Recent Updates Page 2 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • 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.

  • Palak 11:01 pm on October 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 10.25.15 

    7:00//Call to Order and Attendance

    Absent: Cushing, Davison,  THs, Activities

    7:05//Consensus agenda

      1. Speakers to GAAP
      2. Capital to VCTV
      3. Social Consciousness to ViCE Film
      4. Collaboration to ViCE Film
      5. Speakers to ViCE Film
      6. Pre-Org to Traditional Korean Folk Music
      7. Discretionary to Strong
      8. Speakers to ASA
      9. Collaboration to Traditions Committee
      10. Discretionary to Night Owls
      11. Capital to Merely Players
      12. Social Consciousness to Poder [email protected]
      13. Collaboration to Cushing
      14. Speakers to Josselyn

    Finance: Most of these we don’t need to talk about. Most of them have been tabled.

    Pres: We are moving the speakers to ViCE off of the agenda. Now we will talk about the new Traditions Committee fund app.

    Finance: There have been conversations about this. Basically, we want to have more conversations between houses. Have house presidents met about this and talked?  Let’s vote for a closed session.

    ~closed session~

    Finance: We decided on an allocation of $1450. Now for the speaker app for Joss. Joss wants to bring a speaker to do a talk about positivity. How do we feel about this event and what will Joss do.

    Shahid: I can answer any questions.

    Cushing: For context, who is this speaker?

    Shahid: We are bringing Lil B here. He’s a rapper from the Bay Area. There are some great videos on YouTube online of him speaking. We think it would be an amazing event and add to dialogues on campus. He has so much to say, as a young man of color, I feel like it would be beneficial. As for ridiculing the artist, do you have contexts?

    At-large: I’m a member of Finance, I was not happy about this. I think it is a misuse of $14000 dollars. All of the questions at the end were about his twitter feuds. I think the message should be worth the funds.

    Shahid: I think it would be unfair to limit the speakers coming to Vassar because of questions asked at a different school. I’ve spoken with his manager and we know how to frame this conversation. We will have the purview to let the more important questions to be heard.

    At-large: Is this worth $14,000 dollars, though? He’s a notorious rapper, known for starting feuds. If we are talking about controlling the way this lecture will be digested, there is only so much we can do. He’s not somebody who caters his talks to any one specific thing. I don’t know if it is worth this amount of money. He’s not the first person we would think of.

    Student Life: I’m on the same line. Do we know what he is going to be talking about and who the targeted audience is? I hesitate to grant this much money if the event isn’t as planned as I would hope it to be. I would like to have a more itemized list of what is happening here.

    Shahid: I think that Joss’s point is not necessarily entirely routed in an activist dialogue. It would be intensely engaging and interesting. He does not script his speeches; he speaks from the heart. It has been an intensely positive experience. I do apologize for the number we are bringing to the VSA. We have a lot of collaborators. We are also expecting a pretty large audience. We have a lot of views for publicity.

    StuLife: I see a lot of opportunity for it to devolve into something…where we are laughing at this artist of color.

    2017: I don’t know very much about him and his politics. One of his strongest talking points online. I don’t know if I necessarily like that as a political ideology.

    Strong: I have a similar sentiment. There’s an interesting dichotomy between his songs and what he speaks about.

    THs: Did you go to the contract stage without any funding? And he’s not performing. It’s a large number to bring a performer to campus to not perform.

    Jewett: Same as Strong.

    Cush: What impact would this have on the speakers fund?

    Finance: We haven’t used a lot of speakers fund. Allocating this amount would put us a 1/4 into the fund. It wouldn’t take us off of the trajectory that we are on.

    Town Students: What else can you use this amount of money for? What else has this gotten us?

    2019: I wanted to know more about the content of the positivity message. I did rudimentary research. I did see merit in his speeches.

    Shahid: I’m not that into listening to Lil B as an artist. He considers himself an environmentalist, fights for animal rights and human rights. It’s worth noting that he is not an academic or a scholar. He won’t give us a list of talking points. We want to bring a different event.

    SoCos: It depends on a number of factors, to answer TS question. Some speakers could have ten thousand for an honorarium, others could have none. VSA is a fund for last resort. The amount you ask for is after you fund raise. What is significant here is also why they declined to help you?

    Shahid: This number reflects an incredible amount of hard work. The figure was also really high. We had a lot of emails and discussions about trying to get the number down. ViCE does have a huge budget, as does Hip-Hop 101. We talked extensively with them and they just didn’t get back to us and didn’t give us good meeting times. Their budgets were already tapped out though.

    SoCos: There’s complexity here too. They do preplan for their events throughout the year. We don’t know what their motives were.

    Shahid: They had indicated a giant interest last year for this event. They told us that they could do it at the 30,000 budget.

    2018: Why specifically have you chosen Lil B to express this positivity?

    Shahid: I think the reason is that this is such a draw and he’s different than other people we bring to campus.

    Emma: In his lecture at MIT, he stated some problematic things. I don’t know if that is okay.

    Ferry: I appreciate the work you’ve done to bring a non-academic speaker here. What work has he done on some of these issues though?

    Shahid: He’s not an activist in any way. I don’t think he has the academic qualifications to speak on anything.

    Joss: I wanted to respond to the level of funding. I think what we are trying to do with this speaker is trying to challenge what is worthy of that much money. I think that’s the kind of engagement we want to bring. That money could serve other things, but I feel that it shows us trying to uphold non-academic voices.

    Lily: I want to bring the point of what you said earlier about the purpose of this is about positivity. Your fund app shows a range of things he could talk about. I’m confused about how much work you did on the content of the lecture. I want to draw your attention to bring local activists to campus. I also want to talk about all of the orgs that bring people who are cheaper but also see very unattended lectures.

    Kayla: We keep talking about this concern of moving out of academia. I put together a list of people who you could bring to campus, Kimberly Crenshaw….

    Shahid: That’s a fantastic point. I think that is exactly the point we are trying to illuminate. And those events were all underattended.

    Lily: I think the people that will attend this event will be there for the wrong reasons.

    StuLife: The impression I’m getting is that a lot of the reasons you want to bring him is for he bigness of the event. I wonder how much of that weighed into your opinion to bring him.

    Shahid: I think the bigness of the event absolutely weighed into our event.

    Ops: I feel like now would be a good time to move into a voting discussion space.

    Max: Thank you for your work. It will help the VSA put on good alternative programming that will draw crowds. I think there is a lot to say about the way your team has set this up.

    2019: I just wanted to talk about reception real quick. I wonder about the reception some of his views could have.

    Shahid: It’s difficult to talk about this because we don’t have a contract with him yet.

    Finance: Let’s move into a vote on this. These issues did not come up in our initial conversation. I think this body is more equipped to make this decision now. Should we consent to the fund app as is or resubmit the fund app?

    Pres: You’re moving to table? And a closed session? We can’t vote in a closed session.

    Finance: Nevermind, let’s just bring them back in.

    Pres: The motion is to table?

    Noyes: What exactly are we voting for?

    Pres: The options are zero or the allocation.

    Finance: Wait…

    Pres: Give me a moment.

    Finance: If we vote to table it, it goes to Finance as a new application. Then we either vote for a full allocation or no allocation.

    Ops: If we table it, then it goes to Finance.

    Pres: The motion is to table to fund app. Speak in favor?

    Lily: I feel like there is room for Joss to go back and make this a better event. I also don’t want it to go to council because it privatizes the power to council.

    SoCos: I think we should just do the vote here. We’ve had a major discussion here. If we ask them to rethink this, then we want them to change the core of the event. There’s also more value to having more voices.

    Ops: Let’s vote. Don’t abstain because you are lazy.

    No: 2016, 2019, Ferry, Main, Noyes, Raymond, Strong, SoCos, TAs, THs,

    Pres: We are not tabling this so we will vote now.

    Ops: Now the motion is whether to allocate the full amount or not.

    No: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Cush, Ferry, Jewett, Lathrop, Raymond, Strong, SoCos, TA, TH, TS, Finance, Ops

    Zero fund allocation.

    8:06//Constituent Concerns

    THs: I want to address the emails sent by Anders. I’m going to read some of these emails….I wanted to give a lot of credit to people who sent the emails. Jud Board was also confused about how to find somebody responsible for this. It seems to have been resolved. There will not be security guards combing the area. There is no room for concern. If something does happen, then it needs to be addressed immediately because they made us a promise and they would be breaking it.

    Raymond: We are wondering if we can get bins or something for those who choose to smoke off of campus.

    TAs: CCL was flustering. The two women who headed the initiative….Anders is a liaison but he didn’t get it. He doesn’t understand this policy and Luis Inoa didn’t know the email was sent out. The two women didn’t even know about these concerns. I don’t know where we come in here. They kind of think that everything is fine.

    Raymond: I’m very confused that this is coming from Anders. He was the one who told us something different earlier.

    StuLife: I think it does show a lack of respect. I do want to give some credit to the co-chairs of the smoking initiative. They just don’t know what would happen once the ban is initiated.

    Ferry: Cigarette butts are highly toxic and terrible for the environment. The school should have receptacles. It’s a hard habit to kick. There should be places where they can go off campus if they choose to smoke.

    SoCos: I have strong feelings about the VSA putting money here. When this was initially voted on our Freshman year, every class rep said no. I think we need to dig into this a little more. I also have problems with non-tobacco products being banned. This has been planned for years. There needs to be a public commitment.

    Main: Seeing as this is the last meeting before Halloween. It does not have to be an ugly event. People live in Main.

    Pres: It’s going to go in my all-campus email about being nice to the building.

    2018: Can house presidents also put it into their emails.

    Joss: We were contacted by Health Ed and they asked us to have more information about consent, drinking, etc. Anders said it violated the reslife poster hanging protocol. I think this supercedes that protocol.

    Davi: Luis is going to take care of it.

    Finance: Having active members there to encourage people to respect the space.

    2019: What’s the typical damage?

    Main: Two years ago was a shitshow. There were toilets smashed, windows destroyed. There was no campaign for peace in Main. Last year there was a campaign and there was no damage. We are getting security guards to do extra rounds as well.

    Ferry: Try not to be offensive as well.

    Pres: Campus life is going to send an email about not being racist and offensive.

    TS: Don’t bring this off campus. Don’t go to College Ave. Just don’t.

    Cushing: Heating. It’s cold.

    2016: My house is so hot.

    2017: Can we have the house advisors send out emails about the heating control rooms.


    Academics: Peer advising dinner is scheduled. Tuesday, Nov. 10. It requires you to have your name is a system for people to email. You also get a fun and free meal in the Aula. Speaking of prereg, the official launch of the syllabus archive is going out soon. Town Students is helping me with the screening thing. Be mindful of your knocking.

    Lathrop: What’s going to be served?

    Academics: We are continuing those discussions at meeting.

    2017: I want to talk about grading. Econ sucks.

    Student Life: CCL met. Finalized a list of topics for this year. I’m going to join more committees. Tell me which ones you want. I’ve met with Arlene Sabo. Let me know what you want us to talk about. Ramy has spoken about the gender neutral bathrooms initiative is in jeopardy.

    Pres: At the end of last year, the next big phase we were going into was athletics. Some of the existing gender neutral bathrooms are being called into question by certain staff, including Sanders Physics, Skinner and the College Center. We are going to write a letter to reaffirm our beliefs about it.

    Cushing: If you don’t sit on the committee, do students sit on them?

    StuLife: yes, but I don’t know for sure who.

    Cushing: What if we did nominations?

    Abby: BOEA will appoint people. Chris, do you wanna come?

    StuLife: yeah, let me know.

    Raymond: There are mice in the deece.

    Lathrop: Food contracts update?

    Pres: I can say stuff. Ops has officially asked for everyone to do updates.

    Activities: We are working on closet space for orgs. We are also planning the spring leadership training.

    Finance: My thesis is done. Another session of treasurer training.

    Ops: I was in a lot of trustee meetings. I missed restructuring, but stuff happened. We are moving forward with a survey about tasty Tuesday. We are working on the Saturday Shuttle.

    Pres: I can’t say anything about the meetings. We will have a forum about dining though. We made a city committee for the once a month shuttle to the city. Foodtruck Friday will meet this week. Six orgs did not get bystander trained and they are going to be defunded until they are trained.

    Davi: You need to talk to your house advisor to get the fliers up for Halloween.

    Pres: Restructuring went well yesterday. We talked about StuLife and Academics. We haven’t finalized this Saturday’s meeting yet.

    8:46//Letter Regarding Off-Campus Transportation

    StuLife: We wrote this letter over the past few weeks. This is out of a concern that there is not enough transportation for students seeking off-campus counseling and go to off-campus pharmacies for medication. Public transportation is unreliable. This is a necessity for students on campus.

    Ops: The letter came to Ops and we had quite a bit of feedback.

    Pres: Counseling maintains a list of off-campus options. It can be helpful to see how far away Vassar insurance is taken.

    Cush: Are we just tabling this?

    Joss: This hasn’t been sent out? Would it be appropriate to send this to our constituents.

    Stulife: summaries are good and then maybe tell them to come to student life.

    8:50//Open Discussion

    2018: Sophomore class council is thinking of doing a class project, like an art project.

    Cushing: Refugee panels are happening this week. Please tell everyone about it.

    Pres: Shout-out to Davi for your event. Chris and I have been meeting with Ed Pittman. This coming Friday we will have a pre-council dinner that will be a conversation around Israel-Palestine.

    Abby: That’s Shabbot.

    StuLife: We heard through the grapevine about something that could come up to council soon. We want to have something as soon as possible. If and when a BDS resolution come to council, we want to be as educated as possible. This was the time chosen by Ed Pittman because it was the only time free. We are still trying to figure this out. We are trying to put this together very last minute.

    Ferry: Is this discussion going to involve anti-Semitism?

    StuLife: We will find a different time.

    SoCos: Go to the conversation dinner on Thursday to see how this is structured. It’s about class, but it can be helpful for planning.

    2018: I went to one last year and it was very safe.

    Main: Haunted house on Friday. 8 p.m. in Rocky.

    Cushing: We are also having an alternative to Halloween party in our parlor.

    TS: how scary is it going to be?

    Main: Really scary.

    Matt: This meeting on Friday is not happening?

    StuLife: Yes, it will be rescheduled.

    Pres: A BDS resolution will be coming up soon, we just don’t know when. It will not sneak up on us because it goes through Ops first.

    StuLife: It is also so that we as a VSA can still function.

    Raymond: We are having a session on this in Raymond.

    2017: Will there be bagels?

    Ops: Yes.

  • Palak 11:04 pm on October 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 10.18.2015 

    7:02//Call to Order and Attendance

    Absent: 2016 (proxy), Lathrop (proxy), Main, THs, Town Students, Activities

    7:03//Consensus agenda

    a. Fund Apps

    b. Minutes from 10/4/15

    Finance: Capital items from LiNK, discretionary to Jewett, full allocation for VMSU.

    7:04//unFramed Fund App

    Matthew McCardwell: We are bringing Kay Ulanday Barrett, a trans poet. We need some extra money for our event this coming weekend.

    SoCos: Can you explain the discrepancy in amount being asked?

    McCardwell: We have gotten some extra money from over break. We also cut down some costs along the way so we are asking for less money than the initial fund app. The new amount being requested we need $3040 in total now from the VSA.

    Finance: We are treating this like a new fund app now, to clarify. They really need the funding for this event now. This is difficult because QCVC tried to bring this same speaker earlier this year and they had to cancel it when they found out about this event and they had to pay cancellation fees, which means they can’t contribute more than about $50. I recommend a full allocation. None of this is really their fault.

    SoCos: Is this a closed session?

    Finance: Let’s enter a closed session for 15 minutes.

    ~closed session~

    Finance: Okay, thanks for coming. We will give the full allocation.


    Operations: I have to change my reports. We are ahead of schedule for restructuring. We need people to engage in these conversations. We will be discussing student life and academics. We are going to go forward to buy shuttles for the Saturday shuttles. Ben Lotto wants us to put together the money for this. We have to rethink who attends Tasty Tuesday. They are on semester contracts. I’ve had people approach me about attending Tasty Tuesday.

    SoCos: Curious about the shuttle thing. Can we look at multiple options and scenarios?

    Ops: We will talk about that in Ops.

    Ferry: Can we talk about the space that it is in? Maybe the bottom part of UpC?

    Ops: We can think about that, but having it in Main is better.

    Pres: Say no to Subway. This is local business.

    TAs: If we make this a student employment position, let’s make sure they actually get paid.

    Raymond: Where is the money coming from?

    Ops: Student Employment says we need to make a report about who pays for this.

    SoCos: There are a lot of other things to think about for this payment stuff.

    President: Bystander Intervention training is still ongoing. You need to do it. Seven Sisters Conference is approaching. I’ve been working on a project about NYC transportation. Board of Trustees will be here this weekend. We will talk about campus climate. Judy Jarvis sent me stuff about the privilege campaign.

    SoCos: Bring up joint committee stuff to BoT?

    Pres: Logan and I are on one that they forgot to include us in.

    TAs: As a member of CCL, it’s the worst. Roellke’s exec assistant sends us a time and it is not set up properly. They need to get their shit together.

    Pres: Exec is also meeting with Cappy tomorrow. We will bring it up to her.

    Ferry: We talked about how people who are in charge of joint committees need to actually show up to their meetings.

    Ops: We should talk about this soon.

    Ferry: Let’s do Class D legislation. If we vote on this, they have to look at it and respond to it.

    Pres: Bryn Mawr also does it. They need a third of the student body to attend and anything they pass becomes binding.

    7:34//Constituent Concerns

    Ops: A concern was brought up via facebook.

    Jon: You are expected to write a thank you letter if you receive a named scholarship. Also, you need to write a thank you letter or give the money back if you receive money from the Internship Grant Fund.

    SoCos: These are all different offices. Usually the development office asks for the thank you note.

    Abby: How do they intend to enforce that?

    Pres: Probably just charge your account. Also, last night I sent a slightly aggressive email to Cappy about the fireworks.

    Cushing: A $5 fee for the fall concert? I don’t think that’s fair. We have money.

    2016: I used to be ViCE director. We always ticket at least one show.

    Cushing: If that’s a fundraiser, then it should be different.

    Raymond: I went to a Grace Hopper conference. I want to know if VSA could sponsor a screening of this film we talked about about coding.

    TAs: I would suggest maybe approaching some departments as well. I think it’s a great idea.

    SoCos: The science bridge is going up. Maybe asking Cappy?

    Ferry: There are discussions about how to get more women in the sciences. How do we encourage women to become more involved in the hard sciences.

    Ops: Josh and I both sit on the Committee on Financial Aid. We can bring that up. I also wanted to say we should table this to a committee to put together the event.

    2017: Get in touch with major’s committees.

    Raymond: We talked about how computer science should be introduced in high school.

    7:49//Open Discussion

    Cushing: For those who were not there for the panel the Thursday before break, we had a panel about the refugee crisis. It’s the biggest crisis since WWII and the greatest crisis of our generation. What can we as an institution do for this? We have precedence, we did stuff in the 30s and 40s. Professor Hoehn and I met to talk about starting a student org group. We talked about a few options. We will be having panels for the dorms in the next few weeks in order to spread awareness and create a core group. She also said she would give an independent study course for those who want to be more involved. Cappy is on board, but wants to hear more from students.

    Raymond: Maybe set up a scholarship for students to volunteer during spring break.

    2017: How specific is the core group going to be?

    Cushing: I think it is focused on the Middle East, African, European area. I don’t think it has to be limited.

    Ferry: A lot of other colleges have alternate spring break….to help out at these NGOs.

    Abby: I would think that going forward, it would be great to think about what they need the most. Maybe reaching out and finding out the best way we can help.

    Cushing: One suggestion was having online classes and having joint classes with refugees.

    Raymond: Something the Vassar Christian Fellowship is doing is collecting clothes to donate.

    Student Life: Updates for last week’s stuff. we talked about the whiteness workshops. We met with them as an Exec Board. We decided not to fund them because of uneasiness. We felt there was a lack of acknowledgement and care for people of color. We are now going to start working on creating affinity spaces for people of color. We just feel this is not something the administration seems to address.

    2018: Last week there were concerns about how it is sponsored by the ALANA center. Did you talk to B?

    StuLife: I didn’t, but I can. B will be running at least one session.

    Ops: I want to encourage everyone about POC spaces. Let’s support the places that exist already.

    2018: How do you feel about this now?

    StuLife: They already said they were going to do the workshops, with or without our funding. I pretty much have the same opinion as last time.

    Ops: My opinion hasn’t changed. I support the workshops, but the way in which this has been brought about is questionable.

    Pres: I think teaching white people to not be racist is a great thing. It’s not great that the college is paying for the privileged group to be taught, instead of taking a two-pronged approach.

    TAs: When is this and was anyone invited?

    StuLife: They sent out an email. About 15 people signed up right now?

    Raymond: The nine houses probably got it.

    Abby: We need to train the freshman class council.

  • Palak 11:06 pm on October 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 10.4.15 

    7:04//Call to Order and Attendance

    Everyone is here!

    7:05//Consensus Agenda

      1. Fund Allocations 
      2. Appointment of Steven Huynh to 2017 BOEA Rep
      3. Appointment of Seamus Taylor to 2017 BOEA Rep
      4. Appointment of Abby Johnson to BOEA Chair
      5. Approval of New Pre-Orgs:
        1. Pre-Vet Club
        2. Vassar College Majors
        3. Vassar Toastmasters
        4. Jewish Voice for Peace
        5. The Clove
      6. Certification of J Street U
      7. Minutes from 9/27/15

    7:08//Forum with Safety and Security

    Arlene Sabo: I have thirty years in law enforcement. When this job came up, I thought they wrote this job for me. I started August 17. I hit the ground running. There’ve been a lot of things to address. Six burglaries. Few trespasses. I know about the laws for campus security. Burglary alerts have to go out by law. The trespasses don’t have to go out, but I think they should. The other problem I’m dealing with is the faculty residents on College Ave. They are very upset about the noise from the apartments occupied by Vassar students. One of those buildings has already been ticketed by town police. What we talked about in the meetings is that I don’t want to respond after the fact. It always happens. I want to do some prevention stuff. What that entails is working with some student leaders. The officers responding to legitimate complaints. There was the trespass last night by some non-students. The officers are being accosted for responding and investigating. I don’t know how to stop the burglaries and keep the noise down if the officers don’t respond to the complaints. The officers were screamed at by intoxicated college students. They were just doing their job. How do we come to a consensus for what is appropriate for responses?

    Ops: Before we get into the forum, let’s talk guidelines. We have four discussion topics.

    Jesse: Why do we have more burglaries this year?

    Sabo: I don’t know about the causes. It’s hard to say for sure.

    At-large: Regarding the alerts after the burglaries, is there a specific amount of time that you wait before you send out an emailed alert, or do you try to get those out as soon as possible?

    Sabo: First you have to confirm the facts. That takes a while. Then they have to get in touch with me. We try to get them out as soon as possible. Once I went through a couple with the administration, but the last few I just sent out on my own. That’s another policy that we are writing. Later on in the year we can come report back to you. I’d like to have a student government rep, do we have that?

    StuLife: That’s me.

    THs: We’ve had a lot of issues. One of the things I’ve advocated for is changing the culture in our housing. There have been a lot of concerns and worries about next steps. We are concerned about increased police presence on campus. We have dorm patrols, but nothing for senior housing. We should do a neighborhood watch. I have a lot of support for that right now. We need a system to organize that though.

    Sabo: We had residents doing a neighborhood watch in an area mixed with college students and residents. One night it was an off-duty police officer and he was assaulted. We have to think about the liabilities of this.

    SoCos: We have a student EMS team. They are immediate first-responders. Read up on the White Angels.

    THs: That’s why I want a trained system.

    Sabo: I like these ideas. I heard what you said.

    Cushing: I had a question about follow-up alerts. Is there an end-of-the-semester followup? Do we find out if people are caught?

    Sabo: We have a crime log. It goes to the student newspaper. It’s public information.

    Strong: I think the lack of surveillance is concerning. It’s an open campus. We don’t have a way to track who comes into buildings. At least in the lobby.

    Sabo: Let’s fix this.

    SoCo: How will you approach implementation? What are your thoughts about access to dorms? What are your feelings about the card access and the system?

    Sabo: I’m not sure about the first question. We are still doing meetings right now with ResLife. Any surveillance is impossible to always monitor. There’s never an eye always watching them, with all of the cameras. Once you get a report, then you pull up the nearest camera. More often it is used as an investigative tool after the fact. I guess you have to decide. My thought is at like 11 or midnight latest, it should change to residents only.

    Noyes: Privacy is a huge issue.

    Sabo: We will do our best to hear all voices and see what the majority wants. Sometimes we do take quicker action, though.

    Cushing: When you talk to people, please talk to the students. We can organize forums for you. You can help them before things get out of hand. You can have them only outside of dorms. I think 24/7 card access.

    2018: Safety is our number one concern.

    Ferry: Some concerns. I think there should be written rules in place about the tapes.A lot of weird stuff happens here. We should have set rules about how and when these videos are released and available.

    Main: Privacy checks. You can email one of two people who have access to these tapes. They can send snippets of clips.

    Ferry: I’m confused about safety and security. Do they go off campus? What’s the response protocol? Do you always say yes?

    THs: Girls generally get picked up immediately. Guys are questioned.

    Sabo: We need to think about how we are deploying the resources and how we can be effective.

    Joss: We’ve talked about how security is spread thin. They just can’t be everywhere.

    Sabo: There’s a lot of stuff going on with staffing. It’s complex. I can’t make changes immediately. I want them to be thoughtful and meaningful.

    SoCos: Thanks for coming in, by the way. You come from a university police department and Vassar is not that. I don’t think we should have that here. Some students aren’t comfortable with a high police presence.

    THs: We are really underlit. We can take a night walk.


    Activities: Still reviewing pre-orgs. After break we are reviewing more preorgs to level up. We are gonna clean out closet space. 

    Joss: We have resistance with orgs.

    THs: We need to have set rules for each subdivision saying you have a vote once you’ve attended a certain amount of meetings.

    Pres: Base rule is that you have to attend three meetings.

    Cushing: Follow up on dinner recommendations.

    Ops: We are on track to have a macro-structure. Also, come to these meetings.

    Finance: After Oct Break there will be more treasurer trainings. We will start special projects. Fund levels are still low. 

    8:20//Seven Sisters Conference Update

    Pres: Who wants to go to the Seven Sisters Conference?

    8:22//Constituent Concerns

    Raymond: I want to formally complain about the heat.

    TS: Somebody told me it goes on after Oct. Break.

    Ferry: People are sick. They need warmth.

    Ops: Old campus.

    Noyes: People have been harassing or bothering the people who live on the first floor of Noyes. Please stop.

    8:24//Living Conditions in the Dorms

    Cushing: Update. Things have been done. We will have a B&G forum on Friday. Say good morning to everyone!

    8:28//Open Discussion

    Ferry: Worker appreciation day.

    Jon: They do exist.

    Ferry: Let’s just do like one day though.

    THs: It’s beyond saying thank you.

    StuLife: I’ve been in talks with Sam Speers about putting together a vigil for the lives lost at the Oregon school. Is this something the VSA would want to co-sponsor? It would be on Thursday, early evening. He hasn’t gotten me details yet.

    Pres: Let’s vote? Yes, no, abstain.

    Finance: There’s a workshop for a white affinity space in the ALANA center. Can we do something to talk about this? It’s excluding people of color?

    StuLife: I was approached about this a while ago. I should’ve brought it up. They did this last year in a three-part series. They went well last year. Very intensive. I have heavy reservations about it.

    Finance: It’s in Rocky, actually. But my concern is with a white-affinity space.

    StuLife: Again, apologies. Diane approached me about this. Last year, the VSA helped fund this last year. I’ll bring this to the table. What do we think about this? What should be relay to them? They will go on.

    Pres: We funded it last year instead of the ALANA center.

    StuLife: It’s a seven part series and you have to go to all of them if you sign up. It is labeled as a white-affinity space in that it is tailored toward teaching white people about their privilege and power.

    Jesse: I get the point of it, but I don’t like that it excludes people of color. How can we address this situation?

    StuLife: To respond to Jesse, thank you. I’ll bring that to Diane. I don’t have an answer because I’m not running it. To Anish, I hear you and it is frustrating. People of color have to talk about race every day of our lives. This is a direct way of putting it in the face of white people.

    2019: I agree with everyone. My question is if it is really helpful at all? How beneficial is it if you’re choosing to sign up? It’s only white people.

    Pres: We talked about more identity programming for first-year students. We also need spaces where people can start talking about it.

    SoCos: ResLife task force. We chartered with ResLife about how we want to see it structured. Only three people showed up on Friday. Come on down. We want to improve ResLife structure.

    Jesse: On Wednesday I was warned about the weather. Vassar is not good about warning students about the weather.

    Ferry: I worked with FEMA for two years.

    Cushing: We have an event in November. Sex positivity.

    Pres: Food Truck Friday will come next semester maybe?

    SoCo: I like this space.

    Derek: I had troubles getting into this building.

    Jesse: Also had troubles getting in.

    Jon: Several outlets don’t work here.

    Derek: Communication about where meetings are being held?

    Emily Platt: Are people sending out emails? Also, facebook?

    Derek: Yes.


  • 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’ 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.

  • Palak 10:57 pm on August 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 8/30/2015 

    Hi everyone and welcome back! The VSA is trying something a little different today and wants to meet in Kenyon 131 today.

    7:03//Call to Order and Attendance

    absent: Cushing, Ferry, Strong, Activities (ALL LATE)

    7:08//Executive Board Reports

    Academics: Syllabus archive almost up and running. There are about 30 syllabi now.

    StuLife: Fill out the WhenIsGood.

    Ops: Same.

    Finance: I am trying to meet this Wed. for Finance committee.

    Pres: Open house went well today. Lot of first year students. Exec will start having office hours. Mine are gonna be Monday 12:00-1:30.

    7:10//Constituent Concerns

    SoCos: Serenading?

    2016: Traditions committee is doing it. Plan for food trucks, fireworks and navy powder paint instead of water balloons. Because they are moving Serenading away from Freshman Orientation, we moved it later. It’s going to be Sept. 20. They are looking for student DJs. They cut the senior t-shirts from the budget and now we have to use the Senior budget for our tank tops.

    SoCos: Lot of sudden changes. Where is the feedback?

    2016: They made things over the summer completely independently.

    Pres: They were forced to choose that date. It’s the same as Families weekend.

    SoCos: Lots of stuff is happening without any feedback. I’m not into it. We need to be accountable. It’s not like it used to be.

    2016: I feel like Serenading has changed every year.

    SoCos: It’s pretty dramatic. There wasn’t a lot of communication. I have strong feelings about this.

    2016: I understand, but we voted to have them have this autonomy.

    SoCos: We can vote today though to get more accountability.

    2017: I can speak to the color situation. SASA was contacted. They wanted one color and asked us to pick a color off of a list. As a traditions perspective, I’m not as happy about this. I second Josh’s idea. I think if people are not generally appreciative of it…

    Pres: Is 2016 collabing?

    2016: We did this to take pressure off senior class council.

    Lathrop: Shirts situation?

    2016: Seniors get a senior t-shirt. We are using our budgets. But we haven’t heard anything abut house shirts for decorating.

    Lathrop: My HSA said we don’t have shirts.

    Jesse (at-large): How can choosing a specific color be cultural appropriation?

    2017: I don’t think I’m qualified to explain cultural appropriation. They approached SASA.

    Cushing: I want to second Josh and Apoorva. We need to call Traditions into here and get some.

    Noyes: I second the collaboration. They need to come in here.

    Student Life: This is to speak to Lathrop’s question about the shirts. I think Jewett bought the shirts last year.

    Ferry: By buying the shirts, did you mean the house bought them?

    Lathrop: Yeah.

    Pres: I’m gonna get in touch with Traditions to talk more about this.

    SoCos: Thanks Anish and Ramy. I just want more info. If this doesn’t work out, then it’s our fault.

    2016: I think it’s hard to say it would be the VSA’s fault. We let orgs choose what to do with events. I think Adit should’ve reached out to the senior class. I know it’s a tradition, but it has changed every year. Change isn’t necessarily bad.

    SoCos: But Traditions Committee isn’t really an org. We talked about this last year. It all leads back to the VSA.

    THs: We need to talk about behavior in the THs.

    Pres: I think an email about TH decorum is appropriate for all people to receive.

    Joss: Are listservs coming?

    Activities: I’m gonna do that.

    Jewett: You can get your house advisor to do it earlier.

    7:30//Guiding Principles

    Ops: Every year at the beginning we pass guiding principles in the form of a resolution. [reads Guiding Principles]

    At Large: Out of curiosity, will this be published for the public?

    Pres: Yes, it’s all going on the website, but I’ll email everyone.

    Lathrop: How do we vote on this?

    Pres: We will explain it.

    Ferry: Can we vote if we just do feminism?

    THs: I think intersectionality is something we should be advocating for here. I don’t think it takes anything away.

    Main: Does this also mean members at large?

    Pres: I think we are just talking about our team here.

    Ops: Let’s vote on this.

    Pres: We are voting to adopt this.

    No abstentions. Unanimous in favor.

    Pres: We have guiding principles.

    7:36//Open Discussion

    Pres: Anything else?

    Finance: please tell all of your treasurers to get the pcard applications to me.

    Academics: Thanks to Ramy for a wonderful training.

    Meeting adjourns.

  • Palak 11:12 pm on May 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 5.10.15 

    7:09//Student Store Trial Resolution

    SoCo: Triple J has exclusivity on vending for food. it would be strange for the VSA to compete with itself.

    Pres: I know we had talked about selling things that are sold in the bookstore.

    SoCo: It’s not sold on the campus. I would modify it to say goods sold simultaneously.

    Ferry: Then say it doesn’t conflic with that is sold in the other vending machines.

    THs: I think the company will have the problem. Free and for Sale won’t care.

    Pres: Let’s vote on changing the wording of the last clause.

    change passes.

    Pres: Now let’s vote on the resolution.

    Resolution passes.

    7:14//Restructuring Resolution

    Ops: We voted to have our council commit to restructuring. Essentially, the idea is to make a series of significant changes next year, with the help of the report next year. We aren’t clear what those exact changes will look like, but it will involve a lot of people. We want forums and workshops and the whole campus to be involved.

    SoCos: I appreciate the changes for having a timeline.

    Pres: Let’s vote.

    Ops abstains.

    7:17//Charter for Ad-hoc Cabinet Positions

    Pres: if you looked at the report, our review called for the creation of positions in places where we are bad. As a committee, we drew up this document. Exec will appoint them at the end of this semester. It will be an appointment.

    TH: Looking at the PR director and the Activism Liaison, can they not be coalesced into one position? Why are they separate?

    Pres: Our PR needs to be completely made over. We wanted it separate.

    SoCo: Little connected. The nature of the meetings should be expressed. Everyone should be able to attend these meetings.

    Pres: Council members will be welcome.

    2018: Did you talk about creating a space for the activism groups? We want them to have their own space for their work.

    Pres: It’ll be a resource. We would help them, but not be activists ourselves.

    SoCos: Reaching out. Workshop events.

    Lathrop: This is toward the Research Director position. How much work are we trying to get out of this?

    Pres: It’ll be a resource, again.

    Ferry: What if the activism on campus goes against what the college and the vsa stand for?

    Ops: I think the VSA should have political opinions. We should decrease sexism, racism and general hatred on campus.

    TH: I don’t think neutrality is possible. To pretend so is a farce. We can’t pretend about the reasons we are doing this. We need to be much more clear on this campus about our views. This is the place to talk about them, honestly. If there are members of our houses that need to have a space to talk, this is where they go. Don’t shame it.

    Ferry: So we are going to be political? We are going to pick and choose our activists groups? Are we going to hurt their voices? There could be issues associated with that.

    Jon (at large): Who is council to decide that. If they don’t like the political stance, they can recall you.

    Tyler: The VSA council is responsible to the students. I think that is something the VSA should take a stance on.

    Abby: I think the VSA needs to define an activist group.

    Ops: The question about definition. I think it is important to define. But doesn’t need to happen now. It can come up later.

    2018: I think that saying we are going to be picking and choosing. More of it is to prevent hurtful activism. VSA does have a stance to fight against hurtfulness.

    Ferry: There are lots of groups that have issues with each other.

    Ops; It’s about having a system of support.

    SoCos: The entire intention was never to advise course of action. Instead it was to give advice. It’s a liaison, not a voting member. They aren’t on council. They will have to distance themselves from their political interests. I’m going to speak to the language of this now.

    Jonathon: This does specify institutional activism. It’s directly students who are advocating to making Vassar a better place.

    Pres: To followup, the idea is that VSA members know about Vassar. We are not experts. We learn about things. The wording of student groups is intentional. I’m gonna make a motion to change some wording though.

    THs: To clarify funding, there are other ways for groups to go about staging events at this school.

    Ops: I just want to keep in mind that it is possible to create these positions.

    TAs: This council would only be making available information that every student on this college would already know about. It’s making information more accessible. Not a group’s information.

    Pres: A hypothetical. Let’s say a group wants more Middle Eastern students and another wants none. We would get the admissions information about it.

    Activities: I’m going back to the VCLU event. They did get punished for this. I know students who wanted to attend the lecture. I don’t want the VSA to just pick a side.

    TH: I don’t necessarily agree with punishing. The VSA council can write an op-ed. We don’t need to make a stance and stoke the fire through punishment. Who is directly overseeing these people?

    Pres: I would directly oversee them. The bi-weekly meetings will help with collaboration.

    Jonathon: I think finance can speak to this better, but the VCLU was punished for not following protocol for getting outside funding.

    Ops: We are here to encourage activism. We want to help. We can talk as a body. We should be proactive, not reactionary.

    SoCo: I’m gonna call to question so we can vote.

    All vote in favor.

    2018: When you say publishing, where are you going to publish it? And will it be in one place?

    Pres: I envisioned it as a spot on the website.

    Finance: Where does it say we have to be apolitical?

    Pres: It doesn’t.

    Joss: To clarify, are we providing a space for information only?

    Pres: Yes.

    Public Relations: All in favor.

    Training Director: Ops abstains.

    Research Director: All in favor.

    Activism Liaison: 2017 abstains. Finance and Lathrop oppose. Passes.

    7:43//Constituent Concerns

    TH: Chris and I want to know why there aren’t dog office hours. I’m going to talk to Diane about this. Creating an animal network.

    2018: There is no official way for students to get to and from the hospital without the ambulance.

    Tyler: I don’t know too much about this but Vassar has a contract with Alpha Taxi to bring students to and from the hospital. It’s supposedly free?

    Kiran: You get charged to your student account.

    StuLife: The pet office hours was put in motion with Diane and Elizabeth Schrock. It fell a part after Elizabeth left. If we follow through, it can be put together really quickly. The dogs are also certified service dogs.

    SoCos: First, the dogs. There are legal reasons for service animals. Let’s tread that careful line. With the shuttle, we used to have one, before the recession. We should look into that when we get back. The bus doesn’t go all day. We should collab with other exec offices on campus. What else can the college do?

    TH: Written consent will be needed. We have an issue with access. Why is the Vassar Homepage the homepage? Let’s make the VSA website the homepage for all of the computers. Let’s reinvigorate the website. It’s really simple.

    7:50//Executive Board Reports

    President: We are going to have a spring council retreat. It will be May 18 at 7 p.m. We will have food. Location TBD. I will send out the dates for Fall training shortly. We are looking into our VSA advisor situation. One of our advisors will be Terri Quinn.

    7:52//Open Discussion

    Ops: We want to make our meeting procedures more efficient. Less terrifying. What about this experience can be improved.

    Raymond: What are the expectations and responsibilities of those on council?

    Pres: We will talk about that in Spring Training. You have to sit on two committees. We will talk about specifics later.

    SoCos: Let’s be careful about alternative spaces.

    Tyler: I just want people should know that the Committee on College Life has not met since March. They cancelled all of our meetings. They were once a month, but still. We need to be more assertive with the administration.

    SoCos: To speak to that, often, they would schedule time for meetings during class. We are students. Speaking of CCL, they are pushing through the smoke-free campus. I’m interested in the feedback here. I think Student Life should work on getting feedback. It is also about enforcement. They aren’t being clear on the punishments.

    Pres: Gathering student feedback will be with our new Student Research Director.

    Ferry: Can we publish everything? All of the cancellations?

    StuLife: I personally find it really disconcerting to hear that many meetings were cancelled. It’s a good idea to publish the cancellations. We need to make sure that…we are very open and direct about our uncomfortability. We are the student government We need to make it clear that we aren’t happy about this. It’s important for them to know that they are greatly effected the process on this campus. They need to make time for us.

    Tyler: I think it is something that has historically been done and the VSA needs to plan for this. The cancellation of a meeting will not stall progress.

    SoCos: This happens all of the time. For those who are new to this council, I want to see how many people are serious about this. Let’s propose a letter right now. We can draft that letter to all of the joint committees. We are aware and concerned. I’m going to motion that now. Ops committee can meet once to draft this.

    Academics opposes. Motion passes.

    Academics: The faculty proposes changes to a committee. We discuss it. We draft formal changes and I bring it to council. I take all of the responses and send it to Dean Chenette. They will meet again on May 13.

    Pres: The ALANA center candidates will be on campus. I’m going to let you know when those meetings will be. You should go!

    Tyler: We will find out who the new house advisors are soon.

    SoCos: I was on the committee. David Borus took care of that. We had one of the most selective pools for ED. There’s a lot of complexity about ED and RD. Art wants our admit rate to be lower for ED.

    2018: The elitist remark? Who made that remark?

    Lathrop: That’s from somewhere.

    2018: More students should want to apply, so an admissions rate should go down. They are bettering schools.

    SoCos: They want a more competitive pool.

    Pres: In the past our ED admit rate was really high, almost half the people who applied ED were getting in. He was taking fewer people ED. For 2019, there were fewer applicants by about 200. Our rate went up because of that. A lot of it just comes down to how many people apply.

    Ops: I’m wondering about the relevance of this conversation. What can we do?

    TH: I think when we talk about elitism, I would like for it to be the VSA’s to develop a politic. We have to establish a political line. Most people are disappointed. The VSA needs to take more responsibility.

    Maddy: Please speak louder and slower.

    SoCo: We have reps to the CoAFA. tell your people stuff.

    Lathrop: Motion to adjourn.

    All in favor.

  • Palak 11:16 pm on May 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    VSA Council 5.3.2015 

    Hey Everyone, we are starting a little late, but it’s fine.

    7:12//Consensus Agenda

    Finance: Last finance committee of the year. There were a lot of applications for funding. The notes on the handout are inaccurate. Josh, do you want to give a description?

    Josh Tempro: ASU needed a correction for a budget. They had underbudgeted. Body Positive had stuff. NSO had problems with B&G security costs. VISA requested items. GAAP is having a panel tomorrow. Christian Fellowship wanted a guitar, but they don’t have proper storage.

    Finance: 2015 got 6500. It’s because of Senior Week. We gave them extra money for the extra programming. We preserved the price of Senior Week tickets. We hope this isn’t a problem next year since we gave them extra money in annual budgeting

    Maya (at-large): What did the Christian Fellowship want money for?

    Finance: They wanted a guitar. They don’t have storage, so we want to readdress the issue in the Fall.

    Maya: I think it is important to provide funds for groups like this for the importance of self-care.

    Finance: This is just one fund app in the whole year.

    Strong: In decided that, we knew that they will work on getting storage for next year. We didn’t want to give them an expensive item with no storage over the summer. We wanted to make sure it didn’t get storage over the summer.

    SoCos: We’ve bought instruments before. We just want a safe space for them.

    7:21//Forum with Chris Roellke

    Roellke: Thank you to outgoing VSA Exec. It’s been a pleasure working with you. I also want to thank Zoe Fullerton for her work. I want to welcome the new leadership. I’ve been fortunate over the years to have very positive times with VSA. I’ve been here for 17 years. I came as a member of the faculty. Been Dean of the College for seven years. I directed the Ford Scholars program. I still stay connected with the work in education. I’m involved with the community as well. This year, my attention has been focused on issues of campus climate and safety and security. I’ve worked to help improve dining at Vassar. Cappy and I have been having sophomore class meetings throughout the year. Every sophomore has been invited. We’ve had 400 total participants. Time this year has been spent on alumnae/i engagement and outreach. I work with the AAAVC Leadership. I’ve tried to promote Dialogues Across Differences. All of the senior officer will be trained over the summer with NCBI. We are in the middle of a number of searches, including a new director of Safety and Security. We are eager for student feedback. We are looking for a new director of the ALANA center. They hope to have some finalists come to campus before the end of the year.

    Josh Sherman: Three questions about dining. Will Aramark be given a one-year extension? You’ve mentioned alternative dining options, do you have more on that? What are you guys looking at for the next couple of years?

    Roellke: Aramark is on a one year extension. We have put out a bid for three suppliers, including Aramark. We do have a fourth option, which is independent. The three external providers will be getting back to us in about two weeks. We are looking for feedback from them. We want community presentations next semester. The students are the main consumers. We’ve collected data on our peer institutions, including high-performing peers. What we are looking for is a new vendor to fit the needs of our members and stay steady. Our facilities are outdated. We need to think about long-term structural changes. I think it’s a three to five year gig. Students are looking for quality, flexibility, grab and go, and engaging seniors. Seniors are also interested in buying the block plan. We want to integrate seniors into the plan. We don’t want to put people out of business. This was a common theme in all of the peer institutions.

    Anish: Cappy sent out an email last semester. What are the updates?

    Roellke: Zachariah Mampilly and Mia Mask are presenting to us about Chief Diversity Officers soon. They are a little behind. We don’t want them to undermine the work of CIE. We are also working with the departure of Julian Williams. I’ve been working with Charlotte Swanson and Renee Pabst. We’ve hired additional student interns to help with bystander intervention. We want to help for this upcoming Fall. Visit the Strengthening Vassar website. It’s updated monthly. We are chipping away at those commitments.

    Antony: Has there been any considerations for allowing students off the meal plan in the dorms?

    Roellke: No. We would be a true outlier to not have those in residence off of the meal plan. It would be cost prohibitive. We need to improve the dining first.

    Tyler: You mentioned the search for the ALANA center director. Is the goal to have them on campus before Finals?

    Roellke: Yes, we hope to announce the new director prior to student departure.

    Tyler: Going back to the promises list. One option was having a sixth house advisor position?

    Roellke: We are actually gonna have an additional 1 and a half. We split each position into a variety of different roles. They helped support campus activities, international students, etc. We made all five house advisors full time. Now we have five FTE. They are about to hire a full-time post-bacc. The same holds true for office of international services.

    StuLife: You’ve mentioned a lot of hiring. People under the age of 30 seem to be leaving a lot. It seems like the people who do the most to support students are leaving in droves. What do you think we can do to have them stay?

    Roellke: I disagree with your characterization. Elizabeth Schrock wanted to go into social work. Luz Burgos-Lopez got a promotion. Julian Williams was given a better job somewhere else. A lot of these positions are entry level positions. They aren’t designed to be longer term positions. House Advisors are expected to be short-term. The expectation is to be here three or four years. We have had a brain drain. Any vacancy is an opportunity, though.

    Anish: Does that show that these positions show less of a focus on the ALANA center?

    Roellke: We were hoping we could have stability. We made it a director level position and a full-year position. I think that those two commitments hopefully will allow us to have somebody who can stay longer. One change we made was that we want somebody with five to seven years of experience.

    Susie: I’ve been involved with the ALANA center. Because of the high turnover, many of us see instability with this turnover.

    Roellke: It’s a legitimate concern. We do conduct exit interviews though. I fully acknowledge the affect on the community. Where we are now is actually eliminating positions, not growing.

    2017: I wanted to ask about the Mental Health and Wellness fund. How’s that looking?

    Roellke: It has been accessed. It is administered jointly. It is operational. Shortly after the President’s Email, an anonymous donor helped to keep that fund going longer.

    2017: You mentioned Julian Williams stepping down. As an attorney, he was acting as counsel in some cases. Is that necessary for his successor?

    Roellke: We do have outside general counsel. It’s not a top priority. A legal background is helpful.

    Ops: You spoke about NCBI. Could you speak to how that relates to the existing center?

    Roellke: We hope they can be synergistic. Collette Cann has been on leave, but we are looking forward to her coming back and helping them both together.

    Ops: The smoking ban is taking effect soon? How is that transition looking?

    Roellke: An email is going out this week about the Transition to Smoke-Free. Our data indicates a small percent of you smoke cigarettes on a regular basis. There will be small signage on entrances. There will be notecards for people to hand to people on campus. There will be more communications coming out. It’s July 1. There will be bumps. The enforcement is meant to be friendly.

    2016: You mentioned stuff with Safety and Security. What have you guys actually done?

    Roellke: We’ve been working hard to find the new Director. We left some open positions available for the new Director to have a say in the hiring of officers. Additional training has taken place. We are eager for our new director. How do we best deploy Campus Patrol? All candidates asked about doing rounds in the residence halls. What does it mean to have an open campus? What is not open to the public? One major controversy was the body cameras. The community was divided on that.

    Josh: Has the committee discusssed weapons policies? What is being discussed about authority?

    Roellke: As long as I am Dean of the College, our Safety and Security will not be armed. And we will not be a police force. The advantage to me to doing accredidation would not be moving toward what you just talked about it. Part of the accredidation is having professional development protocols.

    Antony: There was talk early about security cameras around campus?

    Roellke: Video surveillance is already happening on campus. It’s in strange areas. We put a security camera there to see who is taking the Greek yogurt in the Retreat. We are behind on video surveillance. It needs to be comprehensively and transparently. It’s not gonna happen overnight.

    Davison: I had a question about the smoke ban? WHo supported this?

    Roellke: The Dutchess County Health Department approached us about this. There was a good rationale to make this change. The resolution passed on CCL. It was endorsed by the president. It was going to be in 2014, but we wanted more time. We aren’t suggesting you can’t smoke, you just can’t smoke around other people on campus.

    Main: The VSA is restructuring. What do you want to see with that?

    Roellke: I’ve read through the report, but not all of it. I commend the VSA in their willingness to embark on the review. I think it is helpful to have an outside look. The piece that I thought was interesting to read through was that you wanted your own autonomy, but at the same time, we are the outlier in our peers for hte lack of support given by the College. We don’t supply an advisor. There might be a way in which we can collaborate. You work hard. I think I want to read through the report more. I think accessibility was a major theme. One of your recommendations was paid exec positions. Those steps make our orgs more accessible. I look forward to working collaboratively.

    Cushing: I wondered what action would be taken against people who delayed the transition?

    Roellke: I think that is something CCL will tackle next year. No penalties, just education. They still need to figure that out. Nothing in the first year.

    2017: Back to restructuring. Several issues might not be changed by VSA restructuring. There is only one student representative in the Trustee meetings.

    Roellke: I can’t speak on behalf of the board. They took the VSA recommendation seriously. I, as the Dean of the College, have to make sure that the Trustees are able to meet with the Students. The Thursday night before they have a student dinner.

    Finance: How do you end up on the Board?

    Roellke: Most are alums. You want a diversity of expertise. Capacity to help the College. They are expected to give to the annual funds.


    Finance: Everyone should be in the proximity of a budget. The VSA stipend number was wrong last time. We budgeted for the most expensive option. We dissolved the a capella recording fund. That’ll be done through discretionary. We increased our funds all over. We discussed cutting the Community fund, but decided to keep it just in case. We want to urge people to utilize that fund. Jumping down to classes and residences, we changed the numbers. We included money for miscellaneous things. These are guidelines. House budgets make up a large percentage of our surplus. All houses can apply for more money.

    Cushing: Where does the expectation lie?

    Finance: We budget for our houses as orgs, not residences. You don’t have to do anything. It would be nice, because programming.

    Antony: For events, can we apply for more funding.

    Finance: Jewett probably will have to ask for more if they want 7 Deadly. You can apply for funds for anything, honestly. We gave Choice more money. For Issues and Activism, there is a decrease in spending, but there were budget increases overall. Some groups applied for a lot less funding. Identity orgs had an overall increase. We have shown our commitment to identity based orgs. Religious and Spiritual saw an increase. The last thing I want to say is on our methodology. We set the number of students to 2,660. We don’t know how many people will be here next year. We put in a $12,000 contingency barrier for next year, on top of the surplus.

    Antony: Back to identity orgs. Why did CBS receive a cut?

    Finance: They asked for that cut. They asked for less money.

    Josh: What are the minimum number of events you should hold?

    Ops: Regular orgs have to have one all-campus event every semester.

    TA: Direct response: I’ve been told by Natalia about doing two events per semester. Nevermind.

    2017: House teams “shall plan” residential events. That’s vague.

    2016: If people didn’t fill out a budget, did you punish them?

    Finance: No. I’m not a punishment kind of person. If you got an application to us, we reviewed it accordingly. There’s money still there if they want money in Sept.

    Main: VCSS was given a small budget. Why?

    Finance: Most of their events were collabs. They didn’t use their own budget.

    2015: Are you routing the Traditions into one fund?

    Finance: I think we will put separate accounts.

    At-large: Can you name the orgs that didn’t apply for funding?

    Finance: TONCA, Vassarina, Camerata, etc. They have plans.

    Activities: Pre-orgs go through three semesters before they can apply to be orgs. There are requirements about people becoming orgs. We met with the orgs this semester and did reviews on them. We, as a committee, went through the certification. They can be certified at the end of any semester. Pre-orgs get a budget. They can apply to special purpose funds. You have to have built a general body in your preorg and that you’ve been doing programming.

    2017: Following up on Treasurers. Isn’t it required to have one?

    Activities: People aren’t always on top of things like they should be.

    Mark: Rollover?

    Finance: We were more relaxed about rollover. If you fundraise money, then you are entitled to rollover. There are two ways to do the appeals process. They can present their case and then Finance can talk about it, or we can do it the other way.

    Reuban: We are addressing the music budget. We want more money for our stuff.

    Finance: There’s no Serenading concert. ViCE is the only org that we will give money to wihtout a plan for how to spend that money. We also made a ViCE discretionary fund. It needs to be beyond you, Ben, about whether or not there was going to be a Spring and Fall concert. It needs to be with everyone. Especially since you’re not an elected position. There’s so little accountability with the student body.

    Reuban: We usually get rollover?

    Finance: That’s not appropriate for an institution like ViCE to have rollover. In fact, there was a decrease in your fund.

    Reuban: If we have a Fall and Spring Concert, how should we get the money?

    Finance: It needs to be discussed with your board and with Finance committee. Another conversation is quality versus quantity. I want to make sure you have money in places to make these decisions.

    Reuban: I think people will be frustrated with low quality concerts.

    Finance: You won’t spend 40k on the Fall concert. The serenading concert didn’t have a 5k approval form this year.This isn’t an attempt to limit your funds. It’s more fair this way. We have to hear both appeals first and then decide our next steps.

    Sarah Oliver (VHP): We had been told we would receive our requested budget but we had to meet again. I was told $1700 and then given $1000.

    Finance: Because we have to do this budget on a micro and macro level, it takes time and things have to be changed around. After the appeal on Wednesday, we decided on $1000 because you listed two events as fundraisers but didn’t show the money. We made an agreement with Andrew Mead about VHP, Inc and VHP. We aren’t allowed to donate money.

    Sarah: I think this was unfair that I received this email two hours before the meeting and I was the only one from my org able to attend this meeting.

    Finance: I’m sorry about how that went. I think it’ll be better to have VHP apply to funds for more programming.

    Finance: Things need to be clarified for how fund-raising works. Can we do an informal straw poll?

    Student Life: I’m confused by the app. Was this an oversight about the fundraised money going into the org’s budget or the Inc’s budget.

    Sarah: We put the vcash money in our VSA account and the cash goes to the INC.

    Finance: You aren’t supposed to do that. The revenue cannot go to the INC if the cost is coming from the VSA. You have to keep these separate. I’ve spoken to Andrew about this. All of the money needs to go back into your VSA account.

    2017: Can we discuss what we would like to see before deciding whether or not to vote down the budget?

    Finance: I stand by the recommendations for both ViCE Music and VHP. There has been a lot of miscommunication this year. I think we all need to sit down and talk about what needs to happen next year.

    Reuban: I recognize what Finance does. Speaking on behalf of ViCE, we standby having a 10k bump.

    Finance: That means we have to find 10K somewhere.

    StuLife: I was fairly upset about cutting the Fall concert. I don’t think Spring Concert was tangibly better than in years past. Money doesn’t solve things. I couldn’t tell the difference in cost. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think ViCE should spend that money, but I think Max has a good point about the decision making process. It’s a weird situation to have only a few people decide on this massive sum of money. The ViCE budget is distributed equitably. I’m in favor of more programming and I think this sets the stage. I like the allocation the way it is. The discretionary fund helps with this. I also stand behind the VHP allocation. I think it is a unique situation. It’s unusual to have such a large miscommunication. In terms of bylaws, yeah it is coercive that we have to vote the budget up and down together, but it recognizes the balance that we have to pull the money from somewhere. I would caution anyone against suspending the bylaws. That is playing with the money.

    Reuban: I don’t think we can have a Fall and Spring concert with this money. We’ve always had a ViCE discretionary. I don’t think that having a labelled budget will make it more decentralized.

    StuLife: Did it look like someone else’s money or unallocated money?

    Finance: I’m sorry, but the way that that has been handled hasn’t been fair. The strings we have attached to the fund is that there needs to be a vote in the ViCE Exec board.

    Josh Tempro: This is a long discussion. We really do think that opening up the funds is a lot of money. They have a large campus involvement, but it needs to be regulated. It needs to be decentralized and it will benefit the student body.

    2017: If there is a budget expansion, it should go into discretionary, not ViCE Music directly. As far as VHP, since the miscommunication has been acknowledged, I’m leaning toward giving them something of that.

    Ops: The current ViCE allocation, I’m comfortable with. The VHP situation is a little weird. The reason this bylaw is so stringent is because Finance puts in 40 hours to put this whole thing together. The VHP situation: I’m sorry this happened. That said, I don’t think we should vote down the entire budget. They can apply and get the money.

    Cushing: Relatively, the ALANA center’s operating budget is $13000. Do we value the ALANA orgs over a slightly better concert? I personally don’t. I think we should think about how much money this is.

    2015: Ben is the ViCE music head. I think what we are trying to say is that ViCE music has had a lot of problems with communication. A lot of decisions are made in a room with equally minded people. That causes some problems. One thing is to push you to step outside of that. This is a push the bounds of what ViCE music has been in the past.

    Reuban: We picked him because we thought he would be represent the student body. We just want a Fall and Spring Concert on par with last year. We don’t want to get the same artists every year. With a higher budget, we can fit all genres.

    Ben: When I was applying to be Music Chair was that I wanted to do something similar to what Maya was doing. I don’t want Music to be ViCE Hip Hop. I want a wide array. Having Maya’s budget makes that possible.

    Activities: There’ s a problem with EB structures and turnovers. We had to make sure to have a great record. It’s important that you have the time to communicate institutional memory.

    Ops: I want to move to adopt the motion.

    Budget is approved.

    Finance: With the ViCE Discretionary, money coming out of it has to be voted on by ViCE EB. Any money not spent goes to discretionary. ViCE received more money than last year. I am not just saying this because I helped create this budget. It was created by 30 people. I oversaw the process, but it was a collaborative work. It’s the best budget we’ve had since I came here.

    9:22//Constituent Concerns

    Ops: Five minute recess?

    Motion fails.

    9:27//Exec Reports

    Activities: We’ve been doing EB reports. We are working on institutional memories. That’s basically all we’ve been doing.

    Academics: Syllabus archive should be done soon. Dean Chenette should be sending out an email to faculty soon. Library Director search is ongoing. The last candidate coming tomorrow. The curricular proposals update. The final faculty meeting is on May 13. That’s when it will be voted on. I don’t have a sense that it will pass. We will see what happens.

    9:29//Ops Resolution

    Josh Sherman: We used to be able to buy things on campus in a student store. Let’s do a one-year trial for a vending machine that will sell things to students cheaply 24 hours a day. It’s a long trek into Arlington. If we run it, it would be cheaper. We could sell it at a small margin. Easy to acquire. It’s like an extra hour for interns to stock it. I’ve researched it. It’s perfectly doable. Can a resolution fund this? There is a way to do it somehow. The admin might want to do something in this space anyway. If we do it and pay for it, it can be cheaper. We are not going to have snacks on campus. We will sell things they don’t sell.

    Tyler: I want to speak about the admin ideas. Rosaline Purdue has been thinking about this. I’m not sure where these conversations are now, but it was on the table in January.

    StuLife: I’m intrigued by this. How much would this cost?

    Josh: Less than $4k. It would be less than $1500 for one year. Menstrual supplies please.

    Pres: This goes into new council next week.

    2017: How binding would this be? How good of a way is it to bind the VSA to this?

    Finance: I think 100%.

    9:36//Open Discussion

    2015: Congrats to the THs.

    Finance: I’ve been thinking a lot about what I wanted to say. I’m gonna say what I want. I’ve seen a bunch of groups of people do this. My experience has been different. It has not always been the most positive experience. I think I’ve appreciated my time at this school so much more. This was going to be their activity. I’ve never had more confidence in a President for next year. I don’t think the VSA could have better prospects. I hope those not coming back in an official capacity, I hope you know you don’t need a title to be involved. You can engage with us in an unofficial capacity.

    Tyler: Kiran and I want to give a shout out to ourselves and The Misc.

    Kiran: I started coming to these meetings as a joke. I came to see my best friend and I stayed for you guys. I’ve enjoyed watching this council grow.

    Jewettt: Thanks New Council. You look like a great group of people.

    Ops: Food truck Friday was a roaring success. It will be back starting Orientation week. Now the sappiness. Shoutout to the at-large members and The Misc. I love all of council.

    TA: Thanks for being awesome. Good luck next year.

    2018: Sappy things too. Thanks for the great welcome. Good job house presidents.

    Cushing: Being house president is incredibly hard. Have a plan next year with what you want to do with ResLife and the VSA.

    President: I’m not a believer in shoutouts. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with you guys. Make the best of it. You can make change. Come to convocation on Wednesday.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc