ASCMC Weekly Beat: Social Committees & Mid Quad Renovations
December 12, 2012
by Shannon Miller
Members of the ASCMC Executive Board met with Campus Security recently to discuss the number of officers present at social events. Campus Security has been sending more officers than agreed upon to parties, which has been perceived by the student body as being off-putting. The Board is still finalizing an agreement with Campus Safety that should result in a reduction by two to three officers per event. Another issue that arose from the discussion of Campus Safety was the recent increase in “townies,” or non-Claremont Consortium students, at CMC events. Executive Board is concerned that their presence is contributing to safety hazards on campus.
Campus Organizations Chair Aseem Chipalkatti ’15 raised issues with ASCMC regulations on club funding for alcohol. One of the new rules enacted earlier this year mandates that clubs’ requests for alcohol reimbursement must be pre-approved by Chipalkatti. The rule was created in order to prevent club members from requesting ASCMC funds for alcohol purchased for themselves and their friends, an issue which became prevalent in the 2011-2012 term. Chief Financial Officer Kevin Sullivan '13 and Chipalkatti agreed that the funding requests in question were reasonable enough to be partially reimbursed but that there may be the need for a stronger procedure to keep clubs accountable for following the rule in the future.
The Board discussed the issue of the Social Affairs and Dorm Affairs Chairs' committees not being involved enough in planning social events on campus. Constitutionally, the Social Affairs Committee is composed of the dorm presidents, who help the SAC plan 5C events, while the dorm vice presidents serve on the DAC committee and assist the DAC in planning CMC-only events. However, these committees have not been operating very successfully this year due to lack of involvement by dorm representatives. The Board feels that measures need to be taken to motivate stronger involvement in the committees and that doing so can improve the planning and execution of social events. One suggestion was to adopt the model used by Freshman Class President Iris Liu ’16 to form the Freshman Council. In forming her council, Liu created unique positions for each committee member based on his or her distinctive strengths.
Dean Eric Vos and students from the Mid Quad Renovations Committee addressed Senate regarding a recent meeting with the architecture firm in charge of the redesign. Only Berger, Phillips, and Beckett will be renovated this summer. In the coming years, Marks and Benson Halls will also have full-scale renovations, including the addition of elevators, new flooring, redesigned lounges, card readers for each door, and landscaping changes.
The committee was presented with various interior options for Berger, Phillips, and Beckett in the meeting with the architecture firm last Friday. Based on the options, the committee expressed a desire for a design scheme somewhere between the proposed "day spa" concept, and the "fresh" theme, which the architects explained by providing photos of "some hipster dudes in white shirts and black bowties," according to Vos. While senators were interested to learn more about these options, the details were difficult to convey without photos. None of the proposals from the recent meeting were final according to the committee. Many students expressed a desire to improve the quality of bathrooms and showers in mid quad dorms. Dean Vos also expressed his desire to create new study lounges in addition to the existing social ones in these dorms.
Vos also addressed issues surrounding Hub annex space, whose purpose is currently in limbo. The Hub annex is the former location of the Center for Civic Engagement. Dean Vos proposed making the space into either a student merchandise store, a meeting space for clubs, a practice room for musicians or musical groups on campus, a lounge-type space that would be designed to feel more "cozy" than the Hub, or a mixed-use space that would incorporate one or more of those. Senators were particularly enthused by the idea of making the annex into a club space or musical practice room.
Vice President Miles Bird '13 also expressed his desire to make course evaluations more available to students during the registration process. Bird cited the success of a Pomona College log-in only website that allows only students to see course evaluations for professors online. Bird suggested that, if a similar system was not feasible, ASCMC would explore the possibility of creating its own online "Rate My Professor"-type service for students.