September 7, 2014 Minutes

Agenda for Sunday, September 7th:


Representative Council Member introduction

Vote on meeting procedures

Your 2 Cents

Old Business

New Business


Syona Arora calls the meeting to order at 7:10 PM


Roll Call:

Present: Anna Kalinsky, Sofia Oleas, Heidi Gay, Anna Sargeant, Pamudu Tennakoon, Pam Gassman, Dijia Chen, Molly MacDougall, Mikah Farbo, Swetha Narasimhan, Miranda Smith, Marian Slocum, Grace Kim, Chanel Williams, Aleja Newman, Odeymarys Garrido, Lindsay Burak, Rachel Feynman, Lyntana Brougham, Dani Weismann, Jessica Bernal, Shakari Badgett, Leigh Peterson, Angie Koo, Gabrielle Crossnoe, Sneha Bendapudi, Jillian Moroney, Nkechi Ampah, Cat Wagner, Carly Breen, Olivia Hollinger, Elaine Holehan, Alexis McDonald, Modupe Olufemi, Rebecca Cook, Julie Henrikson


Absent: Mikala Forster, Prerana Vaddi, Neha Kamran


Syona Arora ‘15: Welcome to SGA everybody! We’re going to change up the meeting a bit. So first, we’re going to do Eboard introductions.


Charlie Bruc3 ‘16: Hi, I’m Charlie Bruce, class of 2016, I use they/them pronouns, and I’m the secretary.


Alexis De La Rosa ‘15: Hi, I’m Alexis De La Rosa, class of 2016, I use they/them pronouns, and I’m the secretary.


Syona Arora ‘15: I use she/her and I’m the president of SGA.


Namita Dwarakanath ’15: Hi I’m the sga treasurer and I use she/her.

Melanie Bahti ’15: I use she/her and I’m head of the Honor Board


Syona Arora ‘15: I want to make sure everyone is on the same page about how SGA meetings work. We are the Eboard, and the names Charlie called during roll call were members of the representative council. The rep council is required to come to SGA meetings, but the meetings are open to whole campus community. The members of the representative council are voting members of the assembly. Examples of non-voting members of the assembly are the Honor Board and the Appointments Committee. They are appointed not elected. SGA meetings are Sunday cc main lounge, so those in the balcony don’t technically participate. How do typical SGA meetings work? Typically SGA agenda is sent out the Thursday before every meeting. First agenda item is roll call by secretary. All agenda items after roll call have a time limit set by the Eboard. The next item normally is announcements made by members of the community are events being held on campus. The next is your two cents, where students can gauge public opinion through straw polls. For example if committee on public safety wants to take a straw poll x happens. We are also going to start introducing “hot topics” as a subsection of your two cents, where the community can get a feeling for what other students are thinking. The purpose is to create a space safe and comfortable for students to express themselves. After that comes a variety of presentations from different groups of students on campus. We’ve had many presentations held here. Old business is a time when students bring up conversations from an old sga meeting up again to a new one. If a discussion is tabled during an SGA meeting, and we want to talk about it again next week, we can bring it up during old business. Following that, new business is a time when the rep council can bring up things related to their position. For example, traditions can talk about things related to their position as new business. Friendly reminder, whenever you speak, list name and class year. Charlie is taking the minutes and it’s easier to take notes for them if you preface what you’re saying with your name. There’s also SGA slang based off of a modified version of Roberts rules of order, for example, we use “motion to discuss this topic” if we want to talk about something, we can talk about it. We use “motion to extend time”, to extend time for a discussion topic, and then specify how long you want to extend the time. For example, “motion to extend time until the end of speaking order”. Say “call to question” if something is discussion going on too long. Say “motion to table” to table a discussion to later date. We say “point of information” as an exclamation to ask for more information on an item. Finally, “motion to adjourn” is said to end each meeting. Every time there is a motion to a vote, we need someone to second a motion. There are two different types of votes, one person representing one vote, and Co-held positions representing one vote between them. If we take a straw poll, you don’t need to vote as a member of the rep council, since straw poll is a poll that represents an interest.




Molly MacDougall ’16: Hi, I’m Head of the elections board. Fall elections are here! Nominations are open starting tonight at 7pm, and will be open until Monday, September 16th at 9am. Positions up for election Haverford Representatives (co-held or one person, must live at HC), off campus representative, representative(s) to faculty, head(s) of committee on public safety, Pensby Rep (1), Class of 2018 (co-held or one person), Class of 2015 Songsmistress/master/mistex. Info sessions will be the 15th, 16th, and 17th. Candidates Forum will be here on the 18th at 8pm in CC. And voting will begin Sunday September 23rd at 9am on Moodle. If you have questions, please email


Christina Tse’17: We’re part of the outreach and communications committee. Our first project is to make a video about plenary to encourage students to go. If you have ideas about it, please come talk to us! We’re also going to be filming after this meeting and people can explain what plenary means to them.


Serena Dunlap ’16: Also we’re going to be at Fall Frolic this Friday. If you want your club to be advertised, contact us.


Rhett Richardson’15: We’re going to have one of those white board discussions at the table at fall frolic to have a discussion RE: transwomen at Mount Holyoke.


Alexis De La Rosa ‘15: Appointments are here! If you are looking for other ways to get involved in SGA, appointments is a great opportunity to get involved. The applications will open September 15th and will be open until the following Monday. After filling out an application, you’ll have a 5-7 minute interview. This round, we have SFC (3), elections board (2), student financial services (2), grad school rep (1), Orientation Reorganization Committee, Social Committee (4), Sustainable Food Committee (3), Hell Week committee (3), Board of Trustees Rep (1), Conflict Resolution Committee member (3), BMCS officer, SGA webmistress/master/mistex (1), Student Curriculum Committee (1), Student Health Center Advisory (1), Constitutional Review Committee (3), Hell Week liaisons (2). There will also be more announcements on more committees next week.


Brenna Levitin ’16: What is the difference between the Hell Week committee and Hell Week Liaison?


Alexis De La Rosa ‘15: The liaison will be in conversation with the campus community to make changes to hell week. They will host opportunities for community discussion on hell week.


Aleja Newman ‘17: Point of information: are these voting or non-voting positions?


Alexis De La Rosa ‘15: Non-voting, because it’s an applications process.


Syona Arora ‘15: Plenary is Sunday, September 28th at Noon in Goodhart. The dining hall hours are going to open to accommodate plenary. The estimated time of plenary is two hours. The theme is not Anna Sargent’s eyes.


Anna Sargeant ‘15: Point of information the eyes are green


Syona Arora ‘15: Point of information is a question


Anna Sargeant ‘15: they can be both


Syona Arora ‘15: The theme is Wicked, like the musical. Dorm Presidents, stay after to collect posters.


Anna Kalinsky ‘15: Can we please ensure that dorm presidents grab them first before we take souvenirs.


Syona Arora ‘15: DPs, hang them on your SGA boards. I have these handy dandy buzzwords pamphlets, now on the SGA website. The next agenda item is Rep Council introduction. The first round is SAAC Rep, CEO Rep, and Curriculum Committee Head, Elections head.


Swetha Narasimhan ‘15: I’m the civic engagement representative, I use she/her pronouns.


Heidi Gay ‘15: Curriculum Committee Head, she/her.


MD: I’m head of the elections board.


MD: I’m the SAAC Rep (or student athletic Advisory committee) she/her


Syona Arora ‘15: Can the McBride Rep, SoCo Heads, traditions come up?


Pamudu Tennakoon ’15 and Anna Sargeant ‘15: We’re the Soco Heads, which stands for “Social

Committee”, we use she/her pronouns. Please apply for SoCo committee!


Pam Gassman ’16 Dijia Chen ‘16: We use she/her pronouns, please apply to our committees


Sofia Oleas ’15: I’m resident council cohead, she/her pronouns


Anna Kalinsky ‘15: I’m resident council cohead, she/her pronouns.


Miranda Smith ’16: I’m the McBride Representative, which are the non-traditional aged students on campus


Marian Slocum ’15: I’m co-class president 2015, she/her pronouns


Aleja Newman ’17 and Odeymarys Garrido ‘17: We use she/her pronouns, and class of 2017 pronouns!


Grace Kim ’16 and Chanel Williams ‘16: We are 2016 class presidents and use she/her pronouns


Leigh Peterson ’16: I’m the Merion DP.


Rebecca Cook Julie Henrikson: We’re the batten representatives and both use she/her pronons.


Jessica Bernal ’17 Shakari Badgett ’17: We use she/her pronouns, Erdman DPs.


Lyntana Brougham ’16 and Dani Weisman ‘15: Denbeigh DPs


Rachel Feynman ‘15: she/her/them/they pronouns


Lindsay Burak ’15: she/her pronouns, Rachel and I are Brecon Dps.


Gabrielle ’15 Angie Koo ’15: We are Pem East DPs and use she/her


Nkechi Ampah ’15 Cat Wagner ’15 : she/her, Radnor DPs


Sneha Bendapudi ’16 and Jillian Moroney ‘16: We use she/her and Pem west DPs


Carla Breen ’16 : she/her, and I’m one of the Rhoads north co-DPs


Olivia Hollinger ‘16 and Elaine Hollahan ‘16: We’re Rock DPs and use she/her pronouns


Modupe Olufemi’17: Perry co-DP and Elections Board, I use she/her


Alexis McDonald ’17 she/her Perry co-DPs


Sofia Oleas ‘15: Neha isn’t here, she is the Rhoads South DP isn’t here, but she uses she/her pronouns


Syona Arora ‘15: Next agenda item is rep council vote on meeting procedures. Rep council, Charlie sent out the meeting procedures, do you have any questions? They will be posted on the SGA website. We’ll scroll through them now on the screen, so that if there’s anything glaringly hateful, we can fix that.


Julie Kim ’18: Who were these procedures sent out to?


Syona Arora ‘15: This was sent out to the rep council only, but we’ll put it on the blog.


Nkechi Ampah ‘15: If point of info is the question, what’s the response for the answer?


Syona Arora ‘15: Just respond appropriately. If we are ready to take a vote, let’s do so. This is a representative council vote only.



Yes: Molly MacDougall. Anna Sargent, Heidi Gay, Pamudu Tennakoon, Lindsay Burak, Rachel Feynman, Anna Kalinsky, Sofia Oleas, Nkechi Ampah, Cat Wagner, Jessica Bernal, Shakari Badgett, Dijia Chen, Pam Grassman, Mikah Farbo, Swetha Narasimhan, Miranda Smith, Marian Slocum, Grace Kim, Chanel Williams, Jillian Moroney, Sneha Bendapudi, Olivia Hollinger, Elaine Holehan, Angie Koo, Gabrielle Crossnoe, Aleja Newman, Odeymarys Garrido, Lyntana Brougham, Dani Weismann, Alexis McDonald, Modupe Olufemi, Rebecca Cook, Julie Henrikson, Leigh Peterson, Carly Breen.


Syona Arora ‘15: the procedure will be placed in the minutes. Now it’s time for Your two cents.


Your Two Cents


Aleja Newman ‘17: Can you explain how we should go about your two cents.


Syona Arora ‘15: So it’s a time for anyone in the Bryn Mawr community to host a discussion, pose a question, or hold a straw poll. If you want to talk about something and have other people participate in the conversation, pose it in your two cents.


Anna Sargeant ‘15: The Soco heads were wondering about interest winter formal or semi-formal in January. It will be probably held in Rhoads or Thomas Great Hall. Questions?


Aleja Newman ‘17: Would you have to pay to get in?


Pamudu Tennakoon ‘15: No, it will be a dry event and open to the community


Aleja Newman ‘17: Will there be a plus one system?


Anna Sargeant ‘15: It will be open to the trico, and since it’s dry, we don’t have to worry about guests.

Syona Arora ‘15: We’ll now have a straw poll to gauge interest.


Aleja Newman ‘17: Would you have an alternative if people don’t want to go?


Pamudu Tennakoon ‘15: Because it’s a dry event, we don’t need an alternative.


Rhett Richardson ‘15: The only time there is a side event is if there is a wet party.


Sofia Oleas ‘15: I asked this at one of the SGA meetings last year, but I wanted to reopen the question: how many people would be interested in having a punching bag in the gym? Raise your hands if you’re interested. Questions?


Pamudu Tennakoon ‘15: Will there be sessions for people who are interested?


Sofia Oleas ‘15 I wanted to get numbers to represent interest. In order to get a punching bag from athletics, I need to say how many people are interested, they do have a strength and conditioning coach, but we need to see how many people would be interested.


Maddie Dubin’16: If the punching bag would be only accessible if the coach was present, how would that work?


Sofia Oleas ‘15: Since the strength and conditioning coach isn’t a full time staff member, I don’t know how that works. I would have to figure that later.


Aine Sheyhan ‘15: So is this coming out of whose funding?


Sofia Oleas ‘15: Last year when I proposed this, I asked Amy Chen ‘14 (former SGA treasurer) since this is for the community, it could be the SGA budget. It would be 150$/200$ max. Athletics is unwilling to fund it if there isn’t a strong interest.


Mikah Farbo: The ceilings in the gym are really high, where would you hang it? Where would you put it


Sofia Oleas ‘15: It would be included with a stand, that’s about 200$. I would put it near the elliptical. Of we tried reorganizing it, I feel like that would be possible to put in the punching bag.


Aleja Newman ‘17: Another student asked that if it came from athletics if it would be accessible to only athletes. If it’s coming from SGA budget, wouldn’t it be available to everybody?


Sofia Oleas ‘15: If the punching bag was for Athletes, it would go in the back with weights, and share the same kind of sign as the deadlift machines. If it went in the back section, that is for athletes only. It’s a kind of equipment that can injure people. It requires supervision.


Shakari Badgett ‘17: If the problem that the people who wouldn’t people how to use it, could there be a class for people who are interested in using it.


Sofia Oleas ‘15: I have asked by that. I have asked an assistant coach who knows how to teach using a punching bag


Syona Arora ‘15: I anticipate the Hot Topic to take more than ten minutes. Could someone make a motion to extend time?


Anna Kalinsky ‘15: motion to extend time


Rhett Richardson ‘15: seconded


Syona Arora ‘15: How long do you want to extend time? We originally had 20 minutes, but we now have 10 minutes left.


Anna Kalinsky ‘15: I’ll motion to extend time for 15 minutes.


Syona Arora ‘15: This is a representative council only vote for motion to extend time.


Jessica Bernal ‘17: Point of information: if we don’t use up the time, can we stop when we’re done?


Syona Arora ‘15: No, we’ll just end the agenda item. So we’re now extending time for 15 minutes. This week our hot topic is President Kim Cassidy’s letter to the community about Trans Women at Bryn Mawr. The purpose of doing this discussion at an SGA meeting is that we want SGA to be a space where students can have a conversation in shared safe space, as opposed to other spaces available for conversation. Kim Cassidy’s sent a letter to the Bryn Mawr community to students, faculty, and admin, because there’s growing group of students/alums who are interested in having trans women at Bryn Mawr. This came about because of the recent announcement by Mills College and Mount Holyoke just announced that they’re openly accepting admissions to transwomen. President Cassidy’s letter restated the Bryn Mawr admissions policy and stated that there will be a follow up community conversation with the President and deans. This conversation is open to current Bryn Mawr college undergrads only. If there’s anything I missed please add.


Rhett Richardson ‘15: So where is it outlined that these discussions are only opened to undergrads only?


Syona Arora ‘15: Unless otherwise stated, SGA meetings are open to current undergrads only. This is a space where students might not normally talk to each other. We have 22 minutes to break off into six groups. Please remember to have courtesy and not put anyone down. This is very safe space. We’re going to have a short discussion, and then we’re going to have a debrief with individual student’s feelings. Whatever you say in small group discussions will stay in group discussions unless otherwise stated.




Syona Arora ‘15: Thanks everyone for the discussion. Can we get feedback from people about this topic or discussion?


Rhett Richardson ‘15: We haven’t had Q forum yet, and the freshman don’t know everything that could’ve been explained. If this discussion was done later in the year, freshman would know how to participate.


Syona Arora ‘15: I wanted to do this because the letter was sent recently. However, we can bring the conversation up again.


Pamudu Tennakoon ‘15: When is Q forum?


Rhett Richardson ‘15: The dates have not been decided yet.


Syona Arora ‘15: If anyone else has feedback, feel free to That was a great discussion, I was really happy to see how this turned out. I’d like to open the floor to things that you could share things. I’m going to take notes and this will go into the minutes, if people asked for something to be confidential, please respect that.


Aleja Newman ‘17: Our group discussed a lot of points, one thing to think about is that, as a community, we promote individual thinking, but when it comes to political issues, we will say that other people are wrong, so students wont feel comfortable discussing this topic, because once they fear that if they state a particular opinion opinion, they will be excluded. When we’re discussing outside of this space, we be mindful of that.


Syona Arora ‘15: I hope everybody keeps what Aleja said in mind.


Elaine Hollahan ‘16: What I thought was most important is that there is a lot to discuss. There’s a question of how that will affect the community. Some people might be uncomfortable with bathrooms; it needs to be a community conversation.


Anna Kalinsky: We talked a lot about the policies about how this would effect the status as a women’s college, as an affirmative action school, we could change our admissions statement to define who is a woman, we could admit women without losing endowment.


Pamudu Tennakoon ‘16: Our group discussed how this would effect that we get funding from alums, cause a lot of funding comes from them.


Rhett Richardson ‘15: We already have people who aren’t women here, and if we admitted transwomen, we would just be including more women in general. I don’t know why personally that would change the backing of the Board of Trustees. What’s the big deal?


Nora Scheland ‘15: Our group discussed a lot was protecting the space as a safe environment for women. That means including transwomen as well. Having transwomen reaffirms their identity as women and our identity as women. We want to protect the special place for women. That means opening it up to all women.


Julia Kim ’18: I know that these might be issues that might not make people comfortable, but these are issues for everyone. I was coming from a conservative environment, but coming to the United States, everyone here is more accepting. I believe that we need to be more accepting and this doesn’t need to be a problem.


Modupe Olufemi ‘17: I think in my group, it’s not only about accepting these students but providing support for these students. There are a lot of groups on this campus that don’t have a lot of support.


Shakari Badgett ‘17: This should be a wider campus discussion and our school doesn’t have a large support system for people already here, even though we may not have the best support for trans students, it should be up to the incoming trans students to decide whether or not this community is safe for them.


Aleja Newman ‘17: A deadline/position was discussed; I think we have engaged in an idea in how the representative council engages with us. I think the administration needs to have a conversation space for this. Another thing is that even though the rep council represents student voices, we don’t represent all student voices.


Shakari Badgett ‘17: Having this discussion, we should have a space for people who don’t feel comfortable; we need an electronic/anonymous way of giving an honest opinion. They’re also Bryn Mawr students.


Chanel Williams ’16: I agree with Shakari. A way of resolving that would just be students writing down how they feel just to get a true understanding of how people feel about this.


Syona Arora ‘15: That was great, thank you very much for your feedback. Going off of Chanel and Shakari’s suggestions about not having opinions based off of the most vocal opinion, feel free to email us, or put a letter in the SGA mailbox. We can include those comments in the minutes. Thank you again everyone. We as an EBoard have a lot of conversations about how to move forward on these conversations.


New Business


Swetha Narasimhan ‘15: I’m the CEO rep, one of the things that CEO has morphed into is LILAC. I wanted to talk about expanding my position as a representative of LILAC as well.


Syona Arora ‘15: I think that’s a good idea because those positions are merging.


Swetha Narasimhan ‘15: As of now, it would make sense to have one person, but I guess the roll of CE is being merged into Lilac.


Rhett Richardson ‘15: Could you clarify the discussion?


Swetha Narasimhan ‘15: CE has teamed up with LILAC in both their buildings and initiatives. Should we have LILAC represented in SGA?


Sofia Oleas ‘15: Do you feel that it would be helpful if you had a co-held position or a separate position?


Swetha Narasimhan ‘15: I’m not sure, it’s a growing center, and I wanted to see if it would be interested.


Aleja Newman ‘17: I think making it a two person position provides the opportunity for someone else to get involved.


Swetha Narasimhan ‘15: I definitely don’t think I have knowledge of the CPD, and it would be helpful if I had a partner who did.


Syona Arora ‘15: We will talk about this more as the office grows.


Meeting is adjourned at 8:36 with an Anass.