Sometimes, Barnard’s Student Government Association gets things done in a way that we can all be proud of. Last night’s Rep Council meeting was not one of those times. This week, our Reps heard a presentation on the Board of Trustees and finally selected a new Representative for Academic Affairs. It was kind of frustrating, and boring enough that I tried to take up creative writing in the margins of my notebook. Lucky for you, I soon remembered that I’m not good at creative writing, and have decided to stick with vaguely disgruntled reporting. So read on to find out what happened and wonder with me why we even do this at all.
But first, before the meeting even started, an interruption. Press was told that this was “Barnard College business” and not “SGA business,” and anyway, it was for a surprise. It is not an interesting surprise, reader, so I won’t ruin it. But it was a waste of our collective time, and caused the meeting to start a good fifteen minutes late. I’ll just say this, SGA: finger-guns are never a good idea. Following the delay, President Angela Beam reminded everyone to be “mindful” when making announcements, because we were running late. I did not find them to be particularly mindful.
The main focus of the evening was a presentation by Jessica Reich and Tamar Dayanim, the student Representatives to the Board of Trustees, about what that board does and what part they serve in it. Jess and Tamar explained how the Board focuses on big-picture items, and has a good number of secret meetings. The trustees have a diversity of experience and knowledge, which they employ to oversee the goings-on of the administration and faculty. The student representatives make two presentations a year to update the board on what’s happening in the student body, and are also available to answer questions when relevant. A fine explanation, but I feel like we also could have managed without it.
Two candidates joined SGA to speak about why they wanted to serve as Representative for Academic Affairs. This position was left open when the previous Rep, Shoshana Edelman, gave up her position to go abroad this semester. After messing up their own voting procedure twice, SGA decided to push the vote off until now. Supposedly, they went through the whole process again, with an anonymous committee making recommendations, and those who were recommended invited to the meeting. One of the two candidates ran last semester as well, one of them didn’t. Not surprisingly, it was the returning candidate who won. Repetition bias? Hard to say. Shreya Sunderram will take Shoshana’s place on Rep Council for the remainder of the semester. Its not her fault that SGA messed up. But she better be good to be worth all of this trouble. In her speech, Shreya described her plan to host a school-wide conference on diversity and inclusion and publish detailed registration guides for different majors. Once again, SGA has shown that they think issues related to inclusivity and diversity should be prioritized. This is an interesting shift in focus, and may prove to cause results. Good luck, Shreya. Hopefully your election will be the most mismanaged thing that happens while you’re on SGA, and it’s all up from here.
In other news:
According to Beam, SGA has submitted WBAR’s proposal for new space to Provost Bell and the other powers-that-be, and are committed to supporting them in their efforts. So that’s nice.
At the beginning of the meeting, Reps were reminded how to raise their hands. They mostly succeeded in putting their hands “as high as possible,” as requested. My first grade teacher would be proud.