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  • Palak 12:04 am on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 11.29.15 

    7:05//Call to Order and Attendance

    Absent: THs, Town Students, Activities

    7:06//Consensus agenda


    President: We have tickets for the shuttle to NYC. On the Wednesday and Thursday after classes.

    Operations: Still working on Tasty Tuesday. Saturday Shuttle is still under works.

    StuLife: Nothing.

    Academics: My life is going great. This week we are going to be talking about….I lost it.

    Finance: We didn’t meet last week. Meeting on Wednesday.

    SoCos: Can we get a roster for Finance Committee?

    7:09//Constituent Concerns

    SoCos: Sunday at 9:30 p.m. there was a power outage on campus. This was our second power outage. My housing area lost power for 14 hours, including no heat. I was emailing some senior administrators about it, looking for updates. We didn’t have heat and they told us to wear more layers. There might be a review later on. We don’t have a generator in the SoCos.

    Ferry: I think this speaks to a larger issue on campus. We do not have a system in place in the event of an emergency.

    Lathrop: I met with my house advisor. There was nothing my house team could do. Part of winter training will be power outage training.

    Raymond: Several of our lights are still out. Is that happening in other houses? A student fellow also told me that the emergency lighting went out within 40 minutes.

    Pres: Shout out to Josh for getting us food swipes since our food went bad during the outage.

    SoCos: It seems like there are structural issues about this. The emergency lights in the SoCos also slowly started going out. They haven’t been replaced since the SoCos were built. We are just not kept in the loop. I sent four emails asking for information. There was no attempt or effort on their end to have a conversation about this. This is an easy thing to solve.

    Ferry: I researched a lot about disaster preparedness. I can email you guys the reports if anybody is interested.

    J (at large): Only students living in the effected areas were notified. Were faculty?

    Pres: Yes.

    7:18//Open Discussion

    Pres: Next week is our last meeting of the semester. It will be a longish meeting. We will have a forum. We will hopefully do a soft endorsement of the new structure.

    Lathrop: Are we going to bring Art Rodriguez?

    SoCos: If you have specific CAFA things, reach out to your rep.

    2017: About restructuring, can we make a simple report on the fundamental changes? I don’t think people know the current structure very well.

    Ops: We are working on that this week.

    SoCos: Short-term, I’m trying to brainstorm a flowchart right now.

    2018: Is that campaign just for information? Or to join the discussion?

    Ops: Both.

    Jewett: I had a message on behalf of VCLU. Saturday at 6 in Rocky 308.

  • nobleingram 12:36 am on November 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Meeting 11/22 

    7:07// Consensus Agenda

    Finance: VSU is doing an event with Marist. Noyes is doing their event. There was a fund app for shuttle service that got through. Operating costs for Crafts Not Bombs. Conferences to Democracy Matters and VXF.

    Abby: Sherry is appointed for Junior Rep for Raymond for the Spring. They are really excited.

    Consensus Agenda passes!


    7:09// Reports

    Activities: SJP tried to push through a lot of programming at the end of this semester so we wanted to limit their programming to give a chance for other orgs to program. We might reverse that decision considering they are going to be collaborating with other orgs soon.  Also Pre-org reviews.

    Finance: Those numbers for fund levels sound low but we are actually right on track. We are continuing to compile notes as they come up. We got a lot of new responses for the application for the Finance committee. I selected my top people, Nina selected her top people and we will be meeting this week. The band system and DJ system proposals have been approved. Hopefully we will have a functioning band and DJ system in the spring.

    SoCos: We are hoping to compile a document to agree on.

    President: We officially have our first shuttle to NYC scheduled. It will be on February 6 leaving Vassar at 9pm and returning to the city at 8pm. I’m leaving for the week on Tuesday but Chris will be taking over Tuesday. Final Update: if you were on campus last semester you noticed the campus masterplanning committee. The report from that is now online. They are going to have online forums and feedback jars across campus for next semester. The masterplanning committee is the 10+ year plan for the campus.

    SoCos: Considering the scope of some of those ideas in that plan, are we planning to meet and talk about those things?

    Ops: Yes.

    Student Life: CIE Diversity statement subcommittee met Friday. We are looking for student input on some statement. Last year put together something but administrators weren’t happy with it. This year we are rethinking the diversity statement. When it is done I will communicating with you all. I am the only student on this subcommittee. Props to Rebecca for trying to get free tampons on campus. That is what we are working on. Hopefully we will have some answers soon.

    President: Any questions for student life?

    Ops: Thank you for Restructuring. We are moving forward with the Tasty Tuesday survey. Some of the prominent sentiments of the survey were more Asian cuisines, more VCash, healthier options and Kismat. Kismat isn’t allowed back ever.

    Academics: We agreed to do a screening of a film about women in computer science and technology industries. That will happen in February.

    Finance: Finance committee is not meeting next week because of Thanksgiving.

    7:17// Constituent Concerns

    7:17// Water Bottle Resolutions

    SoCos: I remember us in Operations Committee talking about some Housekeeping issues with the Report. I am noticing that in past years it is difficult for us to do research when we don’t do grammar things. We might need to change some formatting things if it passes.

    2016: Does the $700 charge include the labor costs to set up the tanks.

    Noyes: Yes. I move to adopt this resolution.

    Vote: 22 in favor, 0 opposed.

    7:26// Barnard Statement

    Pres: Barnard is having a winter housing crisis. They are closing all the dorms over winter break unless students are tour guides or athletes.

    Finance: Why was this policy enacted?

    Pres: They said it would be expensive to keep a guard at the front. 20 Barnard students said they would literally be homeless because of this.

    TAs: Are we helping them in other ways?

    Pres: We re letting them take the lead. Potentially yes. I move to endorse this statement.

    Support of this statement passes

    7:29// Open Discussion

    Cushing: Shout out to everyone for restructuring.

    Student Life: Shout out to Jewett House for Dormal Formal.

    7:35// Meeting Adjourned!

  • Palak 12:02 am on November 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 11.15.2015 

    7:02//Call to Order and Attendance

    Absent: 2018 (proxy), Noyes (proxy)

    7:04//Consensus agenda

    1.  Fund Apps
    2. Official Reprimand of ViCE
    3.  Crafts Not Bombs to Level 2
    4.  Minutes from 11/7/15

    Finance: Speakers to NSO will be taken off after SAVP training. New sound system. 2016 for 99 Nights.

    Activities: We are issuing ViCE an official reprimand for the Chapel damages.

    TA: Doesn’t mention anything about before and after the event?

    Activities: The issue is all of it. Can we vote right now to amend this?

    7:10//Forum with Hollace Francy, Campus Activities Program Coordinator

    Hollace Francy: I’m the Post-Bacc for Campus Activities. I do want Dominique Waldren did, but a little more. I advise ViCE, Shiva, others. My other title is Programming Coordinator. We approve all events that occur on the campus.

    SoCos: As we saw about building entrance, are we looking at expanding space access from just Rocky?

    Francy: I don’t think that has been brought to the table before. Basically, you reserve rooms through EMS. I don’t know why this isn’t on EMS. That is something we can look into. Sometimes we give card access. That’s a discussion we have to have with the faculty in those buildings.

    Pres: Can you talk about the process of event approval?

    Francy: The general process is that you go to the SARC office and talk to your intern to put in your event request. That goes to Khasi, who looks over the event and approves it if there are no conflicts. From there, it goes to Sia, Kevin and I and we approve it in our meetings. Then Sia puts them into EMS manually. A lot of events were put in on top of each other. We tend to handle them in the order of the event date.

    Cushing: what’s the typical volume of events per week?

    Francy: In the beginning of the semester we would have like 15 events per week, but now we have about 5 per week. It’s more now that we are gearing up for the next semester.

    Cush: How many people work in the SARC?

    Francy: I think the biggest lag isn’t on the SARC interns but on my side, because it takes time to input events into the EMS. We can talk about ways to make it faster. One way would be to get somebody else to help input events.

    Joss: I know the SARC has a lot of protocols. What are areas of noncompliance that can slow everything down?

    Francy: People filling out the event request form properly. It needs to be really specific. Usually, we then email the SARC intern to get in touch with their org. Also, making sure the SARC interns are looking over your shoulder to make sure you fill it our properly.

    Lathrop: Is there any news on OrgSync software?

    Francy: I went to a demo over the summer but we haven’t talked about it yet. I think we want to display it for the VSA first.

    Pres: When people would book a room on their side of EMS, I can also see it when I was a SARC intern.

    Francy: SARC interns are supposed to be doing that now. We can always do better. I think the discrepancy is between that period of time where you submit the request and Sia puts it in.

    SoCos: Is there anything we can do for space transparency?

    Francy: Only orgs are supposed to be able to reserve spaces for damages. In the College Center they post the schedules during the days. It doesn’t happen in Rocky though. We can look into it though.

    Ops: I have a question about org advising. Is there a way, from the SARC end, we can do that?

    Francy: We did have a plan. We are planning on adding more SARC interns because there are more orgs. We are also tentatively thinking about specializing some SARC interns. We don’t have any formal plans though.

    Abby Johnson: I have an org with a large exec board. Only one of us went to fall leadership conference. Is there a manual or something with all of that info?

    Francy: We have a programming resource guide. It’s online and in the office. I have a bunch now!

    Pres: is there a most common mistake for us to stop making?

    Francy: Don’t assume we have a working speaker system, because we don’t. I’ve been talking with Josh and Kevin and some others about how to make the sound system accessible.


    Student Life: We are all humans. CCL met this past Wednesday. We met with Arlene Sabo about cameras on this campus. I think the number is around 200. They are thinking about adding more outside the residential dorms. They are outlining the policy now. CIE Under-represented Students Sub-Committee met in the ALANA center. Yale and Brown have a separate page for undocumented students online. We are working to try and see what we can do. We are trying to put together a dream team of resources for undocumented students.

    SoCos: What is student life talking about for the cameras? CCL, do they talk about keg ban? CIE, student financial services doesn’t have their own website.

    StuLife: We are talking about it tomorrow at StuLife. Keg ban is on the agenda. We did talk about financial services. Some find it difficult to change it because they would no longer be international students. It would be a difficult push.

    TAs: Small comment about the keg ban. The agenda keeps getting tabled until Roellke gets back.

    Academics: Peer advising was last Tuesday. We had burritos. Great time. CCP met and we talked about credential limits. Not much conversation. At the library committee meeting, we talked about CIS and the computing issues.

    Pres: Bystander Intervention make-up session is TBD. We have quotes for our city buses. I submitted a fund app. This week we are meeting with Administrators! If you have anything you want us to bring up, let us know. We spoke to Bob Walton on Friday. there is a transallyship training happening. Two sessions. Please attend. It’s been updated. We have adopted a 24-hour email policy. Even if you don’t have an answer, you need to respond within 24 hours.

    Lathrop: Who is this policy for?

    Emily Platt: It’s VSA representatives responding to constituent concerns.

    Ferry: We need more time.

    Emily Platt: It wouldn’t count weekends. I also get a lot of complaints about it from students.

    Ops: I think it would be good for all of us to look at it first.

    Pres: Exec has adopted it.

    Ops: Still in progress for updating Saturday shuttle. It sucks. We will have our results from the Tasty Tuesday survey. We had our big restructuring event on Saturday. Lot of pad thai. We finished it. Restructuring the VSA. We did not go with a bi-cameral. We changed it to a senate. We have four boards: residential, activities, strategic planning and student affairs. We have worked out quite a bit of detail..

    Activities: We spent most of our time talking about ViCE. Spring Leadership Conference is coming up. Event is the Saturday after break.

    Finance: Fund levels next week. Still going through applications.

    Raymond: If I send an email on Friday is that too late?

    Finance: Not too late.

    7:47//Constituent Concerns

    Ferry: People are complaining about shoes in the gym. There should be a cleaning station in the gym. I don’t clean my shoes.

    2018: Noise in the library. You can’t study in the library. Today in the Deece, there were a bunch of people in the Deece.

    Cush: There was a tour in the library yesterday and it was so loud. I asked a librarian and they told me to deal with it.

    SoCos: Study rooms would be cool. Oh wait, they took those away.

    Ferry: We should have a quiet floor or something in the library.

    Academics: All of these suggestions should be sent to Andy Ashton.

    2018: I also wanted to say that the biggest issue is just students talking in the library. Can we send out a nice little note? Also, the printer above the Retreat doesn’t work. Can we get another printer?

    TAs: TA printer had a lot of problems. Some printers are supposed to be checked every day.

    J: None of the printers have staplers near by. Can we chain staplers near the printers?

    7:57//Gender Neutral Bathrooms Resolution

    Pres: The body of the resolution I referenced the last times we talked about it. We resolve to reaffirm out commitment to the Gender Neutral Bathroom Initiative.

    StuLife: How are we going to disseminate this?

    Pres: I was going to email it out. I move to adopt the resolution.

    Unanimously passes.

    8:00//Discussion on Mizzou, Yale, and Racism at Vassar

    Pres: Mizzou is the University of Missouri. There were a lot of different events that happened. The University President resigned over student concern that many Black students had raised about how they were not being supported on campus. There was a football related boycott.

    StuLife: The team, namely the Black students, decided to boycott. Two days later people resigned.

    TAs: In addition to that, one person went on a hunger strike. The whole team was behind them.

    Ferry: Also, if they didn’t appear in the game on Saturday, the school  would be fined like a million dollars.

    StuLife: We talked about this at BIRT. We have an ideological problem that it took the boycott of a football team to get these people to resign.

    Abby: I can talk about Yale. Essentially, a couple things happened at once. In a short period of time a fraternity was turning away women of color and an administrator sent out an email asking them to look at their Halloween costumes to not be racist or offensive. One house master sent out an email asking why we need to be respectful during Halloween. That led to a large protest.

    SoCos: The professor was a psych prof who explained her belief behind her email. She was talking about when we stop psychologically developing.

    Ops: To add a bit more, this past week speaks to a larger pattern of oppression that happens. This isn’t new. Somebody went on a hunger strike at Claremont-McKenna and got their dean to resign. Also, since we don’t have a football team to advocate for us, who can do that here?

    2019: I was going to add something about the language. It implied institutional control.

    Ferry: One of the colleges at Yale is named after an extreme white-supremist slave owner.

    Abby: Also, at Georgetown did a successful sit-in to change the name of a building named after somebody who sold slaves to payoff Georgetown’s debt.

    Pres: There were some bombings in Paris, Beirut, Afghanistan, and other places. Maya, would you mind sharing?

    Ths: I’ve been thinking a lot about the way in which we have discourse on this campus. I’m always frustrated. What my status was about was how can we make connections between domestic and international occurrences. How can we not have conversations about occurrences that happen every day here. This is not about our facebook statuses, changing our photos, copy and pasting solidarity notes. The war has not begun, it has been happening. We need to start discussing what is happening domestically, here at Vassar, here in America. And then think about that in context to the rest of the world.

    Pres: Now we should talk about Vassar.

    Ops: A lot of this comes out of a place that lacks clear communication. We need to communicate in a compassionate manner. I would like to see Vassar students being quiet and listening first. Just basic human kindness.

    Cush: At Vassar specifically, I’m just envisioning a space where some people can talk and some people can listen. Maybe we can draw up a fact-sheet to fight misinformation.

    Lathrop: One place we can start is funding the ALANA center more. Having more programming. Admin is pretty white-washed.

    Ferry: Other schools are having an equality director.

    2019: This is something my class council has been talking about. Assumptions are the most harmful here.

    SoCos: We are not a grassroots movement. We can support them though.

    Main: I think we need to do more than have an email sent out by Cappy. I was confused about the presence of non-Black students. Also, it blocked entrances.

    Cush: On the email sent by Ben Lotto. It focused on Paris.

    2017: I think it is important that we do what we can, but we aren’t the ones who should be heading what should be going on.

    Ths: We can help facilitate protests and events.

    SoCos: Student empowerment. We have a lot of energy. It is our job to support that. I want to see about getting an ad-hoc fund.

    Academics: We did that last year.

    Strong: Let’s not let that conversation die down.

    J: I think it is cutting the VSA too much slack. It is a student union.

    SoCos: I don’t want our actions to shadow other voices. We are not the only bargaining voice in the system.

    Pres: Let’s vote on SoCos’ motion?

    SoCos: Whether from discretionary or operating, it doesn’t matter. There are funds available that do not need the regular finance system.

    Ferry: I think all Exec should discuss it.

    Pres: Essentially, somebody would be approached, we discuss it quickly and then make the decision.

    Ops: I can work with Emily to send out a notice to students.

    SoCos: I withdraw the motion then.

    8:55//Open Discussion

    SoCos: Thanks for all of the exec reports.

  • Palak 12:05 am on November 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA 11.8.15 

    7:05//Call to Order and Attendance

    Absent:  2017 (proxy), Ferry, Lathrop (proxy)

    7:07//Consensus agenda

      1. Collaboration to NoViCE (0/800)
      2. Capital to NoViCE (Tabled/1378.04)
      3. Speakers to LiNK (100/300)
      4. Capital to Quiz Bowl (130/130)
      5. Speakers to ViCE Comedy (Tabled/10000)
      6. Social Consciousness to MBSA (2750/2600)
      7. Social Consciousness to VJU (Tabled/2000)
      8. Frozen Budgets:
        i. Young Democratic Socialists
        ii. Episcopal Church of VC
        iii. No Such Organization
        iv. Multiracial-Biracial Students Alliance
        v. Vassar Bikes
        vi. The Limit
        vii. Feminist Alliance
      9. Certification of Chabad Jewish Community
      10. Middle Eastern Students Collective to Level 2
      11. Minutes from 11/8/15

    Finance: NoViCE came in for a collab with Idlewild.

    Activities: We only leveled up two orgs this week.

    TA: BOEA appointed Elizabeth Garrity for Noyes Spring Rep.

    7:09//Forum with Judy Jarvis, Director of LGBTQ and Womens Centers

    Judy Jarvis: I’m the Director of the LGBTQ and Women’s Centers. I’m an alum. My forum is about the gender neutral bathroom initiative. I want to update everyone on the initiative and talk about what the students can do. The initiative has been an on and off thing for years. The dorms have been co-ed since the mid-80s. That was a factor of having been a women’s college. It was a voting process by the dorms to choose to have ‘co-ed’ dorms. When I started here, there were about 13-15 academic buildings with zero gender neutral bathroom facilities. To have to weigh whether you want to use a restroom means you are not at your best in the classroom. It’s an additional stressor that not everyone has to deal with. It also goes with our non-discrimination factor. With this info, we had a wonderful working group that started in the Spring of 2013 to push this initiative. Now we have nine of those 13 buildings that have at least one gender neutral bathroom. We also did eight different sessions for education to talk about how gender neutral bathrooms are just one form of trans-allyship. We are at a point where people think the initiative has been successful. That’s not true. We still have four-ish buildings that don’t have gender neutral bathrooms. I’ve had complaints from professors or staff members from three different buildings on campus. There has been vandalism on signs in Main and another sign was completely ripped down in Davison. What I need your help with is that we need to work to maintain these bathrooms on campus. Admin and students don’t stay here as long as faculty members and staff members. The main drivers here are the people who turn over the fastest. It doesn’t work to just tell people they are idiots. They are coming from a different perspective. They are from different generations or class backgrounds. It is also their facilities. I have to make sure I’m not being superior to people who may not fully understand it. I’m wondering about what VSA can do for this. We talked about it in BIRT, maybe sending an all-campus email affirming gender neutral bathrooms. Also, looking back at what the VSA has done in the past. We just want to make sure there is still energy around gender neutral bathrooms.

    Noyes: How much weight do complaints from faculty impact new gender neutral bathrooms?

    Jarvis: It’s hard to tell. The initiative has three senior officers on it. I don’t think professor dissent will undo this work. My fear is that if a lot of negative information is around, then nobody will consider it for the future. I’m not concerned that any of the current gender neutral bathrooms will get changed. I want people to understand why this is important.

    SoCos: Is the rhetoric still around fire code? One argument was that the bathroom would be hidden away.

    Jarvis: The thing I know a lot about is building code. We have some buildings where we are under occupancy. If you touch the building, you will get fined. There are some buildings that Vassar just won’t touch. That being said, we still were able to work pretty well. We were able to get folks on board to allow multistall bathrooms be gender neutral. Any single occupancy bathroom is really easy. The Chapel has no gender neutral bathrooms. Sanders Physics has two womens and two mens bathrooms. We are going to change two of those to gender neutral. We aren’t trying to change every single bathroom to be gender neutral bathroom. Mostly the resistance is coming from misinformation. Athletics is harder to work with. But we can work around code.

    Pres: I co-wrote with Danny the initial statement that the VSA passed. I would be happy to draft a note to the student body. One thing I want to ask is about future renovations. Do they plan for gender neutral bathrooms in those renovations?

    Jarvis: I can’t say. I wasn’t at some of the Master Planning meetings. I’m keeping in touch with Marianne Begemann about this. I think it is an area that students should be aware of it.

    Jon: I heard that the buildings on campus are grandfathered into the ADA.

    Jarvis: That’s true. It’s not that they don’t want to become ADA accessible, but they are old buildings so we have to plot out how that works.

    Jewett: Of the concerns raised, were they all about discomfort or were their practical reasons?

    Jarvis: In Sanders Physics, there were some shoddy workmanship. A lot of the complaints were about discomfort or not knowing what was happening. Often it was dispelling misinformation.

    2018: I wanted to ask how much weight us writing a letter would be? What else could we do?

    Jarvis: I welcome all of your creativity. An important part of my job was the info sessions. I just need help with this stuff. Letters can be great, but only for short-term. I’ve been doing passive education, but there could be more. If we could get huge posters in the College Center? Where can we reaffirm this?

    TS: This is because I live with this person, but zines could be cool.

    Jarvis: As many different efforts, the better. My number one is implementation. Number two is education.

    StuLife: Is there something that we do yearly in first-year orientation that is about gender neutral bathrooms? Or should we do something?

    Jarvis: That’s interesting. It might be an informal conversation already. In my experience, it hasn’t really been students with the issues. They get acclimated pretty well. It’s not to say that the students are all on board. Bias incidents say otherwise.

    SoCos: Was there ever a policy about after-hours usage?

    Jarvis: I think that is just a student practice. I think students should just keep using whatever bathrooms you want.

    Lathrop: Is SLD still active?

    Jarvis: I don’t know if it is active.

    7:50// Frozen Budgets

    Pres: Now we will talk about the frozen budgets. There were six training sessions and multiple emails sent. These seven orgs did not attend.

    SoCos: I want to talk about some concerns about going ahead and freezing these budgets. Ideally, we didn’t want to freeze budgets. I got feedback about the timeline and communication from some of these orgs. These orgs are basically not real now. If you don’t have a budget, you can’t add to your budget by fundraising. I’m not sure if the best solution right now is to freeze their budget. I think there needs to be a timeline.

    Ops: I think it is important to clarify some misinformation. All orgs were contacted. They knew. Their immediate programming will continue.

    Pres: The rationale behind that was that some groups already have contracts. Somebody needs to pay.

    Activities: The listserv I gave Ramy included Presidents and Treasurers.

    Jon: How does it work to defund and fund an org in the same meeting?

    Ops: It’s an extraordinary circumstance. If we did not allow their programming to go through, their student accounts would get charged.

    Activities: I think it is also about the content of programming. I’m fine with cognitive dissonance here.

    Pres: SAVP interns put on the training. They are going to do one more. Spring Leadership Conference will also have training.I move to freeze these seven budgets.

    Jon: I move to separate YDS from this list.

    Pres: We can do that.

    Yes: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Cush, Davi, Jewett, Joss, Lathrop, Main, Noyes, Ray, Strong, SoCos, TA, TH, Town Students, Ops, StuLife, Academics.

    Pres: It passes. Onto YDS. I make the same motion.

    2016: I think it is unfair to freeze their budget without any contact.

    Strong: Can we table this discussion for Activities?

    Jon: I’m having an issue with treating a basically non-existent org more leniently than more apologetic orgs.

    Pres: From a practical standpoint, they aren’t doing anything.

    Yes: 2018, Cush, Davi, Jewett, Joss, Lathrop, Main, Ray, Strong, SoCos, TA, TH, TS, Academics, Activities, Stulife, Ops


    President: Bystander training again. Our City Committee is getting quotes for buses. We went to the Seven Sisters conference. 

    Operations: No restructuring this past Saturday, but we will continue this conversation this Saturday. Still working on the Saturday Shuttle Report. Tasty Tuesday survey went out. 

    StuLife: No major updates.

    Academics: Peer advising dinner on Tuesday. 5-7 in the Aula. Give and receive advice. Burritos.

    Activities: Finally met with orgs about closet space. Orgs will be sharing.

    Pres: Seven sisters update. There were a lot of workshops. There was one about divestment. Barnard is having a winter housing crisis. It’s fucked up.

    8:19//Constituent Concerns

    Noyes: The SARC has been not functioning to it’s maximum potential. How can it be streamlined a little bit?

    2018: Can I have a list of the orgs that are having trouble?

    Matt: I think it would be great to have Hollis in for a discussion.

    2018: Vending machines in dorms for essentials?

    Ops: Funding is not there yet.

    SoCos: If we care enough about this, they will put tampons in the dorms.

    THs: In the bathroom option.

    Joss: Barnard has free tampons. If we have free condoms, why not tampons?

    8:27//Resolution Concerning Disposable Water Containers at Commencement

    Noyes: We launched a campaign with Vassar Greens to ban disposable water bottles from campus. We got rid of them. Disposable water bottle containers are still distributed at large events, like Commencement.

    Jon: It might be good to reaffirm the need to recycle and reuse bottles.

    Ops: Our understanding is that campus activities just wants a reaffirmation that we still care about this. A letter might be better.

    Noyes: The Greens is already in talks about alternatives.

    TAs; I think I need more info before I can vote.

    Noyes: let’s just table it.

    8:33//Open Discussion

    Raymond: I was wondering if we can do anything about the ladybugs on the ceiling.

    2016: They are a permanent staple of this room.

    Cush: We created a googleform for the refugee thing. There’s a six-week course being offered in the spring.

    Pres: Thursday at 7 there is a talk being offered by Cappy’s office relating to Israel/Palestine.

    Main: Do your job.

  • Palak 12:20 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 11.1.15 

    7:03//Call to Order and Attendance

    Absent: 2017, 2019…

    //Consensus agenda

      1. Social Consciousness to Feminist Alliance ($150/$150)
      2. Discretionary to Quiz Bowl ($820/$820)
      3. Capital to NSO ($927.68/$927.68)
      4. Capital to Barefoot Monkeys ($205/$244.07)
      5. Discretionary to Night Owls ($2000/$4000)
      6. Speakers to CHOICE ($0/$1200)
      7. Speakers to ViCE Comedy (Tabled/$10000-$15000)
      8. Conference to Debate Club ($600/$1615)
      9. Speakers to The Listening Center ($2250/2500)
      10. Capital to FWA ($181.15 + shipping/$181.15)
      11. Pianists Pre-Org to Level 2
      12. Vassar Sori Pre-Org to Level 2
      13. Certification of Questbridge
      14. Mock Trial Level Up
      15. New Pre-Org: Chinese Students’ Association
      16. Minutes from 10/25/15

    Finance: CHOICE was told to table theirs and come back with a new fund app.

    Activities: Pianists is up to level 2, as is Sori. Mock Trial is level 3. The Chinese Students’ Association came to appeal their original app. They want their own affinity space as international students.

    Abby: Shout-out to BOEA. We appointed a new CIE rep, a 2019 CCL rep, the 2019 class gift co-chairs, and a Davi Sophomore rep.

    7:09//Forum with ViCE

    Sarah (ViCE): I think ViCE’s goal this year is to make sure ViCE is accessible for anybody. We are doing three concerts, instead of just two. We are also trying to do consistent concerts on Wednesdays and Thursdays. We also have ViCE Comedy.

    Cushing: ViCE only seems to cater to a specific audience. How does the massive budget adequately represent the taste on campus?

    ViCE: The special events portion of ViCE is a good place to start. We are also doing three concerts to diversify that. Only a small group of people come to our committees though. We want to get more people to come to these meetings. Thursday shows have really good attendance.

    2017: Budget-wise, how does this work?

    ViCE: The committees that do weekly events are good at getting local artists.

    Ops: We reached out to Sarah to talk about ViCE’s role in programming. We want to brainstorm ways to increase communication between VSA and ViCE.

    Finance: I had a quick question about turnover. How are the different heads chosen?

    ViCE: There has never been a consistent or formal training process. We didn’t really have a layout for what each position is. We are currently working on a document that has a toolkit for the jobs. As far as choosing, you just apply. Then we have an interview process which is conducted by Exec who are not applying again. We have some sort of conversation before we nominate.

    TS: Historically, one of the things we get criticized for is transparency. Has ViCE ever considered sending out mass emails or surveys to get student input?

    ViCE: Teddy is working on a weekly email with all of the events each week. We could look into expanding it to campus wide. I can talk about meeting notes.

    SoCos: Does ViCE have a protocol or process with dealing with preplanned events and things with other groups coming to you? Where do you see ViCE integrating with VSA more?

    ViCE: Usually the budget is split in two by the concerts, but we changed that up this year to bring more music here. As far as how budget is planned for particular events, the only groups that have more stuff is Jazz and No-ViCE, so we plan according to the calendar. Special Events is the only one with the most flexible budget. There’s a bit of leeway for Film  as well. We don’t have an official process. I hope to do this forum monthly, maybe. We talked about the restructuring of programming.

    Matt (at-large): A lot of people have a perception of ViCE as closed off. It might be helpful to look at what other schools do?

    ViCE: The only hesitance about that is that the campus gets really excited about certain artists and then get disappointed when we couldn’t bring them. We do want more surveys.

    Ferry: Do you have systems for general student body outreach?

    ViCE: AJ was working on a forum space. But he’s busy.

    Cushing: Following up. The type of artists you bring…a lot of the concern is that it is the same type of artist every time. The other thing is that for a lot of big events are alcohol related. What has ViCE done to create non-alcoholic related programming? Transparency is great, but the whole process you explained for an exec board is just having the same people doing the same thing. Also, if you tell the House Presidents, we can email stuff.

    ViCE: There have been delays on the forum and survey projects. As far as self-appointing, we open that up to the entire campus. It’s pretty open, it just depends on how you hear about these things. We can work on publicity for that. As far as non-alcohol programming, we don’t provide alcohol at our events. We have Comedy events, and they have a lot in the works. A lot of special events collabs are lectures and no Film events shouldn’t have alcohol connotations. ViCE is holding a safer spaces talk this Saturday, open to everyone.

    Lathrop: I think ViCE is doing great. Some of us might be looking for a problem that isn’t there. It’s not broken. But I think there are places that ViCE could be more transparent. Have a rep on the Activities committee. You should also do more to get the pulse of the campus and interests on campus.

    Joss: I think there is a difference between democratizing ViCE and giving feedback. There’s no official decision making process, though. And all the funds are basically already allocated.

    ViCE: There are avenues for people who want to do things outside of the already set ViCE categories. Wordsmiths is doing a collab with Special Events.

    Main: I wanted to explicitly state the issue with the lack of backbone in ViCE. Where is the constitution or something? It seems very similar to last year. Where is the institutional memory?

    ViCE: Exec has a good relationship with its committees. We are currently working on that document for a structure in ViCE.

    THs: I think ViCE is a chill space. It’s hard to make structural changes. People who make suggestions to ViCE are sometimes so out of budget. ViCE does have a big budget, but musicians are expensive.

    ViCE: It was laid out to me to think of an artist you would dream of getting, and then think two grades lower. That’s our budget.

    Finance: Can you talk about collab between the ViCE orgs?

    ViCE: I think collabs are going well. Because half of our org is music, there is a lot of back and forth within those groups. Exec meets every Sunday. That’s usually where collabs are discussed.

    2017: First, on the distinction of training. Just knowing that you can have training when you apply to these positions, it’s nice to know. I know we talked about it last week about charging for concerts. It’s not a lot, but some people can’t pay. Having free concerts is ideal.

    ViCE: I know it has always been a tradition to charge for the Fall Concert. It’s come up a few times. I’ll bring that up to exec. That money covers extra sound systems. Pricing allows a better quality of events. We have collabed with other orgs in the past.

    2018: Maybe appointing a communications director to help with transparency to the campus. It would be great to have an additional person to help you out.

    SoCos: When outside orgs come to ViCE to ask for support, what would be a rule of thumb for that situation?

    ViCE: You are invited to come to the meeting and give a presentation. Then the committee will discuss it. They could also come to our Exec meeting and then we decide together how to divide this work. We aren’t a bank. We want to collaborate with people.

    Pres: Collaboration is important.


    Finance: We talked about how to proceed surrounding events. We discussed speaker fund allocations. This week we will be having a second Finance meeting. It’s not part of your obligation, but we will be talking about policies and what we do as a committee. A time will be coming out soon. New pcards are being issued by JP Morgan. Treasurer training again! Anybody can come. There will be pizza. We are in the middle of finding a new time for Finance committee. We are moving our meeting to Wednesdays at 5. Applications for Finance committee are being sent out to the freshman class this week. You can send them out to everyone. Fund levels are fine.

    Joss: Realistically, when we need funding, we should consider this in the future. We can’t always depend on being reimbursed later.

    Finance: I’m really sorry. It sucks.

    Ops: You can always come to discretionary. You shouldn’t be spending money out of pocket.

    Lathrop: I’m wondering which orgs were defunded.

    Pres: We are working on that. I’m meeting with Kelly tomorrow. Also, for pcard issues, should people come to you or Ruby?

    Finance: I’m fine with people coming to me.

    2018: Individuals should ask their class presidents.

    Activities: On Friday, I and Ramy organized a meeting to plan spring leadership conference. It will happen on the first weekend back, probably. It will have bystander intervention training. We also discussed Vice President training. If you have ideas for spring leadership conference, let me know. We talked about the need for alternative programming. ResLife and HealthEd have talked about creating a space for people recovering, but decided it would be too stimatizing. 

    Jesse (at-large): It’s good to have more alternative forms of programming, but there are still too many EMS calls.

    2018: Do you know the number of EMS calls?

    Abby: I heard 18.

    2018: Last year we tried to educate the campus and let them know that not everyone drinks here.

    Jewett: I just want to talk about dorm damage. Every year it happens.

    2017: There are so many orgs and preorgs. It feels like there are too many orgs and everyone will get a budget. Some orgs just have a budget for food. We don’t need orgs buying food.

    Activities: I don’t think we should decertify orgs. I can talk to Josh about limiting the amount of money they can spend on food.

    Finance: That’s a conversation we have every year. I know what you spend your money on. We tell you in treasurer training to spend money on experiences and not food.

    SoCos: We keep bringing up restructuring because it is important. We would love more people to show up.

    Pres: I’m meeting with Kelly Grab. VSA is invited to come to the Smoking Task Force meeting.

    Ops: Restructuring is going well. We are thinking of creating a bicameral system. Come to restructuring. We will have surveys going out soon. We are getting a second vending machine. One will have medicine, etc. The other will have food that we want.

    StuLife: Drafted a final version of the letter for transpo. CIE met this past Friday. Ask me questions.

    Academics: We discussed the logistics of the Code movie. We talked about peer advising dinner. We had a rousing discussion about grades. The Lib committee is meeting this week.

    Cushing: Shout-out to Ruby and Josh.

    SoCos: Vending machines are great. We don’t have to pay for them! Email us about getting healthy options.

    8:31//Constituent Concerns

    Joss: It has been brought up to me that there have been several instances of misgendering and use of slurs in the faculty. Can we talk about an identity based training?

    StuLife: We talked about this at CIE. Faculty training is in the midst of happening. I don’t know what it looks like.

    Matt: Last year, QCVC worked on an email or something about talking to you professor about these things. I think a few people used it.

    Academics: An ongoing project of mine is pronoun use in the classroom. It will come up.

    2019: Freshman class council had their first meeting. Security was the main thing brought up in my house. Jewett had a lot to say.

    SoCos: We have the security committee. We have StuLife committee. Come to these meetings.

    THs: I was asked to alert you guys to not feed any animals. Somebody was attacked by a raccoon recently. Our lawns are not trash cans. It is attached to the animal problems. Somebody stole the speed bumps. They have been found in the woods.

    8:40//StuLife Letter

    StuLife: There needs to be some structural edits to it. This is what we came out with. It speaks very largely to what we were trying to convey. We want transportation off campus for medical needs.

    SoCos: I added some changes to this. Bob Walton has been added to this letter. We talked about the notion of specificity. I included examples from other schools as well.

    Ferry: We stressed financial accessibility here.

    SoCos: We talked about it. It would be stronger to explain that other schools do it and that it is a burden to everyone.

    Jon (at large): The bottom of the first page. It characterizes going above and beyond.

    StuLife: I see that.

    SoCos: I can rewrite it now. I motion it now.

    Pres: Does anybody object to the change? No? Okay, we are changing it.

    StuLife: What’s the next phase?

    Pres: We have to endorse it first, and then we send it.

    Ferry: I have another edit.

    Pres: I will make the same motion Chris just made to endorse it as is. If you aren’t comfortable with it, say no. It will go back to committee.


    Yes: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, cush, davi, jewett, joss, lathrop, main, noyes, raymond, strong, socos, tas, ths, town students, finance, academics, activities, stulife, ops

    no: ferry

    Pres: motion passes.

    8.54//Open Discussion

    Cush: 69 nights this Saturday. Come celebrate sex positivity. We are doing a stoplight party.

    Main: We had a lot of events this past weekend.

    SoCos: Banks and funding. if you care about money, come to the finance meetings.

    Jewett: Dormal Formal is Nov. 20.

    Pres: I know last week we were a little cryptic about BDS things. We are not hiding anything. Everyone should be doing their best to educate themselves.

    Ops: It is not coming to a vote anytime soon.

    2019: What’s the protocol about offensive language in my council?

    Pres: Speak directly to that person.

    2019: Do we operate underneath a constitution?

    Matt: Speaking of BDS stuff, JStreet is talking about the assassination of a major political figure in Israel.

    THs: BDS is coming in March because it coincides with Israeli apartheid week.

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