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Meeting Minutes

September 29th, 2008

  • Location: Sayles 251
  • Present: President Caitlin Fleming, Vice President Pablo Kenney, Treasurer Sam Ritter, Senators Ben Barclay, Evan Rowe, Erika Pearson, Cat McMurtry, Lindsey Shaughnessy, McKay Duer, Chase Kimball, Brandon Walker, Jinai Bharucha, Charlotte Turovsky, Jack Boller, Nimo Ali, Colin Bottles, Dominic Vendell, Kelsey Sloan, Wei Qi Tan, Nora Mahlberg
  • Absent: Peter Antonov
  • Guests: Joe Baggot, Chris Rasinen
  • Secretary: Robert Orion Martin

Budget Committee Recommendations and Allocations
Crepe Stand Discussion
Gun Club Liability Insurance Discussion
Blanchard Chang Appeal

EAC Appointment
Campus Climate Survey Debriefing and Planning
Town Hall Meeting
Board of Trustees Report Planning
Working Group and Committee Liaison Updates 

The meeting was called to order at 7:05.

Budget Committee

The first order of business was the budget committee recommendations. Senate agreed to consider BC recommendations under $1,000 in block. See the details from last week in the BC minutes:

The Chang/Blanchard request was appealed. Requests from Students for the Right to Bear Arms and Crepe Stand were considered separately. 8 other recommendations were approved in block.

Crepe Stand Discussion
Rowe was concerned about the Crepe Stand. He said that if senate is not making more than $300 per term, then it would be more hassle than it is worth.

Ali responded that Microfinance Club made $400 last year.

Rasinen asked if Bon Appetit had been consulted. McMurtry responded that there were some discussions with Bon Appetit, but questions remained about the exact policy.

Bharucha, Crepe Stand Senator, agreed not to buy ingredients until Bon Appetit was consulted. Rowe moved to add a stipulation to this effect, which was approved unanimously. The request was approved unanimously as well.

Students for the Right to Bear Arms
The next recommendation discussed was the request by Students for the Right to Bear Arms. The request was for NRA membership and liability insurance that will allow the club to own clubs. Vendell questioned whether CSA should go down a path in which it would at some point be buying guns.

Kenney pointed out that the club needs the liability insurance before it can sponsor trips to the shooting range. The club has been reorganized and its membership is growing. It has around 15 active members.

President Oden donated a gun safe so that the gun club can store its guns on campus. Currently the club does not own guns, and it relies on personal property guns to go shooting.

Vendell pointed out that the insurance is renewed annually, and that it will be an annual cost of $750.

The club explained that its members do not want to walk around on campus with guns. It wants to have guns that it can use to go shooting. Personal property guns can be kept in the gun safe and retrieved by owners. Students need to go through security to get the guns. 

The firing range that is near Northfield has no guns available for rent.

Kenney noted that there are numerous groups on campus for which CSA pays sizable liability insurance.

If the club received funding for liability insurance, Carleton would be covered and they would be able to sponsor trips to the gun range.

Rowe noted that the request was receiving considerably more scrutiny than other groups under CSA. He felt it was wrong to ask the group to continue to operate without insurance. He added that the large membership shows the clear interest on campus and justifies the cost of the insurance.

Bharucha informed senate that during the BC discussion, it was noted that the club needs insurance in order to receive donations.

Ali was concerned about the seeming lack of oversight over the access to the guns in the gun safe.

Senate voted unanimously to approve the recommendation of full funding.

Blanchard/Chang Foodtruth Appeal
Katie Blanchard and Vera Chang appealed their request for $500 to attend a sustainability/food issues conference in Italy. Budget Committee recommended $300.

Chang and Blanchard have received funding from a myriad of other sources, but are still short at least $500. They explained that they are planning a presentation this term and will incorporate what they learn into organizations on campus.

McMurtry moved to split the request into two requests for the two respective students. The motion did not pass.

Senate approved the recommendation of $300 anonymously.

EAC Approval

Nora Mahlberg was nominated for the Environmental Action Committee liaison senate seat. She was approved unanimously.

Campus Climate Discussion

Senators shared their impressions of the Campus Climate Survey which was unveiled last week.

Kimball emphasized the fact that 34 respondents were sexually assaulted.  It is also clear from the results that students of color feel less comfortable in the classroom.

Students are unaware of the role CSA plays in the campus climate, and only a 34% agreed that CSA is advancing these equity and justice issues on campus.

The vast majority of harassment and abuse were student on student in nature, so the CSA has a unique role in the campus response to the survey. Walker expressed his disappointment at the low attendance at the CSA sponsored Q and A.

Sue Rankin, who led the survey, mentioned at the presentation that first year seminars addressing climate issues have been successfully implemented at other schools.

Bharucha suggested that CSA could look through the personal comments reported in the survey and try to generate more discussion on campus.

Barclay agreed that many on campus were “underwhelmed” with the results after the presentation. He felt that with more attentive reading of the report, there may be more that we can learn about the campus climate.

McMurtry noted that 300 students reported being discriminated against on campus. She also suggested moving the senate to Great Hall in order to make it more open.

Walker said that meetings in the Great Hall have been attempted and are usually met with low turn out.

Kenney said he felt that CSA and student leaders in general have been somewhat unsuccessful in disseminating important information to the student body.

Ali said that great care should be taken with presenting personal comments from survey, given the editorial in the Carletonian last weekend that responded negatively to the chalkings around campus.

Bottles explained that the freshmen seminar could be implemented with a pilot group of students. Walker added that this initiative has been raised before but is being resisted by the administration.

Duer suggested a Chili Night or dinner to generate discussion. Flemming suggested the Town Hall Meeting.

Vendell said that reading over the report, he noticed how many students felt isolated in the classroom. He noted that if there was a class requirement for first year students, all students would be involved in these discussions.

Turovsky agreed that first year requirements will unsure that the message reaches the whole campus.

Walker said that based on his experience as an RA, students might not be comfortable with huge meetings They may be more comfortable with one on one or small group discussions.

Kimball noted that now is the time to build support for a first year seminar because of the momentum on campus. On the other hand, CSA must look to the long term and promote the goals of “Justice, Equity, and Unity.” How can CSA take this to message into the broader public?

Duer suggested incorporating diversity into the first week of the existing first year seminars.

Bottles said that if the CSA is going to use incendiary statistics it must act with utmost caution in order not to offend students who struggle with those issues.

Ali brought up the Fishbowl discussion last year, saying that it was a positive forum in which students were able to operate.

Tan agreed that freshmen seminars are the key to bringing diversity discussion to freshmen.

Ali added that the First Year Experience workgroup is involved in these issues as well.

Town Hall Meeting

President Fleming asked senators what format/topics would be best for the upcoming CSA Town Hall Meeting.

McMurtry has been in discussion with various groups about holding an event similar to last year’s Fishbowl discussion. The focus of this event would be smaller discussions, hopefully leading to larger recommendations for progress into the future.

Vendell added that possible institutional changes should be discussed

Turovsky noted that freshmen are often left out of CSA activities. They seem unaware about the Campus Climate Survey.

Bharucha said she felt food is essential in order to bring people to the Town Hall meetings.

Board of Trustees
The CSA will have another audience with the Board of Trustees.

Last Spring CSA proposed and Activity Access Fund that would allow students based on need to participate more fully in academic and sports clubs.

McMurtry recommended that the CSA use its $30,000 in discretionary funds to encourage the creation of such a Access Fund.

Committee Updates

McMurtry reported that the ECC is continuing its work on the Curricular Review and related projects.

Duer is will be meeting soon with the Dining Board. Dining related comments and topics of discussion should be emailed to her. 

The Committee on Student Life is meeting tomorrow. Interested students can email Shaughnessy to learn more.

Vendell reported that the GSC followed up to the chalkings with a meeting focusing on sexual assault on campus. It was discussed that some conversation about sanctions against students convicted of sexual assault needs to be organized.

Ritter is still working on the pool table situation. The furniture for Sayles is on back order.

For questions or corrections to the minutes, please contact CSA Secretary Robert Orion Martin (