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Kalamazoo College
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Older Student Commission Minutes

February 2nd, 2009

  • Location: Hicks 111
  • Time: 9:01 pm
  • Absent: Rico Javier, Marc Korn, Owen Willis, Calder Burgam, and Michelle Gigowski
  • Guests: Calendar Task Force Committe (Joe Brockington, Eric Staab, Dana Jansma, and Provost Mickey McDonald), Colleen Lawrence (Index), Dean Sarah Westfall, and Brian Dietz.
  • Secretary: Hannah Kallewaard

Student Commission Minutes

February 2, 2009

As taken by Hannah Kallewaard, Secretary

I.            Call to Order 21:01

II.         Roll Call

  1. Members Absent: Rico Javier, Marc Korn, Owen Willis, Calder Burgam, and Michelle Gigowski.
  2. Guests: Calendar Task Force Committee (Joe Brockington, Eric Staab, Dana Jansma, and Provost Mickey McDonald), Colleen Lawrence (Index), Dean Sarah Westfall, and Brian Dietz.

III.       Approval of Minutes

  1. Minutes will be sent out, and next week we will approve two weeks of minutes.

IV.        Officer Business

a.    President

                                         i.    Members of the Executive Board are Patrick Tanis, Derek Gianino, Alex Morgan, Hannah Kallewaard, Juli Scalf, Meredith Quinlan, and Leeor Schweitzer.

                                        ii.    Membership to the American Student Government Association (ASGA) has options to:

1.   Access to information on other student governments and how they operate

2.   Consulting with student government “experts”

3.   Publications that could have benefits

4.   Conferences to network with other student governments.

5.   Membership is $297/ year. The thought is to try it out for a year and see if it’s beneficial and then look to see if there should be renewal next year.

b.    Finance Director

                                         i.    Internal Audit on the Student Commission Budget

1.   Winter Quarter

a.    Elections

                                                                                         i.    $29.14 ballot copies

                                                                                        ii.    $29.47 Dinner for 4 for ballot counting.

                                                                                       iii.    $4.00 Advertising

b.    Defense Hearings

                                                                                         i.    $91 Dinner for FPC

c.    Referendum

                                                                                         i.    $10 referendum ballot copies

                                                                                        ii.    $9 advertising

d.   Yes on A Campaign

                                                                                         i.    $33 Advertising

e.    $297 ASGA membership

f.     $250 to PRC to propose a project for later in the quarter

g.   $752.61 total spent

h.   $255.44 can be spent this quarter.

c.    Vice President

                                         i.    Starting today and moving though the end of the quarter, the Student Trustee link will be more prominent. Active members of the campus community will be asked to participate in the meetings. 

                                        ii.    Friday, March 6 will be the evening of the Student Commission and Trustee dinner.

d.   Public Relations Director

                                         i.    New information in the Committee Report.

e.    Secretary

                                         i.    No news.

V.           Internal Committee Reports

a.    Constitutional Integrity Committee

                                         i.    Derek Gianino will be inserting wording into the Student Commission By-laws requiring an internal audit 3 times a year. This will be a placeholder until there is a set of procedures put into place by the Commission on how to spend the money set aside for Student Commission each quarter.

b.    Financial Policies Committee

                                         i.    Gift Fund: K College Republicans will host Attorney Mike Cox this month; he will be visiting Thursday Feb. 12. The group and Mr. Cox’s office is requesting 2 security guards (@ $27/hour x2 hours x2 guards). They are also asking for a better sound system than the student development one (7.40 labor to run the system and $30 to rent the system). Requesting a total of $172.40.

                                        ii.    2-0, 1 abstention to approve from the FPC.

                                       iii.    Motion: Approve the gift fund request as requested. Andrew Tyner motioned, Matthew Remsen seconded. Discussion ensued.

1.   Amendment: Cut money for the stereo equipment. Motioned by Leeor Schweitzer, no second. Motion failed.

2.   Voted on the original motion. Motion carried.

                                      iv.    $1762.60 remaining in the gift fund.

c.    J.C.S.O.R.

                                         i.    Tentative meeting Feb. 12 regarding the Latin American Student Group, a group that wants to change their name, & the Make Stuff group. J.C.S.O.R. is trying to meet with this group and clarify their mission statement.

d.   Public Relations Committee

                                         i.    Looking to do 2 events during the rest of the quarter.

1.   Week 8 the committee will be somewhere outside to pass out hot chocolate and coffee with a note about our website.

2.   Also looking to sponsor a sports event, Feb. 14 Men’s Basketball vs. Albion. Pass out hot dogs and popcorn.

3.   Increasing advertisement for Campus Forum.

4.   Looking to add a Blog on the website to tell what Stucomm is doing.

e.    Task Force on Publication Efficiency

                                         i.    No news. Discussions are ongoing, hoping to reach a conclusion in the next few weeks.

VI.        External Committee Reports

a.    Athletic Committee

                                         i.    Marc recommended 2 tennis matches for LAC status during Spring Quarter.

                                        ii.    Talking to Kristen Smith about conference and possible meeting this quarter.

b.    Dining Services Committee

                                         i.    Students are looking to comment about trayless days in the Cafeteria. There have not been opportunities for comment cards since last Monday.

                                        ii.    Comment Cards were only when tabling. If there are concerns, please e-mail Rob Foley. There was no new information coming to the comment cards that is why tabling was stopped. Possibly a box for trayless days in the future.

c.    Educational Policies Committee

                                         i.    Lots of new courses, one-time offerings, seminars for next year, and permanent offerings. Discussion focused on Interdisciplinary Majors and Minors and Student designed majors and minors. Dr. Alice Brady will be the registrar for the next two years.

d.   Experiential Education Committee

                                         i.    No news.

e.    Student Health Center Advisory Committee

                                         i.    Check mailboxes for the CORE survey. You can turn them into the Health Center, a box in the Library, or to a table during dinner hours.

f.     Information Services Advisory Committee

                                         i.    How long will it be until we will have our mailboxes switched over? This issue will be brought up with Greg Diment.

  1. Student Life Advisory Committee

                                         i.    No news.

VII.      Old Business

a.    Constitutional Referendum

                                         i.    Wednesday Vote. Online voting will not work this quarter, as it is still being worked on. If you are not on the Vote Yes Campaign, then sign up for an hour or more at the voting booth. Need flyers hung up in the residential halls, please pick some up to post, Juli Scalf has already posted in all of the academic buildings.

VIII.   New Business

a.    Calendar Proposal

                                         i.    Provost Mickey McDonald: There are a total of 10 members on the task force that started in July. Looked at the challenges of the current calendar and look for options that we could move toward while keeping in the commitments that we have as a college with study abroad, curricular design, and majors. Also look at the cost of implementing a new calendar. The biggest “problem” of the current calendar was the start and stop time, which led to the current proposal. Right now the committee is getting feedback from the community and passing this important information to the president’s office to make a final decision.

                                        ii.    Patrick Tanis: There were no students included on task force, why was this the case?

1.   McDonald: The committee wanted to get the work done during the summer between June and September; and the students were front and center about what we were trying to accomplish. Maximize study abroad opportunities, help fall athletes, look at prospective students’ opinion on the calendar, and keep students from sitting at home once all their friends had left.

2.   Tanis: It is crucial to have students a part of something that so greatly impacts the student experience, and nothing would have put students more front and center than having them on the committee.

                                       iii.    Andrew Tyner: The two-week break in the middle of the winter quarter is a concern with the students. Is there any feedback from the faculty regarding the break?

1.   McDonald: This is one of the most prominent issues from the faculty.

2.   Eric Staab: There are some other institutions that have a two-week break in the middle of their quarter or semester. 

3.   Mathew Remsen: The worry from students is that the faculty will assign work over the break; the professors will have the opportunity to assign more work, because there is that 2 week break.

4.   McDonald: When there is break, it will be known to both students and faculty that it is not a time for work.

                                      iv.    Patrick Tanis: Is the scheduled DOGL on 5th week Friday of Spring Quarter just a place-holder, or is it going to be a specific day?

1.   McDonald: Well it was going to be a specific day.

2.   Tanis: DOGL has been known to be a student driven day, announced by the Student Commission President, and it’s a surprise to the students. There is tradition and mystique taken away if it is a scheduled day.

                                        v.    Dean Sarah Westfall: What was the thinking behind DOGL being put in?

1.   McDonald: To build purposeful breaks.

2.   Dana Jansma: Looking at the challenges of current calendar, we found that there is a marathon from January to June. There are 28 days of break, and 20 of them are done by the beginning of Winter Quarter. One of the objects of the task force was to pace the coursework a little better so that there are breaks more often. DOGL was placed on a Friday to give a 3 day weekend.

3.   Leeor Schweitzer: Students, if they knew what day DOGL was, they would use it as a catch up day, and not as a break day. There is something special about DOGL where you take a complete break.

                                      vi.    Juli Scalf: How do the domestic study programs fit into the new quarter system? Are you addressing the fact that they don’t really work with the new calendar?

1.   Joe Brockington: I’ll be having a conversation on Thursday with the director of Philidelphia program. A student would use up a quarter and a half of credits, so they would be away from K for two quarters. There will be a conversation with the NY arts program director later in the quarter.

                                     vii.    Mathew Kufta: In regards to the winter break, how would this affect the language program?

1.   McDonald: Foreign languages and Science were part of the foreground to make sure that it works out for the students, and it would work with the curriculum.

                                    viii.    Mathew Kufta: Winter Study Abroad Programs – how would they be affected? How would this affect the international students?

1.   Brockington: Two weeks during the Winter break would be really short. The proposal talked about a 3-week block in May for a Study Tour. The Oaxaca, Mexico program (The only winter study abroad program) is being discussed now with the director. The Spring Quarter Study Abroad will be doable.

2.   Jansma: Usually the international students during winter break either travel domestically or stay in the dorms.

3.   McDonald: There are international students who can only afford to go home once after the quarter ends.

                                      ix.    Kallewaard: When looking at the current calendar, did you look at other institutions that have this calendar, and did this influence the task force to possibly keep the current calendar?

1.   Jansma: The advantages and challenges were looked at in the beginning, and there were more challenges than advantages. There were many universities that are moving from quarter to semester systems. Only 12% of the universities in the US use trimesters or quarters – so many institutions are moving away from it.

2.   Staab: The task force looked at other ideas of changing the calendar with about 13 different versions.

3.   McDonald: To move to semesters the sequences in languages and the sciences would have to be re-sequenced, and the curriculum would need to be changed.  Also, study abroad would have to undergo major modifications.

                                        x.    Tanis: Why is Ohio Northern moving away from the calendar that the task force is proposing?

1.   McDonald: Moving to the semester system from the trimester system.

                                      xi.    Brad Bower: Is there anyway that the students can get out earlier than what is proposed?

1.   McDonald: Have only one week of spring break or start before Labor Day.

2.   Bower: The idea was to get out early enough to start internships and jobs, and with the proposed calendar, there are still internships and jobs that start before the end of the school year.

3.   Allard: How does starting earlier affect LandSea? I know that during the time that my friends left for college, I did LandSea to not be at home by myself.

4.   Westfall: There are two options: Start earlier with LandSea, and if so the program wouldn’t be able to go back to Killarney or there is an option to shorten LandSea.

5.   Schweitzer: At other institutions that have a program like LandSea, they start their program in the middle of August, and they have shorter programs.

                                     xii.    Thank you for coming Provost McDonald, Dean Westfall, Dana Jansma, Joe Brockington, and Eric Staab.

  1. Campus Forum

                                         i.    Sarah Small e-mailed a large group of people. The campus forum will be held during 7th week Wednesday or Thursday around 6 p.m.

  1. Concern regarding SAC is using their funding. See if the Commission could find out information about it, etc. The main thing was the track suits that the executive members and the prizes at the events.

                                         i.    Alex and Patrick will be looking into it. Student Commission has no jurisdiction over SAC but we can push for more transparency.

IX.        Good of the Order

  1. Vote early, Vote once.

X.           Adjournment 22:16

  1. Motion: Adjourn the meeting. Motioned by Leeor Schweitzer, Seconded by Andrew Tyner. Motion carried.