With the fall semester nearly halfway done and the arboretum turning brilliant shades of orange and red, there is the ghoulish spirit of discourse hanging over campus–it’s time for Plenary yet again. At the biannual event held this Sunday, October 23, students will consider five resolutions.
Once quorum is reached and rules of order ratified, the student body will move through the resolutions as follows:
Resolution #1: Expansion of CAPS
Presented by Active Minds (Current Co-heads: Maya Cohen-Shields ’24, Sarina Smith ’23, Ethan Ezray ’23, and Natalie Masetti ’23)
Active Minds is a student group dedicated to bringing attention to mental health and bolstering mental health intervention services at Haverford. Citing the Campus Climate Survey, which found that 61.2% of students have “mental health/psychological disorder,” this resolution proposed an expansion of CAPS to address current gaps in support for students.
The resolution revolves around an increase in funding for CAPS, which would enable the office to hire new staff, increase the availability of reimbursement to students paying for off-campus therapists, and open up more group therapy sessions. The resolution advocates for an additional psychiatrist, more therapists, and on-call workers to speak with students in a crisis situation without contacting campus safety. Lastly, the resolution sources this excess funding by resolving that “CAPS will be [the] top priority in the strategic plan, have a place in the endowment, and be an option available for alumni to donate to.”
The presence of an on-call worker for crisis response is based directly on a Fall 2020 strike demand, which the college has addressed with the novel role of Residential Education Coordinator, though the demand is still marked as underway.
Notably, CAPS is not governed by the Students’ Constitution, nor is a Plenary resolution able to directly dictate budgeting decisions, endowment usage, or Strategic Planning goals, all of which have their own processes for student input.
Resolution #2: HaverSanctuary
Presented by Estrella Pacheco ‘25 & Yehyun Song ‘25
Sponsored by: Alliance of Latin American Students (ALAS), Black Students League (BSL), Japanese Cultural Club (JCC), Pan-Asian Affinity House (PANA), Pan-Asian Resource Center (PARC), Korean Culture Club (KCC), Children of Caribbean Origin (COCO), Athletes of Color Coalition (AOCC), Disability Advocacy for Students at Haverford (DASH), Bi-Co Asian Adoptee Club
This amendment engages directly with former President of the College Kim Benston and the Board of Managers’ 2016 resolution designed to protect Non-United States Citizens and Religious Minorities. While that resolution was primarily in response to islamophobia and xenophobia by President-elect Donald Trump, this resolution offers an updated look at what it takes for Haverford to protect non-U.S. citizens.
In particular, the resolution lays out a framework to ensure protection from threats to undocumented students in all campus spaces. This outline includes designating “the entirety of campus as ‘Restricted’ areas, barring ALL immigration enforcement activity on campus without a valid warrant,” a college policy of noncooperation with any immigration authorities on the national or local level, limiting what information Campus Safety collects about immigration status or religion of students, and the college publically affirming its position as a Sanctuary Campus for undocumented student and non-US citizens.
The resolution also contains some suggested best practices for the college to follow in the future: hosting “Know Your Rights” training, housing students who are for any reason unable to return home over breaks, and ensuring students know about grants and scholarships regardless of their migration status.
Lastly, the resolution advises the creation of a committee, consisting of students and staff, who will advise the College on policies concerning undocumented and immigrant students as they evolve in real-time. This committee, appointed by the Students’ Council, would work with the Tri-Co Undocu+ Student Support Committee.
Resolution #3: Voting Majority Reform
Presented by Nicholas Lasinsky ’23
As it currently stands, the Students’ Council Constitution considers two types of Plenary resolutions: those which amend the Constitution, Honor Code, and Alcohol Policy and those which do not. The former requires a ⅔ majority to pass while the latter only requires a simple majority. This resolution seeks to raise the ratification threshold to ⅔ for all resolutions.
The resolution argues that the difference between the two types of resolutions is arbitrary and encourages polarization on campus. The resolution notes that students “can and do get creative with extratextual resolutions,” to support, condemn, or take action on campus-wide issues.
This resolution is made possible by the use of electronic voting, also brought about by a resolution put forward by Lasinsky last year, which allows for highly specific vote counts to be collected.
RESOLUTION #4: Increase Student OneCard Access to Dorm Buildings
Presented by Jack Crump ’23 and Isha Mehta ’23
Before the Fall of 2020, all students had access to every dorm most of the day via their OneCard. However, since the onset of COVID-19, this ability has been revoked, allowing students to only enter their own dorm with their ID. Citing the lost sense of community that students at the College felt before the beginning of the pandemic, this resolution seeks to restore access to all dorm spaces for students.
In particular, the resolution puts forward a plan to develop a new policy around dorm access to increase OneCard admission to buildings for Fall 2023. This demand is motivated by memories of “the greater ease with which [students] were able to visit friends and the larger amount of spontaneous social interactions” had before the revocation of access.
The primary critique of this resolution is that allowing access to all dorms will increase the risk of crime on campus. The resolution cites statistics that purport to show that crime has not been reduced by removing OneCard access. In fact, it finds that dating violence actually increased, while most other crime rates remained constant.
In an unusual move, the resolution also dictates that, if passed, the percentage of students who voted in favor of the resolution should be published within 24 hours.
RESOLUTION #5: Expired Posters
Presented By David Dai ’26, Jamie Joselyn Melville ’26, Marco Calia ’26, and Grant DeVries ’26
The final resolution of the day concerns student postering. The authors assert that cluttered posterboards full of long-passed events make it difficult for students to find things to do and de-beautify our otherwise clean campus. To resolve this issue, the authors have put forward a few measures of poster mitigation.
Notably, Haverford already has a Posting policy; the resolution mandates that offices that oversee events should make sure student organizers are aware of this. This resolution would mandate the Officer of Campus Life to enforce said posting policy and contact event organizers to take down expired posters. By this resolution, posters without an obvious take-down date should specify one on the poster itself.
This resolution establishes an award, to be given out by the Officer of Campus Life, designating any community member who takes down more than 50 posters a “Clean Squirrel”.
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