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Students’ Council Minutes 2/21/2021

Absent: Kim Aguero, Vic Brown, Margaret Chen, Isabel Clements


Dex: Any general updates?

Luka: There’s been very little transparency with COVID policy, and I’d like more transparency regarding the choices the college is making. It’s hard to understand why things are happening when they don’t provide information. 

Dex: can you speak a little more about that?

Luka: Regarding this whole level 3 situation–we were told level 3 was happening because of partying, but it was very vague and we had multiple cases last sem and level 3 didn’t happen. There’s no consistency and it feels like there’s something we’re not being told, which worries the students. 

Dex: Evan and I can speak on what we know about this. First, the college has an obligation to not divulge specifics or names of people. At least according to VP Lytle and Pres. Raymond, the tip line was receiving way more submissions than last semester, not just for parties but gatherings and other behavior. Because it’s winter, stuff that would have happened much more safely outdoors was now happening more indoors. It’s tough, the whole situation really sucks. I know everyone who was named in those reports have had conversations with their deans, and they’re trying to consolidate more information for the student body without naming people or making it too specific.

Luka: I understand totally, but do you think they can name dorms, so people can know where things were happening and avoid them?

Dex: I think the decision was not to, because everyone in the dorm knows what happened, and everyone not in the dorm would be spreading rumors about who it was in the dorm who broke the rules. I think that’s the reasoning based on a conversation that happened a while ago, but I’m not sure if that’s still the case. 

Evan: I think the administration is aware that students are being critical of their decision and their lack of transparency, I think they’re willing to consider and change things, they just aren’t sure about how to go about things as it’s obviously the first time navigating this.

JLo: I don’t know if people knew that we were in level 2 automatically when we returned to campus, so it wasn’t a jump from level 1 to level 3, we were already at level 2. I think people were just operating within the rules of the campus quarantine, but they didn’t realize that that was level 2.

Dex: I don’t want to put total onus on the administration, people don’t always read super carefully, but they could also be clearer.

Rasaaq: We’re trying to change the purchasing process for clubs, particularly around Amazon, we’re going to make a doc about why we don’t want people to order from Amazon and make a list of more ethical places people can buy club supplies from.

Katie: Our update is we went through a lot of committee nominations over break, running over break did impact engagement a bit, we had a harder time finding people to run.

Evan: BSL has been working a lot on student events for Black History Month, you can find them on Engage, attend when you can, not just people on the SC but everyone in the wider community!

Evan: Lyvia, do you want to run through your idea and project?

Lyvia: I’ve been working on a project, an app called “Haverfriends,” to facilitate communication during the pandemic. There’s a matching algorithm to meet new friends, the intention is just to make people less lonely during the pandemic, help people reach out. Every 3 days you get matched with a new person that you can talk to. I want to see what your opinion is, we’ve already brought it to the Incubator, and we’re trying to roll it out in synchronicity with Screw Date.

Rasaaq: I think it’s a cool idea.

Evan: Can you think of any ways SC can help?

Lyvia: We’re going to schedule a meeting with Mike Elias, because apparently there was a similar app before, but more focus was on like forums and group chats, but with “Haverfriends” it’s supposed to be more one-to-one matching. If anyone wants to look through the prototype, we always want opinions and to see how accessible it is.

JLo: Ok so, Athletes of Color Coalition, a new coalition, we kind of operate as an independent body because we wanted to be able to critique the system This semester we’re working more on an affinity group model, because last semester, which was a bit of exhausting, our group was doing a lot of programming to prove ourselves, so this semester we want to step back a bit. Athletes maintain kind of an insular space, especially within your team. So often, if there are other athletes of color on different you don’t know them. So we’re trying to get t-shirts. Usually SC doesn’t fund t-shirts, but we’re trying to make a case that we can wear them to games. They’ll say Black Lives Matter, so they’ll be a political statement too. They would be once in four years so everyone would only ever get one, so they wouldn’t be able to collect them just for fun.

Dex: So this was rejected by me (as a Student Life intern), because that’s the policy, but I said we can discuss. The policy is we won’t buy custom apparel unless it’s integral to the activity, like team uniforms. A lot of other groups cite community building but those are already communities, but I think this is a bit different, it’s designed to build a community among people who can’t often meet and are dispersed across the campus. It’s also an act of protest and we fund protest related activity. I don’t have final say on this stuff.

Rasaaq: I think the fact that this is different from precedent will help make the case. It goes beyond community-building, it’s also a statement, and it’s good being able to have something to unify this group and help identify people we wouldn’t otherwise meet. I think it’s very different than just having a sweatshirt with a club name because you want it. Personally I am for funding these t-shirts.

Erin: I’m for funding it, I’m just confused about the 4 years thing, because when it’s the 4th year only the seniors have them and none of the underclassmen will be able to make the statement.

JLo: I didn’t think of that, thanks Erin. We’ll have to figure that out. We have a lot of FGLI students so we want to make them accessible to all.

Dex: Can we get a show of hands for everyone who is for this?

(all present raise their hands.)

Dex: Last thing, town-hall series. Some staff reached out saying they want to run a town hall on divestment, they want to run a wider series on stuff like academic reform, etc. Evan and I have too much on our plate to host them, but we’re offering it to you, it will be very helpful that senior staff will be here hearing from the student body directly. We’d love it if any of you were interested in co-hosting. 

Evan: there will be a meeting on Wednesday about it.

Dex: Thank you all!

JLo: Super quickly, there was an idea to dig deeply into SCs archives and see where SC has contributed harm especially towards FGLI and BIPOC folks to produce institutional memory. If you’re interested in helping groupme me.

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