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SGA: Controversy, Surveys

The lovely Renée Kraiem brings the latest from the SGA.

Voice your opinion in the SGA survey

Barnard SGA wants you to fill out a survey on your reaction to the college’s new full-time enrollment fees.

Almost a month ago, Dean Hinkson sent out the email that broke the student body’s back; the email briefly outlined Barnard’s new tuition policy, which mandated that all students pay full-time fees beginning next fall. Juniors who were planning on paying part-time fees their senior year must now adjust their plan of study to take on more courses in order to avoid tuition hikes.

Students circulated a petition following A-Hinks’s email that drew 600 signatures. A-Hinks visited SGA the following Monday, where she faced a barrage of student questions, most of which focused on the implementation of the policy and the timing of her announcement. Many argued the change imposed unreasonable demands on juniors in particular. A large-scale protest took place the following week on Lehman Walk.

SGA established a task force to respond to student concerns. The Rep Council insists that the SGA is a “legitimate way to funnel communication” to the administration and assure that it will be productive. Filling out the task force’s survey is the most direct way of communicating thoughts about the new tuition policy.

PrezBla reported that, following her meeting with A-Hinks on October 17th, A-Hinks received only 10 emails from concerned students, all of whom she scheduled meetings with. She believes that the amount of emails that she received is indicative of the amount of people that are concerned, though 60 times as many students signed the petition.

The survey, though brief, addresses the communication of the policy to the student body, an equally contentious topic. Barnard inundates students with so many emails, many argue, that it is impossible to distinguish invitations to irrelevant events from important emails like A-Hinks’s. The email came from the address, “doc” meaning “Dean of the College.” PrezBla insisted that many had no idea doc stood for such and mistook the email for spam. Rep Council agreed that the timing of Dean Hinkson’s announcement was too late into the semester, but the proper form for communicating an announcement of this magnitude remains to be seen.

Waving your hands in the air in support? Fill out the survey. Feel free to contact Shira Borzak (BC ’12) at with questions. All results will be communicated to A-Hinks. The survey is for Barnard students only.

Excellent photograph via wikimedia.

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  • SGA says:

    @SGA is SO full of shit. it is so funny and yet sad to me that they are so wrapped up in these “task forces”—like an SGA survey is going to make a difference on the part-time thing when this many students (and families) have already spoken up?? even if that was just a response bias, it shouldn’t really matter to the administration anyway; student sentiment has been pretty self-evident up until now. and the fact that they are relying on surveys now, after the admin has not budged despite all organized opposition and dspar has reaffirmed its non-negotiability, shows that SGA is really just concerned with its own self-importance. these surveys are not going to do anything, unless you really picture avis hinkson sitting down; kicking up her feet; and going through a pile of printed-out surveys ranging from indifferent to outraged (because obviously no person in her right mind would be in favor) and thinking, “Ah! What strong, beautiful, articulate Barnard women!”

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous The previous comment is really dumb. Aren’t you really just annoyed with Dean Hinkson and the administration at Barnard? I don’t think this survey has anything to do with SGA’s self-importance–they’ve realized their own unimportance by now. I think this is just a final attempt to allow students to channel their complaints in a more constructive manner than that pathetic “protest” that basically never happened. If Dean Hinkson really is basing the student’s discontent with this new policy enforcement on the number of email complaints that she receives, then maybe these surveys will give her more concrete evidence that she cannot so easily ignore. But if not, oh well. This isn’t a policy CHANGE, remember. It’s a revamping of the PRACTICE of an old policy that has been in all of Barnard’s literature since WAY before any of the current students enrolled or even applied to Barnard.

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