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4/28/19 Students’ Council Meeting Minutes

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.

Sunday 28 April 2019

7:00 PM – 8:10 PM

Minutes by Katie Leiferman, Mariana Ramirez

Meeting Minutes

Table of Contents

  1. Attendance
  2. WeSpeak Debrief
  3. Officer Updates
  4. Absent Officer Updates


  1. Attendance
    1. Council Members
      1. Co-Presidents: Andrew Eaddy & Maurice Rippel
      2. Co-Vice Presidents: Sydney Churchill & Sean Hashemi
      3. Co-Treasurers: Alejandro Wences & Danny Mayo
      4. Co-Secretaries: Katie Leiferman & Mariana Ramirez
      5. Officer of Multiculturalism: Jhoneidy Javier
      6. Officer of Academics: Ethan Lyne
      7. Officer of Arts: Rachel Kline
      8. Officer of Athletics: Claire Cai
      9. Officer of Campus Life: Tina Le
      10. Representative of International Students: Jason Ngo
      11. First Year Rep: Jacob Gaba
      12. Sophomore Rep: Devi Namboodiri
      13. Junior Rep: Katie Guild
      14. Senior Rep: Julia Blake
    2. Absent: Marked with Red
    3. Late: Marked with Orange
  2. WeSpeak Debrief:
    1. Andrew: Does anyone have any relevant thoughts or think things should be voiced to the group?
    2. Jason: I think it was not comfortable, there were no chairs. People were complaining about their backs. It was difficult to move around as well. I also did not know about the anonymous form until after because I didn’t check Facebook. Regarding content, I learned a lot about people’s lived experiences. It was a great experience.
    3. Mariana: They mentioned the form at the beginning.
    4. Devi: It was concerning to hear a lot of things non-student organizations have done, there was a lot of mention of professors who had been called out for problematic behavior. That’s concerning to me and it needs to be addressed–do they sign the social and academic code? They aren’t held to the same standard. If the student body is to change, the professors need to set the tone.
    5. Ethan: From my limited perspective as officer of academics, it is difficult to reach faculty and encourage them to do anything beyond their duties as a professor. Those are more difficult conversations that require administration channels that are harder to navigate.
    6. Devi: I have a question: was Dean Theresa Tensuan the only dean present? I think this space is unique because students speak honestly and courageously. Maybe we should ask deans to come. I understand they probably have their own lives, but it’s nice to see a dean there.
    7. Ethan: I think having deans there is the antithesis of the event and might make students uncomfortable sharing their experiences.
    8. Devi: I agree it could be counterproductive, but students also raised the concern that the school doesn’t support students of color. Having deans there might allow them to hear their experiences. I feel like there is repetition from year to year so clearly we need change.  
    9. Katie: I was thinking about the topic of how whitewashed mental health is on campus. Frannie and Brittney have been working on the wellness center and making it a space for marginalized students and could benefit from money from the surplus–this is an actionable step.
    10. Maurice: Other closing thoughts? I think that is a good point, the last two in particular. Something in particular this group has done a good job of, I would keep going back to the question of why we do what we do? Seeped in tradition at Haverford is common, but you get the same outcome if you do the same  thing. So thinking about–would doing WeSpeak at a different point of the year? So folks have time to work with those lessons and take action. Another option, SC working with BSL in the future over academics about issues that arise in those spaces.
  3. Officer Updates
    1. Katie/Mariana:
      1. Last Thursday we heard back from Don in facilities: “the door closures for the Dining Center have arrived and will be installed today.  The Push-Pull signs are also being installed at VCAM”
      2. We also met with Franklyn last Tuesday to discuss the bathrooms in Founders. As many of you may have noticed, the bathroom signs have been continuously put up and removed for some time now. Franklyn started the meeting by highlighting the President’s Office comprehensive commitment to making all the bathrooms in academic buildings and capital projects all-gender. The most recent completion is in the GIAC, where there is now an all-gender bathroom in between the locker rooms in front of the vending machines. However, this task is difficult because they’re working with buildings that are hundreds of years old. In the case of Founders, Haverford as an employer has to guarantee certain protections to its staff and faculty members. There is push back against making the bathrooms single-gendered from the faculty perspective. For example,  some cisgender women are uncomfortable using the bathroom in the same space as their older male co-workers and bosses, etc., There are also power dynamics at play which staff/faculty have raised concerned about such as situations in which older male staff being in a bathroom with a female student could be perceived as inappropriate. They are supportive of making them all-gendered for students, but creating signs that accommodate the different preferences is too confusing– it doesn’t make sense to say “all-gender for students but single-gender for staff/faculty”. We asked about the seemingly unfair prioritization of faculty over students (who use Founders as a study hub given that we do not have a library), and Franklyn was empathetic to this concern. The President’s office next goal is to build an all-gender bathroom in the lobby of Founders. If students have any questions about the signs or wish to talk more about this issue, they should contact Franklyn. The bathroom project should be done by this fall, so the hope is that this problem only continues for the next 3 weeks.
      3. We have received responses from many students about possible ways to use the surplus:
        1. 1k to finish furnishing the student health and wellness space
        2. Paying Customs team members
        3. More printers on campus (VCAM)
        4. Grants for students to work on innovation projects
        5. Save it for student activities next year
        6. Fix the DC loud doors
        7. A contra dance event
        8. Scavenger hunt with cool prizes
        9. Hammocks
        10. Giving more money to the Women*s Center
    2. Katie G: Are any of those things we can allocate other funds to? For example, facilities already took care of the doors.
    3. Maurice: Franklyn was president when printers in the campus came about through SC.
    4. Sean: I like the innovations’ project idea.
    5. Andrew: I talked to someone on campus who advocated for that, the idea is that for student entrepreneurs being able to submit grant requests for projects past what HIP will allow.
    6. Mariana: Any idea on timeline for making decision on voting for what to use the surplus?
    7. Andrew: I think the surplus will be finalized July 1, so that is up to y’all.
    8. Maurice: I think right now it is confusing because there is no language that was crafted to say who gets final say on the surplus, so the treasurers historically from my understanding have been those who get the final say when council consents. A lot of those are ideas worth pursuing. Something to think about if you go forward with the innovation fund, you need stipulations. It could be valuable, similar to officer of campus life and facilities fund, but it would have to be in line with “student activities’ fee” and what it is meant to accomplish. It is ultimately everyone’s money we are giving away.
    9. Katie G: I think the wellness space and the women*s center could both be important to support.  They do a lot of work for students of marginalized identities–Brittney and Frannie are doing an amazing job leading the wellness center space, as they are crafting it especially for people of marginalized identities. I think both center’s work is really important.
    10. Maurice: As things became necessary on Honor Council, something the constitution does not address is the crafting of policy that you can tell future councils to go by. When Multicultural liaison position was passed, SC passed a series of policies that the position should abide by. It was for that governing body’s use to do its work better. We never came to a point this year where we had to do that, but it is something to think about for next year’s SC. Every time SC consented to policy there should be some historical memory. This would be an area that might need some modified language/policy.
  4. Absent Officer Updates
    1. Claire Cai: I emailed captains of varsity teams with information about WeSpeak, encouraging them to attend. I also asked them to pass along the information to their teammates in hopes of increasing participation in this very important event.

*These minutes reflect summaries written by Katie Leiferman ‘20 and Mariana Ramirez ‘20. Questions/comments? Email or submit to the Ford Form.

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