- Role Call:
- The meeting began at 7:10 with Role Call.
- Present: Katherine Nichols, Ananya Kumar, Camila Duluc, Tyler Brown-Cross, Bridget Murray, Kyra Sagal, Sam Heyrich, Mariana Garcia, Genesis Perez-Melara, Priyanka Dutta, Hannah Henderson-Charnow, Connie Lam, Lillian Oyen-Ustad, Nikki Shakamuri, Abby Chernila, Dilesha Tanna, Margaret Gorman, Lea Williams, Manal Hussain, May Zhu, Leticia Robledo, Adriana Gay, Juhi Aggarwal, Jessica Breet, Makeda Warde, Farida Ilboudo, Emma Porter, Nicky Westerduin, Evelyn Aviles, Jasmine Rangel, Madison Brown, Emily Drummond, Claire Romaine, Claire Gaposchkin
- Absent: Abbie Sullivan, Elizabeth Hilton, Precious Robinson, Catherine Bunza, Sohini Maniar, Nora Dell, Veda Nambi, Phoebe Dopulous, Emma Lasky, Emma Levin, Sarah Awad, Celeste Ledesma
- Rhea Manglani ’17 (SGA President) made an announcement about the importance of maintaining decorum during meetings. This does not mean not calling out racism or hateful ideologies, but instead refraining from eye rolling and other rude activities during the questioning period.
- SAAC is partnering with the Body Image Council to make valentines to a body part you love on Monday, February 13. SAAC will also be selling carnations for Valentine’s Day (three for $1.00). All proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Center at the Bryn Mawr Hospital.
- The Members-at-Large will be hosting a valentine-making event on Tuesday, February 14 from 11:00 to 12:00 in the Campus Center. Money for candy grams will go to a charity to be determined.
- Plenary Resolution Updates:
- Plenary Resolution presenters presented their ideas for students present at the SGA meeting. They include:
- The SGA E-Board (Rhea Manglani ’17, Shaina Robinson ’17, Rachel Bruce ’18, Jocelyne Oliveros ’18, and Swati Shastry ’18) – Shortening the Plenary Wait Time to One Hour and Fifteen Minutes
- The SGA E-Board – Solidifying the Five Absence Rule for Representative Council Members (barring religious and academic obligations and illness)
- The SGA E-Board – Creating a Stipend for the SGA Executive Board
- Sam Heyrich ’17 and Lillian Oyen-Ustad ’19 – Preventing Events from Occurring during the 4:00 to 7:00 PM Timeslot to Accommodate Athletes
- Emma Porter ’17 – Reducing 24 Hour Canaday
- Claire Gaposchkin ’17 – Extending Carpenter Library’s Hours During Finals Week
- Sophia Bokhari ’20 – Allowing for Dogs During Counseling Services Sessions
- Maura Fitzpatrick – Improving Funding for Counseling Services
- Bridget Murray ’17 and Kyra Sagal ’17 – Better Regulating the Position of Dorm President in the SGA Constitution
- Sam Heyrich ’17 – Making the SAAC Representative Position a Co-Held Representative Council Position
- Gabriele Smith ’17 and Hannah Henderson-Charnow ’17 –Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions Against Israel
- Resolution Presenters must have a final draft of their resolution as well as a petition for its presentation (1/3 of quorum) by the next SGA meeting on Sunday, February 26.
- An additional presentation to reaffirm the Honor Code and SGA Constitution will be presented by the incoming SGA Executive Board.
- Plenary Resolution presenters presented their ideas for students present at the SGA meeting. They include:
- Elections Bylaws Updates:
- Mariana Garcia ’19 (Co-Head of Elections) presented several changes to the Elections Bylaws regarding regulations on write-in candidates and campaigning methods to be implemented in the next elections cycle and going forward. After much discussion and a split vote on the bylaws, the document has been tabled for a future vote.
- Board of Trustee Meeting:
- There was a Board of Trustee Meeting on Saturday, February 11. Most of the discussion and debrief focused on changes to financial aid in terms of grants. There is also a new committee being created in response to last year’s Campus Climate Survey.
- Old Business:
- There was no Old Business.
- New Business:
- There was no New Business.
- The meeting was adjourned at 8:29 PM.
Rhea Manglani ’17: Okay, it’s 7:10 we’re going to start the meeting with Role Call.
Rachel Bruce ’18: Hi everyone, I am required by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to tell you that everything said here tonight will be recorded for the minutes.
Present: Katherine Nichols, Ananya Kumar, Camila Duluc, Tyler Brown-Cross, Bridget Murray, Kyra Sagal, Sam Heyrich, Mariana Garcia, Genesis Perez-Melara, Priyanka Dutta, Hannah Henderson-Charnow, Connie Lam, Lillian Oyen-Ustad, Nikki Shakamuri, Abby Chernila, Dilesha Tanna, Margaret Gorman, Lea Williams, Manal Hussain, May Zhu, Leticia Robledo, Adriana Gay, Juhi Aggarwal, Jessica Breet, Makeda Warde, Farida Ilboudo, Emma Porter, Nicky Westerduin, Evelyn Aviles, Jasmine Rangel, Madison Brown, Emily Drummond, Claire Romaine, Claire Gaposchkin
Absent: Abbie Sullivan, Elizabeth Hilton, Precious Robinson, Catherine Bunza, Sohini Maniar, Nora Dell, Veda Nambi, Phoebe Dopulous, Emma Lasky, Emma Levin, Sarah Awad, Celeste Ledesma
Rhea Manglani ‘17: Just to start off with what I said last time, I have a quick thing about decorum. Decorum does not mean if someone says something offensive I don’t want you to keep quiet. We have been having an issue with people’s attitudes and being rude at meetings about questions. Maybe you’re mad someone spoke three times at a meeting. You could raise your hand and say, “I feel this discussion is becoming too one on one.” There are ways for you guys to express yourselves. This is just a reminder. So we’re going to start with Announcements. Announcements is a time when any member of the Bryn Mawr Community can make an announcement.
Sam Heyrich ‘17: Tomorrow, Monday the 13, as well as Tuesday and Wednesday SAAC is pairing with the Body Image Council and Body Image Project to table in the foyer of the Campus Center. You can make valentines to be written to a body part you love. These will be displayed. SAAC is also selling carnations in time for Valentine’s Day, three for $1.00. A link has been posted on Facebook Pages. All proceeds go to help research for breast cancer at Bryn Mawr Hospital.
Lea Williams ‘20: So the Members-at-Large have been planning this Valentine’s Day thing and there will be crafts and candy and we’re selling on Tuesday from 11:00 to 12:00 in the Campus Center. The money going to a charity to be determined. Also here are some flyers that the Dorm Presidents can take.
Plenary Resolution Updates:
Rhea Manglani ‘17: We kind of ordered them in the way they came in the email. I put them in the order I received them in. So it looks like there are a lot of resolutions. The first three are from the E-Board, so I’ll read them quickly.
First is the Plenary wait time. Since we changed to night plenary, the three hour time limit seems a little excessive. If we change to hour and fifteen minutes we’ll save a lot of time. We gave a fifteen minute buffer time.
Aly Robins ‘17: Is this assuming that we’re always going to Night Plenary?
Rhea Manglani ‘17: I think it institutes it yeah, but even then it forces the student body to get there within an hour. Any other questions?
Next resolution is five absences for the Representative Council. It was always kind of a rule that we didn’t institute but we’re cracking down on it now if. Illness religious conflicts, academic commitments will be an excuse. But if you’re not feeling it, that’s not an excuse. It’s also for people for people who do SGA and are kind of confused about their role. We want to put it inside the Constitution. Are there any questions?
Jessica Breet ‘18: Is that for both members of a co-held position?
Rhea Manglani ‘17: Each of you have five, so yes.
This is the last one by the E-Board is basically to make E-Board positions paid. I’ll read this one out loud. Before anyone asks, this will not affect us; we did it for the good of the future.
“Be it resolved, the 5 Executive Board positions shall be paid through a stipend. The stipend amount will come out of the SGA budget. As per current policy, the budget will be approved at a representative council meeting. However, the stipend amount will not be enacted until the student body votes on it at Fall Plenary. If the stipend amount is reduced or rejected by the student body at plenary, funds will enter the emergency pool. This stipend amount cannot exceed $5,000 (meaning $1,000 per person) total.”
Jasmine Rangel ‘17: Have you ever considered adding the people who do Traditions as well considering the level of work someone has Traditions goes through?
Rhea Manglani ‘17: Yeah, that’s always the tricky thing. Can you and I talk after? I’m not opposed to the idea. Anyone else? Can you put that as a note, Swati?
Lillian Oyen-Ustad ’19: Lillian Oyen-Ustad, class of 2019.
Sam Heyrich ‘17: Sam Heyrich class of 2017.
Lillian Oyen-Ustad ‘19: Our Plenary Resolution addresses the 4:00 to 7:00 timeslot. As you know, colloquiums and major teas occur during the time slot. There are a lot conflicts with games during the time slot, as well as a majority of other things. Our goal for the resolution is that we gain support from the students in addition to student athletes to move to exclude this time block for future events.
Claire Romaine ‘17: What sort of timeslots are you recommending with this?
Sam Heyrich ‘17: I think that’s something we could talk about in the figure but what this resolution is looking towards is finding another timeslot that won’t be as conflicted for student athletes.
Emma Porter ‘17: I am wondering, have you spoke to any faculty and staff members about this? A lot of teas and colloquium happen then because faculty have families and other conflicts outside of work.
Lillian Oyen-Ustad ’17: SAAC sent out a letter to the faculty as a voice from the student athletes. We gained a very positive response from a majority of the staff. We’re going to move forward with this. It’s come to our attention that a lot of these events used to happen during the day. We want to go back to old method.
Sam Heyrich ‘17: This is also something that the Athletic Department has been pushing for. A Plenary Resolution will expand our support.
Makeda Warde ‘18: So you don’t know exactly what timeslot you are putting this on?
Sam Heyrich ‘17: It would be after 7:00 most likely.
Aly Robins ’17: Has there been any straw polling or statistical analysis about this?
Lillian Oyen-Ustad: We haven’t but this has been raised by a lot of different students. We have mentioned that the 4:00 to 7:00 timeslot is inaccessible. They can’t be in that attendance because they’re already committed to games.
Bridget: Murray ‘17 But also there’s always something coming. Why just the people who have that slot?
Sam Heyrich ‘17: So the majority of clubs happen during the 4:00 to 7:00—
Bridget Murray ‘17: Do you have a number?
Sam Heyrich ‘17: I don’t, but the whole point is to make this as accessible as possible considering that the majority of activities happen during this time.
Claire Romaine ‘17: I’d just like to see going forward getting some of those numbers and statistics. Also maybe some more straw polling, besides student athletes.
Sam Heyrich ‘17: That’s something we will work on.
Jessica Breet ‘18: In addition, I would also suggest speaking to McBrides and students who don’t live on campus.
Sam Heyrich ‘17: If there are any other questions you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rhea Manglani ‘17: This is Emma.
Emma Porter ‘17: My resolution is to replace 24 Canaday with extended hours. So for example, it would be open from 6:00 to 3:00 the next day instead, and the logistics would actually work out pretty well. If there are books that need to be checked out you would be able to bring them back by 8:00 Am the next morning and also that there’s an arrangement with PSafe so that they would open a classroom in Taylor for more study spaces.
Makeda Warde ‘18: What is the purpose of doing that?
Emma Porter ‘17: So the idea behind this resolution is kind of keeping in mind that student workers are students and they’re taking the time to be open for those crazy early mornings. I can’t imagine. I’m not a Canaday worker but the person who is presenting this with me is. How do you get a goodnight’s sleep and work these shifts? I also think it promotes unhealthy habits as well. If 24 Canaday is there we’ll take advantage, if there isn’t then we’ll sleep.
Bridget Murray ‘17: I don’t know if you worked at the original resolution that enacted this, but it was pretty disturbing that apparently Canaday Library and Canaday workers were consulted. They mentioned it to the staff so far as this in your budget, but it was pretty much done without the voice of students.
Emma Porter ’17: Thank you.
Claire Romaine ‘17: Have you talked to Public Safety?
Emma Porter ‘17: That’s the next step, but we have talked to Canaday to get headcounts. That information will be present. I can’t say right now, but the numbers from 4:00 to 6:00 are like three people and they’re all sleeping.
Meera Jayaraman: I just want to add thought that as Canaday workers, we actually do have a choice to sign up for those slots. A lot of times if we want to take those hours we can. Also it’s pretty nice to make extra money during finals.
Emma Porter ‘17: Like I said, I’m not a Canaday worker, but maybe people want to keep 24 Canaday this something I can talk about with them.
Meera Jayaraman ‘17: But if you want to.
Rhea Manglani ‘17: If you want to straw poll the rest of the Canaday workers you can.
Claire Gaposchkin ‘17: So in a similar vain, my Plenary resolution revolves around extending Carpenter Library’s hours. So one week in the Fall, two weeks in the Spring. Not drastically, but from midnight to 2:00 AM during finals Sunday through Thursday so that students have extra time there while studying. For a number of us, there are a lot of resources people need that cannot be removed from the library and that can only be checked out to faculty, staff, and carrels.
Aly Robins ‘17: Would you mind adding when Carpenter opens on this?
Claire Gaposchkin ‘17: Yes, I’ve been looking for the old resolutions of how to set that up.
Aly Robins ‘17: Okay yeah, I just didn’t have context
Claire Gaposchkin ’17: 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM Monday through Thursday, 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM on Saturday, and 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM on Sunday.
Claire Romaine ‘17: Like Bridget said, Canaday Workers, maybe it would be good to take a straw poll of Carpenter workers.
Claire Gaposchkin ‘17: That’s definitely something I would bring up. It’s not a drastic change. It’s something already in Canaday’s normal hours it isn’t that extreme to ask. Also a number of other shifts could be added.
Sophia Bokhari ‘20: My resolution is about getting dogs to come to Counseling Center sessions. Reggie from the Counseling Center has been working on getting dogs during Counseling Sessions. They have a suggestion box in the waiting room. After we get enough data and after that’s finished they’re going to present it to the Administration. This way we could expedite that process is by getting a Plenary resolution and that’s what I’m doing.
Rhea Manglani ‘17: Any questions? Basically to get dogs.
Emma Porter ‘17: When you first brought this up at that one SGA meeting you also discussed having them in other buildings.
Sophia Bokhari ‘20: It’s not, but if anyone wants to make it I just wanted to focus on one.
Aly Robins ‘17: I’m just looking at the title for the next one too. Is this a suggestion for the expansion of the budget because they currently aren’t the same?
Rhea Manglani ‘17: They’re separate.
Aly Robins ‘17: Okay, maybe y’all should talk.
Maura Fitzpatrick ’17: So I just want to preference that this is part of my thesis research. In March I’d like to have a forum for students to come and discuss ways mental health resources can be improved. I hope to turn that into a project. For now I have this resolution based on things I’ve talked to with students on campus. This basically talks about students who have to take time off. It’s protocol that when students are hospitalized students go on medical leave. They have to see psychiatrist on weekly basis. If students can’t afford that and they can’t come back. My resolution says that we should have one or more counselor and more resources. Make sure students have more preventative care and access to care before they return. Any questions?
Claire Romaine ‘17: So whom exactly is this a recommendation for? Who is going to be approached with this resolution if this passes? Is it the administration or the Counseling Center itself and what is it going to do?
Maura Fitzpatrick: That’s a good question, thank you. I believe it would be an expansion of the budget. A part of the forum that I plan to have is that sometimes there are inherent tradeoffs. Is it so important that we have counselors that we take away money from something else? That’s a discussion that will happen. It will be presented to the administration as well. Does that make sense?
Creighton Ward ’19: Just a question I have in general, I don’t have a lot of experiences with the Counseling Center. My question is whether we need more counselors or if we need to train counselors to do different things, like a lot of the counselors are white. Like maybe some diversity training? Maybe more counselors or better counselors.
Maura Fitzpatrick ‘17: That’s a good point. I’m hoping to have a meeting with Counseling Services soon. That’s a good idea for expanding.
Claire Romaine ‘17: A little bit in response to that is that a lot of the problems with the Counseling Center Is that there are fewer and fewer open spots. Now there are 30 minute spots as opposed to an hour which is part of that there’s not enough counselors during the day
Maura Fitzpatrick ‘17: I believe there aren’t enough. I have a meeting with Reggie this week so I’m going tot talk to her. I’m also waiting for IRB approval so I can’t do too much yet.
Jessica Breet ‘18: I’m not sure exactly what you mean by Financial Aid given by the college in what form. Maybe health insurance grants for international students. Even so with those grants, that it needs to expand because you’re only given ten free ones and after that you have to pay. I’m an international student so.
Maura Fitzpatrick: Yeah I probably could have used a better word than financial aid. Dean Walters is working on an emergency fund. If a student has an emergency like with mental health or a broken tooth the college will help them get that.
Aly Robins ‘17: I have a two pronged thing, have you reached out to Rachel Heiser?
Maura Fitzpatrick: Not yet.
Aly Robins ‘17: Okay. Something about the 4:00 to 7:00 block may be an expansion of the hours. Like someone comes in 9:00 to 5:00 or 8:00?
Maura Fitzpatrick ‘17: That’s a great idea.
Rhea Manglani ‘17: Next is Bridget.
Bridget Murray ‘17: Bridget Murray, class of 2017.
Kyra Sagal ‘17: Kyra Sagal, class of 2017.
Bridget Murray ‘17: We’re the ResCo Heads. This is an amendment to the Constitution. There are basically too many parts to it. We went through the minutes and found that it hasn’t been touched in a decade. We’re taking out the stuff no longer done by Dorm Presidents. We’re adding additional clauses more accessible and better for students’ schedules who take on both SGA and residence council and monthly DLT meetings and other stuff as needed. That’s a lot and it results in making weird arrangements. If students have to step down, a full election is held. You can have an SGA and a ResCo representative for the dorm. If there is a situation during the year where a student has to step down with work or film classes, we’re adding something there that if that’s the situation that they an keep their DP position and can make their other commitments. It’s disruptive to have to change the DLT position in the middle of the year. It’s an unnecessary amount of bureaucracy.
Madison Brown ‘17: How would that worked in terms of co-DP’s?
Bridget Murray ‘17: Co-DP’s would stay the same.
Lillian Oyen-Ustad ‘19: has there ever been a conversation about the DP undergoing the same process as other DLT positions? Just because the DP’s have a lot of the burden but not a lot of the benefit. The issue is just that because there is a representative council process.
Bridget Murray ‘17: They were separate at one point, not sure when they were consolidated. Basically, I think that the ideas, at least from a RepCo standpoint, brings in a lot of diversity. People who like being on DLT may not like it shakes things up. There’s a lot of back and forth there. The negative of that is that because it’s an SGA Representative Position they can’t get paid. They are elected after room draw they don’t get any of the benefits of that.
Jessica Breet ‘18: Would this make it mandatory that one student would not be able to hold both?
Bridget: Default is that they’re the same but if it comes down to it you don’t have to drop out.
Lillian Oyen-Ustad ‘19: Is there a way to add a clause that members of the RepCo can be DP if they have an SGA RepCo Position? One concern Sam raised is that SAAC must be separate because she already has a position. Could there be a way to do both?
Rhea Manglani ‘17: I lost Sam’s so she’s going to read it.
Sam Heyrich ‘17: I’m not going through the formal version, so I’ll give you the anecdotal version. So basically what happened this year is that I’m the SAAC present and that committee had set aside for an automatic Representative Council position for student government. I can’t do the position because I was elected social committee head. One of the clauses for SGA does not allow one representative for SGA to hold two positions. I’ve been to to work through this all year. There are a lot of conflicts that come along with being a BMC student in general whether that be work, academic conflicts, etc. This resolution is making the SAAC Representative a co-held position between two students on the SAAC committee executive board if the president is not able to hold both positions. Any questions? It’s similar to Bridget’s. This makes it an option not mandatory.
Jessica Breet ‘18: Does that give rep two seats or one?
Sam Heyrich ‘17: Just one, but it provides the opportunity can be split if needed.
Lillian Oyen-Ustad ‘19: Just to add on, it adds on to be present on behalf of SAAC because of conflicts with games.
Sam Heyrich ‘17: There are a lot of conflicts with championship meets. This ensures that RepCo is always filled. If you have any questions you can email me at email@example.com.
Aly Robins ‘17: So I’m just trying to understand. Basically you’re making it so that if they’re on or in this position they can also have another RepCo position?
Sam: No, SAAC has its own seat and it just happens that I’m the first person to hold two RepCo positions. What this does is that if the president already has a position it goes to another member fo the executive board. I have up my slot as SAAC rep to the VP of SAAC. The VP hasn’t been able to make every meeting. We were alternating but weren’t able to do that because it’s not a co-held position. If this happens again we can co-hold the position in case.
Rhea Manglani ‘17: Last one.
Gabriele Smith ‘17: This is a resolution co-written by Hannah HC. This is something we’re trying to do is a boycott and divest Israel to put sanctions on them to stop human rights violations. We took the resolution from Vassar. Other Seven Sisters schools and Liberal Arts Colleges have had student resolutions in the same manner. We’re having students state their opinions on the same matter, to get a large group to show solidarity. It’s still pretty early on. I don’t know if we’ll present this this or next semester. It is important. It is 2017 and things are rough. If anyone wants to help or has any ideas we are looking for that input for the rest of the semester.
Claire Gaposchkin ‘17: So can you just quickly say how this BDS is applied to BMC?
Gabriele Smith ’17: This is similar to divestments from South Africa to end apartheid. We’re asking board of trusties to divest BMC’s divestments. These are some companies that have invested in Israel and benefit from the occupation of Palestinians, such as Caterpillar (their machines tear down Palestinian houses). Also that SGA not use its money for any of these companies, like Hummus.
Makeda Warde ‘18: So do you know how many funds go into those companies?
Rhea Manglani ‘17: I can help answer that. Almost all liberal arts colleges and schools in general, if you present a resolution like this Board of Trustees can bring this to portfolio. This is similar to the one to divest from fossil fuels. The Board took it and didn’t fully divest because portfolio firm did not have that portfolio, but they did cut down.
Gabrielle Smith ‘17: A big part is not only divestment but also education to tell people what is happening in Israel and Palestine.
Jessica Breet ‘18: Is this geared at the administration or also getting rid of Tribe and Ben and Jerry’s?
Gabrielle Smith ‘17: Yes, any other questions comments or concerns? Well Hannah’s giving the thumbs up. If anyone wants to help email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. just come over after the SGA meeting.
Rhea Manglani ‘17: Just want to remind Plenary writers to come to the 2/26 meeting. We need final resolutions by March 5. From there we will submit them for Plenary packets which will be released to student body. You will need a third of quorum for petition. We’ll prepare the Google form so it’s easier. Keep in mind that for 2/26 you need your numbers.
Elections By-Laws Vote:
Rhea Manglani ‘17: Gen can’t do it.
Mariana Garcia ‘17: Hey guys, one of the Heads of Elections. When Gen and I got elected we had some changes we wanted to implement. This is the final part of them.
“Article 1, Section 2, Subsection F: Nominations and candidacies can be rescinded at any time by emailing the Elections Head(s).
To now read:
Article 1, Section 2, Subsection F: Nominations and candidacies can be rescinded at any time by emailing the Elections Head(s). However, once it has been rescinded, the student may not qualify as a write in candidate.
The following sections must be added:
Article VI, Section 10- Community Campaigning
Candidates are responsible for the actions of their peers and supporters. Whenever one of their peers and/or supporters breaks the posting policy, online campaigning rules, or conducts negative campaigning, the candidate must bring the issue to their attention or contact the elections head(s) immediately. Failure to do so will result in disqualification.
Article VI, Section 11: Write-ins
All write-in candidates must abide by campaigning by-laws.”
Gabriele Smith ‘17: Can you go up? I’m just confused as to why that is necessary because my thought is that people can write in candidates that they think would be good for the role so even if someone decides not to be a candidate. Being a candidate means that their name is on the ballot but it would still be useful if students were able to write in a candidate to express how they feel.
Mariana Garcia ‘19: We took that into consideration but there are reasons why I came up with this. The nature elections here at Bryn Mawr recently have been to handpick people. It makes whole elections process not democratic and not far. You can’t switch back and forth even though they don’t know what they’re going to do.
Genesis Perez-Melara ‘19: Also that’s why nominations period is present so that if someone wants to run for a position they can send an email.
Emma Porter ‘17: I guess I would disagree with what you were saying because it’s making it more bureaucratic. The opportunity for write-in candidates, bringing in more democratic processes, better reflects the student body.
Mariana Garcia ‘17: I guess I see you’re point, but because of the nature of things and how they’ve been happening it’s not with that intention.
Jasmine Rangel ‘17: I have a couple of questions. One was how would this play out if a person was nominated for a co-held position and they were not nominated on their own because you have to be nominated together and decided they wanted to run with someone else?
Mariana Garcia ‘17: Yes, but that’s different. If you were running by yourself but that makes sense.
Rhea Manglani ‘17: We can strike those out and leave the other two if that’s what, just seeing a pattern.
Mariana Garcia ‘17 I’m doing these changes because I’ve seen the pattern and nature of things working how they shouldn’t be.
Bridget Murray ‘17: I’m assuming that this would be enacted next elections cycle?
Creighton Ward ‘19: I just want to ask what you mean by these patterns and nature of elections. I’ve only experienced a few rounds. I want to know exactly what negative campaigning is, I want a clear definition.
Mariana Garcia ‘17: Well, to my understanding, patterns I have seen— Gen and I have seen— basically what happens is there’s a nominations process that is a few days long. Sometimes people decline their nominations; people write in candidates because they want to see who’s running. It turns into a popularity context because they want to see who’s running. Also just not following the campaigning rules. People respond in ways they should not respond. We’re trying to be fair and trying to talk to people and be nice and avoid problems. It is very disrespectful and attacking.
Meera Jayaraman ‘17: I just want to say avoiding problems is coded language for saying what their platform is. I was wondering if you would respond to this and clarify what you mean about a “popularity contest”. I know the whole idea is for the candidate to give to SGA and have a real structure with how they approach elections. What do you mean?
Mariana Garcia ‘19: Can you explain the first thing?
Meera Jayaraman ‘17: You were talking about attacking, being disrespectful. It seems to me that’s coded language for asking the candidates what they might mean. The difference between what they mean and straight up attacking them, that’s very thin line. Who is it to judge what the line is?
Mariana Garcia ’19: I understand where you’re coming from. A lot of candidates have been attacked. They’ve been like “oh don’t run, want to change things around”. They have felt very uncomfortable. There are nominations, candidates’ forum, there’s time to do that and it’s just a way that people have been asking has been problematic.
Rhea Manglani ‘17: Just going to jump in. The time limit is going to go on way longer. We can go for speaking order. We have ten minutes and we started at 8:00. Would you guys prefer speaking order and just see if it keeps on?
Meera Jayaraman ‘18: Can we see if that goes on?
Jessica Breet ‘18: I worry that the culture about negative campaigning may seem like a subtle part of censorship, especially if candidates re responsible for the direct response. If someone makes a negative statement against another candidate that that can be used against a candidate that they will be disqualified, even if they had no knowledge of that.
Mariana Garcia ‘19: That’s an excellent point. It’s not that if a supporter says something. If someone says you can’t post in private groups and then the post if still there, if the elections; the candidate is not being responsive you will be disqualified.
Camila Duluc ‘17: The way I’m reading this, I don’t think this is ill natured at all. From my point of view, it’s trying to make the work for the co-heads an easier position because Candidates’ Forum not a lot of people went. With these elections, how they’re going, it would be good to have the people what want to be nominated and show community support. That way, like Mari said, you could have a way to talk to student to talk to the candidate you want. So they can ask questions, choose or not choose their candidate. It’s the most efficient way to be clear with the campus. We’re a really supportive community, as I’d like to believe. Elections should not be this hard, it should be easy for students so they can choose who they want to represent them.
Rhea Manglani ‘17: We’re at ten minutes. Basically we have a choice of extending the time limit or speaking order.
Lillian Oyen-Ustad ’19: Can we do that thing that we talked about?
Rhea Manglani ’17: The only thing is that this has to be pushed to a vote.
Meera Jayaraman ‘17: Can we have speaking order?
Jessica Breet ‘18: Then we run another vote?
Rhea Manglani ‘17: So basically we’re going to vote to push it to a vote, then speaking order.
Sam Heyrich: What is the limit?
Nikki Shakamuri ’19: I heard about a meeting about the election after this?
Rhea Manglani ‘17: it’s not a meeting about this, it’s a meeting about the election.
Mariana Garcia ‘19: It’s for candidates.
Rhea Manglani ‘17: Vote as a room. If you want to push this to a vote and end discussion.
Evelyn Aviles ‘17: What’s the question?
Rhea Manglani ‘17: If you want to vote, we’re doing this for whole room. Raise your hands if you’d like to continue discussion. Given that we have a little less than ten minutes left, we want to extend more than ten minutes. Let’s just do it to ten minutes.
Gabriele Smith ’17: I have a lot of things to say. First Camila just spoke. I would disagree that we’re a supportive community. We’re actually racist. Critiques of people are or a person… [If we don’t critique] we are going to continue this oppression. It’s easy to do. Two of the elections bylaws, and I remember that the changes about Facebook I was a part of the Elections Committee that year. Because the technology is new, we’re editing off of what was before. Instead of saying yeah, a private Facebook post, something we need to do with all the bylaws is thing about our bylaws and what we want. How are we going to follow with how bylaws were written in much different time? Posting in Facebook groups is outdated.
Mariana Garcia ’19: I appreciate you feedback.
Jasmine Rangel ’17: Can you scroll down about write-ins? As someone who was part of a write-in campaign, the bylaws include having to go to candidates’ forum. How would that play out? For write-ins that are outwardly campaigning, do I now have to abide to those rules?
Mariana Garcia ‘19: Write-in campaigning means to be written in. As for first question, it’s hard to tell now things have been different. It’s the decision of the Elections Head. I know it’s a campus forum. Maybe Candidates’ Forum is not necessary. We’ve been posting all of the campus. If we’re dealing with more than six candidates we can explore that.
Meera Jayaraman ‘17: So it seems that we aren’t allowed to have a truly democratic process. This whole inner circle of SGA is inaccessible. Requiring students to go through this process is why students are going though SGA write-ins and what is wrong with this campaigning process.
Mariana Garcia ‘19: I guess if they’re choosing to go through write-in process, I’m a sophomore, you are upperclassmen so you know more about what has happened in the past then I do. It does not necessarily mean that the process is in accessible, they can see who’s running before they write-in.
Creighton Ward ‘19: Something that concerns me about this proposal is that I feel like it can be manipulated against students, particularly minority students. I worry about when dissent from students of color is happening it is regarded as attacking. Is this candidate is supposed to represent me? I feel like I have to ask them. Ask from students who have different interests. Not everyone in SGA looks like me or thinks like I do. I’m concerned about the ways that the way this is used to perpetuate racism.
Mariana Garcia ’19: I’m trying to understand why you think asking a student directly is not accessible. You can ask them. I’ve been someone to ask. I’m a minority student. I’m Hispanic, I’m from Puerto Rico, and I understand that. So I’m just trying to understand because it’s hard.
Emma Porter ‘17: So you mentioned earlier that these bylaws are in the spirit of trying to streamline. I was wondering if you’ve done research on how accessible they already are. Do students currently feel like Candidates’ Forum is well publicized? Can they get the information that they need? For Candidates’ Forum, that’s one opportunity. That does not seem more accessible to me. Have you looked into ways to make this more accessible?
Mariana Garcia ‘19: I’ve heard neither. No one has come up. I’m hearing this now. I could look into this now. I would be willing to speak more about this, to have people’s feedback, straw poll, write in stuff. I’m working with new Heads of Elections, two new heads, and still dealing with process now because it got extended. I’m looking to work more to make sure this is more accessible and transparent.
Makeda Warde ‘18: So basically from what I’m hearing some people feel that SGA is being inaccessible as a whole and that they are suggesting we have a meeting about this. Is SGA being accessible as a whole. Just to make you answer these questions.
Mariana Garcia ‘19: Since Gen and I have had this position, we have made a lot of changes to make sure we voice it out. We do a lot. I would say that we have made changes and have voiced people’s concerns. Of course, there is always more work to be done.
Rhea Manglani ‘17: Ten minutes is up. Take this to a vote. Options are yes, no and abstain. Give minute to consult. Options are yes, no, and abstain. I’ll give you a minute.
Jessica Breet ‘18: Can I suggest voting for each separately?
Camila Duluc ‘19: What else needs to be discussed?
Rhea Manglani ‘17: Board of Trustee meeting.
Shaina Robinson ‘17: All right, we also have the Board of Trustee meeting. Are there any suggestions or do we want to go straight to the vote?
Lillian Oyen-Ustad ‘19: Are we voting for bylaws as a whole?
Shaina Robinson ‘17: I think we’re going to vote as a whole.
Rhea Manglani ‘17: People have brought up issues with all.
Shaina Robinson ‘17: I think it’s best to table this since it is a tie.
Board of Trustees:
Rhea Manglani ‘17: Most of this is pretty useless but they made a recommendation to the financial aid policy. It hits grants first. The Board is suggesting this. I didn’t get a clear sense if it’s all … The Board said that school has outdated policy. Second thing is that the Climate Policy that they’ve created new committee for it for new projects and ideas… stop putting all the pressure on minority students carrying on the burden… we can go on to next thing.
Rhea Manglani ‘17: Old Business is a time when any member of the Representative Council can revisit a topic for discussion. Is there any Old Business?
Rhea Manglani ‘17: New Business is a time when any member of the Representative Council can propose a new topic for discussion. Is there any New Business?
Okay, is there a motion to end the meeting?
Lillian Oyen-Ustad motioned to end the meeting.
Rhea Manglani ’17: Second?
Bridget Murray seconded the motion.
Rhea Manglani ’17: Please raise hands for yes, no, and abstain?
The meeting was adjourned at 8:29 PM.