Students’ Council Weekly Meeting
Sunday 3 December 2017
Notes by Katie Leiferman
Moment of Silence
- Absent: Victoria, Mariana, Jake, Saumya
- Maurice is present
Updates from Presidents:
Julia: Saumya is not here. Talked a lot with faculty about Council reconstruction this past week. Presidents had a meeting with Co-Treasurers and Lunt Manages on Friday. Board Day on Friday of this week.
Saif: We met with Lunt Managers to talk about the decision that was made to pay $10 for their shifts. They brought up issues they had with the process. They wanted us to communicate directly with the workers. They said they would protest/reach out to local news to get what they deserve if they are not met. Checks were written on Thursday. Members did not want to pick up their checks because they are still pushing for $15. He will share notes on meeting. They want us to draft an apology letter from administration and SC because of Martinez’s email about search for information (they were offended/targeted by people on campus).
Walt: Is someone speaking for all the workers/is it unanimous that they all want $15?
Saif: No. Workers differ in how much they want. It is incorrect to think of this as dollars per hour, it is actually a compensation for hours that they aren’t going to be working.
Julia: Moving forward, we need to keep in mind that they feel strongly that SC advocates for them. In future, we should decide if we support them as a counsel (for $15 an hour).
Saif: With the decrease from 15 to 10, students were budgeting differently, so now they don’t have enough money. Idea of putting more money into LIFTFAR to alleviate these issues.
Julia: Saumya and I have been thinking about how to restructure council to increase efficiency. We have seen a lack of efficiency and accountability. I went to Swat SC meeting–their system is: Co-Presidents with 6 chairs and then Senate (Bi-Monthly) with multiple reps from each class. At Villanova, they also have Senate which is not led by Senate/VP but instead by SOH. They implemented using Roberts Rules (ex: motions to speak). I feel like this is against Haverford values because the voting is based on majority.
Saif: Do you think structure is a result on the size of study body?
Julia: Yes. I think that’s something to think about. In restructuring, we would have similar amount of people. We have been working with Sebastian (protest leader) and he is in support of this: Change SC to bicameral system: Have an Exec Board (very logistical, meet once a week), Senate (larger scale issues including identity; meet once a week and have Speaker who attends Exec meeting), and Student Leaders (1-2 times a month, ex: any Co-heads of clubs/organizations/affinity groups/community houses).
Saif: How would this prevent problem of lack of representation if Student Leader meetings were optional?
Rachel: Maybe something along the lines of you can have 2 misses per semester?
Julia: I think that is true–Having a meeting where a lot of student leaders can come together on campus is so important. This would help bring different groups together who talk about similar things. We brought this up to let you guys know we are working on it, but this would have to be a Plenary Resolution. We would also really like to do a retreat in January. Across board, getting people to show up is an issue–so having people have specific jobs/responsibility we can increase accountability.
Saif: How does it increase accountability? More people in leadership roles spreads out the work. Clearly, there is an issue of people not showing up, doesn’t it make sense to decrease the size?
Katie: Point of this is to decrease size of Exec board to do just that, but having student leadership keeps everyone involved across campus.
Maurice: The role identity is playing in the student senate portion [in reference to identity requirements for Senate positions]–it sounds like there are a lot of proposed identity markers that are specifically being made. These markers would just make decisions take so much longer because of requirements.
Simon: POC asterisk: How do you determine who feels this nebulous ideological distinction?
Julia: To respond to Maurice, it is hard to find a balance between representing students equally but also being logistical, and having elections be run efficiently (issue at HC).
Maurice: I think having these student leaders take on another Student Leader position is interesting.
Saif: Are people actually going to apply for this?
Rachel: I am involved in all of this stuff, but how do I balance what I’m doing now but also work as more of a mentor. Does this address the problem of community engagement? Maybe that is another thing altogether. Are we ever going to have a structure that address community engagement? I think that is a separate issue that can’t be structurally fixed. This is more about how to organize SC to encourage input from the community.
Saif: Maybe this is putting up too many walls then. “This part of the committee gets to do this.” Our meetings are already open to everyone. So, I am more of a fan of making it more small and more flat.
Leslie: I don’t think implementing quota is going to help problem of lack of students of color. A lot of us have to do jobs, and putting quotas is not going to encourage people to apply because you are not giving them anything/making it more accessible. Makes Exec Board inaccessible. It all seems very tokenizing.
Julia: Going to these other government meetings have taught me that all of our groups run into the same issues. I think it is great we are asking these questions, but we do a lot of things that are great on our council right now.
Saif: To Leslie’s point, I also think it would be weird if you paid positions like this.
Rachel: By paying, you are trying to incentivize people to do something even though the position wouldn’t exist if people did want it.
Noorie: The fact that there’s so many different identities represented on the council, I feel like so many groups don’t know the scope of impact the council can have. If this is introduced, it will facilitate more discussion and cause people to think more about how to improve things on campus. It is better to have more people on SC.
Saif: Does making a place for discussion increase discussion, or is it better to spontaneously have venues for this?
Walt: What is happening in future.
Julia: Logistically to rewrite Constitution, it is going to take a lot of time. Saumy and I want to work a lot on it over winter break. We want to have the retreat to work on it as a group.
Walt: I heard Monday is when it is coming out.
Rachel: The way it was created did not let people unsubscribe so they are working on that now.
Yan: For Honor Council library we only received one application. It is a good application so we will probably just appoint him. We would want to put people passionate about the position on the job, so if they did not apply the first round, they clearly are not that passionate. I wanted to raise the fact only one person applied to make sure you guys are okay with appointing him.
Leslie: I talked to one of the Co-Chairs, the other council members didn’t apply because they knew Riley was very interested.
Walt: If one person is running for something that requires one person, I would feel bad running another round.
Moment of Silence