Big Cheese Minutes 11/5/2017

Big Cheese

November 5th 2017

7pm Campus Center



Many members of the administration came and spoke about their roles as well as answering student questions. The notes from each individual section are included below.

Lil Burroughs (she/her)


Facilitator Topics

BMC EMS service

Working on getting more students on board and active every weekend (especially weekends where we can expect parities)

Lil wishes that the EMS service was here all of the time because of the extensive training they have

Pem East-West party

Lil says that we can expect more campus safety officers to be available for the days that there are traditionally large parties like Halloween


Delia Landers ’19:

Are there any classroom spaces that can be open for quiet study?

Campus safety doesn’t know what would be available

Lil says they just lock the buildings that they are told to lock

How can we find out which classroom spaces could be available for student access?

Lil currently doesn’t have the information on how to find out which classroom spaces are available

Lil says that increasing the card access could give campus safety more time to do things other than watch buildings

Could we add antibacterial solutions to medical bags?

AED bags are changed regularly and Lil says that antibacterial solutions are usually nearby but adding them could easily happen


Leah ’18:

“If someone was seen breaking into a party is there a way to report that?

Lil says everything they get reported only goes to a handful of people and is relatively confidential

She suggests the Deans office (GAs) for reporting about parties if it’s a report after an event has happened

Can we report people who are from off campus so that we can prevent them from coming on campus? (non tri-co people)

Lil says we send emails about trespassers and if they come on campus we call the police

There must be a report about the circumstances for any action to occur

If it’s a safety issue (harassment/stalking) we will make a trespass letter

Quaker Bouncers

She is confused that servers don’t have to be 21

“What can we do to encourage people to stay sober at parties?”

She believes bouncing is almost not worth it because bouncers aren’t encouraged to stay sober other than for the reason that a bouncer is required for parties of certain sizes

Lil wants these type of bouncers but she says we need a strong group of students who want to be a strong sober presence and no group has established itself yet

Lil is open to help with bouncing at any party but she needs students to notify campus safety if this is an issue and she needs students who want to help

Do we have funds to encourage students to be bouncers?

Lil is willing to go to her boss to encourage students to be bouncers if it will help encourage students to be effective, sober bouncers


Olivia ’18:

What do we do about trespassers on campus?

Olivia was wondering if we had pictures of people to keep off of campus

Lil says we don’t have the authority to prevent people from coming back on campus which is why the police are notified if a person who has given a student trouble comes back on campus

Lil says instances where someone who has been labeled as a trespasser has come back are rare

Lil says that we can’t just give someone a warning or a trespass letter because a student says so; the person has to do something.

Lil says they can’t tell people to leave without reason because “its an open campus but also it is private property” so student reports are important

There have been a few instances of estranged parents of students coming on campus and campus safety can help protect students by keeping images of these people and helping students as soon as they have suspicion of someone coming to campus


KCass (she/her)


Group 1:

  • Thomas Hall Name Change:
    • started 2 years ago and people questioned the name of the building. Spring- group assigned to look into the name and history of the college and the building’s name. Over the summer, think about it because the situation didn’t really feel right.
    • At the moment: have not changed the name of the building but created a space. College declared that the values that Thomas held are not our values today.
    • At the moment: Temporary suspension of the name. KCass not urging any decision but is hearing from the working group and furthermore the board of trustees because it could have fiduciary issues. Need to work with board.
    • at the moment: Trying to establish a process to get a name
    • Alums are very mixed
      • some are supportive; some also understand its complicated and will take time to
      • some are angry
      • some are confused
    • time frame: should have name issues ready by mid semester next year. Depends on working group, if we need a couple of weeks then it’s important we take our time
    • ultimate decision: up to board of trustees
    • alums, trustees, students, faculty, staff (small group to move ahead faster)


Group 2:

  • why not anatomy and physiology class?
    • Don’t have biologist at the moment who is best fit to teach the course. Also a very specific field in biology
  • why the Pensby center or multicultural center close to campus and not far away?
    • planning to knock down health center to build new health and wellness center. want mental and physical care
      • also space for overall student wellbeing & include possibly Pensby center in new building
      • put controllers office and other offices far away
      • reason they are there: donor wanted the spaces out there in that row
      • will take 2 years to build
      • raising money for it
      • still trying to figure out what exactly is in the building— student suggestions should go to Dean Walters
    • Park renovation project
      • phase I: done by fall. atrium with smart boards, new comp science lab, physics classrooms, and make it navigable.
        • crossroads area for building— Hub of the building.
        • center and libraries renovated.
        • more dramatic change
      • Dining Services
        • policy: not admitted without student IDs.
          • KCass apologized for not knowing anything about this
        • new faculty for biology and comp science departments
          • raising money for new faculty position in sciences. Waiting for proposals from science departments. Have raised money for position added but faculty decided where the new position will be.
            • Committee: Committee of academic priorities.
            • only one new position can be added due to cost and we already have sufficient student to faculty ratio
            • search for faculty next year


Dean Walters (she/her, they/them)


Hometown: Buffalo, NY

College: Marquette University, Milwaukee

Major: Religion, Poli Sci minor


Question: How did you find Bryn Mawr?


Answer: “I’m not sure how I find Bryn Mawr. I knew I was plucked. The stork came…I was at Smith before. I was really excited at Bryn Mawr’s position at the graduate school.”

-Intrigued by “joy” in dean job description


Question: What’s your favorite cheesy food?


Answer: “I think the most delicious thing I’ve had is a cheese souffle. But, I also like cheese grits.”


Question: How has your work of building and sustaining community, through hosting weekly Open Space conversations been? Are students utilizing the Lantern Talks?


Answer: There’s no class from noon to one at Smith. Struggle to find open, reserved time and space for all students to congregate here at Bryn Mawr due to lack of universal meeting time where all students are free.

-Lantern talk on building an open space: discussions about ability vs. disability, spirituality/faith, what it means to be an international student, spaces at talks in DVR in New Dorm.

-Lantern talk about extremism: invited historian, political scientist, & sociologist to give different narratives/perspectives, 15 students attended, Walters thought it was a positive start

-Working on marketing the lantern talks more


Question 2: Can the dean’s office work to support SGA’s efforts to build the campaign, if money is needed to cover the cost of sturdy boxes and shipping costs?


Answer: SGA should email deans to figure out a way to assist with the campaign


Q3: Question in relation to history working groups

A3: working group started last semester to inform students about the history of the campus (undocumented history of those who’ve contributed and memorializing them; telling the stories of those that have gone unheard; black @ bryn mawr; plaque for dining hall worker who has contributed to).

-A group that needs more structure: more students, trustees (found an alum), staff, faculty

Challenge: to find people who will be okay with receiving an outcome that is not expected


Q4: How has your work on building a community been?

A4: Created Open Space so that there can be an opportunity (every Wed. noon to 1, open to everyone)

-undergrad and grad students attend though not in large numbers


Q5: grading policy and lack of 3.5 grade

A:  no reasoning, seems weird to her

Student answer (Liv Phillips ‘18): grad schools take into account of bi-co grading system


Bob Miller (he/him)

Session 1:

  • How do you choose what alum you reach out to?

Mass reachout mostly

when thinking about affinity groups for alumns, is there a way for those groups to directly donate to affinity groups on campus? B/c students can’t take undisclosed funds, but

The best way to advance the institution is to advance the institution as a whole and then having the affinity groups advocate for themselves within the institution—relying on outside donations is perhaps unsustainable, since they’re so often pretty small. (10, 50, etc).

I don’t choose what our fundraising priorities are, the CFO and Deans and Provosts do. 😕

There has been “talk” about doing specific fundraising for PoC – there’s an Alumnae of Color group (rather than Black Alumnae, Latinx Alumnae) and he thinks that having a fundraising mission behind it would be helpful.

The three leaders of the Alumnae of Color group are “really great folks and strong advocates”

Student response: it’s a struggle, esp. Since the ECC is trying to divest from he meal plan, but also … what happened to the Perry House- patterns of negligence over years and years.

The ECC is in a good physical position for support

“we could even do a small campaign so that anyone who gives from x date to x date could have a name on a plaque in the ECC, stuff like that”

Student response: okay but like… that money where would it go? Would it go to the student’s needs or?? I want to make sure that people don’t do senseless donating and that there’s transparency with where money goes—Bryn Mawr Campaign or anything.

A ‘programming fund’ within the ECC would help because it would have specific goals

Advocacy within the college is the most important thing to focus on from the student side, in his opinion

Session 2:

List of college’s priorities that’s more specific

The DefyExpectations campaign is by design fairly broad – funding the budget model for the college over the next 5 years : TriCo in the City initiative, paying for 360s, the digital humanities stuff, etc. As we raise more $$ we can fund more of it. 60 new scholarships, we funded LILAC with 15 million, endowed 4 faculty chairs (10 million).

Students – scholarships and internships

Facutly – research funds

Campus – park science and the new student life center

Bryn Mawr fund

What’s the exact process through which an alum could donate to specific program

If you want to designate your gift, you can do it, as LONG AS THERE IS A FUND THAT EXISTS – like the sociology department has a specific budget. The larger the $$ the more specific you can be. We don’t publish fund lists because that encourages people to pick and choose which goes against our policy of getting everything

If there is ever a thing you’d like to donate to, you can email development to find out if they have a fund

What’s the point of Give a Hoot Day?

That’s the day “tuition dollars stop paying for education here”, its about 80k for a full year and most students pay 30-60 k per year, so we’re constantly running at a deficit (loss).

Beyond that day we’re operating off of other funds.

Poorly marketed, if students think it’s the day we might be about to turn off the lights.

Reggie Jones (she/her)



Reggie: Thinks coming to big cheese is always a good opportunity to talk to students.

Milan: pursuing psych as a major.

Louis?: She just sat down here, but she is interested in asking about help for students struggling with academics.

Nanda: she wants to know more about how the health center will improve.


Aurora (they/them) is the newest counselor, how are they settling in?  What do they bring to the health center?

Aurora started in september.  Had a lot of experience working with people who have experienced trauma, is also fluent in Spanish.  Also worked at the Attic (a drop in center for LGBT youth) and St. Christopher’s hospital and Congresso in north philadelphia.  She is a staff counselor.

There used to be no-one at the counseling center worked there full time.  Reggie was the first to be working there full time.  The first full time counselor came in 2004 (it was Reggie).  Second hire came in 2015, and the third in 2017.  Now the center has 3 full time counselors and 3 part time counselors and 3 part time psychiatrists.  The counselor to student ratio at BMC is the same as that in the rest of the country.  Supplement extra demand with fellows and trainees.

At haverford they have students working as volunteer, why haven’t we done this?

It’s been talked about, but there are concerns about confidentiality.  Haverford only has students in health centers.  We could probably figure it out in our health centers.

Session 2

Anne Tran: met Reggie at a concert, just wanted to stop by to talk to her.

Sarika: here to hear about the counseling center.

Cole: questions about dogs

The Dog

Reggie’s fantasy is to have a dog in the counseling center.  One of the challenges at BMC is that we do not have a policy where we can have animals in buildings.  It’s really the institutions decision.  Reggie brings her dog to work when we aren’t here.

The counseling and health centers are integrated, and HC’s opinion on the dog matters.

In the new building in 3-5 years, maybe we could have doggy day care.

Concerns: people being afraid of dogs.  If there is an animal on campus, Deb Alder cannot be trusted to renew ESA permits.  There are also concerns about allergens.

Reggie’s responses: Overwhelmingly students want the dogs, the ESA question is something she hasn’t thought about and will look into.  Allergens are also a concern, especially since the health and counseling center will probably be in the same building for the next 5 years at least.  This is a major reason why there will not be a dog in the health center any time soon.


Reggie: there are lots of things still undecided.  This has been going on for 2 years now.

Why didn’t we send out a survey about the dog?

The conversation with the person who brought up the plenary proposal was very casual.  Also BMC’s animal policy makes the question about the dog a moot point.

Are students able to express opinions on the building that will actually change things?

Yes, we have one student who has been consulted on desires for a new counseling center.  It’s possible that more students will be allowed onto the committee if we keep pestering Reggie about it.

The groups

5 groups currently running devoted to connecting and relating, depression, anxiety, students impacted by natural disasters, healthy living group.  How do we spread awareness?

Peer mentors

Post in class groups

How is the turnout?

Good, especially for the connecting and relating group.

Why is there no group for loss?

There hasn’t been a request for one.


Stephanie Nixon (she/her)


Random fun questions Panel:



A: Stephanie Nixon, she/her, pensby center and part of deans office, VA beach hometown, U of VA, Bio major, UVA masters in higher ed


3 Qs


Q: How did you find Bryn Mawr

A: worked in res life at a few other places, uva, oregon, columbia, life reasons to be interested in philly, specifically at swat or bmc, it was my interview was with 10 students that affected my decision to want to accept the job offer




Facilitator: —

Scope of stuff for questions : big pic:

Bias incident response team

Title 9


Q: can tell us how frequently the BIR form, existed for a little over two year sna at first it wasn’t used. And now people tell

About 8 to 10 reports. Some if how thats around how folx choose to report —- one of the

Me Dean Walt

Ray Albert

Sharon BergMier-


One of us reach out with folx

This ranges from “I dont like language on this website “ and then more often than not its about students trying to negotiate things coming up in classroom.

It kinda depends on the idea of the response

We are careful not to run away with info cause many folx are still in the class.

Some options we might throw out “would you be interested to talk to faculty, what knid of support would you need, we sometimes reach out to Provost office to see how often people have been in the role. What will be most effective

I’ve met with a faculty member

We talk thru strategic ways how the student could use if they’d like

We didn’t have much traffic before this year so we don’t know long term effects


Q: is this specifically for a certain type of bias?

A: It’s anything. It’s about something happening in the dining hall. It wasn’t necessarily about bias, but an outlet


Q: what about reports about health center?

A:is it worth it for me to put this in the system as like official for the college? But currently there are none in the official system.


Q: I don’t know if reporting the trans-insensitive comments of the health center is even worth it on the bias incident responding form?

A: so this form was created so that students need to wander around campus trying to tell someone. If there are other ways the student chooses to contact or bring up the issue,


Anonymity is important part of the form.  …


Talking to Dean Walters is a part of this form



Next session:


Q:i’ve been thinking of racism coming from professors and how to deal with that, cause its hard

A: we didn’t only talk about racism in the last session, so we have a bias-incident response team. It’s not meant to solve everything. It’s meant to give students a place to go if you dont already have an avenue to report things —- but also recognizing that the students reporting may still be enrolled in the course


Anonymous reports are hard, but if someone does include their contact information

If people include that, we invite folx to come in to have a conversation. Does the student want support or other people to intervene, or do we want this discussed after the grades are posted. Sometimes we look at the Department Chair for guidance, depends on the chair’s involvement


Q: I was curious about the bust of M Carey Thomas

A: taking longer than planned, so there’s been a time gap cause we have ties to alums. It’s the history working group working on this mainly (notetaker didn’t catch full answer)


Q: going back to the Bias Incident Response the only way to deal with “isms” in the class? What about course evals?

A: so Course Evaluations matter, but it may not have an effect for professors who already have tenure. If they aren’t tenure-track, the evals matter much more.


Q: Is there any discussion of the college creating a new diversity program?

A: I wish that the programs new designs didn’t get lost over summer. We have a diversity leadership group that meets once a month with KCass. They help keep the plan in mind. But the challenge is figuring out the model that would make sense. On the one hand I want this to be a part of everyone’s experience, but practically I’m worried about the closedness of some people if they attend a “required” event. So I think we are at a place of finding balance in this within hiring staff and also how that can be effecting