Goucher College Student Assembly met for the first time on October 13, 2013.
“[Assembly will be a] very committee-oriented structure,” described President Hayim Wolf ’14, in the secretary’s notes. Structurally, Wolf noted that he will be responsible for the agenda of issues discussed in each meeting. Students will be required to submit requests to him by Wednesday or Thursday of the week preceding Assembly, and the Executive Board will approve the agenda he will create based on those requests. Wolf plans to publish the agenda both online and physically, possibly outside of Pearlstone Dining Hall.
Assembly’s first order of business was describing the body’s attendance policy. The policy, which Assembly decided will take effect Sunday, October 26, will require that members of the body attend every week, and will lose their vote if they miss two assemblies in a row. Students will then be able regain their vote by attending three consecutive assemblies. Changes to the policy will continue to be considered.
Students then split into groups to discuss the role of Student Assembly and Student Government.
“SGA should act as a liaison and advocate for student body with administration,” read the secretary’s notes regarding the definition Billy Daly ’16 and his group created. Other groups noted that SGA should to facilitate ties to Towson and Baltimore, and should act to protect student rights and communication at Goucher as a whole.
After student discussion of Student Government, Wolf spoke on the involvement and role of student government at some of Goucher’s peer institutions. For example, Wolf claimed that the Haverford Student Government rewrites their academic honor code each year, and that Oberlin College’s SGA conducts a yearly survey of students encompassing academic issues, social issues, and administrative issues and communicates the survey’s findings to the college administration.
In keeping with Wolf’s conception of Assembly, a number of workgroups were created. The groups will meet outside of Assembly and report back at next meeting.
In addition, a committee charged with constructing the working rules of order for Assembly was created. The committee will be headed by Jacob Webbert ’15, the judicial board chair. Currently, Assembly will use a simplified idea of “Robert’s Rules of Order,” a standard source for government rules of order. Last year’s Student Senate functioned under a similar simplified version of the “Order.”
A group working to temporarily fill open Administrative committee positions was also created. Andrew Krupa ’16, the vice president for student initiatives, will lead that group. The students comprising the group are also charged with creating a system for the future placement of students on administrative committees.
Two other groups were created to address student issues. Both groups will be organized by Taryn Decker ’15. One will address the current add/drop policy, under which students only have a week to change courses before they are required to fill out a petition. Student Senate endorsed the new policy last year, but Decker feels it was “not as effective as it could have been because the first week of school is chaotic.” Decker’s other group will explore whether students feel that Goucher’s new Thanksgiving break shuttle, runs at varied enough times to be an effective option for students.