The most recent student government assembly meeting was held back on Wednesday, March 28 in Kelly 4B. With Easter break around the corner, the meeting focused on important discussion topics before adjourning.
Lasallian Women and Gender Resource Center
The most important point on the agenda was that of the Lasallian Women and Gender Resource Center presentation, led by Dr. Richard Satterlee, vice president of student life, Dr. Jordan Pascoe, assistant professor of philosophy and senior Alannah Boyle.
The Center would be a formal location for a resource center for all members of the Manhattan College community, regardless of gender. It will focus on combining the best efforts of Title IX, Green Dot and Take Back the Night, the LGBTQ club, among other organizations and activities. A student committee working with faculty members planned the recent Women’s Week, the first of its kind. This committee is responsible for the creation of this idea and plans to continue providing these resources as the Center comes to fruition for all students.
“It made most sense for this center to be recognized as a new unit in the division of student life. Many of the goals and objectives intersect in our division. For example, the dean of students work around Title IX and sexual violence, the Multicultural Center’s work with LGBTQ students, the work of Residence Life, the counseling center are responding to the same issues on our campus. It made sense to us that this would be a unit that would align most closely with student development,” said Satterlee, addressing the crowd.
For the next meeting, the assembly will be voting on the amount for the student activity fee built into the college’s tuition. This fee covers tickets such as Broadway shows and sporting events, among other activities for students. The Women’s Center is expected to fall under this financial jurisdiction.
While the Center is planned to be a safe space full of resources, there are also ideas for the campus that MC does not already have, such as a daycare center for student-parents and faculty parents. Their goal is to be inclusive for all margins of students.
“[The Center] really fits in with the [Lasallian] idea of inclusive community and respect for all persons to have this center be intentionally Lasallian. And that matches up with the five points of the star […] We would become the only Lasallian Women and Gender Center in the country. There is no other center like this,” said Boyle.
Pascoe talked about an inheritance plan for future generations of MC students and faculty who want to see this Center get off the ground and will continue to collaborate.
“We have a really sustained group of faculty who are involved with this and they want to be doing more. We’re asking for your help to create more spaces for student life and faculty and students can work together in figuring out some of these problems. Our idea is […] built around the idea of collaboration. I think we’re already doing [institutional change] thanks to the conversations we’ve been having over the last couple of year,” said Pascoe.
The three began taking questions from the assembly, such as where the center would be located, the difference of the Center from the Multicultural Center and what resources and spaces the Center would be utilizing.
Since the Center is still in its planning period, there is no planned location but it is a priority. The Women’s Center will be using different resources such as the aforementioned Take Back the Night team, Title IX coordinator and Green Dot to name a few, which is what ultimately separates it from the Multicultural Center.
As the presentation and question session continued on, more students needed to leave for class and the assembly was nearing a lack of quorum. Student body president Micaela Bishop requested for any questions for Satterlee, Pascoe and Boyle to be sent to her and she would pass them along via email.
Students interested in find out more information regarding this Center should email Boyle or Pascoe or visit them during the following information sessions:
Monday, April 16: 9 – 10:45 a.m. in Kelly 2.03
Tuesday, April 17: 2 – 5 p.m. in the Cafe 1853 Atrium
Wednesday, April 18: 2 – 4 p.m. in Miguel 209.
Thursday, April 19: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. in Kelly 2.03
Friday, April 20: 9 – 11 a.m. in Kelly 2.03.
The meeting continued on to the next order of business.
The Budget Allocations Committee, led by vice president of finance, Greg Gorman, took to the floor next. The assembly was expected to vote on the request of reimbursement for a convention attended by National Society of Black Engineers, however due to the possible lack of quorum, the vote was expected to take place electronically via the polling feature in the GroupMe app. The vote ended 19-1 in favor of awarding the group a reimbursement.
Moving quickly through topics, updates on the upcoming Jasper Olympics were touched on briefly. On Saturday, April 14, the event is expected to be held in Draddy Gymnasium at 11 a.m. Students can sign up for the Olympics via a link in the MC Announcements daily emails.
“We need everyone to spread the word about Jasper Olympics and get their friends and fellow jaspers [sic] to take part in the competitions. If you would like to both volunteer and participate in one of the sporting events please feel free, I myself will be throwing a few frisbees,” said Bishop in an email from Thursday, April 5, sent to assembly members about the event.
In order to wrap up the meeting, miscellaneous topics were discussed briefly. One topic of interest was the recent snow days and the impact on classes held during Wednesdays.
Faculty were notified that they could hold Saturday class meetings in place of the two Wednesday snow days. Some students voiced their concerns over this change in which students were not notified.
Bishop then encouraged students to fill out two ongoing surveys being sent to MC email accounts: the Sexual Assault Climate Survey and the US College Rankings.
Finally, sophomore Samitheus Savinon spoke about an idea she had for Springfest on Saturday, April 21 and requested for help and ideas.
“There are some students that I know that are hands-on and want to be creative. We want to have backdrops of areas that will remind us of the sixth borough [to take pictures in front of]. So they’ll be designed around Jasper pride […] and we’ll plan a hashtag to tag the pictures with too,” said Savinon.
Once discussion died down and the hour struck 1 p.m., Bishop called for an acceptance of the minutes and the meeting adjourned.
The next assembly will be Wednesday, April 11 at 12 p.m. in Jasper Lounge.