Each week, Students’ Council releases meeting minutes to the Haverford community. The ideas represented in these minutes do not necessarily reflect verified facts, nor do they necessarily capture all of any speaker’s intended point. The original document released by Students’ Council can be found here.
Students’ Council Weekly Meeting
Sunday February 9th, 2020
Minutes by Devi Namboodiri and Sydney Churchill
Table of Contents
- Summary of Meeting Topics
- Campus Updates
- Officer Updates
- Facilities Fund Discussion
- Council Members
- Co-Presidents: Katie Leiferman & Mariana Ramirez
- Co-Vice Presidents: Noorie Chowdhury & Evan Moon
- Co-Treasurers: Dex Coen Gilbert & Eliza Koren
- Co-Secretaries: Devi Namboodiri & Sydney Churchill
- Officer of Multiculturalism: Brittany Robinson
- Officer of Academics: Lev Greenstein
- Officer of Arts: MacKenzie Somers
- Officer of Athletics: Rodrigo Zuniga
- Officer of Campus Life: Katie Chung
- Representative of International Students: Saket Sekhsaria
- First Year Rep: Rasaaq Shittu
- Sophomore Rep: Natalia Cordon
- Junior Rep: Brian Hu
- Senior Rep: Emily Lin
- SC Librarian: Nick
- Absent: Marked with Red
- Late: Marked with Orange
- Council Members
- Summary of Meeting Topics
- Campus Updates
Mariana: We have a very packed agenda for tonight so we’re going to get started. Does anyone have any campus updates?
Mariana: Has anyone seen this poster *trump 2020 poster* around campus? Could someone read it?
Do you support the president but are afraid to voice your opinion to others? Do you believe in a free and fair society? Do you understand the perils of socialism killing 60 million people throughout history? Come to Stokes 201 on Monday February 10th at 11pm for our inclusive discussion. Burgers, wings and all your American favorites will be provided. Come learn why American is the freest most prosperous nation ever created all are welcome
Saket: I would be down to go
Dex: I would also be down to go
Katie L.: Do you think it’s real? I kind of mean that in a serious way.
Mariana: There’s also no contact information that might be a violation of the postering policy.
Eliza: It is…
Katie L.: Let us know how the event goes!
Mariana: Anyone have anything else to share? Thoughts on reaching out to OMA?
Evan: I can ask OMA
Noorie: I know from hearsay that, last year i was talking to someone on Bryn Mawr StuGo talking about how their SC is very political and takes a stance on the politics of the country, organizes protests, etc. I know haverford doesn’t have a history of doing this but Since this has come up, I think maybe we could discuss it.
Brian: Sorry can you repeat that?
Noorie: Basically Bryn Mawr student gov’t has a history of being very politically active, contrasting with HC SC. I’m wondering if we should talk more about it.
MacK: Well it does seem connected in that there seems to be a more vocal, free-speech, Trump movement on campus and I think it’s surprising to people on campus. It’s different from the last two to three years. I would support being in a vocal
Evan: I agree and I think there does need to be some kind of concerted movement to address this. Not quite sure how student council can get involved but I can reach out to OMA and Honor Council to see what would be the responsibility of Student leadership in response to the free-speech/Trump movement
- Officer Updates
Mariana: Does anyone have any officer updates from the week?
Rodrigo: SAAC had a conversation facilitated by Ben Hughes from the OMA with all the captains regarding party culture spaces and it was productive but it was just for an hour so we’re going to see if we can have another longer conversation.
Mariana: It was today? Did anything come up?
Rodrigo: Yes, mostly action items for parties like having a sober presence, more to come on that.
Dex: We got all the grant applications and we don’t want to take too much time over general council meeting. We’ll send out a When To Meet and folks who want to come can come. We’re also trying to keep it from detracting from appointments. Don’t feel obligated to come to this, as a final approval will be sent to everyone.
Evan: Just to be on people’s radar, we have reached out to a lot of people and apparently we don’t have any appointments yet this semester.
Noorie: we reached out to point people of over 7 committees and there were no responses on behalf of the organizations.
Evan: There has also been no evidence of their activity in the past year.
Katie L.: Are the people you reached out to faculty or students?
Evan: Both, so we have decided that until further notice the appointments will not be in the schedule.
Mariana: Did the provost appointment happen today?
Noorie: Yes, we got only one application and it was from a sophomore and Franklyn Cantor said the committee would prefer junior or senior, so we are thinking direct appointments.
Evan: On that note, would y’all prefer direct appointments, with the whole council, or with us and the presidents?
We can also receive recommendations online.
Katie L.: I think if we group source names that would be good. I just remember coming up with names for the Strategic committee that was hard. If everyone in the room could give a couple of names that would be great.
Mariana: We will move on to talk more about plenary logistics, and we invited Nick to voice his opinion about friendly amendments.
Nick: So specifically on friendly amendments, I know you guys mentioned at the resolution meeting a mechanism before plenary to try to get that out of the way. I think what it comes down to is that there needs to be some mechanism for special plenary I think you have to leave it as an option or you need to make it very clear to do friendly amendments before plenary.I think there has to be an avenue for that. Whether making it very clear to save time all will be ironed out or keep it as it is. I personally have never been to a functioning plenary so I don’t know the details so I’m really open to your guys’ thoughts on that.
Mariana: Do people have any thoughts?
Dex: Do we know whether we can have those google docs?
Katie: The google docs are already sent out.
Dex: Sweet so can we do editing and community comments that way? Personally I think that system seemed like a very elegant solution to the problem.
Mariana: When I checked last week, it looked like people were frequently commenting.
MacK: We need to send out an email that explicitly says that. Another thing that I noticed was that the Changing the Clearness Committee resolution writers had a link to an excel spreadsheet on their google doc. Ask others to do the same or not. I think if that’s happening that has to be an option for everyone.
Katie L.: We can definitely reach out to resolution writers and ask them to add a link.
In terms of the email to everyone, should it be separate email or part of consensus?
Nick: Personally, I think a separate email
Katie L.: As you guys know from last semester, anything we’re proposing needs to be voted on so in terms of language, what do you guys think is best? Something like “We shared the docs and over this two week period the community has been able to get time to give comments on the resolution”
Does that make sense what I’m asking, framing it as a proposal that needs to be voted on?
Mariana: For resolutions, do you need to get 200 signatures for the final plenary resolution or can signatures and changing the document occur at the same time? Aka. Can people be editing the document at the same time people are signing it?
Nick: It’s kind of unclear
Katie L : It’s talking more about the value of the idea, so there seems to be no clear cut procedure.
Sydney: I think in my experience writing a resolution, some people are wary of putting their signatures on things that might change.
Nick: I think there’s an issue of intent there, when you sign resolutions in the past, you are accepting that it could change.
Dex: The purpose of a friendly amendment is not changing the core value of the existing amendment.
Emily: I think if you make it clear that the constitution allows this, this can help the community understand!
Mariana: Moving on to more specific logistics re: job assignments at plenary. Are you all comfortable with signing up for jobs now? Making signs, running mics, helping set up the space, quiet area monitoring, last minute outreach for reaching quorum.
Katie L.: We’ve experimented with many methods for helping people get their voice out.
As some people may know, last Spring the Ford Form was anonymous and a lot of people were mean on the Ford Form. I would say no anonymous form on the table and we’ve also had buckets for things to put their things in and we’ve had SC people acting as liaisons for people to give their opinions to speak on.
Do people have other options or endorsements of those options?
MacK: I feel good about the emails with names more than anything, I think with the bucket thing, you’re still running into the issue of anonymity. I think telling a stuco rep could be hard to convey exactly what they want to say.
Mariana: Any other thoughts?
Rodrigo: I don’t think using a SC person as a voice is a problem if they are given a written script to read off of. If it’s just the mic that people are having averse feelings towards, maybe writing something and then giving it to us to say.
Mariana: How do people feel about being a liason to the community?
Eliza: Just specifically as walking around and then sharing it with the rest of the group. I think I have concerns about representation if all the info transfer is verbal.
Emily: Digo was saying to write it down.
MacK: I think doing a forum, it takes a certain energy and confidence for someone to say something so I think that email is the way to do it to make it accessible to everyone.
Katie L.: Is there anyone compelled to be a liason?
Katie: Last thing is talking about outreach, thanks to MacK for making beautiful posters!!
We will have resolution writers tabling this week. I’m just opening up the floor for people who have suggestions.
We need 865 people at least, I think.
Emily: Something I’ve heard from students was a big factor was not having the alcohol policy in the Fall and I think that quorum will not be an issue cause of the Honor Code ratification and alcohol policy ratification. I think having those two events will create a big difference.
Nick: Historically, those two are put at the end of plenary so that people don’t leave and so I think that’s good again
Emily: Does it make sense to put one in the beginning so that people come at the beginning?
Katie L: We can play with the structure for sure. Just throwing it out there, quorum is higher than it has ever been. I just want this to be something we’re thinking about given we didn’t reach quorum in the fall.
Evan: I know that reaching out to faculty and reminding students in class has been good
Hopefully preventing field trips and other activities that could be rescheduled.
Noorie: I just want to add that even though we failed to reach quorum, I remember MacK was running around campus to see if there was anyone outside and there wasn’t anyone even around campus. I think it was people on field trips or for games.
Mariana: Maybe emailing captains too would be good.
Katie L.: Cause you guys have a team captain list right?
Rodrigo: Yea, I can get whatever list exists.
Emily: A logistical thing, given we have 2 ratifications and 5 resolutions, what is the time frame? How can we include the DC staff in the timing?
Mariana: We can reach out to the DC, thanks for bringing that up. It’s hard to tell because it depends on a lot of factors, like how quickly we reach quorum and if we have friendly amendments or not.
Katie L.: I don’t think it will go lower than 3 hours.
MacK: I think it might be impossible to tell the DC an estimate but letting them know that it will be everyone coming at once would be good.At the last resolution we can email the DC.
- Facilities Fund Discussion
Mariana: Katie C., do you want to take us through the facilities fund?
Katie C.: We got 7 applications for the Facilities Fund. I would like to hear your guys’ opinions on what projects you think would be most meaningful and impactful to the committee. Just to keep in mind, some projects will be more costly than others. We can think about partially funding some of the bigger projects if we want to fund some of the smaller projects too. So I want to talk about prioritization and which ones we like the most and which ones we like less. No clear cut yes and nos:
Devi: I thought it was interesting that there was a clear theme in multiple projects brought up that marginalized identities were excluded from social spaces. I was also unsure about the Lunt cafe application and that space.
Katie C.: I think for that application specifically, we would be working under the premise that they could use the space so keep in mind, past projects funded by facilities fund include the PARC space, Gum lounge, blue bus stops, benches, etc.
Dex: Do you know anything about an estimate for the James House fire extinguishers?
MacK: I do! $8,000-10,000 for sprinkler system And then around 2,000 for the garage door-type thing to be able to close during parties to keep people out of the kiln and other dangerous supplies. So $12-14,000.
Mariana: Dex and Eliza, the ability to use grant money for these projects, what are your thoughts on that broadly speaking? Are you worried about going into the territory of funding capital projects that administration should be funding?
Elzia: Yea, I think there is that concern but I think the more immediate is absorbing too many facilities projects. We’ve been advised that we don’t have an extra facilities fund, if facilities are working on two to three projects, we may not have labor to provide for all the projects even if we have the money. With that being said, I can preliminarily say that based on the proposals we’ve gotten from the grant, we have some excess funding.
Dex: The Latinx center applied to both grants, if we think of this as money is not the issue, the the high tunnel would be something that would be contracted outside of the campus. Versus trying to do the politics of trying to change Parker house and getting things installed into james house or lunt. Not to say that we couldn’t do those things, but it would take more time. I think the high tunnel is an easy one for me to say yes to for the SC grant.
Mariana: The facilities fund or the grant?
Dex: We could do either one.
Katie: I was wondering if the Existence as REsistance project could be moved to the grant as it will not use facilities labor.
Dex: Yea, that could be just normal budgeting.
Katie L.: Are people comfortable with that?
MacK: I’m super aware of my being in the room and being super connected with James House, I recognize half of James House as being a toxic, white, hipster space and I’m aware that a lot of the other proposals are from students of color and queer students and I want that to be part of the discussion.
Dex: The spotlight request, Don already went and painted the BlckBox this week for Spotlight Theatre.
MacK: When was that done?
Dex: That was just this week. Also the sound and lighting equipment that are talking about has already been bought but not being used. It was paid for a few years ago, the school just never paid for it to be hung up. Since it is outside contracting labor, it would be easier to absorb into the SC grant fund.
Mariana: How are folks feeling about the other proposals?
Dex: Is there anyone who can speak to a Parker house as a space on use on campus?
I think the Lunt area is easier based on the way the grant was written. I think that Li’s discussion of that transition was very elegant but I’m just wondering if people have more information on that.
Katie L.: I don’t really want to get caught up in terms of feasibility but I think that there’s a low percent chance that Parker House could be used. But let’s just recognize the heart of the proposal cause maybe there could be another facility.
Mariana: I think ALAS is amenable to using other spaces while their long-term vision for a new space on campus materializes–it says so in their proposal. I think what they would like to see is general support from Council
Katie L.: Going into your meeting about feasibility with Mike, would it be helpful to know what we would support?
Katie C: Yea, in terms of priority, what are people feeling strongly about?
Dex: I’m not super on board for the laundry renovations.
Evan: Personally in my head, Latinx center, Haverfarm, James House at the top, then laundry and blackbox would probably be at the bottom
Dex: We can take Haverfarm, Existence As Resistance and BlackBox.
Eliza: I think that having spaces for marginalized students is very important but I do think that the James house. Is a safety concern and to me it feels like that should get more priority. A safety issue seems more immediate to me.
Mariana: I think the framing is interesting, if this a safety thing, shouldn’t administration be paying for that? The previous projects have been like a bus station, building new benches, etc., never anything that had to do with student safety.
Dex: If there aren’t sprinklers in the space does this exclude it from being a party space?
MacK: It would operate the same with the same safety concerns I think
Dex: Followup question– how much has this been raised to facilities? If this isn’t meeting safety and code issues, what pressure is there to fix it? Isn’t this something that the school should take care of?
MacK: I would be comfortable raising that further, it’s a conversation that started last semester and i think there may be more safety and code issues going on in James House.
Dex: I’d be happy to meet with Don and discuss it. Are people here cool if I tried to talk to Don?
Katie L.: Just to clarify, what has been proposed now is the Latinx center and FLI lounge at top priority and least would be the apartments laundry system.
Sweet, thank you Katie C.!
Dex: We shared the document with everyone. Hopefully the comments for why funds were subtracted made sense.
I think we don’t need to use this time to approve everything right now but use this time to clarify line items and then we can approve later in GroupMe. Just to get feedback so we can send it out to the community tomorrow.
Mariana: Did folks have an opportunity to look over the spreadsheet? Let’s take a minute to look at it.
Dex: There is a separate section for the bi-co which we are leaving to discuss with Bryn Mawr treasurers. The total amount requested was close to 370,000 and we have 317,000 and we need to leave room for mid semester budgeting and bi-co clubs. We noticed a few things that looked better for the grant. Usually food requests that seemed unnecessary were not provided. And then for equipment, we had to sometimes give them half of the equipment they originally requested just cause we don’t have enough for everyone.