SGA was short and sweet this week, but covered some major issues. When the floor was opened, two Barnard students expressed their disgust with Barnard’s new winter housing policy. They shared narratives of students who were (and are) going to be deeply affected by this issue. SGA representatives promised to talk about the issue within their internal discussion and subsequently released the following statement on their Facebook page.
“The Student Government Association of Barnard College does not support the new winter housing policy, which excludes non “mission critical” students from housing over winter break. Barnard College has defined “mission critical” students as “Admissions tour guides, [and] winter varsity athletes with competitions during this time.” The policy also states that “Students will not be approved for individual personal reasons,” which we note includes homelessness and financial constraints.
We feel that this policy does not reflect the values of the Barnard community nor the interests or needs of the Barnard student body.
Furthermore, despite the recent message from Dean Hinkson which offered the opportunity for discussion of individual solutions, we feel that this policy still does not address the key issue of closed residential buildings over break.
SGA is working to explore other options for affected students, but we call upon the college to reinstate its policy to open on-campus housing for students who are in need or desire to stay in residential halls this winter break.”
It is definitely safe to say that this is an issue that will continue to be discussed and fought for. In the meantime, you can sign this petition to reopen Barnard housing during winter break. More than 1,400 people have signed it so far, and the number continues to grow!
Additionally, Eilish O’Kelly, the representative to student services, updated SGA on the success of last month’s Town Hall meeting. The Town Hall covered issues relating to dining services at Barnard. The major takeaways from the Town Hall meeting were that first years feel their plan is too extensive (no one uses the 19 meal swipes/week–shocker!), there is a desire for healthier food (yet burgers and fries are the best sellers in the dining halls), people would like Hewitt’s breakfast to be more like Ferris’ breakfast with a made-to-order egg station (Hewitt doesn’t have enough staff for that), and people would like an adjustment to the hours of the dining halls. Solutions and ideas were discussed to address some of these issues and compromises are in the works. Based on the survey that was administered last semester by FAB, 41% of students said Diana Cafe is killing the game with a 4 out of 5 rating. Hewitt, on the other hand, 31% of students said that it needed improvement. So, keep an eye out for some generally improvements to our dining halls Barnard Bears!
This week’s updates:
Cold Winter via Shutterstock