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Students’ Council Minutes 3/14/21

Absent: Vic, Isabel, Lisette, Rasaaq, JLo

Evan: general updates, anything that’s of concern going on on campus.

Fiona: I was wondering if we have any library workers here?

[nos]

Evan: I can pass some library workers names on to you.

Fiona: great, thank you.

Dex: This is a question. I’ve been getting an impression that there’s a lot of tension on campus in general.

Ella: I think people’s mental health is really bad and morale is really low as we close in on a year of pandemic, and people don’t feel supported by the administration. They haven’t even sent any emails, and they aren’t checking in at all.

Erin: It’s still very difficult to get CAPS appointments.

Evan: We heard from Wendy that they’re fully booked and there’s no waiting list. They should send an email.

Noorie: Do we know what’s happening with paid off-campus therapy? That was a strike demand that got met, but then I haven’t heard anything since. Also part of the tension is the fact that we’re moving towards summer and we don’t know where we’re going in the future.

Dex: Do we think this will be better when the weather is better?

Ella: I think it’s easy now to slip into being isolated without realizing it. So yes, I think the weather being nicer makes it easier to see other people and encourages healthy behaviors. I do think planning outdoor events is a really good idea. They’ve been trying to do that with food trucks which is kinda limited but…

Dex: Usually I don’t like to use money on one-off events, but I think that might help.

Evan: Spreadsheet about strike demands don’t seem to have any updates regarding paying for therapy so we will follow up with Admin this week. 

Ella: You have to apply for funding and there’s only a certain amount you can get for therapy, it’s capped.

Evan: Has anyone been noticing differences in the culture academically? Like have they been more lenient?

Fiona: They told me firmly no policy changes for spring break or grade changes. I emailed around and met with some faculty to give faculty suggestions about how they could simulate a ‘spring break’ within their classes, but I don’t know how much reach that had.

Noorie: Are any students ever allowed in faculty meetings?

Evan: No, but Fiona maybe you could speak to the reps on EPC?

Fiona: Yeah I spoke to them, they were great but they couldn’t tell me anything.

Dex: I was talking to Mike Elias about this feeling of the pressure cooker that is happening, and good news doesn’t solve that but it can be a morale boost. We can feel pretty safe that there’s going to be a large surplus, and we can start playing with it now. Something I’ve been thinking about a lot is renovating spaces that need it. We have a lot of money, and renovations are usually expensive. So the idea is we pick 4 spaces that need renovation, and allot 25,000 dollars for each of those. That money wouldn’t be overseen by us, it would be just given to whoever oversees those spaces to do what they wish with. The money for the Latinx center has already been set aside, so they don’t need that from us. We will be working with them on logistics though, and if money is needed in the future, we’ll be happy to provide.

Erin: I like it, I think there’s a lot of spaces the college won’t touch because they’re only used and liked by students.

Fiona: I like the idea of putting money into spaces for gatherings that aren’t controlled by teams.

Dex: How do we want to go about prioritizing spaces? How about a survey sent to the community? With like, what space and what do you want to do with this.

Evan: I think that’s a better idea than making people write formal proposals. Another idea was using our money to motivate projects that the college has been ignoring. Like the International Student Center or La Casa. We’ve already committed for 25,000 for the FGLI lounge, it was just halted because of Covid, but the money is already set aside and not a part of the surplus.

Dex: Any other ideas besides renovating spaces?

Sam: Something good about spaces is that they’ll be good for years to come, they’re a continuous investment.

Noorie: I think it’s also good to invest in short term fun activities! We’ve had a couple of silent discos, food trucks, live music, food, all those things bring people together. If we had those events it will probably boost morale.

Fiona: Outdoor movies screenings!

Dex: Moving FAB events like Ben and Jerry’s bingo and midnight breakfast sooner rather than the end of the semester. Also Haverfest is going to be bigger because we’re rolling over the budget from last semester and making it compliant with the safety stuff is good.

Sam: To Noorie’s point, right now live music isn’t allowed at all, but I can see safe ways of doing live music. I’m not sure who to talk to on that.

Evan: Here’s the document for plenary planning.

Dex: The idea is everything can be done on google docs–people can comment and write things. There should be a pro column and a con column, people can register comments and they can be approved. We’re going to skip the 75 signatures for unfriendly amendments, because logistically that seems like a mess. So we’re saying that everything that’s rejected is an unfriendly amendment. Also JSAAP and Honor Council look slightly different.

Sam: One idea that someone suggested is allowing the writers of a resolution to give a one or two minute video explaining it. It could be more accessible than just more text.

Evan: I think that’s a good idea. Originally the idea was that we’d have mini question and answer sessions throughout the week, but that’s a good idea to supplement.

Dex: At the top of each resolution in the “why we want this” description they can link a video clip. I’m reluctant to make it required because it’s labor intensive, but it can definitely be optional.

Fiona: Voting times, making sure the voting times are accessible to people in different time zones is important. 

Evan: I think the idea would be that there are two big votes to start and end plenary, and those will be open like 48 hours. There’s definitely a lot of finetuning to do (like a date!), so feel free to keep commenting on the doc. We’ll do some job distribution leading up to plenary, but I’m assuming it will be much less labor than plenary usually is.

[The basic plenary plan is below, feel free to tell us if there’s any glaring issues or if you have any thoughts!]

Plenary Plan:

  1. Resolution Introduction 
    1. Emailed to the community by Co-Presidents. Each resolution will have their own Google Doc with explanation written by authors at the top of the document so they can describe why the resolution is needed. 
  2. Question and Answer
    1. Done using the comment section of the Google Doc. These comments will say “Q&A” before their question so they can be easily found and authors can easily reply in the same comment. Also done in a virtual session the authors co-host with StuCo. 
  3. Pro-Con Presentations
    1. Each resolution will have a separate document, also linked in the email and plenary packet, where Pro/Con comments can be typed. Typing into the document will close after a certain period of time. Also done in a virtual session the authors co-host with StuCo. 
  4. Response to Pro-Con Debate
    1. Authors will respond to everything they would like to in the Pro/Con document using the comment function. All responses will be registered in a specific timing window. Also done in a virtual session the authors co-host with StuCo.
  5. Friendly Amendment Process
    1. This will also be registered in the comments of the resolution. People will write “Amendment” and then explain their amendment in the comment. It can either be accepted or rejected by the authors. 
  6. Call for Unfriendly Amendments (75 Signatures Needed) 
    1. I. Presentation of Unfriendly Amendments 
      1. We will compile rejected amendments into a document as they are being rejected (to limit the number of emails we need to send). This skips the requisite 75 signatures aspect, which (to me) feels overly cumbersome given that people are not all in one room and would severely curb the ability to propose unfriendly amendments. 
    2. Ii. Question and Answer 
      1. In the unfriendly amendment document, people can comment questions similarly to during the resolutions process. 
    3. iii. Pro-Con Debate 
      1. Pro/Con Debate will occur in the comments of the unfriendly amendment document. The co-presidents will add two comments to the doc asking people to reply with their Pro or Con thoughts. (The reason this is different from the resolution pro/con debate is because there is no need for the authors of either the amendment or the resolution to respond to these comments)
    4. iv. Vote on Unfriendly Amendment (Requires 1/2 Majority to Pass)
  7. Moment of Silence
  8. Vote on Final Resolution (Requires 2/3 Majority to open up the process for voting on HC) (+ ratification of Honor Code and JSAAPP happening later)

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