April 28th 2013, Minutes

SGA Meeting 04/28/13 

Natalie calls the meeting to order at 7:10 PM.

Absent: Carolyn Jacoby, Hannah Lehman, Kayla Bondi, Sarah Bristow, Sara Kim, Kersti Francis, Maddy Court, Elizabeth Vandenberg, Anna Kalinsky, Alicia Makepeace, Tina Chang, Neha Kamran, Vanessa Sanchez, Morgan Turner, Hannah Smith, Cesiah Novoa-Ordonez


Natalie Kato ’14: This is the last SGA meeting of the semester!

Michelle Lee ’15: We had special elections run for the position of Res-Co Head. The two people who ran were Anna Kalinsky and Emma Rosenblum, as co-heads. We had a very short candidate’s forum. Voting starts Monday April 29 th at 9 AM and ends onTuesday April 30 th at 7 PM.

Emily Tong ’13: I’m one of the co-presidents for Pembroke East. Some of you guys saw your Facebook event – we’re having a sale on Friday May 3 rd . If you’re interested in selling, talk to me or Vicki.

Lee McClenon ’14: I wanted to give you an update about the divestment campaign. I brought a banner, if you want to sign it. We met with the investments committee from the board of trustees. We gave a presentation about divestment and about how it fits with Bryn Mawr’s mission. We asked the committee if they would be prepared to make a recommendation. They would have to make a recommendation who would then present to the full board. They were not prepared to do that and need to have more meetings. Our group will send out alumna letters and continue to engage with students. The board has to continue to move as well. Show your support and sign your banner. Email me with questions at lmcclenon@brynmawr.edu.

Makala Forster ’15: Lizard keychains! We originally had given an announcement to the freshman on their lizards, but not many people saw the announcements. There was an email that will be sent within the next couple of days with more specific details. We have ordered them and praying to Athena that the order comes through. Light blue is hard to find – who knew?

Amani Chowdhury ’14: I’m making a welcome video for the class of 2017. Send a picture of yourself holding a sign with your name and class year and something like “Welcome 2017!” to me at achowdhury@bmc.
Also, TGH is an alternate study space on from Monday May 6 th until Thursday May 16th, but not on Tuesday May 7 th because of the athletic banquet, from 10 AM to midnight. You can eat there! Don’t eat in the libraries!

Syona Arora ’15: I forgot to ask at last week’s meeting, so I sent out a survey to pick the name of the SGA listserv. The option that received the most votes was “SGA”.

Natalie Kato ’14: May 3 rd is the last day to submit receipts for reimbursement. Rebecca asked me to make an announcement. The results of appointments will be out by the end of this week via email. People in appointed and elected positions, look for a special something in your mailboxes during finals week! Also, we are going to be having pizza for the community the first Thursday (May 9 th ) of finals week in the Campus Center. The time will be distributed via email to the assembly and posted on Facebook and Twitter.


Your 2 Cents: 

Sarah Lovegren ’14: We wanted to bring up a conversation that I’ve been noticing. It’s hard to get people to come to plenary, right? Especially with the freshman class – they don’t know the importance of SGA and plenary when coming to Bryn Mawr. I’ve been thinking about what we could do to change this. We could start a discussion about a supplemental essay in the application process: what does SGA mean to you, what does it mean for you to attend a school that has self-governance? It should be a form for incoming frosh to know that it is a huge part of our community.

Vrinda Varia ’13: I love SGA, but we should highlight self-governance instead of the association. Self-governance drafts our expectations of the community.

Saba Qadir ’13: I think it’s a good idea to get the freshmen even more involved. Logistically, it would be a challenge to convince the administration. I was thinking, maybe during Customs Week, there’s a poem that you write with your Customsgroup through the CDAs. Maybe with that, that could be a good Customs Week activity.

Sarah Lovegren ’14: I knew that SGA was a part of Bryn Mawr before coming, but if I didn’t know about it and I found out that plenary was mandatory and there was a huge part of the community that I didn’t know about…

Saba Qadir ’13: The people who come to Bryn Mawr should be the type of people who are involved in their community. It’s the idea that should come across in the application.

Nora Scheland ’15: I’m not sure how easy it would be to make it a part of the application. Maybe combine it with the honor code during Customsweek? Doing a workshop or activity with the honor code.

Vrinda Varia ’13: I think Customsweek is a little overprogrammed. I don’t know if adding messaging through that would get in someone’s head. I think that if we’re thinking about it for the applications process, talk to Jody Cohen who is a liaison for the faculty about doing gateway stuff, she would be a good person to talk to about getting faculty on the floor.

Emma Rosenblum ’14: I mentioned to Peaches that this was something that we were thinking about.

Nora Scheland ’15: We’re going to talk about this during the plenary presentation. Is this something that you could see us talking about at the beginning of the year? We are going to try to have some sort of forum to make plenary more accessible and target it at the freshman.

Sarah Lovegren ’14: To a degree, yes. It would be helpful to have an info session about the deeper meaning and symbolism of plenary and why it is important. I want the symbolism to come up in applications.

Saba Qadir ’13: When I was a freshman, my HA was honor board head. Having the direct liaison encouraged me to get involved. We have a lot of DLT members who go to SGA meetings and are involved. That should be encouraged on a daily basis of talking about SGA.

Irene Shin ’13: Haverford actually makes a supplemental essay about the honor code. You can talk to them about how it affects the application process.

Sarah Lovegren ’13: They at least have a space to think about it.
Do we think that this is worth furthering the discussion?

Natalie Kato ’14: Straw poll!

Diana Tive ’15: Do you want to further the discussion in SGA or just with you two and the administration?

Sarah Lovegren ‘14: We’ve been talking about it over the past few weeks. We want to continue and would love people to join the conversation before anything happens. Want to know the worth of opening the conversation.

Diana Tive ’15: In SGA or in general?

Sarah Lovegren ‘14: Over the summer.

Emma Rosenblum ‘14: We want to keep you thinking about it.

Natalie Zamora ‘14: Would you want to work with plenary committee?

Sarah Lovegren ‘14: Eventually.

Natalie Kato ’14: Straw poll. Is it worth furthering the discussion about implementing more of the spirit of self-governance in the application process?

In favor: majority
Opposed: none
Abstain: some


Feel free to email Sarah or Emma. We will hear more about this next year at SGA!


Film Series Report: 

Natalie Kato ’14: Contingent with goal to continue

Kimberly DeRosa ’13: I’ve been head for the past 2 years. It’s an appointed position. I had a lovely committee: Samone Rowe, Stephanie Bredbenner, Quinn Conlan, and Nora Scheland. I just want to give a general idea of what we do, the cost, how many people come… I’m also going to talk about clubs on campus that cannot just take a film out of the library and show it to the public, or why Mary Beth might email you saying that you can’t do that!

Student clubs and individual students are not permitted to show a film which does not carry a Public Performance license on campus in a public forum. Showing a film in public without a Public Performance license is a violation of the Copyright Revision Act of 1976.
Films rented from local video stores, mail order services or purchased in a retail outlet do not carry Public
Performance licenses. These films are licensed for personal use only. Students cannot show films rented or purchased from any retail outlet in a public forum on campus. There are few authorized licensors that work with groups, such as colleges, to provide the appropriate license for public screenings. Swank Motion Pictures is the authorized public performance licensor for a majority of Hollywood studios and, because of their extensive catalog, is the company the College contracts with each year. The other major authorized public performance licensor is Criterion Pictures USA. Criterion does not have the extensive catalog of Swank.
The College contract for this past year was for 70 films: 50 regular and 20 pre-release. A regular film is one that has been out of the theater for three months and may be available on DVD for home use. These films are $125 each. A pre-release film is one that is not yet available on DVD and may also still be showing in theaters but has been in theaters for at least three months. These films are $450each. Sometimes there are films that the Studio determines is of high value and decides to charge a higher price for, usually around $1,000. We do not know this in advance. There were four of these films this year: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit, and Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2. There are more pre- release films in the fall because of the summer movie season. The contract cost is about$20,000 a year.

The fee associated with a public performance license is for one licensed showing on a specific day. Holding and paying for this license does not mean we own the film. The license means we can show the film once in public. It is important to note that within the last 11 years the College has been contacted by legal representation of various film studios for violations of the Copyright Revision Act. They employ people who look for violators of the Act. This is why our contract with Swank Motion Pictures is so important.
The Swank contract is for both the Bryn Mawr Film Series and student clubs. The Film Series uses about 50 of the contracted films and the remaining 20 are used by student clubs. Sometimes the Film Series partners with an academic department or club for joint screenings. Because the films are used by the Film Series, which is a committee of SGA, and student clubs, SGA pays for the contract. The invoices are paid for by Student Activities and a journal entry is done with SGA to reimburse Student Activities for the payment. Student Activities pays the invoices because they need to be paid ASAP and if they are not Swank may stop sending the films. The SGA treasurer receives a report listing all charges paid for by Student Activities at the end of each month.
It is important to note that only films available through Swank Motion Pictures are available for student clubs. If a club wants a film that is not carried by Swank they must be budgeted by SFC in order to pay for the film. An example of this is a club that has screened The Rocky Horror Picture Show each year. Rocky Horror is only available through Criterion Pictures USA and therefore not part of the Swank contract. They must budget through SFC to be able to show Rocky Horror. The Bryn Mawr College library has a selection of documentary films with public performance license included. If the College holds the public performance license the record will state: “BRYN MAWR: Library copy purchased with public performance rights.” Remember, this is for documentary films only. The library does not have any feature films with public performance rights.
Director of Student Activities Mary Beth Horvath is the College Swank contract and works with the Film Series and any club that wishes to show a film on campus. Only MB can request the films through Swank. So, MB does the contract over the summer and lets the Film Series head know the deadline for submitting films for each semester. Then, over the summer, the Film Series selects the films to be shown as part of “The Bryn Mawr Film Series.” The Film Series head tells MB their selections, MB tells Swank, and then Swank lets us know if they are available or not. The availability of the films is determined by the Studio. A film may be available today but next week the Studio may decide to no longer make it available (re- release it to theaters, etc) and pull it from our schedule. We have no control over this and a Studio can pull a film at any time.

Once the schedule is set, MB makes the Film Series posters and table tents. She also forwards the Activities messages about the films. The Film Series puts them up on their Facebook page and schedules who will show what film.
This year Swank changed their regulations regarding the showing of pre-release films. They require a College employee be responsible for the film when it is not being screened. They also require a passcode for certain films. In addition, if a film is not returned the Monday after the screening, they will not ship the next film. In order to comply with these new regulations the Activities Assistants, who work for Student Activities, pick up the film from Student Activities and deliver the pre-release films to the Film Series member at the screening. They then make sure MB gets them by Monday morning to send the films back. We are required to do this if we want to continue to have a film series.
The Outdoor Movie is not part of the Film Series and is contracted through Student Activities. Life of Pi, shown last night, was only available through Criterion Pictures USA and was paid for by Student Activities. The Stress Buster films are selected by the Film Series Committee but shown by Student Activities.

Swank Contract Details 50 regular titles 20 pre-release titles

Shipping varies between $5$21. Each individual film is $21 to ship; however, films may be bulk shipped (we have no control over what is or is not bulk shipped). Bulk shipped films are $21 for the first film and $5 for each additional film in the box.
This year we used 47 regular titles, 17 pre-release titles, and 4 premium titles for a total of 68 films. If the two remaining films are not used by the end of the semester they may be used over the summer.
The posters that appear in the Campus Center on Thursdays advertising the films (many of these posters are stolen after the screening) cost $5 each.

Attendance averages 20-40 people per screening, with some films getting over 100 attendees.

Natalie Kato ’14: Can you speak to how many people have been in attendance?

Kimberly DeRosa ‘13: When I started, 3 years ago, we would sometimes get maybe 3 people. When I got the position I wanted to get more people. We used to show more independent films. Nobody goes to those… the more popular the film, the more people come. We pick the hottest films.

Natalie Kato ’14: Does anybody have any questions?

Karina Siu ‘14: What if there is a student group who wants to use a copy owned by someone?

Kimberly DeRosa ‘13: You cannot show it. It needs the public performance license.

Sarah Lovegren ’14: What is a ‘large audience’?

Kimberly DeRosa ’13: It cannot be an advertised event. If you watch a movie in your dorm, with your friends, and it’s a study break, that’s fine. If you are club that wants to advertise it to the public, that is not allowed.

Irene Shin ‘13: Advertising is open to the public. A closed club that is only showing it to the club or a small group of people does not need to get a license.

Natalie Kato ‘14: Any more questions? Thank you so much!


Plenary Committee Presentation: 

Natalie Kato ‘14: The plenary committee is going to be presenting on the recent survey that they sent out. It was a follow-up survey with regard to changes that they will be implementing for plenary.

Nora Scheland ‘15: We sent out a second plenary survey about a month ago and got 116 responses. It’s less than we got for the first survey. We sent out the survey to get information about concrete changes. We’ve had a problem with getting people to plenary. We are going to keep making changes until we don’t have the problem. We asked a series of question that should give us data to work with.
Food situation: everyone wants food! 90-something% wants food at plenary. SGA can’t provide free food – we don’t have money for that. We are looking into a couple different options. Also, you can’t eat in Goodhart and we don’t want to lose the space. You can eat in the Hepburn theater and the atrium. Where we can put food changes where the study space will be and where the entrance is going to be. If we have food in the glass box, there are issues about exits and entrances. We still have to maintain a correct count. We have thought about asking clubs to sell food – like the culinary club, or clubs that can sell pizza. It would have to be food that cannot easily be brought into Goodhart.

Natalie Zamora ’14: Study spaces. An option for study spaces is the Hepburn theater or the atrium. The balcony is still too loud to be a study space – that was the main complaint, which is why we brought up other spaces.

Nora Scheland ‘15: It is guaranteed that there will be a quiet study space!
After the first survey, most people wanted us to keep the starting time at 12:30. The second survey actually had nobody wanting it to start at 12:30. This one wanted us to start at 11 or 12. Some comments asked why we don’t start in the evening. From the first survey, nobody wanted to start it in the evening, so it was not even an option on the second survey. We are going to try to start plenary at 12 PM, with the hopes that if people eat brunch at 11, they will come straight to plenary with no lag time.

Natalie Zamora ‘14: Incentives: G away traditions prizes for the first 50 people to come to plenary! Not for assembly members or volunteers. Prizes are TBD because we will still do traditions raffles.
Forum: Get to know plenary, get to know SGA. We could go over Robert’s Rules of Order, have some trivia, go over the basics of plenary. It would be fun but a place for people to ask questions about plenary. It was pretty split, with 52% yes, 48% no. We decided that we would do it. If it’s bad, we won’t do it again! We plan to target freshmen and customs groups.

Nora Scheland ‘15: To recap: study space, food, prizes, a forum. We’re going to keep making changes until it works.

Diana Tive ‘15: Didn’t they have something like a forum at the beginning of the year?

Irene Shin ‘13: For the past 2 years, there was SGA 101. That was an overview about SGA in general.

Lindsey Crowe ’14: For a quiet study space – have you looked into the live stream to TGH? We did that for the Postsecret blog. There were not enough tickets or seats, so it was projected into TGH.

Natalie Kato ‘14: The problem with that would be keeping track of quorum. We would need a lot more people to monitor the exits in TGH and Goodhart.

Nora Scheland ‘15: We are planning to have the space in the Hepburn theater, and are working food out around that.

Chloe Baumann ’14: Have you looked into using the common room in Goodhart and seeing if that’s large enough?

Nora Scheland ‘15: We cannot use it because we cannot control every entrance and exit. If we use the theater we already need more people. We don’t want people going downstairs because we can’t control the quorum. We’re also going to open up the theater, so that there is more space.

Chloe Baumann ‘14: When is the forum going to happen during plenary?

Nora Scheland ‘15: It’s not going to be during plenary!

Natalie Zamora ‘14: It’s more of an additional promotion.

Irene Shin ‘13: You mentioned not wanting to lose the space of Goodhart. Have you considered TGH?

Nora Scheland ‘15: No. It’s not big enough.

Natalie Kato ‘14: Does anybody have any questions or comments?

Emma Rosenblum ’14: Have you thought to minimize things from occurring during plenary, such as contacting the administration and teams and clubs?

Vrinda Varia ‘13: The administration is notified over the summer for both fall and spring plenarys about work schedules and athletics. I sent one over the summer, when I got back on campus, and then before plenary.

Honor Board Cases Report:

Amani Chowdhury ‘14: This academic year, we had 11 academic hearings. 8 were about written assignments that involved the use of unapproved materials or inappropriate copying/citing, among other reasons, and the other 3 involved exams and quizzes that involved inappropriate use of resources during exams. The resolutions ranged. Some of them were failing the course, appointments with the writing center or academic support advisor, zeros on the assignments, capped grades, re-doing an assignment, apology letters, and essays concerning the importance of academic integrity, honesty and the values of the Code to be delivered to the Dean of the Undergraduate College. Student involved usually had a mix of those resolutions. Any questions?

Natalie Kato ’14: This is contingent with the honor board synopsis from the plenary resolution. They will be presented at the end of both fall and spring semesters. The synopsis includes a basic overview of what happened over the year in academic and social honor board cases. Does anybody have any questions for Amani?

Irene Shin ’13: You guys really have no questions about honor board hearings or the honor code?

Lindsey Crowe ’14: What are we allowed to ask? Will we get answers?

Irene Shin ‘13: It’s better to ask and be shut down.

Aine Sheehan ’15: What kind of questions do you ask in regards to figuring out what punishment to give or what’s the deal with the student?

Amani Chowdhury ‘14: No specifics, but we pride ourselves in having our cases dealt with one-on-one, case-by-case. If someone has an infraction, you cannot simply prescribe a resolution. Background and context is always different.

Aine Sheehan ‘15: How do you decide how serious the punishment should be?

Amani Chowdhury ‘14: Based on context.

Irene Shin ‘13: The question involved is … what was going on? What led to it? It’s about getting clarifying questions, getting information about the situation. Why is it being brought to the board? How were you feeling at the time?

Lucy Gleysteen ’14: I’m wondering what members of the BMC community are exempt from the honor code. Deans? Why are they exempt?

Amani Chowdhury ‘14: Everyone in the undergraduate community, so not grad students. In terms of a Dean’s panel versus hearings… the dean of the undergraduate students will decide. If it is an infraction regarding national or state law, then students shouldn’t decide; it should involve a higher power. That is designated to Dean’s panels and administration.

Irene Shin ‘13: The idea of self-governance – hopefully you have that peer-to-peer and within administration. If you have a problem with administration, go to the dean of undergraduate students. Deans and faculty can be involved in confrontation. You can talk to your faculty one-on-one or go to your dean or the dean of the undergrad.

Michelle Lee ’15: Do you think that people are bringing up more infractions? Are there students or faculty members who actually apply the honor code to everyday life?

Amani Chowdhury ‘14: I have been on the board for two years. I definitely think that confrontation is coming up a lot more. Students are becoming more comfortable. Efforts with DLT, through workshops are being made… the faculty are talking and including honor code in the classrooms. If there is suspicion around something, they talk to a student. Haverford requires that students confront someone. Bryn Mawr highly encourages it.

Chloe Baumann ‘14: Are there courses or professors that recommend more than others? Are there faculty members who bring students consistently before the board?

Amani Chowdhury ‘14: There is a wide variety.

Michelle Lee ‘15: I know Haverford’s honor board is more punitive. Would you ever ask the BMC community if we wanted our honor board to be more punitive or do you think it’s okay now?

Amani Chowdhury ‘14: It goes hand in hand with the ideals of the constitution and self-governance. The focus is restoration and reconciliation. It handles things in a way that is more sensitive to students.

Irene Shin ‘13: It’s important do note that a decision is made by the end of the hearing. There is restoration, but people do fail classes or are asked to leave.

Stephanie Clarke ’14: Of those 11 cases, have they mostly been professors or students turning in?

Amani Chowdhury ‘14: Mostly professors.

Amanda Beardall ’14: How do students report?

Amani Chowdhury ‘14: I am working on making the code easier to understand. A student may confront another student and then must report it to head of honor board. They may write a statement. The confronting student can choose to not be at the hearing. The idea is for the confronted to not feel attacked.

Amanda Beardall ‘14: How do you find evidence to bring someone forward if you just heard of something happening?

Amani Chowdhury ‘14: confrontation. Talk to that student. If an infraction has not occurred, do not bring it to the honor board. If you think it has, bring it to me.

Irene Shin ‘13: it’s hard for Amani to answer that because that rarely happens. People are timid to confront something that they haven’t seen directly… that’s something up for discussion.

Natalie Kato ‘14: Are there any other questions about honor board or the synopsis? If you think of anything, feel free to talk to Amani after.

Board of Trustees Report:

Natalie Kato ‘14: The Board of Trustees representatives will talk about the board being here this weekend.

Yichun Fu ’13: The board came this weekend. Natalie and I went to the board meeting. First, there is a young alumni trustee position. It is an ongoing project. We already have some details. They want a young alum – no more than seven years from graduation. Evaluate the criteria based on some aspects: 1) leadership roles and experience when students and 2) did they continue to contribute to the community? The position 3 years staggered, not renewable. They will be assigned to a mentor who will help them integrate.

Alexis de la Rosa ’15: Renovation updates: $7 million for Haffner, with the possibility of a new dorm. Nothing has been decided for sure. The housing situation for next year: apartments in Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Philly. Faculty salary will experience an 8% raise. Pen-y-Bryn will be sold because of low occupancy.

Yichun Fu ‘13: Faculty members leave when their partners leave. They also talked about a test-optional policy. There are underrepresented students who have good performances in high school but not good test scores. With the test-optional policy, they can still have a Bryn Mawr education, and it will bring diversity to campus.

Emily Tong ’13: What is Pen-y-Bryn?

Yichun Fu ‘13: It was a faculty house. It sold. We have one faculty housing. We have a plan for faculty members.

Nora Scheland ‘15: Why Pen-y-Bryn why isn’t it being used to solve the housing problem?

Yichun Fu ‘13: That hall also needed to be renovated and may have cost too much instead of just renting apartments. I think you can contact Jerry or other people in Grounds.

Natalie Kato ‘14: They also talked about a lesser demand for Pen-y-Bryn to reside there. It’s next to Mermont Plaza.

Karina Siu ‘14: The township is very strict about where undergrads can live. There can be no undergrads living sponsored by college in town.

Natalie Kato ‘14: This is from Amy, who went to the finance meeting. There are different ways to finance Haffner. One option is including 20 more incoming students that pay full tuition. Another way is to get money through debt services. Batten House is going to have to go through renovation but nothing has been decided. That would cost about $1 million. They also wanted to reiterate Dorothy Vernon room and Haffner dining hall not renovated.

Kendra Kelly ’13: From the ResCo meeting: Batten is heading the same way as Perry. They haven’t made a decision but it probably won’t happen next year. If they don’t do it for Perry, they won’t for Batten. That decision will tie into Haffner being Perry/Batten or renovations of Haffner.

Natalie: Any other questions?

Exit Surveys/Feedback:

Natalie Kato ‘14: If you didn’t do an exit survey already, raise your hand! You can do it now with your partner. If you have already done the exit survey and want to participate in giving feedback about improvements or future agenda items, raise your hands! You can put the exit survey in box C-1735 or type it into the google doc.

Thank you for being an awesome assembly! Be proud of what you have done!

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