At this Sunday’s meeting of the ASCMC Executive Board, several topics were discussed: a proposal for a new Diversity Chair position, Mr. Stag, the success of Pirate Party, the ASCMC Fellows Program, and the spring re-budget proposal.
Several students of color came to the Exec Board meeting to propose a Diversity Chair position on the board. They expressed that there has been a lack of diversity-oriented events and that they generally feel neglected as a segment of the student body. They contended that a diversity chair may be able to “bridge the gap” between the opinions of racially and socioeconomically diverse students and the Exec Board. Several members of the board were concerned that establishing such a position would discourage students of color from applying for other positions or coming to other members of the board with their thoughts and opinions.
While the board discussed this proposal, the room was tense. At one point, one of the guests assumed that members of the Exec Board did not come from racially or socioeconomically diverse backgrounds, and later asserted that Exec Board was “lacking” with regards to this issue. In response to this, Executive Vice President Iris Liu ‘16 gave an emotional testimony detailing how it was unfair to assume that diversity was not a priority for the board, and that as a racial minority and first generation college student herself, improving resources for students of color was a primary part of the platform she ran on. The board contended that they are not resistant to progress or change on this issue, and on the contrary have been working and researching diligently to determine what course of action is best for the student body.
After devoting the majority of the meeting to this issue, the board then turned to the Mr. Stag event. According to Vice President for Student Affairs Christine Horne ‘17, the event was “decent” and certainly went better than last year. However, the future of the competition is up in the air. It is possible that the event will be “retired,” though it could be brought back at a later date.
Next, the board turned to this weekend’s Pirate Party, which they saw as a resounding success. The board agreed that students, deans, and alumni were pleased with the event. According to Christine Horne, her conversation about the event with Devon MacIver, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities, went well, and he was glad that the guidelines DOS outlined were generally followed. Although there is currently no clear indication of whether or not the event will continue to be held in the future, at this point, the board believes that the people who “needed to be pleased were pleased.”
The future of the ASCMC Fellows program was then briefly discussed. This program allows a small group of freshmen to “shadow” a current member of Exec Board. Event Commissioner Becca Zimmerman ‘18, who participated in the fellowship this year, stated that she’d like to see the program continue next year. Brian Landeros ‘18, a guest at the meeting who also participated in the program, stated that it gave him a “better understanding of what Exec Board does.” However, the primary concern about the fellowship is that it gives the fellows an unfair advantage when it comes to applying for positions on ASCMC after completing the program. Ultimately, the board decided to return to the issue at a later date.
Finally, ASCMC debated and approved a revised budget proposal. The previous budget was rejected by Senate over concerns of dorm budget freezes and whether or not to include a new “investment fund.” The newly passed budget does not include an investment fund and unfreezes dorm and club budgets for the remainder of the year.