SGA Meeting 10/27/13
Natalie calls the meeting to order at 7:10 PM.
Absent: Carolyn Jacoby, Pamudu Tennakoon, Anna Sargeant, Karina Siu, Lindsey Crowe, Angela Blatz, Mariam Khoudari, Marian Slocum, Ivy Drexel, Sarah Gilmour, Sofia Oleas, Natalie Zamora, Alexandra Krusinski, Jenna Myers, Jennifer Mendez Alba, Namita Dwarnakanth, Emily Garcia, Danyelle Phillips
Amani Chowdhury ‘14: I’d like to tell you all that we’re going to have an honor code alum panel on November 12th in the Campus Center Main Lounge from 7 to 8 PM. The alum association, dean’s office, and honor board have gotten in touch with people, previous members of the honor board or members of SGA who would like to talk to current students about the role of the honor code during that time at Bryn Mawr as well as in their lives after Bryn Mawr.
Elizabeth Vandenberg ’16: I’m in the process of revising the elections by-laws. If you have feelings, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniele Arad-Neeman ’14 and Erin Saladin ‘16: We went to the faculty meeting. We wanted to let you know that we’re going. There is not too much to report back. They are having special meetings. One of them is to address the honor code. They asked that students not attend but will have a conversation before finals.
Natalie Kato ’14: November 5th is Pets on the Green! From 3 PM to 5 PM. It’s a Tuesday.
Also something to look out for is an event with LILAC being hosted by Katie Krimmel. Richaed Shell wrote Springboard: Launching Your Personal Success. It’s on November 12 from 7 to 8 PM. Richard Shell is coming to discuss. Anyone who registers online will receive a copy of the book. The hope is that the students will read it and there will be sessions hosted by Katie.
This is an EBoard announcement: We’re starting a campaign. The slogan is: I am empowered. I am SGA. This is the first time we’re publicly announcing it. We want outreach to the community about SGA and what it encompasses, about what a majority of the student body might not be aware of – we can bring it to light. You will start to see buzzwords like – what does association mean? What does SFC stand for? We hope to have things posted. SGA is a part of club funding – what does that mean? How many clubs? We want to have the first-year dorm representatives help in the campaign. We will ask them to take pictures of students around campus holding up a sign saying something that they do that is SGA involved or some way that SGA influenced their experience at Bryn Mawr, and at the bottom it will say “I am empowered. I am SGA”. We will blow up these pictures and put posters up around campus.
Your 2 Cents:
Special Events Funding Report- Halloween:
Natalie Kato ‘14: I have asked everyone who received Special Events Funding to come back and report about their event. What just happened was Halloween.
Colin Baumann ’14: I’m the So-Co head. I am the unofficial dry party host for Halloween. We applied for special events. We got $1,100. We had a DJ and food. It was all right. The purpose of the dry party is to be a dry alternative to Radnor and allow people access to food and a place where there will be no alcohol. The people who showed up really enjoyed it. At our peak we maybe had 80 people. For most of the night we hovered around 40 or 50 and it dropped off at the end. I’m not too upset about it but I will welcome suggestions. The food situation was pretty good. Campus Safety was appreciative. We didn’t run out of food until 1:15 AM. We had a crap ton of soft pretzels and then whatever people requested. I have no complaints. However, the attendance thing is a bit of an issue. If anyone has ideas, email me. It will never be a very popular event but it could be more appealing. I’m creating a list of things for next year’s So-Co head. We will move the food to the back of the room so that people can’t just come in, take food, and leave. We will have a bouncer to stop people from taking all of the food out of the party. We want them to work more closely with Radnor dorm presidents for funding and funding applications.
Board of Trustees Report:
Natalie Kato ‘14: Right before fall break was the Board of Trustees meeting. The Board of Trustees representatives are here to present. Amy is going to present about the subcommittee investment meeting.
Alexis De La Rosa ’15: At the last meeting, they highlighted getting younger alums into the Board of Trustees. They have started to accept applications. There are lots of really excellent candidates. They are also talking about and looking at potential ways to diversify the board a little bit. A quick update about the Haffner project: least year’s discussions went really well. Everyone is pleased with the outcome. The plan for the structure is to have it mirror Rock a little bit more so it looks more cohesive and fits into the rest of campus.
Miriam Ahmed ’16: Other points are the buildings and ground review. You may have noticed some construction on campus – they are making more accessible paths. The one outside Carpenter is complete. They had a presentation on staff improvement: they want the staff to participate in future plans for Bryn Mawr, and want the staff to connect to the student experience. For more transparency, they want job descriptions and salaries online. They want to increase training and retainment, and have been talking about compensation, benefits, and morale boost.
Natalie Kato ‘14: We attended the sustainability board meeting. This year, instead of having breakouts with just students and board members and then faculty and board members, it was combined into one larger meeting about sustainability at Bryn Mawr. Different groups were mixed with students, faculty, staff, and administration. We discussed from a list, what we would want to see on the list and what was created by the Sustainability Leadership Group. One of the more prominent ideas was having a sustainability coordinator. At the SLG meeting coming up what’s going to be discussed is moving forward.
Amy Chen ’14: I attended the investment meeting. What was decided was new portfolios against real estate portfolios. They are moving away from real estate. We are at target for major assets and want to move towards private hedge funds. There was discussion of combing Haverford and Bryn Mawr portfolios. They will be unified, but not combined. We would work in conjunction and get money for the same investments but not all of the money would be combined. Haverford has more high risk investments, so that needs to be explored more. Bryn Mawr’s major revenue is through student tuition which means there is a dependence on endowment. We’re on par with Haverford and Mount Holyoke. Our building maintenance is in the nine figures. We are trying to fix that. The government shut down didn’t affect us. Grants and loans were paid before hand. Next semester might be painful if there is another shutdown in February.
Natalie Kato ‘14: Are there any questions?
Colin Baumann ‘14: Can you elaborate on the Haverford-Bryn Mawr joining?
Amy Chen ‘14: They have started discussing with the Haverford Board of Trustees. Not much is going on right now. They are looking at portfolios and looking at risk assessment.
Colin Baumann ‘14: I’m interested to know why they’re doing it.
Amy Chen ‘14: Both portfolios are quite small. They are seeking to put them together to be more attractive.
Emma Rosenblum ‘14: Did the board propose how they want faculty to connect to students and the experience?
Miriam Ahmed ‘16: They didn’t say anything specifically but they did want weekly town hall meetings that both staff and students can attend, which would make them interact more often. They are open to student input.
Elizabeth Vandenberg ‘16: How is the building maintenance in the nine figures? Is it yearly?
Amy Chen ‘14: Yes. The buildings are old, and maintenance is high.
Alex Beda ‘16: Are we seeking to diversify the portfolio to attract more funds or lower risk?
Amy Chen ‘14: We are seeking to attract more funds. We are big on taking low risk ventures.
Alex Beda ‘16: If Haverford has a high-risk portfolio, how will they combine?
Amy Chen ‘16: This is not an exact plan. We are meeting with them and it’s an ongoing talk right now.
Natalie Kato ‘14: Any other questions? If you do, email us! We will contact the Board of Trustees.
Colin Baumann ‘14: Weekly town halls sounds like coffee hours. You could remind them that the President’s office might be interested in them.
Plenary Survey Discussion:
Natalie Kato ‘14: This is mainly because we are going to have another survey go out about Plenary. It will be provided by the Plenary Committee and distributed to Representative Council members to distribute to their constituents. We want to see if there is anything you specifically want to hear back from the student body that might be pertinent.
Elizabeth Vandenberg ‘16: One of the biggest issues with surveys is that the people who answer them are the people that went to Plenary. Maybe try to do things to expand the number of people taking the survey – maybe have people table.
Colin Baumann ‘14: Might look into doing a survey that is printed so that people can circle some things. Get in and out quickly.
Natalie Kato ‘14: Does anybody have suggestions for questions?
Emma Rosenblum ‘14: Maybe asking people what is Plenary just to see what people are saying without giving a prompt. It would be interesting to see people’s interpretations. Use that information to make Plenary accessible to as many people as possible who might interpret the word and the meaning differently.
Erin Saladin ‘16: Ask if and how they heard about Plenary to see what sort of information is getting to people and what is working.
Natalie Kato ‘14: We encourage you to email us at email@example.com. We want as many people as possible.
Daniele Arad-Neeman ‘14: For off-campus people, maybe asking a question about transportation. I don’t know where exactly they’d table.
Natalie Kato ‘14: Maybe distribute surveys to Sara Kim, the off-campus rep.
Student Finance Bylaws- Defining “Open” vs “Closed” Events:
Natalie Kato ‘14: We want to define open and closed events. What we experienced was confused wording. We are going through and revising the bylaws and were hoping to get feedback and incorporate into the bylaws.
On the board you will see suggestions. We want to see what it means to be opened and closed with regards to advertising and attendance. Please be specific. Break up into small groups and do this discussion for 10-15 minutes and have one person give an idea about what they have for defining open and closed events.
Elizabeth Vandenberg ‘16: Will we have a chance to talk about provisions being made to the bylaws at another point?
Natalie Kato ‘14: Yes, later in November once the SFC has gone a little bit more in depth and gotten the feedback. Maybe around the 10th.
Elizabeth Vandenberg ‘16: What are the repercussions of an event being closed or open?
Natalie Kato ‘14: If they get funding or not. If we want to give funding to what you define as closed or not closed is what we want to get out of this. So, defining closed and open, and also what we fund for that definition.
Daniele Arad-Neeman ’14: My group was confused by the questions. There seem to be many definitions but we want to know what the definitions are to make an assessment. With talking about the difference between a closed an open event – advertising? Clubs don’t generally have exclusive events. They will usually invite the campus but it doesn’t mean that everyone would go. We as an assembly have to ratify these things, and no group large enough to do that could get their budget ratified by all of us. We generally just didn’t know what a closed event was versus an open event. We’d like to have definitions.
Natalie Kato ‘14: We didn’t want to pose an opinion of what we think versus what someone else might think because it isn’t defined anywhere – it’s all opinion.
Daniele Arad-Neeman ‘14: The gist was that nobody should be prevented from applying but we can’t imagine that the assembly would support something not open.
Colin Baumann ‘14: A closed event is sometimes useful, like a speaker or a workshop beneficial to the members of the club, closed for confidentiality or safe space status. Or maybe it could be for people who have already engaged in discussion and want to take it to a higher level. Meeting with extra speakers outside of their normal everyday goings-on but still not open events – it would be useful to have a funding cap for first-year applications and groups, and established groups that are doing these closed events could have a base line and estimated membership of the club because an event for SAW versus a small fan club would be different-sized events and different funding standards. Funding closed events is fine as long as there is reason disclosed at the end of every semester and after funding was approved what events are closed and which clubs they were hosted by.
Emma Rosenblum ‘14: I think people covered a lot of what we were talking about. The use of listservs as open and closed events brought up the idea of what it means to say a club is open to everyone. Signing up for the club means getting notification for specific things from that listserv. The event might be open in theory to campus because the club in theory is open to the campus, but the event might not be advertised to the entire campus. If a club chooses to advertise through their listserv and a few other listservs – it is open to more than just the club, but still not the entire campus.
Maybe if it is an open event if it is advertised to the entire campus. Another thing that came up was the number of people – 100 people.
Sarah Lesser ‘15: We largely talked about how it’s an event-specific thing versus how members are defined. Safe spaces, religious services – they are theoretically open to the campus but people wouldn’t necessarily go. It’s case by case. We couldn’t think of any clubs on campus that define club membership based on meeting attendance. All meetings are open.
Anna Kalinsky ‘15: Everything we talked about was covered. Maybe having an an SGA definition for affinity groups or other groups having closed meetings. Also maybe for budgeting have people request – this many open events, this many closed. The budgeting could be separated or distinct.
Alex Beda ‘16: Everything we talked about was covered. Closed groups, as what Sarah Lesser said, may not be accessible to all members of the community. They have access but wouldn’t feel comfortable joining. SGA is a community based group. We discussed that maybe it wouldn’t be appropriate to fund closed groups but they could have the option to appeal to the EBoard instead just as an option because funding is different in every context, which complicates everything. You have to review them multiple times or be really thorough.
Elizabeth Vandenberg ‘16: Most of what we said was covered. We also defined a closed group as something that could be proposed by the club in an event-specific way.
Natalie Kato ‘14: Thank you! All of these suggestions will be taken into consideration when the SFC is going over this portion of the bylaws. You will see what they come up with after going over suggestions after they present on the 10th. That’s not when we are voting – it will just be a presentation.
Amy chen ’14: Emma, you mentioned – what did you mean by 100 people to fund?
Emma: If there will be 100 people attending an event
Amy: Per person? Yeah.
Natalie Kato ’14: I’m still in the process of getting a list of examples for what we need catering waivers for. I also wanted to mention that I have confirmed Bernie Chung-Templeton to come to the November 3rd meeting to discuss Dining Services and the changes from last year to this year.
We are also going to have an SGA event on the 23rd of November from 12 to 3 PM. The idea is that there will be s’mores outside or inside and other fun things that will be announced.
Along with the campaign, we hope to do decal stickers: “I am empowered. I am SGA”. Submit designs for the decals! We will send out a survey to vote amongst the top 3 to decide which to order and what represents this campaign to us as a community. The prize is exciting, it’s going to be a cookie party for your hall with the EBoard. They are due November 8th. The winner and the decals will be given out and announced on November 23rd. Look for a message about that and give it to your constituents! We want to get cool designs.