what the point is and don’t want to take time away from their families that might be here. Is it appropriate or possible to respectfully bow out?

    Joss: RIght now I’m in the process of going to all of the fellow groups in my house to get info. I would not pass down a dictate about whether or not we go without that feedback. Fundamentally, it is their experience. If they reach a near consensus to not participate, can we not?

    2018: The fact that they pushed this to be on families weekend is unfair.

    2017: Skirting the topic of hazing, parents are allowed to show up? It’s embarrassing. Every student does not need to go if they don’t want to attend.

    Cushing: My house team wasn’t excited about it because of the timing. If all house teams are not feeling excited, then what is our role?

    Joss: I don’t know if this is a solution, but not every freshman in my house is going to say no. What if we bit the bullet, but just had the freshman who want to participate in one place.

    2017: Is there a different way for seniors to interact with your house?

    Noyes: Maybe we should table it and have a BHP meeting. My objection is not logistical, but philosophical.

    Cushing: Living conditions in residential houses. This past week we had bees, cockroaches, wasps, pests that are a health risk. I think it is incompetent of this college to not provide us safe spaces to live in. We will write up a resolution.

    2017: There is one exterminator.

    2018: Our house advisor mentioned the idea of putting picnic tables somewhere for a few houses.

    Pres: Reslife doesn’t pay to renovate the dorms. I’ve mentioned that the mice are coming from their old home (where the new science building is).

    2016: It costs $21 mil to renovate Davi.

    Abby: Our houses are not accessible.

    Jesse: It’s not legal to have buildings that are not accessible to people that are differently abled.

    TA: There’s not enough parking for the TAs. The TA house fellow has not responded to my emails. What can I do?

    Pres: Email up the line.

    2018: Student Fellows want to know about student fellow funds.

    2017: It’s through reimbursement.

    Cushing: Talk to Christina.

    Joss: I would like to inquire about how House Presidents don’t get compensated for our time.

    Main: Safety on campus. Not great. How do we make people feel more safe.

    2017: More needs to happen on the weekends so people don’t just get drunk.

    Pres: VSA gave money last year. Is that institutionalized?

    Finance: No idea.

    2016: it was to me, from Activities.

    Jesse: Will people  go to these events?

    2017: Yes they would. Even just 30 people is good enough.

    Pres: ViCE should be doing stuff. They are Vassar College Entertainment.

    Finance: ViCE Film should be doing this, but they also have a discretionary fund. Reach out to them.

    Pres: We should have ViCE here when we talk about them.

    2018: I’m interested in 2017’s comment about people having shame of not drinking on the weekends. I think there are a bunch of events, but it’s later in the night that need programming.

    2017: It’s clear there are a lot of events going on on campus.

    Jesse: As a freshman who does not drink, it can be quite difficult to socialize. It can be difficult late at night that doesn’t involve drinking. Something has to change about how we perceive alcohol.

    Strong: A late night Friday shuttle would be nice.

    Town Students: Can we bring ViCE in here?

    Jonathon: speaking of off-campus, I think it’s important how we frame this.

    2017: There is a $2 movie theater. After the mall.

    9:12//Open Discussion

    Finance: Thanks for coming in on Friday.

    Jesse: VCLU’s discussion. Why did people say no or abstain? We set up the college for a lawsuit.

    2016: I abstained because I was the one who made a majority of the decision last year.

    Jonathon: The reason it failed was because of an administrative thing. It requires a certain number. It would be a more productive discussion to talk about procedure than shame people for abstaining.

    Pres: Exec is meeting with Cappy and Chris Roellke this week.

    Main: How do people feel about the space?

    Noyes: I like Kenyon.

    Ops: We can move around.

    Lathrop: I prefer Kenyon.

    2018: I think we already have trouble getting people to attend. Main is better located.

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