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.