Plenary featured a new layout inside the GIAC.
Photo courtesy of Kate Silber ’20.
On October 8th, the Fall Plenary session passed two resolutions after much deliberation. Students’ Council provided packets in digital format this year, so the initial resolutions can be found in the emails that were sent out, but there were some amendments and challenges that occurred during the session itself. Quorum was delayed a full hour and a half due to the #AllStrugglesOneCode protest staged outside of Gooding Arena.
The first resolution passed was the Financial Aid Policy, which called for a reversal of Haverford College’s need-blind financial aid stance. This resolution was presented by Chris Pence ‘18, Joseph Stein ‘21, Franny Condon ‘21, Yifan Feng ‘21, Jason Ngo ‘21, Jake Ogata Bernstein ‘19, and Josh Hilscher ‘18. The resolution places the entire community in support of a need-blind financial aid policy; a policy that the college retracted due to financial issues over the past few years. There hasn’t been any official administration’s response to this resolution, but the community waits for a tentative one.
The second resolution passed was the proposed “Collection: Community Day of Engagement”. The resolution was presented by Leah Budson ’19, Anna Saum ’18, and Lillian Alonzo ’20. Collection is intended to be a day for the community each spring semester to explore facets of identity in the community and their relation to the Honor Code. This day will occur during the week, and classes will be cancelled to ensure full participation. The day will be separated up into different part, starting with the morning, which will consist of several sessions among community members, faculty, alumni, and multicultural leaders on campus. They will come together to lead these discussions until lunch, after which spring plenary will commence. Quorum will be raised to 75% of the student body due to cancelled class and increased availability amongst the body. Spring plenary will last until four, and then the community will break for dinner and sports practice. The goal of breaking for sports was hotly debated, which resulted in a proposed amendment to cancel practice, but it failed to get enough signatures. The resolution passed with the break for practice still intact. After six, the community will come back together for celebration, which will be decided by various clubs each year. Students can expect to see the first implementation of this resolution in the following semester.
The Alcohol Policy was reaffirmed without any changes, so above is a round-up of the passed resolutions in their final iterations. Overall, the resolutions looked to improve Haverford as a community and are bigger than year’s past.
As of November 8th, Kim Benston has declined both resolutions, citing, among many reasons, a lack of depth and specificity in the Community Day of Engagement, and a lack of feasibility in the Financial Aid Policy resolution. His email was sent out on the 8th detailing his reasons for rejecting the proposals, following an email requesting students petition their fellow congressmen to block a tax bill that would greatly hinder the College’s ability to give financial aid.