Meeting Minutes, 3/12/14


In Attendance:

President: Lisa Lana (3L)
Vice-President: Andrew London (3L)
Director of Student Organizations: Dahoud Askar (2L)
3L Reps: Valérie Duchesneau, Amanda Mindlin, and Jean Park
2L Reps: Afton Cissell, David Dorfman, Rebecca Gauthier 
Transfer Rep: Alison Sher
Section 2: Mengqi Zhang
Section 4: Mustafa Abdul-Jabbar
Section 5: Thomas Boyd

Section 7: David Smith.  LLM Rep: Emmy Rono

Issues Discussed:

SRB Elections, including proposed constitutional amendment regarding voting time frame – Lisa


-          Lisa: Big thing need to talk about is elections.  Couple issues: one need to discuss timeline and finalize committee.  I would like to propose small change to constitution regarding timeline.

-          Para B: right now voters required to be given 96 hours which is a lot of time and it just dragged on and required a lot of emails.  It seems unnecessary. I propose reducing it or have it be a flexible amount of time.

-          Becca: concern is people will miss deadline and so we would lose those who realize later

-          David S.: what is the benefit of shortening?

-          Lisa: we can start later

-          Mustafa: if going to vote, vote, and that kind of clarity seems effective.  I propose 24 hours

-          Andrew: More condense it might drive out turnout because then people won’t put it off.

-          Afton: I think 48 hours is good b/c SRB emails are low priority

-          Becca: put due date in the email

-          Lisa: practically that makes sense and that is something the elections committee can send out.  That should be part of the procedure. Anything else on that? Questions?

-          Jean: if shrinking time do we want the wording “at least” in there “at least 48”

-          Lisa: Committee is setting the window so it would be the committee who would set time.  And in all other areas of constitution the language is fluid. I don’t feel strongly but more rigidi you get, less get to deal with things that come up

-          Becca: Without the at least, the election committee wouldn’t have discretion to extend window if there is a tech error.

-          Valerie: quick thought- people who are running, I want to provide clarity.  For people running you would have 8 days to campaign.  If someone is at a clinic or something and might not be in class for 2 days, what would they do?

-          Andrew: we are keeping campaign time the same, it is really about time to cast vote

-          Lisa: people do campaign during that time, they can’t be physically present when voting either

-          Afton: there are other ways ie facebook to campaign

-          Lisa: yea I think it is good to discuss

-          David D: Sorry for being late, I just decided on the whim.  I am going to unilaterally provide food.

-          Lisa: Thank you, David. Any other comments before we vote?

-          Vote: all in favor

-          Lisa: this has to go to student body, so this will go to student body with amendments from the last meeting

-          Emmy: what is the threshold?

-          Andrew: I think, it is 15% of student body has to vote and of votes, majority has to approve

-          Lisa: once it passes 2/3 of SRB – goes to vote to be ratified by 15% of student body and have 2/3 to win

Evaluations Committee Updates – Afton


-          Afton:  Eval committee had first meeting this week with Dean Cosgrove.  She took a lot of notes and seems receptive and supportive.  Any changes have to go to the faculty for vote.  We will have proposed changes ready by the end of the semester.

  • Lunches are over – all of them were filled and we had a great turn out.

End of the year events – Lisa/Amanda


-          Lisa: there were a couple of events last year we want to repeat

-          Andrew: Last year we did a patriots day celebration.  We set up screens in WCC lounge where had marathon. Had variety of New England Food. We had Beer from 11-1. Red Sox Game.  It was a Mid day celebration

-          Lisa/Amanda – had cuts outs of founding fathers, raffle tickets etc

-          Lisa: one of the things we talked about was connecting student body with the larger Boston community, and even now given last year’s event that seems more important to connect with the community and make it a big day.

-          Amanda: we can get list of people running in it

-          Lisa: yea and we can tell people where to go to see the event

-          Ali: ill help, since I was here for undergrad

-          Andrew: DOS will also help, they loved the event last year

-          Lisa: what we did was we told them what we wanted and they executed

-          Cookies, chowder, lobster rolls etc it was great

-          Amanda: we have T-shirts

-          David S.: what does connecting with community mean?

-          Lisa: in this case it is just participating in a Boston event, being involved in social event and participating in the community

-          Ali: maybe we can help get people to volunteer at water stops

-          Lisa: maybe we can have an official spot where HLS will be on route.

-          Lisa: Also – we had an end of year BBQ last year, it is a fun day to get everyone out there.  Last year we had some issues with weather/food but even with those problems it was fun.  I would be in favor of setting aside some money to do that.

-          Becca: How much more money do we have for the year?

-          Valerie: This is a good question.  I am not sure what events we have done except for halfway thorugh Harvard

-          Lisa: spent some money on Thanksgiving & Halfway through, last year we had regular pub nights so we have more money this year. We did a section 6 pub night as well

-          Valerie: Ill put together out budget

-          Lisa: Check with financial person, Louise in DOS.

-          Andrew: Anyone have any other events they want to do? At beginning of year we decided that there were enough other groups doing pub nights so we didn’t think it was worth doing that.  We wanted to focus resources on bigger events, so it is all a matter of where we want to put our resources.  Any events?

-          Becca:  I think in light of the BBQ last year I think it makes sense to put money into 2 good events.  And to have more than 2 events in spring may be too much.

-          Afton: I agree.

-          Lisa: another option, DOS does wellness things.  We have talked about increasing with those.  I don’t know if there is a desire.  When we asked for more massages DOS paid for it.

-          David D: Two Words. More. Puppies.

-          Lisa/Afton: There were some issues with dogs and the shelter last year

-          Becca: maybe expanding food choices they have might be nice.

-          Andrew: number one suggestion by student groups were waffles and crepes at pancake breakfast

-          David D.: Food is a key issue

-          Lisa: sounds like people want to focus events so have 2 higher quality events.

Hark Update:


-          David D.: we had meeting with RA folks about hark and catering.  Addressed wide variety of concerns to product choices, healthier options, to more consistency of cuisine, Friday hours.  Starbucks is open on Friday afternoons

-          Ali: it is open till 4pm correct?

-          David D.: we suggested a sign down by the baby hark

-          Andrew: are they being responsive or are they giving you lip service?

-          Lisa: last year we saw responses the next day, so given how nonresponsive they are being to you we are concerned.

-          David D.: I had to send 20 emails and many phone calls to get them to come to a meeting.  But, at the meeting they seemed receptive to feedback. Seemed open to everything but nutrition labels

-          Andrew: can you keep an eye and see if they are at least acting on the suggestions

-          David D.: 2 people made helpful suggestions for vegan/vegetarian options as well, and the hark staff seemed like they would address it immediately

-          Mustafa: What are the list of suggestions with respect to the hark, for transparency sake.

-          Lisa: we had a call for people to participate in committee.

-          Mustafa: Once group was formed, where are the reports?

-          Lisa: There has only been one meeting

-          David D.: The meeting was just talking about the issues and each individual talking about concerns they have heard of.  Issues: notice regarding upstairs café being open, some cared about environment issue with plastic utensils. They may be switching to default of plastic bowls unless ask for takeout.  Healthier juices, a lot wanted consistency ie chicken runs out at 5, salad bar seems to be the same.  Right before rush there is only 1 cashier

-          Mustafa: Why I ask for reports, is last year the student body at Penn fired the restaurant staff so I just didn’t want it to get to that point without evidence.  So I just wanted to know if this was just concern oriented or what.

-          Andrew: their contract was recently renewed. When their contract was up for renewal, SRB was solicited for student input on a breakdown of options.  I don’t think this committee is intended to impact those decisions it is about the actual food itself, the menu and the service that fit daily needs of students.

-          Lisa: moving forward it is important  to understand if they are responding to issues the committee is bringing up and are we happy how this is going.

HGSG Student Leadership Reception – Lisa


-          Lisa: you have all been invited to the leadership reception on Monday, March 24th – Monday after spring break.  Ask student governments to each make a 2-3 minute presentation.  About structure and accomplishments this year.

-          Lisa: Mustafa you might be a good representative because you are on the HGC

-          Mustafa: just let me check my calendar and I will happily do it



-          Dahoud: we have our 7 who have signed up for the committee.  We need to figure out if there is catalogues of what people requested funding wise last year.

-          Andrew: we have the data, I will get it to you.

-          Dahoud: Orgs need to request funding again, by this Friday

-          Lisa: if they have applied for funding they don’t need to legitimize themselves.  If anyone has questions direct them to Dahoud.

Election committee:


-          Lisa: I forgot wee need a committee of 3 from this room and 2 from outside.  I had 2 people email me who want to be on the committee so I need 3 volunteers who are not planning on running.  Any preference on how to do this.  Any volunteers?

-          Becca & Afton raised their hands.

-          Lisa: I will appoint myself.

-          Emmy: what is the commitment?

-          Lisa: committee just needs to discuss dates/bylaws.  Making sure it happens enough in advance of exams and that people know the rules.  We need to bring bylaws to the SRB board as well, so I would like that for the next meeting

-          Valerie: when are elections supposed to be held?

-          Lisa: at least two weeks before exams

Additional advocacy issues – everyone


-          Valerie: I just wanted to follow up on alcohol policies and increasing options for students who don’t drink.

-          Lisa: the feedback we got was that they were open to more alternatives and that they would be increasing this

-          Mustafa: nonalcoholic beer.  They should have that.

-          Lisa: For official school events but also having catering provide more.  They may also have sodas available. But, some of this may be up to student orgs.

-          Amanda: can we do a survey to see what alternatives people want?

-          Lisa: I don’t see why we couldn’t have the pub stock some nonalcoholic beer.  David, maybe ask the Hark as well to provide more nonalcoholic drinks

-          Mustafa: I have a 1L announcement: there is a section 4 guy what wants to start an intramural Frisbee league.  DOS is on board and so we just need names to support this.  I will be emailing 1L reps so please forward that out.

-          Lisa: we can put it on 2L/3L facebook page.

-          Becca: another quick issue.  I heard complaints from student org people about copyroom people.  The issue is they are not contactable by phone.

-          David D.: Borrowing Paul’s suggestion, having stamps at the mail center would be helpful as well. Or at least sell them at the Coop.

-          Lisa: we will follow up with that. We had also talked about DOS having them.

-          Jean Park: any follow up with dorm kitchens? The problem is never ending

-          Lisa: I will make a not to bring that up tomorrow. I had to miss my last meeting with Dean Cosgrove.

-          Emmy: I had feedback from people from Gropius who wanted sinks in rooms.

-          Lisa: Alejandro wanted to bring this up.  He would like social gathering for SRB board.  We should have done it earlier.  Lets do one the week after spring break.  He has volunteered his apartment.

-          Valerie: would this come out of SRB budget?

-          Lisa/Andrew: no, we don’t believe we should spend student body funds on us.

-          Lisa: Strong preference on location?

-          Tom: I vote apartment

-          Lots of seconds

-          Lisa: We can let Alejandro schedule this.  Next meeting is 3 weeks from today, April 2nd

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