The SGA is busy discussing many matters that are important to Barnard’s bustling community; our correspondent, restless reporter Renée Kraiem writes.
Rep Council met Monday evening despite making quorum by the exact number given the significant absence of Representatives celebrating Rosh Hashanah. In honor of their absence SGA took to hear the renewal and rejuvenation of their peers and applied it toward their mission for the evening: addressing issues at the forefront of campus discussion this fall.
After taking care of some business, appointing a new VP Finance and VP for Diversity, SGA got down to business (a theme among class councils this week) discussing SGA’s role in students’ campaign to “Save the Barnard Pool.” Students have been campaigning since last academic year when it was announced that the pool would be shut down in May of 2013; though the administration’s plans for the space are still TBD, having cut Barnard’s PE requirement down to one semester and assessing student use of the pool it determined last year that it would not be fiscally feasible to keep it in operation. In a poorly publicized but well attended meeting last week, students argued that the pool is not only an important cultural symbol on campus (due to both stance and smell), the pool’s women-only hours remain only at Barnard, and not in Dodge. SGA concluded their discussion by voicing their support for students affected by the loss of the pool’s resources that aren’t available at Dodge.
Dodging, for the moment, a decision on another contemporary campus topic, Rep Council continued with a mostly of the record discussion of the current negotiations between Barnard workers, their union, and the College administration (you got a flyer about this). Concluding the discussion, and today’s reporting on it, Sarah Steinmann, VP for Student Activities, pronounced: “transparency is something the students are very concerned about on this campus, something we lack from the top down, and something that will escalate any issue.”
If you want to be transparent on Barnard’s campus, though, and you want to do it with a flyer, you’ll have to stop by Student Life first. This year’s new posting policy prohibits posting of flyers in or around elevators, and requires all flyers (literally, all flyers) to be approved and stamped by the Office of Student LIfe before being posted; the fugitive flyers otherwise risk immediate removal by Facilities. SGA addressed the proliferation of student feedback (three guesses which way it swung) following the policy change, and voiced a generally negative opinion of the change. Mica Spicka, Senior Rep. to the Board of Trustees, suggested to a room-wide hand-raising that it might be more productive for the Office of Student Life to publish guidelines for “inappropriate” flyers such that any flyers violating the rules would risk, as they do now, immediate removal. Though the new policy was, reportedly, expected to address the question of when flyers ought to be taken down, Rep Council agreed that the new policy was likely not the most effective way to achieve its mission, and discussed innovative alternatives to distributing flyers in hard copy around campus.
The remainder of the meeting, a discussion about how SGA could better represent student concerns, remained off the record. If you’d like to better represent your own concerns, though, students are encouraged to come to Rep Council next Monday, this week in the conference room of Elliot Hall from 8-10. The administrative guest for the week will be VP Taylor of Community Development. So, if you’d like to develop your community, and, in the words of Sarah Steinmann, address the “internal state of the college community,” make the trek to Elliot on 119th and Claremont. From a former resident–it’s worth it.
Gratuitous violence via Wikimedia Commons.