November 16th, 2009
- Location: Sayles-Hill 251
- Time: 7:00 pm
- Present: President McKay Duer, Vice President Jinai Bharucha, Treasurer Sarah Duane, Senators Ted Longabaugh, Rebecca Gourevitch, Marc Boyce, Kelsey Sloan, Peter Ladner, Gabe Davis, Isaac Hodes, Noé Hernández, Chase Kimball, Ned Heckman, Claire McFadden, David Heifetz, Liv Killeen, Nimo Ali, Beserat Kelati, Mouhamadou Diagne
- Guests: Associate Dean Julie Thornton
- Secretary: Hannah Lucal
Budget Committee Recommendations
Budget Committee Report
Town Hall Discussion/Review
Budget Committee Recommendations
There were six requests under $1000, as well as one late request (received after Budget Committee met) for $500 (the same as Christa Owens’ request).
Ladner wondered why the late request was any different than Owens’ request. It is no different, but it was received later and Budget Committee did not vote on it.
Heavenrich explained that the EAC heard from both requests. She encouraged the Senate to fully fund both requests.
Bharucha clarified that Senate often funds more than one student.
Heavenrich commented that if Senate does not fund these students, the President or the EAC will still fund them.
Kimball wondered on what basis Senate could decide which student to send.
Hodes felt it would be productive to split the bids and pull out the two conference bids.
Davis wondered why Scrabble Club received more money than they asked for. Their request was amended to cover student van rate rather than personal vehicle rate.
All requests under $1000 (that were not tabled) were approved unanimously. All requests over $1000 were approved. One was in abstention.
The discussion on the conference bids was reopened.
Duane mentioned that both requests came in very late in the term. However, she didn’t think that Senate could pick one student over the other to go to the conference.
Hodes thought it was important to recognize that Owens had explained exactly how she would bring significant and relevant information back to the campus community.
Killeen wanted to know how the representative Rishad was selected.
Heavenrich explained that Rishad had been encouraged to go to the conference by President Oden, particularly because Rishad is from Bangladesh, which is highly influenced by climate change.
Ali did not think it mattered whether Rishad was involved in environmental issues at Carleton; that was not a reflection of his interest in the subject or his desire to go to the conference.
Bharucha explained that under normal guidelines, conferences are funded by CSA with $150 per person. However, this guideline has been ignored in many circumstances in the past.
Davis wondered if the Dean of the Students’ office had been involved in the funding of these students. Both students are receiving funding from a number of other places.
Heavenrich commented that this conference is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the more people that go, the better it will be for Carleton.
Ali thought that it seemed problematic to make it seem that only students involved in certain clubs have a vested interest in a topic; anyone going anywhere in the world under the umbrella of Carleton funding is representing Carleton just by being a student at the college, regardless of the clubs they are in involved in.
Killeen explained that she was worried that the representative would not be interested in bringing back things to the Carleton community.
Ladner agreed that both representatives are equally representing Carleton. However, he worried that Rishad was not going into the event with as much planning and thought as Owens – it seemed to him to be more of an afterthought.
Hodes acknowledged that Ladner’s point may be true, yet Hodes wasn’t sure it mattered in terms of funding. He did not think that going to the conference at all could be an afterthought, and he showed interest by going to multiple offices to get funding.
Bharucha pointed out that it is unusual to check background information on students’ outside activities before funding them. She made a motion to fund each student $450.
Kimball made a motion to table the issue until Rishad was present to speak to Senate.
Heifetz wondered the reason for having Rishad present statements to the Senate; did Senate need to be convinced of his passion for the issue at hand?
Bharucha mentioned that she spoke to him on the phone and asked him questions that the BC would ask; he answered just as Owens had.
Rishad entered the Senate meeting.
Kimball asked Rishad to speak a little more about why he hopes to go to the conference and what he plans to bring back to campus.
Rishad explained that he met President Oden at one of his office hours and had a conversation about his climate change experiences in Bangladesh. They both talked about sending Rishad to the conference, and the sustainable efforts that Carleton is involved in. He plans to have a daily blog while he is there. When he returns, he would like to have a presentation to discuss how the student body can promote the climate change bill.
Killeen asked Rishad how he plans on representing Carleton College.
Rishad explained how he plans on discussing how students especially can be a part of environmental solutions, and how Carleton has established things like STAs and the wind turbine.
Hernandez acknowledged that any Carleton student going to a conference would represent Carleton by nature of being a student here.
Kimball felt sympathetic to the idea of keeping to the guidelines and funding each student $450.
Rishad mentioned that he also has to apply for a Denmark Visa because he is an international student.
Bharucha clarified that the guidelines are rarely exceeded by the BC (the $900 maximum for groups going to conferences).
Ali pointed out that Owens was funded $500 by BC. She then mentioned that Senate has the power to overturn BC’s recommendation.
$450 – In favor: Bharucha, Killeen, Boyce, Sloan, Duane
Opposed: Kimball, Hodes, Heckman, McFadden, Hernandez, Davis, Gourevitch, Liu, Heifetz, Longabaugh, Kelati
$500 – In favor: all except Boyce and Killeen. Two were in abstention.
$500 for each representative is the decision of the Senate.
Budget Committee Report
Vice President Bharucha and Treasurer Sarah Duane presented an end-of-the-term budget report. The goal of the report is to vote on a student activity fee for 2010-2011.
Funding highlights: Diwali Celebration, Town Hall meeting, I Heart Female Orgasm, microphones for SMUT, and equipment for Nordic Ski Team, Lacrosse, and Game Club Software
Special Als started as $17,000. There are $1,388 left. Honoraria began with $10,000. There are $5,580 left. Alt Bev began with $900. There are $505 remaining. Third Center began with $1,666. There are $546 remaining. Cap Reserves is around $55,000.
Davis wondered what Third Center is. Third Center promotes student-faculty interactions by going out for meals.
There was a $12 increase in the Student Activity Fee this year. Now it is $213. The total fee is $231 to support the SASF (Student Activity Support Fund). The SASF was designed to help students on financial aid so they would not have to pay the student activity fee. They expect more people to apply for the student activity waiver next year. They felt it would be appropriate to lower the fund to $228.
Duer wondered if the SASF could be lowered by $3 as well. They can lower it.
Ali asked if they were using this term to base the budget off of. She felt that there is a general trend that spring term brings many more people with new ideas and new requests.
Davis asked what happens to the surplus money. It rolls over to the next term.
Hodes could only see benefit to having a small surplus.
Sloan mentioned that the reason for the concern over the small amounts of money is based on the precedent of what Senate has done in the past, and not over the worry about having enough money.
Killeen liked the idea of always having money available to do things. She felt that even though $3 isn’t a lot, it represents the trend to increase the amount of money students have to pay.
Lowering it to $228: In favor: Kelati, Liu, Boyce, Ali, Killeen, Heavenrich, Gourevitch, Ladner, McFadden, Davis, Hernandez In opposition: Hodes, Heifetz, Longabaugh
Motion passes. The fee will be lowered to $228.
Senator Charlie Liu discussed AFAC actions with particular regard to the Possee program. AFAC has done an analysis on how Possee students have done academically at Carleton, primarily because it is difficult to assess how students are doing socially and in the community. He asked the Senate if anyone had suggestions for how they could assess how students are doing, especially minorities.
Heavenrich suggested a short survey.
Ali felt that a survey was a bizarre way of gauging students’ social participation and happiness based on how many clubs they are participating in.
Liu clarified that they are looking for more solid data in the case of having another campus climate survey.
Kelati thought that AFAC should look at the Possee discussions from last year, as well as information from the OIL office.
Bharucha was confused about whether AFAC was looking to see how the Possee program students’ was participating in the whole campus. She recommended that they get in touch with the Possee students and interview them about ways they think would be effective to gauge student activity and participation.
Duer mentioned that it would be important to gauge student activity for the entire campus; it wouldn’t be appropriate to focus on one demographic or one student group.
Thornton explained that there is already a survey that looks at student engagement. She suggested people that Liu could talk to to gain that information.
Kelati didn’t know how surveying the student body would help the Possee program. It is intended to help the whole community, not just Possee students. They are looking to see how beneficial it is to have the Possee program here.
Ali wondered if economic hardships were playing a role in deciding whether or not to continue the Possee scholars program. Liu explained that though money will play a role, they are looking to see how to enhance the Possee program, primarily because the retention rates of Possee program students are low. She proposed a resolution to keep the Possee program alive at Carleton.
Kimball was interested to see what would happen with a Resolution, and felt that it would be necessary to start it immediately.
Hodes agreed that if all these programs and grants that acknowledge diversity are losing money, Carleton’s community will lose necessary funding to uphold campus diversity.
Ali thought that it would also be helpful to interview students who had gone on the Possee Plus-One retreat.
Heifetz felt that there was an issue with CSA’s communication with the college campus, as well as the campus’ involvement with CSA. He felt that CSA has the potential to have a much larger influence on the community. He would like to figure out a way to get CSA more involved with students; one idea would be to structure the way that the Senators-at-large represent the student body – two senators for each grade.
Davis brought up concern for seniors who would leave, students going abroad, and how to elect incoming freshmen.
Bharucha wanted to know how Heifetz would ensure that it did not end up as a popularity contest.
Davis felt that there would always be potential for a popularity contest no matter what the system.
Ali pointed out that a number of seniors have been known to quit Senate in the spring.
Kimball saw benefit in voting for people within their own class. He felt that each class has somewhat of a collective voice that needs to be heard within Senate.
Killeen agreed that many freshmen are underrepresented in the fall, but did not worry that freshmen had less access to Senate in winter and spring terms.
Thornton liked the class model from a class Dean’s perspective – she would love to have two class representatives to speak to.
Bharucha mentioned that she has enjoyed campaigning to the entire body in the past, and not just her own class. She felt that the election could be from the entire body while still having class email lists and class representation.
Hodes pointed out that committee liaisons cannot be elected in the winter.
Sloan clarified that two freshmen would be appointed in the fall, and two would be elected in the winter. For the first two terms, there will be four senators for each class.
Kimball felt that it wouldn’t make sense to be a class representative if you’re not being elected solely by your class.
Hernandez did not think that students were separated by class year. Because this division does not exist, he did not feel that this election process was appropriate.
Davis felt that this would be beneficial, though it did seem unjustified. He agreed that a very large percentage of the student body does not recognize Senate as a legitimate body to go to.
Heifetz did not think that it made a lot of sense to have the whole school vote for a class representative. He agreed that the campus doesn’t have a lot of class boundaries; however, he felt that class boundaries within the elections might make the CSA more accessible to students and might increase senator-to-student connections.
Duer agreed that each senator for each class could meet with their class Dean each week.
Kimball made a motion to approve the new structure with the stipulation of two additional at-large senators to be elected spring term.
The new structure passes. Two were in opposition.
Town Hall Discussion/Review
Duane thought that one thing that stood out was that Carleton needs a statement of action. She suggested a pledge of some sort.
Heifetz was less concerned with how to make the statements, but more how to carry out the actions – how to turn the aspirations into a reality.
Gourevitch agreed that many of the comments made were not new ideas. What needs to be done is identify actual solutions to these problems.
Duane’s group at the meeting wanted to see more diversity within social groups. There could be a whole campus movement to do something unusual socially each term – eat lunch with someone new, go to a new kind of event, etc.
Kimball always thought that sit-with-a-stranger-at-lunch-day was a great idea. He felt that words were equally as important as actions, and that there is value in talking over problems.
Bharucha’s group came up with ICARE – integrity, compassion, accountability, respect, excellence. They also thought of having Senate Stalls next term to advertise what students do for campus.
Heavenrich agreed that an acronym was a great idea. She mentioned National Mix It Up Day.
Ali thought that it was interesting how disgruntled people were to be separated from their friends, yet also how effective it was for them to meet new people.
Thornton acknowledged the need for multiple events about these issues. The same message needs to be sent multiple times; one Town Meeting is effective, but not enough.
Kimball felt that the Town Hall was a great success. He acknowledged that the identity-based groups are often thought of when diversity comes up, yet all the other activity groups are often the bridges between different backgrounds and cultures.
Ali has heard RAs complain of having to go to diversity initiatives; she wanted to know how the school can have a constructive, worthwhile activity surrounding diversity that people are actually interested in going to.
Bharucha pointed out that everyone – to some extent – gained something from the Town Hall meeting and wanted to be there.
Hernandez felt that people’s interest was the root of the problem. If people are not interested in the topic, they will not gain anything from a forced discussion of it.
McFadden stated that regardless of the next topic of the Town Hall meeting, people will leave the meeting more motivated to change parts of Carleton that they care about. Her table also felt that the acronym idea was too hokey.
Heavenrich mentioned that if the issues are important enough, people will care.
Thornton felt that there is a lot of dialogue that occurs the day after events like this that is important to keep track of.
Boyce thought that one way to make people aware is to not give people a choice. The school could make students’ read the mission statement. It could be printed on the Lagniappe, for example.
Gourevitch agreed about making the mission statement much more visible. She wanted to make sure that the campus knows that this Town Hall meeting was not a one-time event.
Ali mentioned that NSW is a great venue for these issues. It’s also important to hold one another accountable on these issues, and on the integrity of the school.
Davis had the idea of making a giant poster in Sayles – perhaps an entire wall - with the mission statement and the diversity statement on it.
Heifetz agreed that a lot of these ideas are great; it is important to reveal the assumptions that people come to Carleton with before a change can occur.
Duer thought that the next Town Hall meeting could discuss the Sexual Misconduct Review process.
Sloan met with the stadium renovation committee. The tentative plan is to work on a space for everyone to use (not just sports teams). She also met with the Careers Committee, and there is a lot of talk to start an opt-in or opt-out program where students can create a profile for themselves and be aware of events relevant to their potential career interest.
Ali reiterated her interest for a resolution concerning keeping the Possee program alive.
Heavenrich and EAC has been talking about getting geothermal heating for the Rec Center, as well as other buildings.
Thornton mentioned that the College has made a decision to add something to Memorial so that cell phones will work there by January.
for comments or corrections to the minutes, feel free to contact lucalh