Updates from the VSA

Senate 11.12.2017

Consensus Agenda: Passed.

Finance Allocations

—1632/1632 from Speakers to GAAP for “‘Wilmington on Fire’: Screening with Q&A.” “Wilmington on Fire” is a documentary about the Wilmington Massacre of 1898. The event will feature a talkback with the filmmaker, Christopher Everett.

—1550/2250 from Collaboration to Lathrop House for Lathrop LUV event. Blacklight music showcase with brought-in DJs and neon decorations that will be in the Villard Room.

—1350/2850 to Vassar Finance Club (Annual Budget Application) for occasional pizza at meetings, financial modeling software and coursework, interview prep coursework and financial literacy programming in each dorm.

—900/3086.82 from Capital to VC Bikes for various items for the bike shop for storage and organization deemed necessary by the Finance Committee. VC Bikes may ask for more later depending on what alternative options they find that we suggested.

—1300/1300 from Discretionary to Vassar College Majors for choral recording fees (two times a year; consistent price).

—70/70 from Community to VC++ for the IgniteCS lecture series on coding. There is outreach to Poughkeepsie high school students working with Vassar students.

—70/70 from Collaboration to Generations for Turkey Day Arts and Crafts. Students will be doing “Thanksgiving-themed arts and crafts with residents of Vassar-Warner Home.”

Committee Updates

Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid:

—How can the applications be changed to be broader and to help students list other accomplishments on the application, specifically things related to achievements that international students have?

—At the meeting, they were asked to describe the typical Vassar student.

—VSA hopes to have someone from the Office of Admissions do a Senate forum.

Planning Committee:

—They are figuring out the Student Discourse Forum and will be extending the VSA’s free trial another two weeks, after which they will have some identity orgs help test it out.

—If students are interested in helping test the Student Discourse Forum, reach out to the VSA! —There might be potential for a work-study position to be created for a moderator of the Student Discourse Forum.

—There will be a core student team on the forum, not just VSA Senate members.

—If someone wants to post anonymously on the forum, a senator could post the comment for them. So far they cannot find another option for anonymity.

Health and Wellness Committee:

—For the Mental Health Fair, they applied to the Social Consciousness Fund, and flyers will be out next week.

—They solidified different jobs for houses and orgs at the fair.

—There will be various activities at different dorms, as well as socialization events for people who are extraverted and whose self-care centers around others.

—They restocked Project Period supplies. Project Period is getting a work-study position, and the application is live on JobX.

Programming Committee:

—The venue for VSA event on Dec. 2 will be The Chance.

—They will collaborate with WVKR, and the event will count as a Traditions “Meet Me in Poughkeepsie” event, so they will pay for buses.

—NYC shuttle tickets are fully booked.

Orientation Committee:

—The committee is headed by Dean of Students Adriana di Bartolo and has five student representatives.

—They went through the surveys filled out by first-year students, considered the potential consolidation of events and how they can advertise certain events as not mandatory, just suggested.

—Students reps feel that the way the school addresses identity is insufficient. In July, new students did online info sessions on consent and alcohol, so there could be another one about identity and how you interact with the community at large.

—They want to do more to bridge the disconnect between international and domestic students.

—They discussed a microaggression workshop for students.

Executive Board Updates

Chair of Equity and Inclusion Tamar Ballard ’19:

—The idea of a student BIRT team was somewhat shot down, as people were concerned about who would be selected and about confidentiality among faculty, but the conversation is not over.

—Maybe three to four students could be added to BIRT instead of creating a separate committee. These members would get called in like other BIRT core team members.

Chair of Residential Life Takunda Maisva ’19:

—Rich Horwitz said that ResLife had put first aid kits in the dorms and that he’s checking to see if they’re still there. Now they’re asking Baldwin for funding.

—The “What To Do If…” list is still in progress.

—They wrote a letter to President Bradley about ResLife changes and what the committee will support.

Vice President Cody Harmon ’19:

—The Food and Dining Committee wants to be restructured back within the VSA and is looking to structure under the umbrella of ResLife.

—Senate bonding is happening this Sunday. It will be a space to heal and discuss action and VSA goals moving forward.

—Senate this week is canceled.

President Anish Kanoria ’18 and Chair of Finance Robyn Lin ’18

—They attended a Seven Sisters conference this past week, heard about how other schools do certain things related to finance and community and will be working on thinking through implementing some of these ideas.

Constituent Concerns

—Q: Can you file a BIRT report again a faculty member?

—Ballard: Yes, you can, there is a procedure. Title IX might be involved as well.

—Q: There is no avenue for having constructive conversations with professors. There needs to be a path and clarity on what the path is. What is the accountability for professors?

—Sarah Jane Muder ’18, General VSA Intern

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