Meeting Minutes for SGA General Assembly 10/23/22
In Attendance from E-Board:
President Ananya Hindocha ‘23
Vice President Desi Bagot ‘24
Secretary Bryn Osborne ‘24
Co-Treasurer Catherine Fu ‘23
Co-Treasurer Lola Rodrigues ‘23
Groups called to Meeting: Board of Trustees Representative Cole Churchill ‘25 (Darpan Chahal ‘24 could not attend)
- Community Comment
- Announcements and Upcoming Events
- Admin Meeting
- Board of Trustees Meeting Updates
- Final Asks
- Community Comment
- Announcements and Upcoming Events
Ananya Hindocha ‘23: Night market is on Friday from 8 pm to 10 pm in Great Hall, we’re having decoration days 7pm-9pm in Arnecliffe on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we’ll have snacks, come help make decorations. The following week is Strike 101 on Nov 6th, we’re having an exhibit and info session on 2020 strike. Plenary is on Nov 13th, actual meeting to discuss resolutions and amendments is on Sunday the 13th. If you are planning on writing a resolution, the last workshop is tomorrow Oct 24th from 8-9, you have to attend a workshop to be eligible to put forth a resolution. Voting on resolutions for representative council is next Sunday at 3, if you are on RepCo we need you to attend that meeting. There are also lots of club events happening on campus. The ASA culture show is on Nov 4th in Great Hall, FSDC (Fall Student Dance Concert) is on Nov 12th, BMC Concert Series is hosting a y2k party on Nov 5th. Also, everyone should go sign the FemCo petition.
Keyla Benitez ‘24: Please sign the petition, we [FemCo] have a meeting with the Dean of the undergrad college [Cheryl Horsey] tomorrow and we want as many signatures as possible.
Ananya Hindocha ‘23: The link to sign the petition was sent to your emails through the SGA listserv.
Bryn Osborne ‘24: Radnorween is coming up on October 29th, and we can’t host it unless we have bouncers, so please sign up! The link will be on our instagram.
- Admin Meeting
Ananya Hindocha ‘23: Does anyone have anything they want us to bring up to KCass and administration at our monthly meeting on Oct 31?
Gaby Grady ‘24: Can we get a printer in campus center?
Ananya Hindocha ‘23: We will ask them, not promising anything but we’ll ask.
- Board of Trustees
Ananya Hindocha ‘23: What does the Board of Trustees do? We don’t really know, but this is what we figured out. They approve all big college decisions, we know they are thinking about removing MCT’s name from Old Library, one other thing they have control over is if we are known as HWC instead of a women;’s college, so we discussed that. They approve the annual budget and renovations, basically any big decision the college wants to make goes through the Board of Trustees. They have lots of committees that recommend to Board and advisory groups, like the president’s advisory group and IMAG. They are also in charge of approving investments for the endowment. In the Board of Trustees report that Darpan, Cole and I wrote, we have one page to give them a report on student body issues. We decided to continue to ask for increase in student wages, asked about why we can’t be a historically women’s college instead of all-girls or women’s college, also COVID response and bringing back free testing and masks. This is what we put in report, does not necessarily mean that they read it. We also had a bunch of meetings with them this past week.
First, Lola, Catherine, Bryn, me, and a couple other students met with the Insitutional monuments advisory group, which discussed legacies of strike and institutional memory projects on campus. They have been debating since January 2021 as to whether or not to remove MCT’s name from Old Library, we were apart of and talked about this. We advised that they should remove the name, but they have to talk to faculty and staff and alumni about it. It was an interesting meeting, they had a lot of thoughts about it. Also, just fyi, the Board members are mostly people who went here or parents of alumni.
Magdalen McCulloch ‘24: How do they get appointed?
Ananya Hindocha ‘23: A lot of them are found, the Board of Trustees votes in other BoT members, alumni relations nominates people, you can apply, not exactly open and transparent process, if you look on website you won’t find anything about it.
Cole Churchill ‘25: You can also get recommended by other BoT members, then it goes to vote
Ananya Hindocha ‘23: A lot of them who are alumni talked about MCT during their time here, said she was a feminist icon, they are on the fence about it and have been debating for over a year and a half, we don’t know if they will make a decision.
Keyla Benitez ‘24: This has been brought up since 2016, 2018, what can we do about it to push this forward?
Ananya Hindocha ‘23: We really don’t know, there were mass student movements in 2018 and 2020 with strike, but it keeps rotating back to committee. If I’m being honest, we have been discussing as an E-Board how to get info to BoT in a forceful way, we’re gonna talk more about this and if you’re interested, come up after the meeting and we can talk about it, we have action items for future meetings that we can discuss off-record. Only people who are allowed to go to meetings are me, Cole, and Darpan, and they will not allow anyone else in room. Lola tried to come last year and they kicked her out, won’t let other E-Board members attend. Anything we are going to try to do with BoT can be discussed later. They are only on-campus 3 times a year, Oct, Feb, April, other than that they don’t have any student connection. Have secret meetings where students have to sign NDAs that aren’t open. This is our way of trying to get word out about Board of Trustees and what they do.
Ryan Healy ‘24: Do you feel that they have asked students who are currently on campus what your feelings are, do they seem to care?
Cole Churchill ‘25: They do ask in smaller meetings, but the big BoT meetings isn’t something we can take part in really, we don’t have power to deny them things or vote.
Ananya Hindocha ‘23: In the big general meeting, students are not voting members, we don’t get to say anything or ask questions, there for show in my opinion. We want to make a presentation at general board meeting, either have to go through long process or bum rush basically, got stonewalled about student wages last semester, it’s really hard but we’re trying to break through. Talking more about it, we’re trying to get student support, one thing that scares them is us making the school look bad, that’s their main concern, that’s what we leverage as students.
For the liaison meeting, they meet with the E-Board and representatives, 3 trustees were there with dean of undergrad Cheryl Horsey, main points were better support for student life and clubs, admin and financial, burnout for AMO leaders specifically, told us being on E-Board is great for resumes, talked about monetary support for student leaders and AMO groups, over 70% of colleges pay student leaders in some way, bryn mawr is the 3rd most expensive 7 sibling and only one that doesn’t pay, Haverford pays SGA, we are behind the times
Desi Bagot ‘24: Talked about my experiences as FGLI student, putting SGA over picking up shifts in the dining hall, was told “you just need to think outside the box” about compensation.
Cole Churchill ‘25: They made a big point at the end of the meeting that we were representing the students to be very stressed, particularly student leaders, said yes we are, they said “I think it might be helpful to once a semester cancel events.” We responded that this wouldn’t be helping anything? Who’s to say that next semester a leader will be able to pick the event back up, we can’t cancel events every semester
Ananya Hindocha ‘23: We spoke a lot about religious meals, specifically talking about AMOS, their response was basically do less things. We said that if MSA doesn’t hold Ramadan meals, students just won’t eat, brought up that school uses it for profit to market to students, if there’s no Diwali dinner from DSA, it just won’t happen. School won’t pick up the slack if students are stressed and can’t do it.
Cole Churchill ‘25: We also specifically asked that the college consider hiring people to help bear some of the weight for SGA, they told us that we should make another committee to address SGA overworking themselves and issues like that, we should just get more tired and stressed kids to do more work. Could you consider paying us?
Lola Rodrigues ‘23: They didn’t understand what we were trying to incentivize, stopped the conversation saying that we were out of time. My viewpoint is that it’s not incentive, in order for school to function someone needs to do the jobs, but it is compensation for our work. Darpan wrote a follow up email stressing that we don’t consider payment to be incentive but deserved compensation, they wrote back about “learning skills that will be helpful in the future” as compensation.
Ananya Hindocha ‘23: So that was our liaison meeting. For the annual meeting that Cole, Darpan and I went to, they are going to tear up the woods next to the old pensby center to build a parking lot, increasing budget to Park renovations to 46 million dollars, overspent on the Well renovations because old health center had asbestos, couldn’t tear it down until they treated that, budget process is it is created by Kari Fazio and financial officers and the controller, then they present preliminary budget at February meeting, then finalize between Feb and April, official budget passed at April Board of Trustees meeting. That being said, if there are any big things like student raises that we want to happen or paying student leaders on the itinerary, that process has to start now. We figured this out through deductive reasoning, we’ll talk more about that, but let us know what you want so we can start the process
Cole Churchill ‘25: That’s kind of it, they’re trying to turn the grass field into a regulation field, trying to reinvigorate athletic department, 2 million for that project, also considering fixing up Cartref, Arncliffe, Admin buildings, that hasn’t gone through, just a consideration.
Ananya Hindocha ‘23: They have a committee for that already, the buildings and grounds committee is stacked with people.
Magdalen McCulloch ‘24: Did they discuss what we’re invested in?
Cole Churchill ‘25: It might be in the 400 page packet they gave us
Ananya Hindocha ‘23: It’s not
Lola Rodrigues ‘23: It’s not, they give brief updates in finance committee meeting but don’t say what they’re invested in specifically
Bryn Osborne ‘24: I was trying last semester to get them to divest from fossil fuel investments and it took me 3 months to get a meeting with the Chief Investment Officer, me and a couple students met with her and basically the reason they gave to us that they don’t give out breakdowns of what the endowment is is that other schools could look at that and try to compete with us, that’s why they don’t make it public information, they don’t want other schools to steal our investment model, only they know what we’re invested in.
Ananya Hindocha ‘23: They’re spending money, doing things, that’s the end of that. We can do a little discussion if people have questions
Off-Record discussion about Board of Trustees
- Final Asks
Lola Rodrigues ‘23: Opening mid-semester review tonight, everyone will have a week to request more money or return extra money. If you’re a club and don’t use 75% of your budget, if you don’t return it you get penalized, but you can only return it at mid-semester review, have to plan in advance and keep track of funds if you’re under or over budget
Ananya Hindocha ‘23: If you’re underspending and return it, we can give it to clubs who might need it more and it helps us plan next semester’s budget. Also, if you haven’t signed the femco petition, please do!
Keyla Benitez ‘24: We need 182 signatures to reach ⅔ of student body
Ananya Hindocha ‘23: Quorum is ⅓ so you’re already past quorum! Quorum for plenary is ⅓ of student body, ⅔ for any repco votes and runoff elections and other special things. But technically quorum is ⅓.
Meeting Adjourned at: 8:43 PM