November 8th, 2010
- Location: Sayles 251
- Time: 7:00 pm
- Present: Present: President Jinai Bharucha, Vice President Isaac Hodes, Treasurer Sarah Duane, and Senators Joe Marren, Jonathan Hillis, Kelsey Han, Noe Hernandez, Justin Jack, Charlotte Turovsky, Asim Manizada, John O'Neil, Rhys Lindmark, Semira Mohammed, Marc Boyce, Arnav Durani, Bill Brinkman, Justin Moor, Ned Heckman, Sana Rafiq, Mackenzie Persen, Carlton Keedy
- Secretary: Adele Daniel
Carleton Islamic Association
Amount Requested: $660
Hodes: We had $411 remaining, so we would be spending more than special allocations, but there is nothing in the bylaws against taking it out of cap reserves.
Hillis: So this cap reserves money…this is the mystery money?
Hodes: No, not entirely. We are supposed to fill it to $65,000. Duane also found some extra money, and we have $96,000. It’s generally used for emergency spending and large purchases. We have done this over the past few years.
The recommendation was approved with Mohammed and Boyce abstaining, and Hillis opposed.
Bharucha: We had a meeting outside of Senate, but no one came.
O’Neil: Based on my conversations with you and other people, we came up with a list of questions. Some are quantitative, some are qualitative. First, why did you take this course? This will frame their response. The next is about the effectiveness of the course. There is a question about the strengths and weaknesses of the professors, to help students know what they are about and help the professors get feedback. And then, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the course? And then you can choose to send it to the professor or to the student database or both.
Hodes: Should the quantitative question be split into two questions? The one through ten seems odd.
Heckman: It looks great. You said that there was a space for free response?
O’Neil: Yes, there would be.
Heckman: Can you ask for class year?
Bharucha: You might smaller classes, and the professor would know who it was.
O’Neil: A lot of the course evaluations have that. Good idea.
Hodes: It sounds good, but that information shouldn’t be sent to the professor.
Hillis: The last question, you should clarify the anonymity.
O’Neil: It is only for students.
Bharucha: I thought it would anonymous. I might not want other people to know.
Hillis: Make it anonymous and say that it is anonymous.
O’Neil: You would have to make sure that they were actually in the course.
Bharucha: It could be on the trust basis.
Hodes: If you knew the student, it would make it easier for them to choose their course.
Turovsky: I have also seen, would you recommend this class to a friend? That might be helpful. It could be Yes or No, and then maybe an open response, why? And they could expand.
Hillis: How will this information be sorted? What statistics will be available? It is important to look at a course as freshman viewed it, or look at just a professor regardless of the class. Being able to look at the data is really important.
O’Neil: We can get this approved, and have it all in place. I have more to say. If we can get this in place in time for students to do it this term, that would be good.
Orian Martin: If this gets really popular, we might have 40 reviews about one professor that are really negative. There are some professors who are known to be bad. This could be a tool that students could use to approach departmental advisors.
O’Neil: There are a lot of faculty concerns that this would be viewable by other faculty.
Bharucha: If professors are getting things wrong, there is the three year review that, hopefully, things are getting through.
O’Neil: The last two questions and the first one are the only ones required.
Boyce: If we approve this here, how does this play out? How does this become real?
O’Neil: If we approve this, I take this to web services, and we see how much of this can be done. We should be able to have this up.
Hodes: One, instead of yes or no for the friend recommendation, maybe a 1-10 and definitely an open response. Second, it would be nice to have the option of downloading a spreadsheet or something. Third, I’m thinking about the last one about sending this anonymously to the professor, and what if only one person does it?
Bharucha: How would that make it not anonymous?
Hodes: Maybe you could tell by the way they write or things that they have said. Maybe I’m off the mark here.
O’Neil: It shouldn’t affect the immediate course. We hold all of them and send them to the professor at once.
Hillis: Can you add that information to this question?
Bharucha: Is that something that can be programmed?
O’Neil: Yes, we talked about that.
Hodes: It’d be nice if you could download the spreadsheet to have all the data so you can do what you want with the data. If it is on the Internet, it could already be sent to the professor.
Hillis: It lets students do more innovative things with the data.
O’Neil: Students need to be anonymous even in the database.
Hodes: If it is too sensitive, it shouldn’t be online.
Turovsky: Maybe you could do it through the hub. All the courses would pop-up and you could select it.
Lindmark: When would the professors get the evaluation?
O’Neil: After grades are in.
Durani: Professors and the deans are aware that this is in progress.
Bharucha: The people in the ECC know. They will definitely know before it goes live.
Durani: You should get their inputs as well. Caucus wasn’t popular among professors. It might have a lot of opposition.
Bharucha: No one has to approve this other than us.
Durani: We need enough time to get professor’s opinions as well.
Manizada: What was the rationale behind including the class year?
O’Neil: How much experience they have taking classes at Carleton.
Brinkman: In the future, are we considering allowing people to use it retrospectively?
O’Neil: Perhaps later, we could add that. We could also looking into highlighting good reviews. We will also have a caution if they don’t want it to go to either places.
Bharucha: We will not see any evaluations that are not intended to go to the database. Can we have a vote to move forward with this, to start designing it?
The motion is approved with O’Neil and Durani abstaining.
Bharucha: Maybe we could also write a Carletonian article from the Senate’s perspective.
Moor: Spring term we talked about this, and there was not enough money. Some vending machines have one-card readers, but some don’t. They would make it easier for people. They cost $1,500 each. We have a fair amount of money again, and I wanted to gauge the reaction. It might be an investment, since we get some money in the vending machines. It might boost sales 10%. The readers might pay for themselves in 10 years. The money won’t come back to us soon. There are only some locations where this would be helpful. The two main locations are Goodhue and Myers, which are both isolated from vending machines with one-card readers. It won’t make us better students or people, but it might still be worth it. Are people looking to spend $6000 getting them?
Manizada: Myers might not need it because Cassat vending machines have vending machines.
Moor: Musser was also recommended. There are some in Burton. What about just Goodhue? It would still be $3000.
Hillis: Could we get the vendors in on this? When does our contract expire?
Bharucha: We renewed the 5-year contract recently. When we chose the contract, we chose to either get a lump sum of money or profits.
Turovsky: Either we get a lump sum of money and a lower percent profit, or we get a higher percent profit.
Bharucha: We get a higher percent profit. We took that because that gives us more money.
Hillis: Would they be willing to subsidize?
Bharucha: Yes, by giving us the upfront money, but really, no.
Durani: Could you look at doing something similar with the one-card readers?
Bharucha: The College paid for them in the past, but they want us to do it now.
Lindmark: There was an increase in sales of 10%? If we pay money now, and then we will get it back in ten years and we might get more profits in the future, that’s a good choice.
Moor: It’s still a decade, and the vending business at Carleton and elsewhere too have been falling. It is a possibility, but I can’t guarantee that.
Duane: Goodhue would be a good pilot program. I don’t see a need to do two places unless the cost is cut a lot.
Hodes: I like the idea, but I’m not sure that I’m up for spending this money. There are situations where $6000 could come in handy.
Jack: I would recommend moving the one card reader in Laird to a different place.
Bharucha: I asked about that, and Ferguson said no. We can ask again. Senators think once again that it should be moved.
Hodes: I’m wondering about the demand. I wish there was a way to do this without spending $3000 on Goodhue. Perhaps we can look at the contracts in the future.
Bharucha: We can put that question in the survey.
Manizada: Could be put one in Goodhue, so the option is there, and we can see the increased profits, because that option is available.
Moor: There is a snack machine and a pop machine. Nothing is decided.
Hillis: Is one of them being used?
Bharucha: Ferguson can find that out.
Turvosky: It is buying some convenience for students. But I’ve not heard anyone yelling about this. I’ll ask someone for a dollar if I really need one. I’m not sure we should spend money on this, unless the students really want this.
Marren: One of the questions on the survey will be about, what are some things that you are interested in?
Bharucha: We can come back to this after the survey results.
Marren: We wanted your feedback on these questions. We wanted to do it this week and look at the results in the winter.
O’Neil: Which town hall meeting? Specify.
Bharucha: Add class dinners. We might get a lot of “we had too.” Last time we got a lot of terrible responses.
Turovsky: We could add whether people have attended what we have funded to see if people went.
Hillis: Along that line, we could ask about the events that we funded. We could ask what CSA funded events they enjoyed.
Bharucha: Duane could find the 10 highest funded events and they could be listed.
Marren: Next, are there any initiatives? And what are most important? We have trayless, not going trayless, and campus paper mailings. There are also questions about course evaluations and experimental college.
Hodes: Will the course evaluations be up? No. The important issue question, are there other choices?
Bharucha: We couldn’t think of other initiatives, like Manizada’s, although, maybe not his.
Hodes: When you prompt most people, you might get a lot of yeses.
Bharucha: Last time we had rankings, and that didn’t work. We might be able to get a general idea.
Hillis: The bad question could be reworded. Could we say how do you feel about campus mailings or about yes or no?
Bharucha: We are hoping that you can add to this. If 75% of people want you to your idea, then you will know to do it. It needs more issues from all of you.
Heckman: You should add the Sunday morning finals thing.
Hodes: I’m worried that people choose other things, it might frame it poorly. It could frame this poorly.
Bharucha: Maybe we want to do the trayless thing separately.
Marren: We could ask, how strongly do you feel?
Han: We should have a separate question for going trayless. We need to evaluate it from that perspective as well.
Bharucha: We also have a meeting with Bon Appétit, I’ll let you know that we are going to have a referendum about this. We can also do it this term.
Han: We could have the answers be for, or against, or don’t care.
Brinkman: I agree with that. On a different topic, I’m not sure yet, but I went to the Libe, and they didn’t have a lot of movies. The librarians say it is really arbitrary. I thought we could get involved in remedying that. It is just an idea, but if we were to add more movies, it would be helpful to see which movies people want to see. There could be a survey to that effect.
Bharucha: Right now librarians choose.
O’Neil: There is a form online where students can recommend. I’ve gotten some movies that I wanted to see that way.
Manizada: Can we give an option where they select top three choices?
Bharucha: That might create the same mess. I hope that you will all working on things no matter what.
Turovsky: We should also think about when we send this out, maybe not during finals.
Bharucha: Last term, we did it at the end and we got over 230 responses.
Marren: We could open it now and send out another email during finals.
Bharucha: We could keep it open winter term.
Duane: Although, a lot of these events happened in the fall.
Marren: We would talk about the one-card thing. What you like, or don’t like, and a question about the budget committee process.
Mohammed: Talking about the wording, we could leave it open ended, but we could ask which ones are important to them, so we can incorporate the list that we had.
Hodes: I see a few sections to the survey. One about events, when the why or why not is important. Publicity goes into that. Course evaluations should be a separate question for feedback. Trayless should be yes or no as well. We could have a list of initiatives where people could chose their top ones. Some of these things are just happening, and student response didn’t matter. Do we have anything to list out? If not, we could avoid the ranking problem.
Bharucha: I agree. We can organize it better. Should campus mailings stay on there? That could be helpful?
Hodes: I’m worried there because I’m not sure that we can do that right now, even if a lot of students are interested. At first blush, students would want that, but maybe when they think about it more, they wouldn’t.
Bharucha: Any thoughts about when we should send this out?
Marren: I don’t think we should do it winter term, because people won’t remember and some will be off campus.
Boyce: I agree. It would be nice then, without finals and papers to worry about it. But people might not remember or skew it because they don’t care anymore.
Marren: We can present any findings winter term.
Mohammed: For the multiple choice questions we could have a short blurb about the pros and cons of the choice so people know what they are voting for.
Bharucha: We could, but we couldn’t decide about the wording. It might take us a whole other week to figure that out. We can put it up tomorrow and have people look it over, and we can get it in the all-campus email by Thursday. We need a poster about people needing to think about what we want to do.
Hernandez: I’ll do it.
There were a lot of poster ideas, including a Spice Girls reference.
Mohammed: About trayless, if there are more people indifferent, will we go ahead with this?
Bharucha: Michelle and Alex and Bon Appétit talked about it together. Hodes and I thought that we were uncomfortable passing something without knowing how students felt.
Hodes: They have been saving about 20% from food waste.
Han: We need to educate people, and tell them how the money is being used.
Hodes: Bon Appétit said that the price per plate would go up, and the food would be higher quality, but we couldn’t get the money. That would violate contract. It isn’t about that. They won’t save money because that money will go back in. It is about sustainability. Traffic flow has been better in the LDC. We can’t just put some information on why we should vote yes. I second your opinion on that.
Bharucha: 500 people did sign a petition. I hoping those people will be remobilized. That’s that update.
Duane: Lindmark and I have been talking about the Green Fund. It is a good idea, but it isn’t used. Before we started re-writing it, we wanted your opinions. It would be a pretty big change.
Turovsky: It is really nit-picky right now. I would support changing this.
Bharucha: Do you want people to talk to you about it?
Duane: We wanted opinions on it.
Hodes: That’s great. If we do change it, we should look at the last part about buying carbon offsets, but I’m not sure the student activity fee should go to that. That’s a big hassle that’s never been done. I feel like budget committee had a suggestion. Maybe there could be guidelines for an event that was more straightforward.
Bharucha: Maybe we should have a whole budget committee thing on the agenda for next week.
Hodes: We found out about why synchronized swimming when to club sport when it was cut from varsity. They were the only DIII synchronized swimming in the world. They were playing club teams anyway.
Turovsky: Will the conversation about the student activity fees be next week?
Bharucha: Yes. Hodes will put together a presentation. One of our big problems if funding the yearbook. Right now, no one is working on it. It is a paid position. You can’t make decisions about that until we know who is working on it. We’ll talk about this more in depth. It goes out to seniors who have already graduated. 100-150 copies are ordered for current students. It’s free.
Durani: If it is only for a specific class, then that is something that the class reps could do.
Bharucha: That would be all of the years below us.
Durani: Who has a vested interest in working on it?
Bharucha: You could send out an email asking about it. Next week I’ll do a wrap up on what we’ve done.