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.