RA Meeting Minutes 10/26/14

Bates College Student Government

Representative Assembly


In accordance with the Bates College Student Government Bylaws

(Article I, Section 4)

Sunday, October 26th, 2014 4:00pm-5:30PM | Meeting Room: Commons 221/222

  1. Announcements
  2. Ratification of Minutes
    1. Vote. For: all. Minutes Ratified.
  3. Officer Reports
    1. Treasurer (John Stansel ‘15)
      1. Dharma Society Speaker
        1. Club representative Joseph came to speak about the club’s goal to bring in a specialist. The funding will mostly cover the expensive flight from Burma. The Budget Committee voted unanimously for the asked $750. The speaker is a big-named teacher of breathing and meditation. The event will be hosted by the Dharma Society, as well as Yoga Kula, the philosophy forum, and the Multifaith Chaplaincy. It is a great introduction to meditation, and would benefit anyone who is interested.
        2. Questions: Is anyone closer that would present the same experience for the college, but perhaps not require such expensive funding? Yes, but no one with the same intensive training and exploration of the topic. He was trained in a very specific lineage that makes his teachings highly valued.
        3. Vote. For: 29. Against: 0. Abstaining: 2. Passes.
  4. Committee Reports
    1. It’s on Us Committee Update
      1. The committee is in the works of planning the student leadership lunch.
    2. Pass/Fail Committee Update
      1. The committee has plans to meet with the educational policy committee, as well as a group of faculty involved in the grading process, and will perhaps work to create a petition that will involve the entire student body in the process of changing policy.
  5. Member Reports
    1. Question: When will committees, such as the faculty and the presidents advisory committee, will meet.
      1. The specific chairs of the committees should be in contact with their committees. Most of the chairs have been waiting for elections to be completed, and will reach out in the coming weeks.
      2. The Faculty Committee has not been active, despite elections going on. Alyssa discussed with the previous head of this committee to transform the committee and have it take on a new role, in terms of advising the faculty in initiatives that bridge the faculty and students.
      3. Dean of students is interested in revamping the Dean’s Advisory Committee. The hope is to get that back in place with elections, as well as reaching out to the students elected to the non-functioning Faculty Committee, offering them the opportunity to join the new Dean’s Advisory Committee.
        1. Members of the RA discussed whether it would be valuable and necessary to completely re-elect members for this hybrid committee. A Dean’s Advisory Committee election could have the potential to be a significant event on campus, regarding the student body’s desire for more transparency between the deans and the students.
  6. New Business
    1. Resolution as proposed by a Representative
      1. Regarding the possibility of future situations demanding impeachment of the student body president. Representative Kiernan spoke about the need to acknowledge and respond to accusations and offenses made against any member of the student government, specifically, in this case, Alyssa, president of the student body.
        1. Member of the RA asked what the legitimacy of the threats and accusations made, which were mostly present on Yik Yak, as many students turned to this form of social media to blow off steam. Another asked how relevant calls for impeachment based on dissatisfaction was, as impeachment is truly based on the president’s ability and choice to stick to the constitution.
        2. John Stansel voiced his appreciation for the movement, but warned against taking Yik Yak, and other such things, too seriously. Paying mind to these heated calls for impeachment gives them legitimacy.
        3. Vote to remove the resolution. For: 26. Against: 3. Abstaining: 2. Resolution removed.
    2. Representative proposed an Amendment to the Constitution in Article 1 Section seven. The proposed literature would lay down the process through which a removed member of the RA would be replaced. The Chair of the RA is in charge of nominating new potential members that would serve until the next regularly scheduled election.
      1. Members voiced their opinion that the Parliamentarian should be in charge of the filling of vacant spaces, given his/her role in regular elections.
      2. Motion to close debate. For: 30. Against: 1. Abstaining: 0. Motion passes.
    3. Election process: Campus Culture Working Group
      1. Alyssa spoke about the election process of Dean Macintosh’s initiative to create a campus culture working group. Students voiced their belief that students should be elected to this committee, rather than be appointed by the Deans.
      2. Matters of diversity in many different regards are important when moving forward in the election process.
      3. The Executive Council talked about having a nomination process, during which nominees would be screened by the Committee on Committees. Committed and passionate students would be put on the ballot. Any gaps in diversity would be filled after elections. The Council, however, encourages suggestions and responses to this proposed process.
      4. The group would address campus culture, looking for opportunities for more social events and outlets that encourage moderation and civility, especially regarding alcohol consumption. They would also address issues of safety and disruption posed to the community as a whole. Their first charge will be to figure out how to gain a wider opinion and voice of the student body, through lunches, forums, etc.
      5. In addition to the student election process, the RA also discussed the process through which faculty would be elected onto the committee, and the possible role the student body could play in this process.
      6. Motion for informal vote for student involvement in the process of selecting faculty. For: 37. Against: 3. Abstaining: 1.  Passes.
  7. Adjournment


Respectfully submitted,

Katharina Harling  ’17