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 September 22, 2019
Minutes by Devi Namboodiri and Sydney Churchill
Table of Contents
- Summary of Meeting Topics
- Guest: Steve Watter from the Ombuds Office
- Campus Updates
- Officer Updates
- Presidential Updates
- Weekly Consensus 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: Katherine 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
- Absent: Marked with Red
- Late: Marked with Orange
- Council Members
2. Summary of Meeting This week, the Students’ Council meeting consisted of a visit from Steven Watter regarding the Ombuds program (3) discussion about things that are happening and relevant on campus on right now (4), giving officer updates regarding what we did last week (5), presidential updates (6) and weekly consensus discussion (7).
3. Guest: Steve Watter from the Ombuds Office
Steven Water: Thanks for inviting me to come speak with you about the Ombuds role. I am going to describe the Ombuds office and resource because we want to increase awareness on campus about it and what it offers. It is a resource to all members of the community (students, faculty and staff). Completely confidential unless someone is at risk of harm. It is informal. It is neutral and I am here to hear what’s on your mind and see how you might want to address an issue. I am independent and not part of any office on campus. Strictly confidential, people come anonymously. Meet folks by appointment in the Pendle Hill Room for privacy but hidden in plain site. Ombuds meets with people one on one, help identify what the issues are and what is in the person’s mind and goals and what the outcome they want to achieve is. Then discuss possible ways of achieving the outcome. Often just pointing people in the right direction of who to talk to regarding various issues. I have knowledge of the resources available to students. Not a substitute for the resources available on campus and the structures available on campus to address issues or for the honor code or honor council. During the meeting we look at the pros and cons of various options and who to get in contact with. Can be a helpful resource for people to decide what the best course of action is for them. I can take any questions relating to this now. One last thing, in terms of confidentiality as regards to Title IX, I have the same level of confidentiality as CAPS, Level 1 confidentiality. Questions/thoughts.
Dex: What is the best way for people to get in touch with you?
Steve W: There is an Ombuds website. There is a link to the Ombuds office on the website. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org. To make an appointment there is a link. I am on campus the equivalent of 2 days per week. I change the week to week schedule so that as many people’s schedule as possible can work. It was designed as a one year experiment through the end of the academic year. Wendy Raymond will then decide whether to continue it or expand it. We are sending follow up assessments and surveys after visits to look at how many people are utilizing the resource and the kinds of experiences people had with the process. Also report on trends that we may see. Just want to empower people and help people.
Noori: Would it be ok to ask you about some of the common issues people come to you with?
Steve W.: There are a lot of issues that involve power differentials regarding how to talk to a faculty member or a coach in which you want to resolve an issue but don’t want to have a negative impact on the relationship. Issues with favoritism, peer issues, sexual-misconduct… A lot of times miscommunication between staff and supervisor.
Emily: How would you describe engagement so far? Is it the same two people or a lot of people?
Steve W.: Usually a wide range of people. Most important supplies a dean has is a box of tissues. Sometimes when people are afraid to express their feelings, it can all build up and the meetings can be very emotional. Started at the end of March last year and it was a hard time to start because of wrapping up the academic year. I also was available over the summer because that can be a good time. 60-70 people. Trying to get the word out, in weekly consensus and employee digest, not just about the office but about the services it provides as well.
4. Campus Updates
Katie: What’s been going on on campus?
Rodrigo: Lots of ambulances and issues last night. Didn’t hear about specific things but when I was walking home I saw two cop cars, ambulances and firetrucks.
Evan: A lot of affinity groups are having open houses this week, would be nice for SC to attend and participate.
Mariana: Did anyone go to the PARC open house?
Katie C.: It was good a bigger turnout than I expected.
Evan: Yea it was good.
Katie L.: What is the best way to find out when affinity groups have their meeting times and whether or not they are open? Facebook, emails, engage?
Mariana: We’ll make a google calendar for SC members of events that we think SC members should attend.
Katie L.: Anything else on campus? The climate strike?
Brian: I went. There were a couple Haverford students, but most people were from Havertown and surrounding area. A good turnout. Talked to the first year who organized it and she is going to start her own hub her at Haverford.
Evan: Community Outresearch Cultural Liaisons, (COMLs) have open house Thursday 27th,7:30 CPGC.
Saket: International House is opening, 50 basement. There will be snacks. Tentative for Friday.
Mariana: The Women’s Center is also having an open house this week.
5. Officer Updates
Dex and Eliza: The budget was just sent out. Grievances have been taken and we will send everyone a link to the spreadsheet so that everyone can comment on the sheet. Please let us know if you think of anything. Out of 147,000 we spent 130,000 in the normal process, 13,000 for grievances and Bryn Mawr owes a check of 6,000-7,000. Need to figure out a better way to coordinate with Bryn Mawr. Figuring out Bryn Mawr has been challenging. We’ll probably meet in the coming days.
Mariana: How will you navigate Bi-Co clubs? Is there a precedent?
Eliza: We want to figure out a way to standardize it. There are some bico clubs explicitly but then there are clubs that don’t state it but have bi-co leadership and membership. In the past there was a list but it is out of date. We want to have a meeting to standardize and classify.
Dex: We have a working definition of bi-co clubs. bi-co should have one bi-co leadership person and then a decent amount of bi-co membership. But Bryn Mawr’s definition is different so that is challenging.
Katie L.: How did the grievance process go?
Dex: Pretty smooth.
Eliza: We told people to come back for grievances. Most we were expecting, others were pretty easy to talk with and show reasoning of allocation.
Dex: The one thing that hasn’t been resolved is that the Power Posers Yoga Club is paying 100 dollars per lesson. That is something that we need to work out. We want to figure out a way to cut out the middle man in this case.
Eliza: The clubs that we are still working to figure out funding for know who they are.
Emily: I have a meeting scheduled with Katrina Glanzer for this Friday for updates. Emailed Mike Elias about party host training. Met with Katie and Mariana to talk about plenary details.
Lev: I’m trying to talk with Brian Cuzzolina about students meeting with Deans particularly later in the college process. Also, want to do some type of workshop about the classroom report. There was a lot of feedback about challenges regarding participation grades that particularly affects marginalized students. I think workshopping with the OMA or the OAR would be good.
Katie L.: We can can you explain a little more about the OAR/OMA workshop?
Lev: The OAR workshop would involve taking classroom climate report data to stem conversation about participation. Joint-facilitated by OMA and OAR.
Mariana: Is the main goal to talk about ideas for workshops?
Evan: Last week for for the HCAB, we were supposed to have 3-4 appointees. Only has one appointee currently. We have EPC coming up today, already have 7 applications. Four people from Council supposed to be on the appointments committee tonight.
Noorie: Lastly AAC, Administrative Advisory Committee needs two appointees from within Council. Two people from the executive board or anyone else who is interested. We will be in touch if we need people.
Mariana: I was on it. It is a really important committee because you are looking at Haverford’s plan long term. It was hard to be a part of the convo without having background in quant and econ. Important to have a student voice in that room. Discussing which departments get money.
Saket: I met with Teresa to talk about EPC and the work that is being done for international students. There have been some updates but I can’t really talk about them. International House really wants to make their basement open to people. Have a meeting with ISA next week.
Rodrigo: Finally established biweekly meetings with Wendy Smith, head of athletics, which coincides with weeks of SAAC meetings. So don’t have many updates every other week. Party hosting planning meeting will happen before October 6th. SAAC has a meeting with all team captains on that date, to make sure all community concerns are passed on to team captains. Lastly, emailed Nicki Miranda about ways that we can make the weight room more inclusive. Want to meet with him next week.
Katie L.: Would this be open to the public?
Mariana: Do you think it would be helpful for the Ford Form to focus on this week?
Mariana: What are you hoping to get out of your meetings with Wendy?
Rodrigo: Hopefully we can talk about the Clearness Committee report. Hoping to get Wendy’s thoughts on it.
Katie C.: Met with Nate to talk about the Food Pantry stuff. Met with Evan to clarify details. It is kind of a problem of logistics. Food could likely be stored in 22 but really tbd. One question is determining who could access this? Long term goal is to have access for full year, in the short term, at least over breaks. Meeting with JSAAP about party host training stuff for next Tuesday.
Emily: Mike said he wanted to meet with the JSAAP coheads before he met with me.
Katie C.: I would be meeting with him in the Res-Life Co-heads role. We want to make sure that we are holding people to standards regarding party hosting. We will be talking about this at the ResLife meeting next week as well as the food pantry.
Rasaaq: This is my first week but I started making an Adobe Spark website to show class updates: what I’m doing and what I want to do. Want First Years to be able to see what I do throughout the year. The rugby team had our own mandatory consent talk and we were wondering if other teams are required to have these consent talks, particularly because many teams have their own party spaces.
Mariana: Did this consent talk already happen?
Rasaaq: Already happened.
Katie L.: Because you guys are having conversations about party host trainings and QB convos also, team convos, much work being done in many places concerning party culture. There is work being done in different spaces across campus to change the party culture and safety around that.
Mack: Spoke with Brittany about inclusive spaces and events in arts. Met with Courtney Carter about how to connect with the Hurford Center and connect students to resources. Met with Michelle Leao and we have a bi-weekly meeting planned, going to walk through the available art spaces on campus. Made meeting with Blast to talk about equipment that is already available on campus. Maybe the equipment could be reutilized.
Brittany: Dean Wilcox and I met last week and we will have a soft opening after fall break. I met with Leslie who is the professional health advocate and has been doing work for two years. Helps students navigate insurance questions. She can help you with co-pays and providers that are available based on insurance plans. Workshops coming up: Registered Nurse Olisa is working on doing Insurance 101 workshop, list of out of network physicians,, etc. Big concern is that we have a list of out of network physicians but transportation is a concern, we want to create a systematic way of making sure that people can get to out of network providers.
Saket: Is there any options to work to get session for International Students because they are usually on the same insurance plan through the college. How different is insurance for international students?
Sydney: Task Force on Student Work and Service had a meeting last week, I’m going to meet with Mike this week to get update for this week.
Natalia: I met with Mike to figure out how I could use Engage in my role. He was really helpful and I want to figure out new ways to use Engage. There was supposed to be a SoHo event last week but it was rescheduled to tomorrow from 5:30-7:30pm. In terms of the Clearness Committee report, I wanted to use it to help set the agenda for SoHo for this coming year. Ways that we could center events around what the Clearness Committee report.
Ford Forum Responses
- In my opinion, housekeeping cleans Leeds more often than necessary. Last week, members of the housekeeping staff cleaned my suite almost everyday, and on many days, multiple people came throughout the same day to clean. While I recognize that this daily cleaning may be needed for more communal dorms like Gummere or Barclay, I wonder if housekeeping could generally clean upcampus a bit less frequently and instead shift some of their resources to cleaning the apartments. To me, it seems odd that there is constant cleaning in Leeds and other places up campus but people who live in the apartments only have their bathrooms cleaned once a year during winter break. I also think the high degree of cleaning is not really ecofriendly because trash bags are taken out daily when they are not even half full. I’m not sure if this is something in the realm of Students’ Council’s control, but thank you for the work you do 🙂
- can the library open earlier pleease!! and also club sports get too much $
- I wish there was an incentive (maybe extra funding) for affinity groups to host parties. I feel like this would make the social scene less dominated by athletics teams.
Responses from the Ford Form were passed on to Wendy Raymond.
Katie L.: Thoughts on the responses?
Mariana: Especially with the last one? One recommendation from the Clearness Committee was for more party spaces inside Founders
Katie L.: One thing to note is that if one group wants to throw a party, we can fund a student DJ. Might take away the barriers from throwing a party.
Emily: Mike was talking about weekly funding, may be tricky concerning the aspects of alcohol, etc. Biweekly funding.
Dex: That is the avenue for funding 35,000 dollars are set aside for that.
Brian: I attended the Climate Strike and contacted Jesse Lytle about my role on the Board of Managers. Want to take a more proactive role in the position. Posted my facebook introduction on class group and introduced the idea of creating Forums on the Class Group. Class group may not be appropriate space for putting these platforms. Was thinking about using Engage or another platform. Finished reading the Clearness Report and thought about Plenary and how to make it efficient. I tried to understand what topic we are trying to talk about regarding plenary, is it efficiency or accessibility. I feel like now I have something to contribute to the discussion.
Katie: We will be talking about plenary later.
6. Presidential Updates
Mariana: We met with President Raymond and she is forming a Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She asked us to send us a list of students who can be a part of this committee. If you have ideas of who this could be let us know. Haverford doesn’t have a chief diversity officer so she presented different models of how we could have this position without a financial obligation. That is something that she is working on. Jesse Lytle is going to send us a draft of what the Strategic Planning Steering Committee which works on the 5 to 10 year plan of Haverford.
Katie: I would just add that the previous chief diversity officer previously was Kim Benston. She’s looking at different models that aren’t the president doing it. We had a podcast of ours truly at the clerk with some current SC projects mentioned. Clerk Article is coming out this week. People can start to know who’s in the room and people could come attend our meetings.
Mariana: We want to remind people about who to contact and who is the elected SC members. Met with Dean Wilcox and told her that we think there should be more institutional support from the athletic staff on inclusivity. Doesn’t make sense at how most of the convos about athlete non athlete divide come from student body consistently even though students are only here for 4 years but athletics and administration is more constant. She met with Wendy Smith and she said they are thinking about that and hoping to implement someone into this role this semester.
Katie C.: Back to the Inclusion and Diversity Committee. I forgot about reaching out to affinity group coheads. Should I let them know about this committee?
Katie L.: Wendy would love students to come to her but it is not possible for her to reach out to every affinity group on campus.
Saket: Is there any criteria for who we can put on this list of people for the Inclusion and Diversity Committee.
Katie L.: I don’t think so, definitely not going to be a ton of students.
Saket: Is there a reason why she is selecting people as opposed to having an application process of some kind?
Mariana: Not exactly sure, but will look into it. Wendy also made it clear that this is a non-paid job so keep that in mind when asking people about this.
Emily: There is a task force on Diversity and Inclusion on Campus. Is this building off of that?
Evan: That hasn’t been active on campus for 2 years.
7. Weekly Consensus Discussion
Katie L.: The next thing we are going into is to discuss the weekly consensus.
Emily: If we are trying to move towards Engage, Should the weekly consensus be SC updates focus. Should the Ford Form be front and center.
Noorie: Engage is relatively new so there are a lot of people who don’t know about it. We should keep the consensus in some form. While transitioning, we should keep the consensus in some form.
Eliza: Alternatively, weekly consensus could say to check Engage for other events.
Mariana: The thing with Engage is that there is skepticism about how it’ll take off. Mike Elias said can be a tool to streamline but the main function is for administration to keep tab on clubs but it is not going to replace other sites of communication, Facebook, etc.
Katie L.: Engage is also good for historical memory.
Sydney: What are you thinking about updates that we should include on weekly consensus content?
Mariana: In the past we’ve sent out bi-weekly or monthly updates.
Katie L.: Could change the format of the email and highlight the abstract of the SC meetings.
Mariana: The weekly consensus when we brought it back in 2017, was to consolidate event announcements and tirade of emails into one weekly email.
Katie L.: Do people feel strongly?
Lev: Engage still doesn’t have all the functions that the weekly consensus needs.
Katie L.: Maybe we can bring the Engage discussion next semester and see where it’s at
Dex: I think we should pick it up still, by removing weekly consensus If we encourage people to use it I think they would.
Mariana: Would be good in terms of keeping people informed about Plenary changes.
Evan: There were often times when StuCo would talk about so many things, highlighting only certain topics of conversation would create a difficulty of choosing and a differential in attention. If we make StuCo updates the focus of WC, then SC becomes the focus instead of campus life and other issues.
Lev: Ford Form could be bumped higher up in the email.