At last night’s ASCMC Executive Board meeting, officer updates included last Monday’s efficient discussion in the Student Senate about campus climate, last Thursday’s a cappella and wings TNC, and final details for Thesis Fountain Party, taking place on Monday, November 30.
President Pro-Tempore Michael Irvine ‘16 then addressed the vacancy in the Junior Class President position. The board voted to hold elections next semester due to the time constraint between Thanksgiving break and finals week; additionally, more juniors will be back in the spring from study abroad to run and participate in elections.
Last week, President Will Su ‘16 met with the other 4C student body presidents and Harvey Mudd’s associate dean for student health and wellness to discuss mental health at the 5Cs. They talked through the weaknesses of the Monsour Counseling Center, such as the five-week waiting period for appointments, and the disparity between the average number of hours of clinical work per psychologist at Monsour and the national average (22 and 26-30 hours, respectively). A joint statement will be released soon regarding these problems and prospective solutions. Su also hopes to bring the same copayment system as Pomona College — where students receive subsidies to see off-campus psychologists — to CMC.
The 5C student body presidents also agreed to create a 5C Senate called Associated Students of Claremont Colleges (ASCC); they plan to set bylaws and structure the body over winter break. In order to “create a united front on policy issues,” including mental health, campus safety, student services, and clubs and organizations, ASCC will start meeting next semester.
Irvine announced that applications for the new Diversity and Inclusion Chair will be sent out soon. For the first chair, the D&I committee will review applications and choose top three applicants for the elections committee to then vote on. In future years, the process will be completely in the hands of the elections committee.
Su suggested an amendment to the D&I Chair proposal that was passed last week. He raised the concern that the composition of the committee (five representatives) was not effective representation for students not affiliated with clubs, arguing that students should not have to identify with a club to have their voices heard. To be more representative and inclusive, Su proposed creating a student assembly as the representative system in the committee.
In response, Irvine commented that the assembly idea was logistically and pragmatically impossible. RA Liaison Ben Turner ‘16 added that it would create an extra system that would still be unequal in representation and inconsistent. Other members also dismissed Su’s proposal; Vice President of Student Activities Christine Horne ‘17 said it is a silly idea given CMC’s small size and Executive Vice President Iris Liu ‘16 thought that individual representation of someone who isn’t represented by a club should not outweigh the participation of groups that exist. The board voted to keep the original model.
The board also voted on the amendment to give the D&I Chair’s committee the ability to add at-large members. The original proposition structured the committee around eight members (five club seats and three at-large seats) and one chair. Guest Christopher Jackson ‘17 brought up the point that more seats should be added for increased avenues for representation. Though there was a suggestion to increase at-large seats to five, the board decided to give the committee the ability to add at-large members as they see fit.