Wesleyan Student Assembly — Wesleyan University
Minutes: November 09, 2008
1. Fight Song
2. Approval of the Minutes
3. Open Forum
4. Final set of Fountain Ave Recommendations
5. Mid-Semester Reports (Committee reports, supersized)
6. New Business and Announcements
Meeting opens — 7:05 pm
1) Fight Song
2) Approval of Minutes
3) Open Forum
4) Final Set of Fountain Avenue Recommendations
- Social Event Policy Recommendation
- Benedict: What if people have previously attended host training?
- Jared: Then they would go to the SJB
- Chris: No where does this take into account the size of the different houses when discussing limits.
- Benedict: there seems to be a direct conflict here because on the one hand we are talking about knowing whenever 50 people are gathered, but we don’t consider backyard spaces in that.
- Public Safety Protocol for Addressing Violations of the Code of Non-Academic Conduct
- Candace: Didn’t Dave Myer not want individual officers to be responsible for charges?
- Micah: Did the commission take a look at having certain aspects such as non-compliance be the responsibility of the individual PSafe officer
- Karl: I would much rather have students experience better relations with PSafe rather than the SJB
- Becky: The officers can always go back to the office and look up the rules and then decide the appropriate response
- Paul: don’t you think that saying the SJB cannot bring in new charges might be a problem?
- Saul: there is a necessary separation between the body who brings the charges and the body that hears the charges.
- Micah: is anyone else concerned that what was student SJB power will now be public safety power?
- Becky: it takes the power away from the students to file charges, but not to make a decision on those charges. In fact, separating the students from that responsibility would make it fairer during the hearing.
- Chris Goy: having public safety officers that haven’t read the fundamental rules is like having a supreme court that hasn’t read the constitution. I think it is appropriate for the PSafe officers to be tested on a regular basis to ensure that they are up to date on the most recent rules.
- Mike: about removing power from the students; what would happen is the SJB would now have a more limited set of options of what to charge students with based on the PSafe report. There are also issues because PSafe is not the only one who can file complaints (RAs, students etc.).
- Adam I: do you think that by passing these recommendations with these controversial issues that we will get less of a response from the administration towards these recommendations in general?
- Becky: at this point we don’t know how many recommendations will be looked through by the administration
- Mike: President Roth has agreed to have all the recommendations at least looked at by all the relevant committees. This recommendation will provide change.
3. General Public Safety Protocol Recommendations
- Candace: do all of PSafe’s loud speakers work? How does PSafe measure sound levels?
- Benedict: what about a PSafe evaluation form? This doesn’t need to be a complaint form — I have had positive experiences with PSafe.
- Chris Goy: the night of Fountain, I could not hear any announcements made by PSafe. A lot could be avoided by use of the speakers. Also, if that is the only method of communication, what about someone who has a hearing impairment? There should be personal interaction following the announcement asking students to leave.
- Candace: PSafe has sirens…why don’t they use them?
- Becky: It makes it seem like an emergency situation. Also, it may cause confusion between PSafe and Middletown Police.
- Paul: Sirens are heard all the time from Ambulances and other vehicles; students don’t always pay attention to them.
4. Public Safety Protocol for Requesting Assistance from the Middletown Police
- Micah: the current protocol that PSafe has been using is pretty much the same as outlined here
- Benedict: One thing that should be added is that calling MPD is not a crowd control tactic.
- Candace: This is supposed to apply to all PSafe actions. I think that it is important that the supervising officers be called to the scene.
- Becky: These recommendations allow for more time to be taken to analyze and then respond to the situation.
- Karl: I agree with the policy. Just because Dave Myer doesn’t think a policy is appropriate doesn’t mean that students think the same way. It is in fact codifying the process in place with a few minor changes.
- Joanna: I want to make the point that Middletown police will respond differently, if an individual calls MPD versus PSafe calling the MPD.
- Adam I: putting this policy into writing is important. I’m a little confused as to what this policy would have done on the night of Fountain.
- Becky: our aim is to make PSafe think more before they take action, be more exhaustive about what they do before they make the call.
- Jaynice: I’m concerned about safety on campus - by making it harder for PSafe to contact the police, we are compromising student security.
- Micah: the idea that calling a dean before calling MPD is detrimental is not. It in fact, discourages PSafe from calling.
- Strawpoll: how many people would like the extra step of adding a dean to the protocol. 11 yes — 14 no — 4
- Candace: my issue is that we are talking about all these recommendations in the view of applying them to events, but these need to be applied to all situations.
- Jen: Candace brought up a good point. I’m also having trouble thinking of an event that will not be time sensitive, and thus, protocols may be overridden anyway. If PSafe calls MPD, even if they don’t require the dean’s permission to do so, they should inform the administration when MPD has been called.
- Becky: the biggest problem is how PSafe spends the time they do, before deciding to call in MPD. In the case of Fountain, a lot of time was just spent at the scene, not doing anything.
- David: what we want out of all this is a measure by which PSafe can have a concrete protocol
- Aubrey: this recommendation makes PSafe more responsible for their actions, and thus, is likely to make them think longer and harder about the consequences of their actions.
- Mike: This recommendation makes PSafe accountable.
- Ben: It would be a good idea to have a dean come to the scene.
- Candace: remember that what MPD sees as the violation at the scene, is not necessarily what PSafe sees as the violation since PSafe might be concerned with school rules, but MPD is concerned with actual laws that are being broken.
- Strawpoll: do people think that an administrator should be called as soon as MPD is called. 23 yes -1 no — 6
- Candace: sometimes the Dean doesn’t need to be called, because this is a blanket policy.
- Saul: this can be solved by adding language that includes that the administrator should be informed in cases unrelated to state laws (eg: drug cases do not need the dean to be called)
- Paul: right now, PSafe has to call MPD when the law is being broken. In the case of Fountain, there was a public street block, which is a violation, so they would have had to call MPD anyway.
- Mike: PSafe is required to call MPD in cases where they cannot rectify the situation.
- Moderated Caucus: speaking time 30 seconds for the purpose of discussing the addition of sentences that detail when Deans should be called.
5) Mid-Semester Reports
- Chris Goy: the trend seems to be that requests have gotten more expensive
- Were trying to create transparency in all processes
- The Film Series and the Argus have been two of the more controversial funding cases because there are special circumstances
- Jared: any money earned at an event (ex: bake sale) technically is SBC money. Groups need to realize that.
- Benedict: so current figures have not included the money the Argus has requested.
- Jared: no, that is not included
- David: so if a team has a bake sale to fundraise for gear, does that money belong to the SBC?
- Mike: Has there been any indication that there will be this large jump in funds asked for?
- Everybody is encouraged to meet with Mike and Saul to discuss how the WSA is going, committees, any other concerns.
- Benedict: sums up what AAC has been doing
- If you have any ideas about the honor code — email Benedict
- Mike: have there been issues with the honor code?
- Benedict: there have been some instances of teachers and students resolving honor code issues outside of the honor board.
- Email suggestions for improving USDAN to Jen
- Candace: where are the buses stopping in New York?
- What about to — go for dinner?
- Becky: write a letter if you really care about to-go for dinner
- Karl: I think we should fight for the special containers Delmar dreamt about last year
- Mike: are major maintenance decisions available?
- Saul: has there been any progress on incorporating the complaint for the PSafe officers into the SJB process?
6) New Business and Announcements
Mike: Thanks for working through these long meetings. We have 3 weeks left, let’s gets some more good work done
Ben: Meherazade and I will be making a card for Greer, who has been sick. We will leave it in the office, so please sign it
Close of Meeting: 10.08 p.m.
Fountain Avenue Policy Recommendations (as passed by the WSA on Nov. 09, 2008):
Meherazade Sumariwalla ’12