Student Government Association
March 12, 2014
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
i. Call to Order at 8:33pm
ii. Roll Call/Prayer
|Jane Wenger Clemens||Late|
iii. Approval of Minutes
- SGA executive elections
Carissa encouraged the senators to run for an executive position. Petitions will be available in the SGA office and online (campus email). Elections will likely be March 30th or 31st.
- Dinner with the president
Twila Yoder invited SGA senate for dinner at Pat and Loren’s house. Christine said that she and Carissa will make an online survey to see what day of the week works best for the senators and will recommend the days to Twila.
v. New Business
vi. Old Business
- Campaign and Auction update
Christine said that she and Carissa will email senators asking them to volunteer for positions that will arise when the auction gets closer. SGA is also looking for items to auction off. The auctioneer is hired and will be putting items for the SGA auction online so that people from across the country can bid on them as well.
Christine suggested that senators let their friends know about the auction so that there is a good student turn out. Yes.
Carissa encouraged senators to donate items and to encourage their friends to donate items.
Carissa also informed the senate that SGA has found a matching grant for the auction. For every $2 we raise we will get $1 from the grant provider. Carissa and Christine are sending out a notice to the EMU community about the matching grant.
Kyle said that Friday is the kickoff event. Tara is doing the ice cream with liquid nitrogen. CAC agreed to donate all the popcorn profits for this weekend to the Student campaign.
Christine suggested that we set up a photo booth for students to take pictures with creepy old science center items, like taxidermy animals.
Christine suggested that senators look into making a promotional video for the campaign.
Tyler asked if the auction was just a silent auction or a live auction. Christine said that there will be some items in a section called “The Marketplace” and other items will be auctioned off by the auctioneer.
- Hosting Policy Conversation
The policy was created over the summer when Res Life met and talked about ways to reduce risky behavior. So they came up with a way to differentiate between people who are participating and people who are providing. Typically, a first offense is not penalized with suspension, but in order to hold hosts more accountable, Res Life decided to up the consequences. The idea was to create a deterrent. Res Life wants to know, from the perspective of students, if this policy has worked to reduce risky behavior or encouraged responsible behavior off campus. Technically the policy was not saying that you could not host off campus, but that you could not allow someone under age to drink or allow guests to drink in excess.
Someone mentioned that they did not feel the policy cut down on risky behavior and that students might be more likely to drive over to JMU to find parties rather than walking to EMU parties.
Someone asked if suspension was included with the penalization. Does suspending actually solve anything?
The thinking of Res Life was to deter students from hosting parties. The suspension after the fact was only chosen because it would be time spent at home with parents to talk about the experience. Hesston has over a $500 fine, but EMU thought that that fine might not be fair considering the different financial situations that students come from. The suspension only serves as a reflective time period. In some cases he said that these kinds of conversations have occurred. Usually the suspension is a 3 day period during the school week.
Faculty does not like suspension because students get more behind with classes.
Suspensions are meant as a last resort. Deterrents are hard to find because they think about them in advance.
Other options? Like community service.
Community service is already a way that Res Life uses for students who can’t afford a fine. But that’s considered below a suspension. Instead of suspension if it were required to do community service, would that be as good of a deterrent as suspension.
Any move down from the suspension will look like relaxing.
If we do keep suspension, follow up or working with students is important.
Res Life does this already, calling the place to see that the student has arrived for their suspension period.
Someone suggested reintegration as an approach.
Someone asked how suspension is part of restorative justice? This policy seems not restorative and does not match EMU’s restorative approach. Suspension is not a restorative process, but it’s meant to serve as a deterrent. It’s not meant to be restorative. It’s meant to be a deterrent. Restorative occurs after the fact. After the fact, you work at being restorative back to campus. Other outcomes should be learning from bad behavior. Res Life does not want students 21 or older to feel like they can host for students under 21 and that if they do host for over 21 year olds they should hold their guest accountable.
Someone heard more students have been finding parties at JMU, which could be more dangerous.
Punishments do not deter people. They don’t get to the heart of the problem. Maybe there could be more preventative approaches like alcohol education.
The other side of the coin is that you will hear that EMU doesn’t care and that students can do whatever they want when responses aren’t as stringent.
Someone said they weren’t sure how effective the policy was. Weekend plans evolve on the spot and the hosts are not the right people to target with discipline.
Is necessary to put responsibility on the host? Because it is each individual who is responsible for their actions. It’s almost impossible to know who is at the party and who isn’t and what age they are.
The hosting policy has come from legal terms, where a host legally is responsible for their guests’ behavior. According to the state, it is the buyers’ and the hosts’ responsibility to know who is drinking.
A host provides either the venue or the alcohol. If someone came uninvited, that would be taken into account. If the host said that they were not planning to have people that would also be taken into account..
The decision to change the policy is one that would be made by all of Res Life.
Risk management is always worst case scenario driven.
General feeling that most students are not adequately educated about the policy, which is important. It is important that students get the information about changing policies and are educated on how to appeal when they are under disciplinary measures.
The appeal period is a two day window. Students can make an appeal in the event of new evidence, improper procedure, or unfair discipline.
Res Life might want to publish a letter the next time that their policy changes.
vii. Committee Reporting
- Listening Process Advisory Group Report
Krista and Carissa were at the above group meeting to talk about getting students involved in the listening process. There will be student group meetings that students will be able to sign up for to talk about specific topic with a facilitator. There will be a graduate version as well as a faculty staff version and an undergrad version. It will be a time for student brain storming.
Ken added that the board of trustees were the ones who decided that the listening process was a good idea and that one member of the Presidents Cabinet will be listening in on group discussions.
Carissa said those are the official conversations that will be coming at the end of the month. Some concerns are that the voices that will arise will be the polarized voices so encourage the moderate voices to attend. The purpose of the Listening Process Advisory Group is to care for students as the process is happening and then afterwards as well. Whichever way the decision goes, students will be effected. Carissa said that if anyone has any questions, direct them to Carissa and Krista.
Is the Ted & Co. production linked to the listening process? Asked Christine
Carissa said yes, that it is intended to provoke dialogue outside of the formal discussions. But the Ted & Co performance has not yet been confirmed.
Some big names in the general Christian church will be on campus, so keep your eyes and ear open because this is an important time.
- Volunteer to attend Commons Council Meeting
Becca volunteered to attend the meeting at 3pm on Friday. Carissa asked that she alert Bernadette to her attendance.
viii. Open Floor
Alicia asked what kinds of items SGA is looking for for the auction. Christine mentioned some alumni items and said that symbolic items are special as well as artwork.
Erin offered to head up a cook off committee with Tyler to make the chili cook off happen.
Carissa suggested CAs host bake offs for the auction
Motion to adjourn
Meeting adjourned at 9:30