Wesleyan Student Assembly — Wesleyan University
Minutes: November 21, 2004, No. 9
WSA OfficersPresident: Emily Polak
Vice President: Jeremy Abrams
Coordinator: Ali Gomer
Treasurer: Pacho Carreno
Meeting Agenda and Business
- Approval of last week's minutes
- Presentation on sustained dialogue
- Committee reports
- Social committee report
- New business and announcements
Opening of Meeting
The meeting is opened at 7:07 PM.
Presentation on Sustained Dialogue
Michael Benn presents an overview on sustained dialogue about affirmative action. This portion of the university's dialogue focuses on the university's long history of engagement in diversity issues. While we continue to celebrate our success thus far, we have a way to go. Integral to the creation of this are the four programs of the office of affirmative action. The first one is to work with RA's to create situations in which difference is respected. The second program is to work with faculty and staff. The third program is to work with staff to sustain dialogue. The last program is to get faculty and students to work together to create more sustained dialogue. The office of affirmative action is holding a meeting Monday at 12:00 noon in the McKelvey Room, admissions office. Benn says that our programs will only be effective if we work together with the three groups.
- Karen Courtheoux asks how Benn's office will help faculty to participate. Benn says that he has no way of mandating faculty support.
- Brittany Mitchell asks how to attract students. Benn says that they
- Nora Connor mentions she is concerned that the Anti-Defamation League is decidedly pro-Palestine. Benn expresses surprise.
- Karen Courtheoux asks how the models will be created. Will they be cookie cutter models based on other campuses? Right now, staff members are visiting other colleges to get ideas of how to run effective dialogue and programs. Benn mentions that we felt it was important that all forms of discriminatory harassment should be addressed.
- Brian Brotman says that it would be advantageous to add another section on how to make claims against public safety harassment.
- Nathan Victoria suggests that it would be helpful to know who the leaders of the different
- Annie Fox questions if Public Safety is unfairly targeting certain student groups, especially queer student groups.
- Elaine Garven suggests that we should talk about Middletown officers. Benn says that we don't have any jurisdiction over the Middletown police.
- Emily Polak suggests that a sentence in section A should be reworded so that their validity is not challenged.
- Jeremy Abrams mentions that it would be simpler to ask students with complaints against Middletown police to go to the WSA. Benn suggests they go to his office.
- Zach Kolodin asks if the process for investigation will be on a case-by-case basis?: yes, and students will be able to decide who to go to, i.e. Vice president or Benn.
- Annie Fox asks what is staff: only Wesleyan employees. Annie asks how is the information be made available to students: it will be in the student handbook.
- Emily Polak suggests that there should be a greater dissemination of this information. Benn says that there will be a
- Nora Connor asks if there is Benn says that they have not set a statute of limitation.
- Jeremy Abrams as It does have implications. Those type of activities could rise to the level of harassment. Someone could suggest that language in chalking is harassment. In order to fall under this policy it would have to be specific to race or gender or sexual orientation.
- Brittany Mitchell asks about harassment training for students: there will be none of it.
- Benn says that we are trying to get as much information and feedback from students as possible. Benn can be reached at email@example.com .
- FiFac says that Cafsac will meeting with unit councils this week.
- There was talk about creating a new laundry center on Pine street.
- Environmental stewardship initiatives will be put in place soon.
- Elaine asks about Manny's laundry email. Yes, he will send out an email out to the student body about laundry services.
- Brittany Mitchell asks if Cafsac will split up into subcommittees. Yes. They will address issues.
- Anda Greeney asks how water will be conserved with the new laundry services. They will be new machines that are top-loaded.
- Nora Connor suggests that there should be an email sent out to the student body about room damage charges. Karen Courtheoux suggests that the email be sent out before move-out. Arijit Sen says that Reslife sends out an email about possible damage charges. Elaine Garven suggests that Reslife tells students when there are damage charges besides just charging them in their student accounts.
- Nathan Victoria explains the lounge area renovation. First it will be residence halls and then other
- Nathan Victoria says that in an upcoming meeting he will be presenting the university's master plan for housing. He suggests that we think about what we value in housing.
- Jacob Mirsky suggests that we get together before December 5. Nathan Victoria stresses that this is an ongoing process and that student input will eventually be respected.
- Matt Ball says that the campus center third floor as a nighttime hangout spot would be possible. It would need to be staffed with Aramark staff. Arijit Sen suggests that we could hold.
- Elections for SBC will be held after Thanksgiving.
- WSA dinner will be provided on Sunday, Dec. 12th at 6:00.
- Member of the week is Zach Kolodin for his work on the electronic portfolios key capabilities.
- Had a meeting yesterday about accountability for student groups online.
- Look online for other meeting information.
- Emily Polak asks how we will be able to create the student packets. Jacob Mirsky says that it will be ready for groups when we get back.
- Arijit Sen asks why the parking fee is so hard to create. Jeremy Abrams says that it is not hard.
- Arijit Sen suggests that we have a date for the creation of the student group packets. Nora Connor says that it will come at the start of next semester.
- Elaine Garven asks where the dark places on campus are based on information from the lighting tour. There is some need for lighting on north field.
- Zach Kolodin asks if it would be possible to put the student group packet online. Yes. Nora Connor says that all the dates, events will go online. We will email groups and ask them to fill out an online form.
- Jerry Ai asks about how groups can be held accountable for filling out forms accountably. Nora Connor mentions that some higher-ups in the Reslife department will occasionally stop by group functions.
- EC met with President Bennet about Wesleyan/community relations.
- Major points are in committee reports.
- Green Street Art Center will be opening in December.
- Wesclassifieds will be going up within the next two weeks.
- We will be interviewing advisors soon about
- Anda Greeney met with liaisons about the Times Readership. The liaisons will be sending an email to the Times.
- Eric Sullivan asks what is the possibility of weekend readership. Anda Greeney says that we need to run the program more efficiently. He says that the program might be threatened next year.
- Emily Polak suggests that Anda should talk to her about the issue if the Dean's office threatens to take it away.
Social Committee Report
Alex Esquina, one of the Social Committee chairs, says that we are trying to revamp some of our events. We will first discuss moving the winter carnival to Eclectic. We want to maintain the quality of the acts and at the same time choose a better venue. We have booked Jean Gray who is slightly more expensive. Weird War has backed out. We are thinking about creating another event in January.
- Elaine Garven asks if they have explored other venues; asks about security. The social committee will be dedicated to making the security smooth.
- Arijit Sen asks about Fayerwether Gym. Alex says that the vibes would be bad.
- Jeremy Abrams says that Eclectic is an unacceptable. He says it will be trashed, and not enough people will be able to enter. Alex responds that of course we are worried about capacity. Last year's concert did not go well. The social committee decided that accessibility is more important and that Mocon is just a terrible place to have a show. Having a rock act and a different kind of act will hopefully make some people leave after the first act.
- Nora Connor suggests that there was a lack of publicity up to the beginning of the show; adds that Social Committee needs to come up with two alternatives. Alex says that they need the WSA's support.
- Anda Greeney asks how student feedback is being accounted for. Alex suggests that this is not possible. The social committee listens to music selections and works together and their selection is based on diverse interests.
- Brittany Mitchell suggests that holding the winter carnival at Eclectic has potential danger. Alex says that she is feeling nihilistic about the whole concert because of lack of support.
- Emily Polak says that we are very mixed about having the winter carnival. Are there back-up acts. Not at the moment because agents would not agree to that. How will the event be publicized: emails on listserv, posters.
- Annie Fox asks if the '92 Theater would be possible. How about the chapel. No, neither would be acceptable. Annie suggests that we should talk to ITS about making this event being on the website. ¥Brittany Mitchell says that we are still paying a great deal of money to use university spaces.
- Karen Courtheoux suggests that we should have the show a lot earlier when it can be held outside. Alex says that this is a great idea. Karen asks what the social committee's efforts are to incorporate students' opinions. Last year they asked students to add suggestions on the website. The social committee welcomes students to come to the meeting.
- Arijit Sen suggests that a series of shows would be more successful. It is difficult to separate the shows but this is a good idea.
- Terence Trouillot suggests that Eclectic would be a better venue in part because there is not as much Public Safety involvement. He thinks that because the show is not that big, Eclectic should be a pretty sizable venue.
- Zach Kolodin encourages the Social Committee to differentiate this show from others by adding things such as fake snow.
- Jacob Mirsky suggests that we should be able to listen to the acts on mytunes; suggests that we close off high street; suggests that we have Wyclef. Alex responds that the Social Committee did not want him. If there is a way to fundraise, Alex does not know how to do that.
- Eric Sullivan suggests that we should ask students to each give a small amount; asks who is Jean Gray. She is a lyricist lounge, R&B female singer.
- Anda Greeney asks if it is too late to change the venue for the concert. He suggests that Fayerwether gym would be better. Alex says no but that it is possible but that it would be difficult now.
- Nora Connor suggests that we should hand out sample CD's for free: Social committee is planning to do this. Nora suggests that we have more winter events in the future.
- Anda Greeney straw poll motions to vote on where the function should be held. Eclectic: nine. Fayerwether: twelve. Mocon: one. Abstention: three.
Committee Reports Continued
Questions for SAC
- Anda Greeney asks if there has been any investigation into the coffee machines. Right now not.
- Zach Kolodin asks if the smoking ban is completely unenforceable. No, now fines are given based on damage from to housing spaces. Karen Courtheoux asks how there is now a punitive fine for smoking when before it was just a matter of asking people kindly to stop. Elaine Garven says that this is just an extension of other policies for dorms into senior houses. Brittany Mitchell says that seniors would be held more accountable if there houses burned down. Arijit Sen says that this should make it easier to allow students to tell smoking students to exit their houses.
- Jeremy Abrams says that the smoking policy should not include the clause that there should be no smoking within ten feet of the houses; mentions that this issue is not important.
- We have created a capital items list for groups.
- The office is being improved.
- The web improvements are being made for the student group forms.
New Business and Announcements
- Josh Ente says that an RA was removed from his dorm for alcohol possession. He mentions thatJosh Ente mentions that there was a successful freshman forum this week.
- Brittany Mitchell says that there will be a forum on success.
- Zach Kolodin mentions that we should work to make students more involved in the sustained dialogue.
- Eric Sullivan tells an anecdote about how the Middletown officers treated one of his roommates inappropriately. This was after the Middletown officers had told him that they treat students well. Brittany Mitchell suggests that the cop had every right to tell these people that they were not in line. Arijit Sen says that some of us get really drunk when they are drunk; the cop should were acting rationally. Brian Brotman suggests that we should think about hosting a "Know your rights" forum for dealing with police.
- Elaine Garven says that the queer forum on Nov. 30. The students of Color meeting will be on Dec. 1.
- Anda Greeney suggests that we should hold the Social Committee more accountable for their actions. Emily Polak says that we will be working in tandem.
The meeting is adjourned at 9:35 PM.
Arie Eernisse, WSA Secretary