April 4th, 2006
- Location: Sayles-Hill 251
- Present: Staff Members Scott Bierman, Cris Jensen, Rob Oden, Rod Oto, Fred Rogers, and Hudlin Wagner; Faculty Members David MacCallum, David Musicant, and Stephen Strand; Students Ben Barclay, Jessica Goad, Scott Konzem, and Jim Watkins; Trustee and Alumni Observer Louise Heffelfinger
- Absent: Faculty Members Carol Donelan and Laura Goering
- Guests: Printing & Mailing Services Manager Julia Burmesch, Director of Auxiliary Services & Special Projects Daniel Bergeson; Student Anna Duchon representing The Carletonian
- Secretary: Jessica Goad ‘07
Approval of Minutes
The minutes from Tuesday, March 7, 2006, were approved unanimously.
President Rob Oden began his report by welcoming members Jim Watkins, new CSA President and Jessica Goad, new Secretary to the College Council. He then thanked everyone who was involved in last week’s Confronting Katrina forum, noting that the day was a success and that nearly all feedback thus far has been positive. He told the Council that many members of the Alumni Council were present for the campus-wide event, and during conversation afterwards some stated a wish for the representation of a wider political spectrum, next time not as heavily left-wing. President Oden agreed that ideological diversity is critical. He also reminded the Council that Accepted Students Days are this coming weekend and in a couple of weeks, and Associate Dean Rod Oto pointed out that there will be more students visiting than previously expected. President Oden reported the latest news from Admissions: the number of applications received was down this year, perhaps due to a variety of reasons. For example, the College has recently transitioned from a 2-part to a 1-part application, as well the lack of a head coach caused there to be little recruiting for the football team, and fewer international applications might be related to Carleton at a “tipping point,” in the sense that its reputation as being difficult to gain admittance in has discouraged applications. However, President Oden pointed to the good news in that the group of students admitted for the class of 2010 was selected from an outstanding pool of applications and the Financial Aid budget has not been exceeded. In addition, he made the Council aware of his upcoming trip to Asia, where he will visit Professor Roy Grow’s off-campus program as a guest lecturer and have dinner with university presidents in Beijing and Hong Kong in hopes of beginning new study abroad programs as well as faculty development programs.
Diversity Initiative Group
Due to the Absence of Professor Carol Donelan, President Oden and Dean of Students Hudlin Wagner reported on the previous meeting of the DIG. The group met with UpRoot, a student initiative designed to open platforms for dialogue about uncomfortable subjects such as race and class. Dean Wagner suggested to UpRoot that its members think about formation of “allies,” and in response the group has decided to feature a discussion about white privilege and class in the queer community as its first brown bag lunch series. Dean Wagner also told the Council of plans for a task force on diversity from Bates College to visit Carleton from April 18-19 in order to observe how the College addresses diversity and meets many of the challenges that it has had. She noted that the task force will be present for a number of important events centered around diversity like Chili Night, and will meet with groups like the Academic Standing Committee and DIG. Dean Wagner also discussed the commencing search for a new staff member for the position of what was formerly know as the “Director of Multicultural Affairs.” After much discussion in the DIG, the job description has been changed to be known as the “Office of Intercultural Life” so as to reflect what DIG has referred to as a necessary “paradigm shift” in thinking about what a leader of this office should do. Instead of just focusing on minorities, the director would be responsible for initiating large and more inclusive dialogue across campus in order to work with all students including members of the so-called “majority.” So far, the search committee has found a number of very strong candidates, and the DIG has had wonderful conversation surrounding this new staff position and the possibilities that it can bring to the campus and its diversity.
Responding to Katrina: Reactions?
President Oden then asked members of the Council for honest feedback about the Katrina symposium. He briefly described his own “embarrassment” that Carleton has had very few campus-wide opportunities for common discussion, mainly only the Common Reading. The next question to answer is, outside of the occurrence of a tragedy, how again can this unity be achieved? Various members of the Council responded. Vice President Fred Rogers asked about the rate of participation in the event, and many members responded that they perceived it to be quite well-attended. Most students attended at least some of the sessions, but few students attended the entire day. Professor David Musicant observed that the forum was well-planned and well-presented, but he has concerns about canceling classes. Mr. Bergeson raised the question as to if another day of the week (besides a Friday) would allow for greater participation. Ben Barclay commented that from a student perspective, there was not enough publicity in terms of a schedule in the preceding days, but this was remedied with a schedule in the morning. He believes that the event stimulated discussion even after it was over, and that making something like it regular would be very well received by the student body. Professor David MacCallum relayed the idea of a student to make the event not annual, but on an as-needed basis. Perhaps an extra day could be scheduled into one term with the topic to be determined. In this circumstance there would be no need to cancel classes. He also noted that making the event too regular would dilute its importance. Dean Wagner stated that she found the day to be a very powerful and emotional demonstration that Carleton is paying attention to something bigger and as a community is actively engaged. Vice President Rogers noted that directly after the symposium there were demonstrations in New Orleans, and so the event had timely significance. There was general agreement in the Council that the entire day was well-planned and flowed extremely well.
Lastly, Vice President Rogers and guests Julia Burmesch, Printing and Mailing Services Manager and Daniel Bergeson, Director of Auxiliary Services & Special Projects presented on the progress of the One-Card system that had been discussed in the Council over a year ago. Mr. Burmesch first thanked the Administrative Council for funding the project as well as the student body for continued support of it. He noted that there has been a 12-person working group meeting on a weekly basis to take such action as to interview vendors, conduct research at other campuses, and implement the system. Ms. Burmesch noted that the group has been working on implementation since January, and at this point the core system has been installed and existing services (mainly dining) have been put on the system. As well, it is replicating current business practices, some of which has proven difficult. On March 25, the new system was installed and over the summer services such as the bookstore, copy machines, laundry, and a deposit system with “Schillers” as currency will be added to the card. As well, there are hopes of working together with St. Olaf with the card for reciprocal business. Vice President Rogers noted that there have been tremendous accomplishments on this project, especially with regard to the partnership with St. Olaf.
The meeting adjourned at 5:15 pm.