April 3, 2016 Minutes

SGA Minutes – April 3, 2016


    • Role Call:
      • Meeting commenced at 7:10 PM. List of those present and absent can be found below.
    • Announcements:
      • Applications for the April Appointments Round will be open from
      • Monday, April 4th at 9:00 AM to Monday, April 18th at 11:59 PM. Positions up for reappointment are: BMCS co-Heads, BMCS Officers, Board of Trustees Reps, Campus Greening Rep, Conflict Resolution Committee, Curriculum Committee, Film Series Committee, Film Series Heads, Green Ambassadors Head, Health Center Advisory Board, Independent Major Reps, SGA Institutional Memory Committee, Webmistress/Master/Mistex, Seven Sisters Representatives, S. TEAM, Student Finance Committee, and Sustainable Food Committee. If you have any questions, email Shaina [Robinson] at srobinso99@brynmawr.edu or at appointments@brynmawr.edu.
      • Nominations for April Elections are taking place this week! The nominations period will run from Sunday, April 3rd at 9:00 PM to Monday, April 11th at 9:00 AM. Positions up for election are: Residence Council Head(s) (May be co-held by two people), Social Committee Head, Curriculum Head, Traditions Mistress(es) (May be co-held by two people), 2017 Class President (May be co-held by two people), 2018 Class President (May be co-held by two people), 2019 Class President (May be co-held by two people), Civic Engagement Representative , 2017 Songsmistress, 2018 Songsmistress, 2019 Songsmistress, 2017 Honor Board Representative (3 positions available), 2018 Honor Board Representative (1 positions available), 2019 Honor Board Representative (2 positions available), and Career and Professional Development Representative. If you would like to nominate someone, please email your choice to elections@brynmawr.edu. If you know someone who you think would be good for a position, nominate them (you can also nominate yourself)! If you have any questions, please contact the Elections Heads at elections@brynmawr.edu.
      • This week (Monday, April 4th until Friday, April 8th is Division III Week! Come support your fellow Mawrters who are student athletes. There will be fun activities throughout the week, all centered around theme of what it means to be a student athlete at Bryn Mawr. If you have any questions please contact Emily Gifford-Smith at egifordsm@brynmawr.edu.
      • There were three new members of the Representative Council Elected in the last elections cycle. They are Nora Dell ’19 (SGA Archivist), Kat Phifer (Member-at-Large), and Shiwei Zhu (Member-at-Large). Dell and Phifer, who were present at the meeting, introduced themselves to the community.
    • Your Two Cents:
      • There was some confusion regarding the implementation of the “Thanks, SGA” campaign launched earlier this semester by the Members-at-Large. Some community members raised concerns of potentially taking pictures of students pretending to be asleep in Canaday to raise awareness of SGA’s involvement in student initiatives like 24-Hour Canaday. These points were duly noted and will be discussed more in depth in the future.
    • Big Cheese Forum Topic Discussion:
      • Students present at the meeting broke up into four groups to ask administrators. Each group was assigned to discuss two administrators with similar duties.
      • Questions included the new email system, Dean Balthazar’s reflection of her time as Interim Dean of the College, accommodations being made for Trans Women entering the College this Fall, diversity initiatives in admissions and throughout the College, facilities issues in dorms, and student wages.
      • Suggestions were made to create a question and answer section at the beginning of the Forum to streamline commonly asked questions and create more organic conversation in the small group sections. This initiative was approved during a Straw Poll administered by President Rhea Manglani ’17.
      • Group Facilitators and Note Taker sign ups took place. If you are also interested in participating in Big Cheese Forum in either of these roles, please contact the E-Board at sga@brynmawr.edu.
    • Old Business:
      • There was no Old Business.
    • New Business:
      • Nolan Julien ’18, COPS Head, is interested in hearing student reaction to this year’s East vs. West event. If you are interested in sharing your opinions and experiences, please contact Nolan at njulien@brynmawr.edu.


Role Call:

Rhea Manglani ’17: Okay, it’s 7:10 so we’re going to start the meeting with Role Call.

Rachel Bruce ’18: Hi everyone, I am required by the State of Pennsylvania to tell you that everything said tonight will be recorded.

  • Present: Lillian Oyen-Ustad, Alexis Wiltshire, Coco Wang, Chanel Williams, Emily Gifford-Smith, Nikitha Shankar-Shakamuri, Tyler Brown-Cross, Mara Dominguez, Maria Minaya, Miranda Smith, Eve Cantler, Melanie Bahti, Kyra Sagal, Jess Shill, Lindsey Foster, Alice Bell, Erin Saladin, Nora Dell, Khadijah Seay, Danielle Cadet, Dijia Chen, Ann Tran, Diamond Ray, Sam Heyrich, Sarah Andrew, Veda Nambi, Bridget Murray, Kat Phifer, Sneha Soni, Elizabeth Lorenzana, Celeste Ledesma, Jasmine Rangel, Nolan Julien, Rachel Ofili, Mariana Garcia
  • Absent: Olivia Hollinger, Connie Lam, Oona Ryle, Shiwei Zhu, Hannah Chinn, Radhika Singh, Tosin Ajiboye, Ana Llamas, Modupe Olufemi, Casiana Omick, Stephanie Montalvan, Emily Siegel, Genesis Perez-Melara


Rhea Manglani ’17: Announcements is a time when any member of the Bryn Mawr community can make an announcement. We have ten minutes for this agenda item. Are there any announcements?

Erin Saladin ‘16: I’m just speaking as the undergraduate representative to the information Stewardship Council. You all received an email earlier this week from Gina Siesing regarding the data handling policy. There’s going to be a second open forum this week for anyone who has questions about that this coming Tuesday, April 5th from 4:00 to 5:00 in Campus Center 200. That policy is about how we handle personal information with things like Social Security numbers or credit card number – anything that the administration could have relating to identity. There’s been a policy drafted on how to deal with all of this. So, if you have questions about that it’s a good meeting to attend.

Rhea Manglani ’17: Anyone else?

Nanda Bhushan ‘19: April Appointments will open tomorrow at 9:00 AM and close April 18th at 11:59 PM. Positions up for reappointment are BMCS co-Heads, BMCS Officers, Board of Trustees Reps, Campus Greening Rep, Conflict Resolution Committee, Curriculum Committee, Film Series Committee, Film Series Heads, Green Ambassadors Head, Health Center Advisory Board, Independent Major Reps, SGA Institutional Memory Committee, Webmistress/Master/Mistex, Seven Sisters Representatives, S. TEAM, Student Finance Committee, and Sustainable Food Committee. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Shaina [Robinson] at srobinso99@brynmawr.edu or appointments@brynmawr.edu.

Mariana Garcia ‘19: April Elections are starting tonight— Nominations Period starts tonight. There are a lot of positions up, so be sure to tell your friends about positions if you think it would be good for them. Nominations start at 9:00 tonight so keep that in mind. Any nominations will be emailed to elections@brynmawr.edu. I’m going to read really quickly the positions that are up: ResCo Head, SoCo Head, Curriculum Head, Traditions Mistresses, 2019 Class Presidents, 2018 Class Presidents, 2017 Class Presidents, Civic Engagement Representative, 2019 Songsmistress, 2018 Songsmistress, 2017 Songsmistress, 2019 Honor Board Representatives, 2018 Honor Board Representatives, 2017 Honor Board Representatives (keep in mind 2017 has three positions available, 2018 has one available position, and 2019 has two available positions). We’re thinking of changing the way of how we vote using Doodle to make it more fun and easier to vote so you don’t have to go on Moodle. We’re having two rounds of Candidates Forums just because there are a lot of elections happening. Thank you!

Nora Dell ‘19: What is the date of the first Candidates Forum? Mariana Garcia ‘19: The first is April 20th, the second is April 22nd.

Lillian Oyen-Ustad ‘19: When will the assignments for different candidates forums be released, like which people are going on which days?

Mariana Garcia ‘19: We will email you to see who is available which days. We’re going to send a Doodle to select which times or days are available for everyone. If you want to be a candidate, you have to go to Candidates Forum. You need to be there to answer the questions. After we figure out who is available when we will send the announcement [with the dates]. Are there any more questions? You can email elections@brynmawr.edu, me at mlgarcia@brynmawr.edu, or Gen at geperezmela@brynmawr.edu.

Emily Gifford-Smith ‘16: Hi everyone, Emily Gifford-Smith, Student Athletics Association Representative. I just wanted to let you guys know that this week is the start of Division Three week, which is a time when we celebrate and raise awareness about what it means to be a student athlete and why we chose to play at a Division Three school. This is a great week; we have a lot of fun events going on so look for us. There should be, in your dorm, a calendar of We are going to have a really fun thing on Friday, like a de-stresser on the green outside the Campus Center. We really want participation throughout the week from students and faculty, who aren’t here right now, so please come out.

Rhea Manglani: Any more questions? We want to invite anyone who got through this Elections Cycle to come up.

Nora Dell ‘19: Hello everybody, my name is Nora, as you probably know, Class of 2019, and I am the new SGA Archivist. I look forward to a great next year and I look forward to working…together.

Kat Phifer ‘19: Hi, I’m Kat Phifer, Class of 2019 (they/them or she/her pronouns) and I’m one of the new MAL’s for the rest of the semester.

Your Two Cents:

Rhea Manglani ’17: With that we’ll move on to Your Two Cents. Your Two Cents is a time when anyone from the Bryn Mawr Community can pose a new topic for discussion or host a Straw Poll. We have ten minutes for this agenda item.

Erin Saladin ‘16: This is actually related to the minutes from the March 20th meeting. I wasn’t at that particular meeting, but there was a point brought up about an initiative to make SGA more accessible. I think it was the “Thanks, SGA” campaign. There was an issue with taking pictures of sleeping students in Canaday. There was an issue in terms of safety and security because Canaday is a public space.

Nora Dell ‘19: I was supposed to be that someone would pretend to be asleep. The picture would be of one of us.

Erin Saladin’16: Okay, great. We were also worried about people displaying Canaday as a sleeping space.

Melanie Bahti ‘16: I have a thought as a Canaday student worker who works weird hours during 24-Hour Canaday. I think it can be really frustrating to have Canaday as another world where you can do weird things. That kind of worries us. Just think about what that means towards your peers and that we have to deal with that, like people sleeping. So I think that I would echo wanting to think about what kind of expectation we are setting by advertising that.

Erin Saladin ‘16: Who is in charge of the campaign?

Rachel: The roles are being redistributed right now [as per the recent election of two Members-at-Large], however I believe Hannah was in charge.

Erin Saladin ’16: Thank you!

Big Cheese Forum Topic Discussion:

Rhea Manglani ’17: I’m going to count off in groups of four and we’re each going to take two administrators. If you had an administrator in mind but you’re not in their group you can still add to that [questions]. Group one will be KCass and Kari, Group Two will be Dean Balthazar and Provost Osirim, Group Three will be Pelema and Stephanie Nixon, and Group Four will be Glenn Smith and Gina Siesing. Let’s count off by four… Group One can meet here, Group Two here, Group Three there, and Group Four there… Will talk for about ten minutes then pull into the larger group… You can choose if you want to sit with your group or not.

Rachel Bruce ‘18: Name and class year, please.

Chanel Williams ‘16: Sorry, Chanel Williams ’16. So one had the CFO of the college who is Kari Fazio and President Cassidy. So questions we had for Kari Fazio were like how is the campus shuttle going to be financed (there was a Plenary Resolution about it). Also, what happens to money saved through the employment of […]. There was a section where we talked about student workers in the dining hall and how much money they save the college. We were wondering what happened to that money. Questions about just financing the college in general and what happens to the excess funds that the college makes. And then questions for President Cassidy: questions about renovating Park and Rockefeller Dorm and what that’s going to look like, Health Center renovations, how is the Health Center adapting to an increase of the student body on campus, questions about the progress of President Cassidy’s Monthly Diversity Talks.

Nkechi Ampah ‘17: We talked at Dean Balthazar and Provost Osirim coming. There were a lot of questions about hiring faculty, obviously. Firstly about hiring processes, like does the person who is there to [interview them consider] how diverse is this candidate. Like how are they being trained is the first question. We also want to hear about organizing 360’s available or accessible to people who have different majors (they’re a very humanities-based program). Yeah, so we want to hear about the new dean, we want to hear a wrap-up reflection on Dean Balthazar’s time as Interim Dean of the College. We want to hear about students taking time off, like why and how many people are doing that. Is there an increase, decrease? Public safety, we wanted to have a conversation about that with Public Safety issues on campus and also about the Party Policy. We were having a conversation about Dean Balthazar and Provost Osirim coming to the academic freedom talk recently. I think we want to use that as a larger conversation about student protesting. Research– professors are expected to publish while they’re here. We are wondering how much of that are they required to do, is that putting a strain on them being able to do other things for the community. And also, we were thinking about a diversity and inclusion-related question on the review when you rate your professor.

Lillian Oyen-Ustad ‘19: So my group was talking about Pelema and Stephanie Nixon’s appearance at Big Cheese Forum. One of the things we wanted to talk about was need-blind admission and why we’re not need-blind but need-conscious? Need sensitive sorry. We also want to talk about the McBride Program and why their enrollment has been decreasing, as well as how and why, or rather how and what accommodations are we making for the future incoming Bryn Mawr classes because we know that they’re getting bigger, which is great because there are more acceptances and we’re welcoming to more students but we want to know logistically how that’s going to work like with financial aid and also life on campus with dorms, dining halls, etc. We also want to find out what accommodations are being made with the new acceptance policy of accepting of trans women, as well as how that is going to play into roommate selection next year and in years to come. And finally with admissions we want to talk about the external athletics and how student athlete admissions are going to be changed in the future. And with Stephanie Nixon we want to talk about diversity in admissions and on campus in general, as well as the Title IX changes with the change in admissions policy, as well as Pensby Center accessibility and what Pensby wants to do in the future. We want to talk about whether students are using the Pensby Center and what we can do to increase and change those numbers.

Nolan Julien ‘18: I was in Group Four. One of the first people we talked about was Glenn Smith in asking questions about the long and short-term changes for renovations of the Health Center (in what ways will changing the building affect student experiences). What is happening with Park and Rock over the summer? Why didn’t Rock get a new water fountain when the other dorms did? The Post Office moving downstairs, is that happening, for space issues? The Writing Center is cold in the winter, people would like to have that fixed. When is the door coming back to Rhoads, why does the dumbwaiter not work after 2:00 PM in Denbigh, plans for the Campus Shuttle, Mount Bryn Mawr in front of TGH (that’s what I call it), stakes on top of Thomas. For Gina Siesing (want to pronounce that right), the logistics of switching emails, do students have to download anything, and; as a graduating student the impact of erasing emails after you graduate.

Rhea Manglani ‘17: Do you have any comments?

Erin Saladin ‘16: I had a suggestion for something to as Gina. She’s been really advocating for student involvement in what libraries do. I think it would be great to have her speak as to what she’s doing to increase student input.

Rhea Manglani ‘17: Just a reminder to use name and class year, sorry for Rachel. Khadijah Seay ‘16: Can Stephanie be asked for figure on Bias Response Team. Rhea Manglani ‘17: Anybody else?
Nkechi Ampah ‘16: With Pelema can we talk about restricting of Financial Aid?

Rhea Manglani ‘17: Pelema you can definitely ask all the Financial Aid questions because when Ethel emailed me basically was like he knows the Financial Aid process really well so you can ask him questions about that. I should have said that earlier, sorry.

Emily Gifford-Smith ‘16: I have a logistical question, when do we sign up for moderators?

Rhea Manglani ‘17: We’re going to do that after this discussion. Anything else?

Miranda Smith ‘16: Is there a way we can leave this open so we can keep making suggestions?

Rhea Manglani ‘17: So basically this is to give the Cheeses mind to what to talk about, like how to start the conversation. It’s going to be two fifteen-minute rounds. So maybe the first few minutes, if people are shy about starting it, it can start from what we can gather and go forth from there. If we don’t do anything about this then it’s fine. It’s not a warning, but kind of something for them to think about. Like Dean Balthazar’s questions are about her time here so she’ll have time to collect and think about how she might want to talk about. But if someone comes in and wants to talk about X and that’s what the group ends up talking about then that’s fine.

Miranda Smith ‘16: Quick follow up. I know that when we’ve done it this way in the past that people come in with talking points and the conversation have tended to stick pretty strictly to those talking points points. So I’m wondering if we can structure in any sort of time for any open more organic conversation so that when students do come that they feel more comfortable approaching issues that are part of those talking points.

Rhea Manglani ‘17: Does anyone have any questions? Just to reiterate what Miranda said, there have been moments where we’ve done small groups. Sometimes students don’t speak up or the administrator is very keyed in on points they’ve been asked, so we’re trying to find a balance of that.

Erin Saladin ‘16: I know last Big Cheese Forum we started with groups I think and brought it back. I’m’ wondering if maybe we if we started with short large group and talked about those questions and then split up and went into the smaller groups and ask their own questions. I don’t know if that would help

Melanie Bahti ‘16: Just going off of that, I know that in the past lie my EBoard that there were short, fact-based, yes or no answers like for Park renovations, like will park be renovated not. Not necessarily that, but straight yes or no answers. We used to do it that we would have questions emailed to the E-Board so people could participate more.

Rhea Manglani ‘17: That helps because KCass said she did not like the large group structure. She told me she would not like those because sometimes people ask personal questions, which are not better for the entire group to learn. The suggestion is to use these questions as starters and then break into small groups. Straw poll, raise your hands if yes, no, abstain?

Straw poll passed.

Chanel Williams ‘16: In that format, would students be able to ask questions of the faculty and the administration or no?

Rhea Manglani ‘17: I think that we would use those questions to start it. We would have to pick a very few, basic questions because we would have to go fast. The small group is what has been more effective in these meetings.

Erin Saladin ‘16: Maybe it could be just them presenting information [at the beginning] based on questions we gave them and then Q and A could happen in smaller groups and still have that background of information?

Rhea Manglani ‘17: Thank you, that really helps! We’ll stick to that format. We will email them out this, come with quicker responses then we will dissipate into smaller groups. Okay, now let’s move on to Facilitators and Note Takers. So every group needs a Facilitator and every group needs a Note Taker. So basically a Note Taker is doing Rachel’s job, they’re taking minutes, and the Facilitator just kind of keeps the conversation steady and productive. So just going down the list who wants to be a facilitator for…

President Cassidy: Alexis Wiltshire (Facilitator), Nora Dell (Note Taker) Kari Fazio: Bridget Murray (Facilitator), Veda Nambi (Note Taker)
Provost Osirim: Nkechi Ampah (Facilitator), Melanie Bahti (Note Taker) Dean Balthazar: Khadijah Seay (Facilitator), Dani Cadet (Note Taker) Pelema Morrice: Diamond Ray (Facilitator), Lillian Oyen-Ustad (Note Taker) Stephanie Nixon: Coco Wang (Facilitator), Nanda Bhushan (Note Taker) Gina Siesing: Erin Saladin (Facilitator), Emily Gifford-Smith (Note Taker) Glenn Smith: Chanel Williams (Facilitator), Kat Phifer (Note Taker)

Nora Dell ‘19: Can you speak more on what kind of format you want the minutes to look like with the transcript and that’s kind of difficult if you do not type fast

Rhea Manglani ‘17: I was going to leave it up to the discretion– oh wait Melanie do you need something?

Melanie Bahti ‘16: I have taken notes for the last two Big Cheese Forums and I agree it’s really hard to have a word-for-word transcript if you’re not that fast. Do your best but make sure you’re getting the main point for content. If it’s not the same phrasing that the person would use it’s okay, so long as you get the content right.

Nora Dell ‘19: But keep it close to transcript.
Melanie Bahti ‘16: Yes, but keep it as close to who was speaking.

Rhea Manglani ‘17: Just to reiterate for people taking notes, it’s best to keep word for word but get the main content. It can be a little intimidating, a little loud, a lot of people talking. Bring in a recording device, which we mentioned earlier. It doesn’t normally work but– did we do this last year?

Rachel Bruce ‘18: I use an app called Audacity, which you can download. You can also use the recording device on your phone if your phone has one.

Rhea Manglani ‘17: We will hope for the best. Is there anything else before we move on?

Old Business:

Rhea Manglani ’17: Old Business is a time when any member of the Representative Council can revisit a topic previously brought up at an SGA meeting. The topic must relate to the Representative Council Member’s position. We have ten minutes for this agenda item. Any Old Business?

New Business:

Rhea Manglani ’17: Moving onto New Business! New Business is a time when any member of the Representative Council can make an announcement or pose a question for discussion. The discussion must pertain to the Representative Council Member’s position. We have ten minutes for this item.

Nolan Julien ‘18: As COPS Head Position, I would like to get a feel of how East [vs.] West went for people. I don’t want to be invasive, but if you had extremely positive, negative, anything experiences please email me at njulien@brynmawr.edu. I would really appreciate it so I can take that information and process and do things with it.

Rhea Manglani ’17: Is there any more New Business? Motion to end the meeting?

Emily Gifford-Smith ‘16: Motion.

Alexis Wiltshire ‘17: Second.

Rhea Manglani ’17: All in favor? Raise your hand if yes, raise your hand if no, raise your hand to abstain. Yes? No? Abstain?

Motion passed, meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM.

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