News from the ASWC Communications Office.

Second Senate Summary

October19Senate

Senator Shemitz expresses his gratitude for the Senate’s support of his newly passed  resolution. Photo by Abby Seethoff

At its second meeting of the 2014-2015 school year on October 19th, the ASWC Senate ratified Racquetball Club, approved three finance requests, and passed a potentially pivotal piece of legislation.

First-years Ethan Gladhill and Zach Collins played racquetball at the national level in high school and hope to spread their passion for the game at Whitman with the now ASWC-recognized Racquetball Club.

ASWC also approved three students’ request for funding to attend this year’s Facing Race Conference in Texas, where they will learn how to better format workshops for Whitman’s annual race-issue event, the Power Privilege Symposium.

Through combined OLEF and ASWC funding, five students will attend the annual Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) Conference in Portland November 12th-14th.

Over summer, KWCW discovered an eight-year backlog of unfiled paperwork that could have compromised the station’s ability to broadcast, had it been discovered by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigation rather than self-reported. KWCW General Manager and ASWC Advisor and Director of Student Activities Leann Adams worked with a lawyer, Henry Cole, to negotiate an agreement with the FCC. At this senate meeting, ASWC allocated additional funds to KWCW to help pay both the lawyer fees and an FCC fine.

The Senate approved Resolution SRF 14.1 by a vote of acclamation, meaning that a senator’s motion for a unanimous vote was passed prior to the actual vote. This gesture allows ASWC to express especially strong support for a piece of legislation.

Resolution SRF 14.1, written by sophomore senator Arthur Shemitz, urges the college to make standardized test scores an optional component of the admissions process to move toward “equal educational access [for] people of all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds”. According to a 2014 study published in Research for Higher Education, using standardized test scores in the admissions process favors men; furthermore, a 2002 report by the Whitman College Office of Institutional Research noted “small, but significant correlations between SAT score, race, and gender” that privilege certain groups.

Amidst the climate of tension concerning the lack of economic diversity at Whitman, ASWC hopes that this resolution will provide a way for the Board of Trustees to begin to effectively address this issue.

 

Senate Round Up May 5

At the final senate meeting of the 2013-2014 school year, ASWC appointed several students to various committees and passed some bylaw amendments and a resolution.

ASWC appointed Jaime Parades-Torres to the Technology Task Force, Ari Ronai Durning to the Sustainability Advisory Committee, Kangqiao Liao to the Bon App Advisory Committee, and Phuong Le to the Student Life Committee.  In addition, ASWC approved the nominations of Jonathan Luo, Sam Starr, and Colin McCarthy to the Student Technology Advisory Committee and Ann Roge, Cleo Young, and Katie Steen to the Council on Student Affairs.  Finally, after some debate concerning whether a highly involved member of ASWC should have been chosen in lieu of other candidates for the Budget Advisory Committee, which seeks non-ASWC student perspective as well, Tim Reed was appointed to this committee.

The senate then passed bylaw amendments that shortened the Fall Semester General Election cycle and broadened the potential uses for the Green Fund.

Petitions with the 20 signatures required to run for office in the fall will now be due 10 days after they are released instead of 14.

The Green Fund, previously available only for on-campus sustainability initiatives, now can be used for such initiatives that benefit the greater Walla Walla area as well.

Furthermore, ACT SAS 14.7 fixed a numbering inconsistency in the bylaws; now all parts of the bylaws say that three members of the Oversight Committee must be present at all Senate meetings.

The last agenda item at this senate meeting was a resolution to adopt the new ASWC Club Mission Statement, which reads, “The Associated Students of Whitman College enriches the collegiate experience by advocating for student interests. ASWC encourages the recognition of clubs that have demonstrated student interest, supports any club that has the potential to enrich the experience of the student body, and attempts to facilitate the growth and development of recognized clubs.”  It passed.

ASWC’s end-of-year banquet will be on Sunday, May 11th.

To read the full minutes, click here.

Congratulating the Pioneer and blue moon!

Campus Media Organizations are a significant part of ASWC’s undertakings; here, we’ll take a moment to celebrate some of their achievements!

blue moon just received the Silver Crown Award, a national distinction, from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for Volume 26 from last year.  blue moon has won either Gold or Silver crowns from them for the past several years.  In addition, ASWC funded blue moon’s attendance of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference in Seattle earlier this year.

In the fall, the Pioneer’s website was honored with the National Online Pacemaker Award, which is often considered the Pulitzer Prize of college journalism.  At the Associated Collegiate Press Spring Conference in San Diego in February, the Pioneer magazine, The Circuit, was awarded second place in the Best of Show category.

Senate Round Up April 20

At the April 20 senate meeting, ASWC approved several nominations, passed some legislation, approved the 2014-2015 budget, and recognized GlobeMed as a Service Learning Organization (SLO).

An SLO participates in “thoughtfully organized service” and “fosters visible civic responsibility and engagement” according to the Finance definition.  An SLO can also access the Service Learning Fund, which will have $2,500 next year.

The senate appointed Annie Boyenneh to the Diversity Committee, Faith Nyakundi to the Student Affairs Committee, and Georgina Dadson to the Enrollment Committee.

After being tabled at the last Senate meeting, Act SAS 14.3, the Power and Privilege Symposium Act was passed having been changed so that the Power and Privilege chairperson will be selected by WEB instead of the Nominations Committee.

ASWC also passed Act SAS 14.4 in the continuing effort to streamline the legislative process. This act amends the bylaws so that when students initiate an act through the referendum process, the referendum’s writer must appear before the Student Affairs Committee for legislative input and the text of the referendum must be submitted to the Oversight Chair two weeks prior to elections. Furthermore, a referendum now requires a voter turnout of 15% instead of 20% and a simple majority to pass.

ASWC also approved next year’s budget, allocating a grand total of $525,960. Many clubs received less money than they requested because it is better to fund new events and initiatives with money from contingency. Club sports funding increased by $5,000. Waiilatpu received more money so that it can distribute free yearbooks again next year.

To see the full minutes, click here.

 

Check your mail!

ASWC envelopes

Hello followers of all things ASWC,

As part of my personal initiative for ASWC Communications this semester, I decided to send handwritten notes in handmade envelopes to randomly selected students.  I mailed the first round on Friday; check your mail to see if you were one of the lucky recipients!

Best,

Abby Seethoff

ASWC Communications Copy Editor

Know Your Nine

IX copy

This is an information session for students to understand how Title IX works at Whitman and what the process is for reporting an incident of rape or sexual assault.
Speakers will include Clare Carson, Juli Dunn and Barbara Maxwell with a Q&A session to follow. Desserts and drinks provided!

 

Please contact Shireen Nori at aswc_nominations@whitman.edu if you have any questions!

 

Why are there fewer senior senators this semester?

After Nilce Alvarez ’14 resigned from her position as senior senator at the beginning of the semester, the Oversight Committee worked hard to try to fill the vacancy but ended up leaving it open.  Oversight asked each student who ran for the position in the spring of 2013 if they were interested in becoming a senior senator for the rest of this semester, but all of them declined.  Oversight did not hear back from all of the candidates until mid-February; given that interim elections take at least four weeks (as mandated in the by-laws), the new senator would have been able to attend only two senate meetings.  Furthermore, this senator would have been thrust onto the Student Affairs Committee, a commitment that often requires individual legislative initiative on the part of its members.  Furthermore, an interim election at this point would have coincided with general election season for next year, which Oversight deemed potentially confusing.  These factors, taken together, led Oversight to decide not to hold an interim election.

Tim Reed on the Presidential Search and College Budget

Please enjoy this excerpt from an e-mail ASWC President Tim Reed sent to members of senate over spring break.

Senate,

Welcome back!

Two very important topics: The presidential search and the college budget.

Presidential Search (a.k.a who can match the bowtie?)

A majority of the Executive Committee met with the Trustees on the search committee prior to break to better understand how the search process will work. We talked extensively about the nuts and bolts of what the search will entail, how student input will be considered, and what exactly the “pledge of confidentiality” means.

Key pointers:

  • There will be student input throughout the entire process–Gladys Gitau and Jack Percival are the student representatives on the committee, and they’ll be involved in all the deliberations. Additionally, Overseers Denise Tabbutt ’87 and Aaron Perrine ’99, staff members Rachna Sinnott ’93 and Mike Osterman ’96, are on the committee, along with multiple faculty members.
  •  A practical way to understand the confidentiality pledge is that the names of potential candidates cannot be divulged until after the process. *This does not prevent you, me, or any other students/ staff/faculty from giving input about what we would like to see in the next President.* Maintaining confidentiality allows us to cast the widest possible net to attract the best possible candidates for the position.

That’s the brief synopsis on #Prezsearch2014. Trend it. More info can be found here. Or email me at aswc_president@whitman.edu.

Regarding the budget….

  • We got the counseling center position! All the work spent crafting and debating Resolution SRF 13.2 paid off–it was, and I quote, an “excellent piece of legislation.” This is a great example of student advocacy resulting in tangible results.
  • During the budget request process, ASWC submitted a request for the administration to match our $2,000 contribution to the Power & Privilege Symposium. Moreover, we asked for an endowed line item–which basically means that a guaranteed amount of money will be built into the college’s annual operating budget. Because of the success of the Symposium this year and the commitment ASWC has shown to it, the college’s Budget Committee more than doubled our request, committing $5,000 dollars to the Power & Privilege Symposium each year. This is huge: this gives the Symposium the financial sustainability to happen every year.
  • There will be an Associate Dean of Diversity & Intercultural Affairs hired for next year. This position will be on the President’s Council (!!!) and its holder will manage the Intercultural Center. This move has been in the works for a while, but ASWC’s push ensured that this position is part of the President’s Council. Additionally, it is likely that another position will be added next year to assist the Associate Dean of Diversity and Intercultural Affairs with a more day-to-day focus. More details can be found here.
  • The SEC is adding the Internship Coordinator position, beginning either this summer or the following one. I don’t know what precisely the position will entail, but it will ideally be a technologically savvy individual who understands the intricacies of coordinating internships.

This is probably my longest email to date.  With that in mind, thanks for reading through it and making it this far!

Best,

Tim Reed

ASWC President

 

EC Election Results are In!

President: Tatiana Kaehler
Vice President: Sayda Morales
Nominations Chair: George Felton
Finance Chair: Tabor Martinsen

A breakdown of the vote-count can be found posted outside of the ASWC Office. Thank you to everyone who voted in the elections. We are excited for the productive year ahead!