Among an array of Costco snacks, ASCMC began its third senate meeting of the semester, which lasted from 9:00-10:00 p.m. in the Freeberg Forum.
The meeting began with a brief series of committee updates. Melanie Wolfe ’20, member of the Consortium Committee, shared the Committee’s attempt at assisting in the construction of a new mental health data base. This data base would help increase awareness of the mental health facilities around campus and in the Claremont Village; students would be able to rate and review their experiences with the professionals at Monsour Counseling. The Environmental Affairs Committee shared their work surrounding food waste from both Collins and the Athenaeum. Committee head Sam Becker ‘19 said that they would “be happy to answer any questions surrounding the sustainability fund.”
The bulk of the meeting, however, was spent engaging with the two guest speakers: Michelle Chamberlain, Dean of Student Opportunities, and Kevin Arnold, Executive Director of Scholars Communities. Dean Chamberlain launched into an in-depth power-point presentation. During the presentation, senators were asked to bounce around ideas and gauge the overall student opinion on the new changes to the Career Services Center.
“In no way are we trying to re-invent the current career services wheel,” Chamberlain clarified, “Our new model is trying to capitalize on the other existing entities around campus and is an attempt to make things a little bit more bite sized and easier for students to opt into.”
Dean Arnold, was also keen on receiving student feedback. Senate Secretary Dina Rosin ‘20, shared her concern over the possibility that certain scholarships might lock students into studying fields that they might not be interested in long term. Other senators shared their unfamiliarity with some of the current scholarships available.
“We want to try and bring the scholarship communities all together under one umbrella to basically leverage the opportunities not only for the benefit of the scholars but also for the rest of campus,” Arnold stated.
Dean Chamberlin also discussed the changes to the current counseling system. Previously, counseling was matched by academic major, and while this was great from a student perspective, it was extremely difficult for counselors to field questions from all kinds of majors and provide detailed responses. In an effort to bring a higher level of service to the Center, new “interest clusters” have been created. Students now pick their field of interest and work with the staff member in charge of that cluster.
“We have begun to shift away from career counseling and begun adopting career coaching” Dean Chamberlin added, “We want to be much more student led and partnership oriented than before.”
There was also time spent discussing Handshake, the new career organizational system for students. Dean Chamberlin shared that while almost all the freshmen and seniors had accessed their Handshake accounts, sophomore and juniors were far behind. In fact, Dean Chamberlin got on her knees in a plea for the two classes to finish filling out their respective Handshake accounts.
Dean Chamberlin also touched on new job shadowing opportunities, the expanded career fair and the Center’s need for more raw data and feedback from students.
Dean Chamberlin revealed that according to first-time results surveying students, the average salary by November after graduation was around $60,000 and only 4% were seeking employment.
Next, a brief presentation was made on how to give back to the building attendants despite the policy that forbids students from giving gifts directly to staff members. Bhavika Anandpura ’19 shared that many people had reached out, intrigued by her Forum piece discussing this issue. She is currently trying to work with administration to figure out an acceptable way to give back and presented three potential options. The first was a collective fund which she described as “practical but impersonal.” The second option, a festival which would be fun but complicated to organize. The third option, a dinner hosted by students in the Ath or Collins. “This could become a potential new tradition for CMC” Anandpura said.
Lastly, senators were asked to vote on the newly updated ASCMC Constitution. This was only the second time “clicker” voting was used by the Senate. Instead of using the Slack app or raising hands, Senators were given an “i-Clicker” remote with options A, B, C, D, E and voted according to the corresponding letter. This signaled the long-awaited shift in the voting process. It is welcomed by many, although there is still hesitation with the new process. With 17 of 20 senators approving the new updates, the ASCMC Constitution was effectively passed.
After a brief open-forum share from Senior Class President Cole Mora ’17 about the KLI event “Storytelling for Fun and Profit”, the Senate meeting concluded at 10pm.