SGA minutes from March 14, 2012

Eastern Mennonite University

Student Government Association

Senate Agenda

14th of March 2012

The best mirror is an old friendGeorge Herbert

  1. Call to Order
    1. Roll Call/Prayer
    2. Approval of Minutes passed
    3. Announcements
    4. Committee Reporting
      1. Undergraduate Council- James

i.     Talked about the early graded experience, which will replace midterm reports for 1st and 2nd years. It will give students a heads up on their progress early on in the semester so they can make changes if necessary. They also decided that in classes over 50 students there will be a student to help the faculty member, as a work study position. A course called “Sociology of Health” will be added. They also provisionally passed the updated honors curriculum, which will allow students to enter the Honors Program after their first year if they have a 3.7 GPA or above.

  1. Safety-Andrew

i.     They covered reporting of incidents—things are not being reported as much as they should. They also discussed 15 passenger vans—they are going to get rid of all of those vans and only use 12 passenger vans or small 14 passenger buses. Tornado warning drills will be a new addition.

  1. Camus Ministries- Kari

i.     Screen Free Sabbath was discussed—they are not sure how many students did it because no one wrote about their experience. They discussed Spiritual Life Week and Shaun Groves—they are hoping that the discussions about it will continue and they may bring him back next fall. They reported that the Y-trips went well—they were all well attended. There is a mentoring opportunity being offered for students (between students and faculty), but only 2 students have signed up. Feedback from chapels—they want to do more department chapels next year. There is a new spiritual life survey that they will distribute to students—one question will be about possibly requiring 12-15 chapels/semester or making them worth a credit.

  1. Intellectual Life Committee- Becca

i.     They want to have an entire book for the campus to read (not manadatory) that can be a point of discussion. Faculty may try to tie it into classes. One idea for a book is “The Gift”. They discussed potential speakers to bring in—they suggested bringing in Barbara Kingsolver and Malcolm Gladwell.

  1. Old Business
    1. Sub-Committee Reports!

i.     These are due today! Turn them in if you have not.

  1. New Business
    1. Eric Codding- Residence Life

i.     Eric introduced himself and explained how he began working in Student Life. He then gave some updates: Roselawn—for now some renovations are being done and the IEP is moving into the second floor. The top floor will remain to be residential. They are also hoping to make some improvements to Northlawn including new paint and magnetic door openers (which will create more community because people will be able to keep their doors open). One problem right now is that incoming students who get their deposits in early get first pick of housing, which often means the Mennonite kids live down in the Woods and others live in Northlawn. Senators took time to ask him questions:

  1. James asked if there is more talk of on campus intentional community houses. Eric said there is a lot of talk about it, but right now nothing in being planned. One option is as the IEP moves to Roselawn, their house will be freed up. Eric addressed the tendency for many seniors to live off campus—he felt that one big reason why seniors move off campus is because there isn’t adequate housing for them on campus. He believes that having seniors living on campus and engaged in campus life is really essential to building community. If many upperclassmen are off campus, this will happen less. Right now Res Life is brainstorming about some creative ways to make on campus housing more attractive for seniors. He told us about “theme housing” at Taber College, where he previously worked. One idea is to have a “senior square” by the Mt. Clinton apartments—have the houses around the parking lot, as well as the Mt. Clinton apartments, be sr housing and put a garden or green space where the parking lot is.
  2. Erika asked what other ideas are up and coming. Eric replied that other schools he’s worked at have mostly jr and sr CA’s, while at EMU it’s mostly sophomores. So he said that another potential idea would be to find a way to have more upperclassmen be CA’s, since there would be more of an age gap/they could be more of a mentor since they have more experience. Jacob commented that he’s noticed that there is more engagement/better interaction between sophomore CA’s and freshmen, more so than upperclassmen CA’s and freshmen.
  3. Becca asked how decisions become finalized in Res Life. Eric said that there would probably be lots of opportunity for conversation about anything that may be finalized, before it goes to the President’s Cabinet.
  4. Carissa asked what Eric thought some of the strengths of Res Life are: He said that the focus on community and engagement between staff and students.
  5. Eric said that if anyone wants to give him further feedback he is always glad to sit down in his office or over lunch to talk more.
  6. T-shirts

i.     T-shirts are here! Thanks to Katie for designing them and getting the design to the print shop!

  1. Open Floor
    1. Carissa and Jacob attended the Leadership Conference that is happening in the fall. They discussed the logistics of who should be invited/ ideas were thrown out—they suggested opening it up to more students beyond the CA’s/MA’s, etc, especially encouraging freshmen to go. Right now they have asked Luke Hartman to be the keynote speaker. Next week they will be deciding which workshops to include—if anyone has ideas let them know. The date is tentatively set for Sept. 29th, but that is the same day as the Internat’l Festival, so it may be a week earlier. Becca suggested having a conflict de-escalation workshop.
    2. James said he thought Eric’s idea about upperclassmen themed housing at Taber was neat, especially to create interaction between freshmen and seniors.
  2. Adjournment Alli moved to adjourn, Becca seconded.