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.