The Goucher College Student Assembly addressed a range of structural issues in their past two meetings. They initiated discussions on a number of student complaints and began to finalize the Assembly’s format moving forward. In addition, both an attendance policy and a basic rules and procedures structure were approved at the Oct. 27 meeting.
Assembly addressed the resignation of two members of Executive Board, vice president for finance and vice president for clubs, in the past two weeks. The Assembly chose to vote an interim vice president into place at the November 3 meeting. The new vice president for finance is Deanna Galer ‘17. The Assembly did not choose to fill the position of vice president for clubs. Other members of Executive Board will complete necessary responsibilities as needed.
Assembly continued to discuss a number of student issues and complaints at the November 3 Assembly.
SGA President Hayim Wolf brought up the impending faculty cuts to bring the student to faculty ratio to 10:1. After discussion, the Assembly voted to ask Provost Marc Roy to explain the changes in written form and then possibly invite him to speak at Assembly. Wolf also mentioned the rise in campus vandalism and advocated for the creation of a group to discuss ways to bring down vandalism rates beyond emailing the student body.
Next, Micah Heaney ‘17 and Sarah Hochberg ‘17 addressed their complaint that American Sign Language (ASL) does not fulfill the foreign language Liberal Education Requirement (LER). Assembly voted to create a workgroup to get ASL approved as a foreign language at Goucher organized by Heaney and Hochberg.
The student representative on Curriculum Committee informed Assembly that Curriculum Committee has begun to discuss the possibility of making changes to the LER structure and asked how best he could represent students. The assembly suggested the representative create a survey to gauge student opinions of LERs.
Assembly also used the past two weeks to formalize an ideological structure for Student Government. At the October 27 Assembly, Isaiah Zukowski ‘17 presented a plan for SGA centered around the idea that students should have the power to interact with the administration equitably.
“I came to Goucher and quickly realized there were a lot of systemic problems here,” Zukowski said, according to the secretary’s transcription of his speech. To address those issues, Zukowski created an overarching plan for Goucher Student Government, under which SGA would be tasked with communicating between the faculty, students, and administration. Its goal would be to encourage students to push for transparency at the college.
Zukowski recommended that three new committees be created, and that the committee tasked with filling open student positions on administrative committees be repurposed. The committees, which are all currently planned as interim committees, were voted into place at the November 3 meeting.
Consultation Committee, headed by Vice President for Communications Jen Pellizza ‘15, will be comprised of five or more students and will be responsible for seeking knowledge of student, faculty, and staff concerns over Goucher College policy. The group will come up with possible solutions to those concerns and will act as the voice of Student Governement.
Constitutional Committee, run by Zukowski, will be comprised of eight to 12 students who will be elected to the committee. The group will do the actual writing of the new constitution. If the committee wishes to make amendments, they will bring them to the Assembly for approval.
Given the magnitude of Constitutional Committee’s task, the Assembly shortly discussed the possibility of the committee returning to campus early for the spring semester to focus exclusively on the writing of the constitution. According to Wolf, Professor LaJerne Cornish recommended the idea to him, and Dean of Students Bryan Coker has offered some funding for those students.
The Administration Cooperation Workgroup, which is headed by Vice President for Student Initiatives Andrew Krupa, was created as an extension of the already formed committee to fill open student positions on administrative committees. The workgroup will act as a forum for student members of administrative committees to share knowledge and discuss how the student body should be represented.
A representation workgroup will work to identify which members of the student body Assembly is and is not representing. The workgroup will be headed by Lane Frazee ‘17, and will also attempt to identify how Assembly can represent the student body more successfully.
The first item on next week’s agenda will be the assignment of students to open administrative committee positions. Assembly expected to finish the assignments at the November 3 meeting. However, many candidates were unable to attend, so Assembly decided to finish the process at the November 10 meeting.