With mixed emotions, ASWC held Senate on May 1st to bid the year adieu and usher in a new season of student representation. ASWC President-elect Arthur Shemitz announced the hiring of a new Club Director and Executive Director of Communications, while noting that he felt “very melancholy” about the graduation of ASWC President Jack Percival. On behalf of her Finance Committee, Anya Tudisco heralded the end of ASWC’s spending for the year, and Ombudsperson Mitch Cutter announced more endings in the form of exit interviews. Senior Senator Gillian Friedman related her presentation to the SEC on “expand[ing] what they do and how they can help students,” and that “[w]e’re sad to leave you guys, as Seniors.” The Senate responded with a particularly solemn knocking (knocking signifies agreement).
President Murray attended Senate to reflect on her first year at Whitman and outline plans for the upcoming years. Along fundraising for a new Sophomore dorm as part of the Living at Whitman project, Murray hopes to “put two to four mascots in front of everybody” for a vote this autumn. In terms of long-term initiatives, Murray’s work on the Strategic Plan will shape the future of Whitman college as “business as usual continues” in the meantime.
Josie Furbershaw, ASWC Club Director, applauded Whitman’s current clubs for “how much they’re up to” and the student body for establishing eleven new clubs. In the year’s remainder, Furbershaw looks to create a template for clubs to facilitate easier transitions in leadership.
AnnaMarie McCorvie announced her appointment to the General Studies Committee, where she’ll advocate for engagement with Whitman’s history and preserve the “diversity of texts” in the Encounters program. ASWC’s Senate confirmed Anthony Reale and Lorenzo Silva to the Student Technology Advisory Committee, where McCorvie anticipates that the pair of “tech savvy and passionate” will push for better integration of technology at Whitman. McCorvie also oversaw the confirmation of Kyla Foreman, Lily Parker, and Shanley Miller to the Council on Student Affairs, with Daniel Pailthorp as an alternate. Whether they gained experience on a High School Honor Board or in Greek leadership demonstrated affinities for confidentiality and impartiality.
Current Sustainability Director Dani Hupper supported Margo Heffron’s appointment to the Sustainability Committee due to Heffron’s unique perspective and work on reducing food waste. In addition, Hupper presented on the year’s sustainability initiatives; with the completion of the Turbine Project, Bike Share Program, and Food Waste Audit (to name a few), the Committee had no lack of updates.
Jess Faunt, who recently organized the Freedom Songs Concert, took the role of Executive Director for the 2017 Power & Privilege Symposium. Faunt intends to create a yearlong theme for the Symposium, organizing teach-ins and other programs to encourage more conversation. Christy Carley also visited the Senate’s meeting, where she admitted to “spend[ing] most of [her] time at the library.” Given that the library staff explicitly requested Carley’s appointment to the Library Advisory Committee, ASWC confirmed her quickly. Finishing off a long night of nominations, Logan Schmidt joined the Academic Affairs Committee. With his eye for the “big decisions” and a manifest desire to work in students’ best interests, Schmidt’s visit unsurprisingly ended with a 19-0-0 confirmation vote.
Incoming ASWC Vice President Dana Casterella introduced Act SAS16.11, which dramatically changes ASWC’s internal investigation process. Rather than appearing before the Senate, the Act creates a smaller panel which will, according to Casterella, “get to a verdict more efficiently and effectively.”
Finance Chair Anya Tudisco continued “makin’ dreams come true” by showcasing the ASWC 2016-2017 budget. This new budget sees the increase of funds for Travel and Student Development, and raises the stipend of Senate members, notably including the Oversight Vice Chair.
Although Emily Bowen and Emma Bishop secured eligibility for the role of Ombudsperson position, they ceded the position to AnnaMarie McCorvie. McCorvie deemed herself the “Ombudswoman,” though President-elect Arthur Shemitz dubbed her “Noms-budsperson” due to her experience as Nominations Chair.