ASWC Unpacked

The Senate Concludes the Fall Season

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At its final Senate of the season, ASWC continued to actively pursue the improvement of the College, discussing new legislature and reviewing the year thus far. As well as wishing the Senate a Happy Hanukah, Arthur Shemitz described his continued work on campus safety, and Anya Tudisco announced the upcoming “Walla Wallet” Finance blog. Jon Miranda, head of the Oversight Committee, distributed surveys to investigate “what [ASWC] accomplished, what they did right, [and] what they could improve” in the coming months. President Jack Percival expressed his optimism that  all of ASWC’s recommendations to the President’s Budget Advisory Committee “will go through.” Meanwhile, the Class Delegations described their goals and accomplishments, from Emma Bishop’s survey on the Whitman mascot to Gillian Friedman’s work with the Student Engagement Center.

For the first time in a decade, a sitting Whitman College President addressed the ASWC senate. President Kathy Murray explained a her “first impression” of Whitman and provided some updates regarding the direction of the College. Issues such as the Global Studies Program, school mascot and budget deficit arose in a lively conversation between President Murray and the students present.

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Minute by Minute

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Though summaries and email updates often give adequate updates on ASWC’s doings, more exact details — who said what, how the votes fell, and why decisions were made — appear in the Senate Minutes. Like many formal gatherings, ASWC Senate meetings use Robert’s Rules of Order, a system of dialogue often used in governing groups to organize the proceedings. 

Every other week, the ASWC Senate meets at 7:00 Sunday evening in Memorial 321; anyone from the Whitman community can attend and even add their name to the Speakers’ List. After taking attendance and bringing the meeting to order, the President calls for a motion to approve the precious Senate’s minutes — except in the case of a roll call vote, a voting member of ASWC makes a motion that must be seconded and then approved by a majority of voting members present.

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Anya Tudisco, Finance Chair (Part 1)

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Last week, Senior Anya Tudisco, Chair of ASWC’s Finance Committee, sat down with ASWC Unpacked to discuss her position and time in ASWC. The Seattle native described her participation in ASWC as the greatest influence on her experience at Whitman.  She is always willing to discuss students’ ideas at

ASWC Unpacked: Why did you initially join ASWC?

Tudisco: That’s actually an interesting question — it was kind of […] a whim. Something that drew me to Whitman in the first place was that everyone seemed involved and engaged in what was happening on campus; I wanted to be a part of that energy. So, I was looking for ways to do that when I got here, and I knew that I was going to be involved in music and classes, but beyond that I wasn’t really sure. […] I went to a presentation at Cordiner for first-years and heard some of the upperclassmen speak about [ASWC,] and saw that student government here isn’t at all what it was in high school. It sounded like they were talking about issues that actually mattered to students and life on a college campus, and I felt like it would be a good use of my time. So I put together a silly campaign, and [the election] worked out. I also met a couple of upperclassmen […] to talk about ASWC. I met with [Tatiana Kaehler], who was here last year.  That was how we first became friends: I asked her on a weird coffee date and we talked about ASWC and Finance. And I was like, “Fun! She seems great, this seems great…” And I haven’t regretted.

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Senate the Fourth

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Sunday’s Senate began promptly at 7:00 PM with a flurry of discussion, culminating in debate over the role of the Resolution. Vice President Arthur Shemitz… Read More »Senate the Fourth

In Whitman we Trust

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Last Thursday, ASWC President Jack Percival and Vice President Arthur Shemitz met with the Board of Trustees during their on-campus meeting. The students’ presentation, a yearly tradition for ASWC leaders, centered around the ideas and initiatives of the Whitman student body. The ASWC Unpacked blog, as per its titular duty, interviewed Percival and Shemitz to unpack their recent meeting.

AU: What is the Board of Trustees, and what is the purpose of their on-campus meeting?

Percival: The Board of Trustees is a group of people who are prominent in their field and who have a strong stake and interest in Whitman College and the liberal arts education that Whitman provides. These are people who are alumni, who are parents, [or] are just invested in the college without any affiliation beyond that interest. The Board has two major responsibilities. The first is that they hire and evaluate the President, which is a big deal because that person is responsible for managing the college […] Two, they have sole financial control over the college. They control the budget; they ensure that the endowment will exist in perpetuity to support students in the college […] The purpose of their on-campus meeting is for them to get updates from various staff about the day-to-day decisions that they’re not involved in… They make big decisions regarding finances [and] the direction of the college, and it’s important for them to all be in the room for those causes.

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Senate, Round Three

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Though shorter than usual, Sunday’s Senate had no shortage of productive decisions. During updates, Finance Chair Anya Tudisco raised concerns about the budget deficit due… Read More »Senate, Round Three