September 14, 2014 Minutes

Present: Anna Kalinsky, Sofia Oleas, Heidi Gay, Anna Sargeant, Pamudu Tennakoon, Pam Gassman, Dijia Chen, Molly MacDougal, Mikah Farbo, Swetha Narasimhan, Makala Forster, Grace Kim, Chanel Williams, Aleja Newman, Odeymarys Garrido, Lindsay Burak, Rachel Feynman, Lyntana Brougham, Dani Weismann, Jessica Bernal, Leigh Peterson, Angie Koo, Gabrielle Crossnoe, Sneha Bendapudi, Jillian Moroney, Carly Breen, Olivia Hollinger, Elaine Holehan, Rebecca Cook, Julie Henrikson, Mikala Forster, Prerana Vaddi, Linh Tran, Catherine Wagner, Marian Slocum, Kristian Sumner, Xavia Miles, Rhea Manglani, Ava Hawkinson, Brenna Levitan, Ann Tran, Connie Lam, Rachel Bruce, Matison Hearn-Desautels, Julia Kim, Stephanie Montalvan, Angela Motte, Shaina Robinson


Absent: Miranda Smith, Shakari Badgett, Nkechi Ampah, Alexis McDonald, Modupe Olufemi,




Marian Slocum ‘15: I’m one of the Senior Class presidents. We are looking for bouncers for senior cocktails. Cocktails for November are going to be on the 1st and the 21st. If you’re interested, email me (mlslocum@bmc) and Makala (mforster@bmc).


Swetha Narasimhan ‘15: The Civic Engagement and LILAC are running programs over fall break. Please apply! One of them is telling your story in relation to interviewing.


Syona Arora ‘15: The seven sisters conference applications are out! ( (Secretary Note: the deadline has now passed) We encourage everyone to apply. The application will be live until tomorrow and closes Monday Night at Midnight. We’ve been sending activities emails, but Activities hasn’t been working, so check the SGA Facebook page. It’s a great chance to meet student leaders from other seven sisters colleges. If you have a car, we’ll ask you to drive. Secondly, We know that some people have seen the email from Alex Weinstein. I spoke to Dean Balthazar about it. The Deans have seen the email. Campus Safety is dealing with it. A lot of people have been worried about that. If you get another letter from him, please contact Campus Safety. They don’t think he’s a real threat, but they want to know if anything changes. If you get the email, don’t engage and respond.


Makala Forster ‘15: Could you explain what this letter is about? For those who haven’t received it.


Namita Dwarakanath 15: An email was sent out to club leaders, and it was response to the article. This senator believes strongly in the importance of the confederate flag. The letter was inappropriate, especially to send to an arbitrary group of college students.


Melanie Bahti ‘16: To clarify, he’s just a guy. He’s not actually a senator. He’s running for senate.


Rachel Feynman ‘15: Help desk announcement. You can add his email to the block center list. ( That way you don’t receive any emails from him!


Syona Arora ‘15: We haven’t been doing a hot topic, but we will do it in the future. The hot topic on November 9th, and we want to do a hot topic then on social media, given the recent events with the strong use of #hashtags. We’ve been thinking about it a lot. Email for questions/comments/feedback. Upcoming hot topics are mental health, social media, and not talking about grades stigma.


Charlie Bruce ‘16: The folks at Special Collection and the Greenfield Center ford the Digital Humanities are planting a Personal Digital Archiving Day. They are teaching students how to collect photos, emails, and other relevant social media for preserving institutional memory for clubs. I have a bunch of posters, and if you’re interested in passing them around, please take them. Tell your constituents, tell your friends.


Your Two Cents


Dijia Chen ’16: Syona just announced that we will still be having SGA on lantern night, so will folks be ok with changing the meeting time to sometime around 2pm?


Pam Gassman ‘16: This time change will allow all first years and upperclassmen to participate.


Dijia Chen ‘16: Let’s take a straw poll? If you’re participating, you need to be there at 7pm. If you’re a runner, you need to be there earlier.


Melanie Bahti ‘16: Just to clarify, this is the SGA meeting the Sunday directly following fall break.


The change of the SGA meeting time went to a vote. The suggested times were 2pm and 4pm. and the time for the October 21st meeting will be at 2pm.


Makala Forster ‘15: I don’t go on twitter very much, but some people brought to my attention that what I said at plenary harmed people. First, I wanted to apologize for my statement for saying “colored faculty” instead of “faculty of color”. Second, for my overall comment, I was speaking as a representative of others opinions and of individuals in the community. The past few weeks, I’ve heard other people say that they’re afraid of representing their own views that may differ from the norm, and they’re having a hard time sharing those opinions. I think that dialogue is important. Nobody told me after plenary said that they were offended but what I wrote. So, moving forward, I would like people to tell me that they were offended. I want people to use dialogue for social change, and I wanted to address that at SGA.


Julie Henrikson ‘16: Rebecca Cook ‘15 and I are the representatives of Batten House. Batten house historically hosted communal meals, we host gluten free and vegan dinners. We haven’t had them lately because of budget difficulties. We want a straw poll for interest in communal meals once a week. We would really like to reopen them, but we just want to see if there’s community interest.


There was a lot of community interest for Batten Community dinners.


Melanie Bahti ‘16: The honor board is planning to hold a destresser after fall break. It’s going to be on a thursday night, either the 13th or the 20th. If anyone involved in clubs, knows that there would be a conflict, let me know. If you had things that you would like the Honor Board to do as a destresser. Otherwise, keep your eye out.


Namita Dwarakanath ‘15: Straw poll: How do people have about just one box for the campus center instead of the campus center and SGA house.


There was strong support for a box just in the Campus Center for SGA club receipts.


Plenary Recap


Syona Arora ‘15: Thank you so much for a wonderful plenary experience. It was nice for sophomores who saw it last year, because it was the first complete plenary that they saw. Thank you for getting quorum so quickly. Thank you for producing dialogue so thoughtfully. The resolution writers will be held accountable for the work they’ve done. The official recap is somewhere on the Bryn Mawr website, if you want to see the final resolutions, with the amendment, it’s on the SGA blog under the plenary tab. The names of the resolution writers are there, so if you want to help with follow up, feel free to talk to the resolution writers who presented them.


Special Events Funding


Namita Dwarakanath ‘15: All folks presenting special events, please aproach the mike. As a reminder, each club presents their own club events to the rep council, who then votes on the budgets.


Amy Xu ‘17: Me and Lisa are here to present special event funding for Saturday evening, November 15th. We want to invite off campus performers.


Lisa Huang ‘17. We want to invite Wellesley Wushu. The car fair would be for 500$. We were thinking of giving them the 85 partial meal plan for 755$, snacks for 150$.


Amy Xu ‘17: Because there are 25 members, we need 100 meals plan over a weekend. There was a huge meal plan between the 85 meal plan and the 150 meal plan. We decided to get them the 85 meal plan and then ask for 150 in snacks.


Anna Kalinsky ’15: Did you talk to Bernie Chung about getting an adjusted meal plan?


Amy Xu ‘17: We haven’t.


Lisa Huang ‘17: The water is 10$, and the subtotal for Wellesley WuShu is 1,415$.


Amy Xu ‘17: We’re inviting a spoken word artist from California, her name is Jenny Lei. She asked for an honorarium of 800$. We are supplying her airfare, which would be 600$ (Oakland to Philadelphia roundrtip), then two nights at wyndham for 300$, individual guest meal pass for 50$, snacks and water is 10$, and transportation to and from airport is 10$. Our subtotal would be 1,770$


Lisa Huang ‘17: The last two things are catering for 200$ and transportation for Bryn Mawr students is 20$.


Amy Xu ‘17: Questions?


Angela Motte ‘17: What is the total amount requested?


Amy Xu ‘17: 3,425$?


Anna Kalinsky ‘15: Could you explain the guest performers?


Amy Xu ‘17: Wellesley WuShu, they’re artistic kungfu martial arts group from Wellesley. The second is a spoken word artist named Jenny. In the past, ASA has typically invited 2-3 artists from off campus.


Sofia Oleas ‘15: How much was requested last year?


Amy Xu ‘17: Last year, I wasn’t a part of the process, but ASA requested this through SGA club funding rather than special events funding.


Rachel Feynman ‘15: How much is in special events?


Namita Dwarakanath ‘15: This year there’s a lump sum of special events and annual events which is about 30,000$


Rebecca Cook ‘15: How many events are we thinking of this year?


Namita Dwarakanath ‘15: About $16,000 has been asked for by clubs.


Sofia Oleas ‘15: Was the special events budgeting in the email about SGA funding. It’s 30,000 each semester? Or is it 60,000 for the semester? I heard 60,000 was requested.


Namita Dwarakanath ‘15: Nobody has requested 60,000. Questions?


Angela Motte ‘17: Is there a way that you can talk to dining services before we take a vote?


Amy Xu ‘17: Of course, we are finalizing issues now. There’s a bureaucratic process with requesting off campus performances. We haven’t been able to talk to dining services just yet.


Namita Dwarakanath ‘15: We are now going to vote on approving the budget.


Yes: Angie Koo, Gabrielle Crossnoe, Leigh Peterson, Ann Tran, Connie Lam, Sneha Bendapudi, Jillian Moroney, Shaina Robinson, Lindsay Burak, Rachel Feynman, Rhea Manglani, Angela Motte, Ava Hawkinson, Brenna Levitan, Swetha Narasimhan, Carly Breen, Prerana Vaddi, Linh Tran, Lyntana Brougham, Dani Weismann, Heidi Gay, Anna Kalinsky, Sofia Oleas, Molly MacDougal, julia, Makala Forster, Grace Kim, Chanel Williams, Catherine Wagner, Olivia Hollinger, Elaine Holehan, Pam Gassman, Dijia Chen, Odeymarys Garrido, Mikala Forster, Marian Slocum, Rachel Bruce, Matison Hearn-Desautels, Julia Kim

No : none

Abstain: Rebecca Cook, Julie Henrikson, Xavia Miles, Jessica Bernal, Anna Sargeant, Pamudu Tennakoon, Kristian Sumner,


Big Cheese Prep


Syona Arora ‘15: Big Cheese is going to be on Nov 2nd. The only meeting before the Big Cheese forum is the 26th, which is the same night as lantern night.


Pamudu Tennakoon ‘15: How much cheese will be there?


Syona Arora ‘15: A lot. Today, we’re going to get into five groups, where students can brainstorm different questions.


Melanie Bahti ‘16: Hey Syona! What if I haven’t been at Bryn Mawr long? What is Big Cheese?


Syona Arora ‘15: Big Cheese forum is when members of the administration come to ask questions from the community. In the past, we’ve come up with questions to pose to the cheeses. This year we’re going to host a theme with topics instead. We’re going to hold the whole meeting and give students a chance to talk to members of the administration. I want you to think of topics and questions within those topics. A possible theme could be Haffner. Possible questions could be: “Are on we on the right budget/timeline?” We’re going to ask one member of each group to read out the information for every group. We will pick top five questions for each topic, and that information will be disseminated amongst the cheeses. We will have a variety of cheese products. If you want some flavor, email us at, tweet at us (bmcsga), write on our facebook wall (Bryn Mawr Self-Government Association)


Melanie Bahti ‘16: For those of you who are going to make announcements. Please keep ideas curt. If you could keep it to topics and subtopics that would be good.


Secretary Note: The topics and questions were divided up and organized into the bullet point format to make the information readily accessible and readable. If you would like an audio recording of the discussion, please contact the secretary at


Discussion topics and accompanying questions


1. Mental health and access to mental health support

a. What is there provided for international students and for students who do not have insurance to cover mental health services?

b. How are counselors hired/trained/assured diversity?

2. Title IX

1. Sexual assault issues on campus

3. Dining Services

. Why the new checking policy?

a. Where are the vending machines?

b. Where exactly does money in dining services go?

c. Will partial meal plans be an option in the future?

d. Are there measures taken in the dining halls to limit the amount of excessive sugar in meals?

e. Will dietary information be back up and running online?

Why are dining hall positions the lowest-paid on campus?

4. Perry House

. Are Perry House discussions going to continue now that Haffner has been selected as a new location?

a. Where on Bryn Mawr’s “funding priority list” is Perry House? A permanent Perry House has been in the making for a few years now, but there have been many recent projects including renovations to buildings.

5. Admissions

. Redefining ‘women’ in admissions policy

i. Inclusion of trans women

ii. Inclusion of all gender identities except for cis men?

iii. What steps are being taken to support non-cis women? What are their resources?

a. How is admissions reaching out to help diversify the Bryn Mawr community?

i. Tuition increase? How does this fit into inaugural speech?

ii. Merit aid – how is it awarded? Why can’t we be need blind?

1. (Athletic) response to confederate flag

a. Who is making/made the decision about the disciplinary actions for the student athletes?

b. Is diversity training developing?

c. Is having a protocol for these types of incidents being established?

d. What diversity/sensitivity training does staff, faculty, and administration go through? How are they introduced to the Bryn Mawr community in terms of understanding SGA and our overall community?

e. What protocol exists now, that deals with racial issues, especially involving student athletes? If one didn’t exist before what system of damage control has been created so that problems like this can be handled more quickly in the future?


Questions to be answered by email

• Initiatives from President Cassidy

o Who are on the committees?

• In what is the college investing?

• Will there be apartments available for housing next year?

• What are the general Haffner updates?

• What are the plans for Park renovations?

• Are there any discussions surrounding awarding 0.5 credits for lab classes?

• Have there been any changes to Lower Merion township police procedures and has this effected student life on campus?


If you would like to add more questions to the Big Cheese Forum questions, contact For discrepancies with the way the minutes were formed, contact the secretary at


Old Business


Sofia Oleas: It has come to my attention that I should update you all on the gender neutral language, since I wrote the plenary resolution last semester on gender inclusive language in the constitution. I have emailed anyone who has had incorrect use of pronouns when using mass emails. I’ve sent them a copy of the resolution that describes the necessity of gender neutral pronouns in email format. Right now, there’s a task force that is being formed. From there, the task force would go to make sure the faculty is informed and to oversee more kinds of change on campus.


NEW business


Syona Arora ‘15: email for more questions about the big cheese!


The meeting was adjourned 8:43