ASWC’s last Senate preceded a week of Sustainability Summit presentations, Town Hall discussions, and plenty of WEB events. President Jack Percival began the meeting by reminding Senators of their “duty to their peers” to both faithfully attend ASWC events and maintain contact with constituents. Vice President Arthur Shemitz announced his intention to pursue this goal by creating a student petition service with the help of ASWC Technology Director Benjamin Shoemake. Percival himself hosted the first meeting with his ASWC Diversity Working Group, attended a Tri-College Summit, and followed up on concerns over Transparency to learn how to improve the campus’ climate (speaking of which).
Anna Kitzerow and Anna Brown represented Aqua Jogging Club, which is intended to provide a “social space for students of varied physical abilities to exercise.” Once a week, the club will host aqua jogging sessions during Open Swim and provide belts to attendees. Hailing it for its inclusivity, advertising plans, and great leadership potential, Aqua Jogging Club received ASWC ratification by a vote of 16-1-2.
Nominations Committee Chair Annamarie McCorvie introduced Sanigah Ysa for confirmation to the Diversity Committee. A politics and history major, she applied because she felt a lack of a “driving force to improve” diversity at Whitman. Ysa also cited students’ concerns that “Whitman is starting to lose faith in their […] investment in students of color,” yet expressed hope for the college’s future. With her “mix of passion and practicality and understanding,” as Senator Cillian Mitchell put it, Ysa’s confirmation was unanimous.
The Senate also confirmed Gillian Gray and Brie Strom as Co-Editors in Chief of Quarterlife, both of whom demonstrated their commitment to creative advertising for the magazine. While Gillian related via email that she’d been distributing issues in Britain, Brie recalled their Sasquatch photoshopping campaign for Not Quite Right as a highlight.
Ombudsman Mitch Cutter delivered the annual “State of the Senate” speech, a presentation on how to improve the Senate’s meetings and procedures. The counterbalance of efficiency and understanding was a theme . While Senator Anna VonClemm asserted that the voting body “[doesn’t] need to come to a [unanimous] consensus,” Communications Director Abby Seethoff countered that those elected by their peers should be willing to engage in discussion.
Afterwards, Whitman’s GLBTQ club arrived to request retroactive funding for an activism conference in Chicago that they attended in January. Maxx Borges presented the club’s plan for upcoming Desire Mapping programming, and senators passed the funding request.
Finally, Anya Tudisco initiated the “time-honored ASWC tradition” of setting the student fee. The four-dollar increase to $372 for the 2016-2017 school year accounts for inflation and changes in staff salaries. Senate approved the fee quickly because its modification was minor, allowing the Senate to adjourn a minute early.