With classes well underway on the third week of school, Senate convened for the weekly meeting with special guests from Dean of Students to introduce their office.
Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Sharon Basso presented a brief overview of DOS and its purpose on campus. She discussed the priority of student life and touched on students’ ability to stay engaged and participate in leadership development through programs such as KLI. Basso also addressed areas of weakness around the campus, namely the lack of academic support. “It’s hard to find tutors or get in touch with the right people because students sometimes don’t know where to look for certain resources,” she noted.
According to their top priorities sheet for 2017-2018, DOS wants to correct these alleged weaknesses with eight goals:
- A healthy and safe campus community
- A vibrant residential experience
- Student engagement and leadership development
- A community of respect and belonging
- Academic engagement and success
- Effective consortium services
- Premier professional staff
- Values driven approach
In accordance with each goal listed above, individual members of the DOS staff prioritized different ones in order to ensure total coverage.
For example, Associate Director of Student Activities Kari Rood declared her top priority as ensuring club and organization resiliency, while Assistant Director of Residential Life Sean Rollolazo jokingly put his top priority as “making sure the buildings don’t burn down” and on a more serious note, “adding to our vibrant campus community by having conversations about cultural difference.”
You can meet the entire DOS staff here, along with two new hires: the Associate Dean of Students for Academic Success Susan Layden and Assistant Dean for Health, Wellness, and Case Management Jess Neilson.
DOS also opened the floor for any further questions or concerns. One student questioned DOS’s response to the Heather McDonald demonstration. Basso responded with a brief statement summarizing how the issue was sent from DOS to the Dean of Faculty Office.
DOS also expressed intention and action to protect and support DACA students. The office has put plans in motion to enact change on a national scale and is openly accepting policy measures from students, which will lead to larger discussion soon.
Executive Vice President Patrick Elliott ‘19 ran through some cabinet updates, which targeted internal Senate relations and student residential life specifically in North Quad. The Chair of the Campus Improvements Committee Biniyam Asnake ‘20 noted that a survey would soon be sent out to students residing in North Quad, inquiring about their opinions on having no AC and investigating potential solutions. Lastly, Elliot ‘19 quickly concluded the updates by announcing that “all committees will be decided by tomorrow [9/12].”
Transitioning into the area of decision-making, the Senate announced two new amendments: the addition of the Alumni Relations Committee and the establishment of procedures that align with the Senate Constitution. By a vote of 21 yeses to 1 no, both amendments passed which then led into another vote for the Budget and Elections Committee.
With clear hesitation circulating the crowd, only Connor Bloom ‘19 stepped forward as a candidate for the Budget Committee. Ben Wolters ‘21 soon joined the race, and with a clear consensus, they both joined the committee.
The Elections Committee encountered similar reservations, and Caitlyn Louzado ‘21 and Melanie Wolfe ‘20 rose to the occasion. Once again, a general consensus was reached.
Senate will continue to meet on Mondays at 9 p.m.; however, a set location has yet to be determined. Stay tuned for emails from Elliot to learn where next week’s meeting will take place.