Marianopolis Student Union Congress
2019-2020 Academic Year
Marianopolis Student Union Congress
2018-2019 Academic Year
|Location: Marianopolis College, on the traditional unceded Indigenous lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka/Mohawk Nation
Day: May 30, 2019
Time of Start: 4:38 P.M.
|Facilitator: Aria Khiabani
Meeting type: First Meeting
Note taker and timekeeper: Ying Chen
|List of attendees (Congress members): Aria Khiabani, Ying Ge, Amanda Morrone, Michael Chalkhoun, Darya Jabbari, Andrew Petrecca-Berthelet, Ying Chen
List of attendees (guests):
Student Services Representative:
- Call to Order
The Regular Weekly Marianopolis Student Union (MSU) Congress Meeting of May 30, 2019, was convened at 4:38 P.M. by President Aria Khiabani.
- Roll Call of Members
The MSU Congress Members who are present at this meeting are: Aria Khiabani, Ying Ge, Amanda Morrone, Michael Chalkhoun, Darya Jabbari, Andrew Petrecca-Berthelet, Ying Chen
- Guests presented by Aria Khiabani
There are no guests present at this meeting.
- Approval of last meeting’s Minutes
These are the first MSU Minutes.
- Approval of the Agenda
The Agenda of this day’s meeting has been unanimously approved.
- Unfinished Business and General Orders
- New Business
- Finance presented by Amanda M.
The Financial Policy Committee will decide the club budget allocations; its members will be selected through applications and interviews. Every coordinator will also be getting a certain budget to work with every semester. Furthermore, Amanda will be getting a first-year bookkeeper who will assist her in her role as VP of Finance.
- Communications presented by Ying C.
The Yearbook Committee and the Technology Committee members will also be selected via applications and interviews. The Coordinator of Communications’ budget will mostly be for poster printing.
As for internal organization, it would be nice to have a calendar at the beginning of every month where coordinators will post requests for posters for their upcoming events. It would also be good to clarify who will be posting about the event on Facebook, the Coordinator of Communications or the coordinator of the event.
The Coordinator of Communications could also possibly ask for access to the “No Published News” section of Omnivox; it can be used for advertising of guest speakers, events at school, etc. Since it is on the first page of Omnivox, it will be much more visible to the entire student population. Ying C. will talk to Trudy about getting access to that.
- Student Advocacy presented by Michael C.
Michael has already started working on spreading out midterms, having had meetings with the chairs of departments. First, he would have to prove that the weeks are cluttered for students. Then, he could tell teachers when the exam dates are so they can spread out their evaluations.
All the chairs are willing to work on it, and Michael has meetings set up during the summer.
Michael will also be on the academic council next year and can relay any concerns Congress members and students may have to the administration. All Congress members should have read the Constitution and bylaws by the start of the Fall 2019 semester.
The Student Advocacy Committee members will also be selected via applications.
Michael will also lead the Constitutional Review Committee, which will have two two hour-meetings, 1-2 weeks prior to General Assembly where all changes will have to be presented and voted on.
Michael also plans on working on students’ awareness of Congress. The office hours will be posted, signs indicating the location of the Congress room will also be indicated.
Concerning the lack of counselors, especially in the second semester of the year, Michael plans on speaking to student services.
- Social Activities presented by Andrew PB.
- Welcome Week (BBQ, ?)
Social Activities Committee members will be chosen via interviews and applications.
Andrew wants to focus on Welcome Week and making a good first impression by having a BBQ at the beginning of the year. There will also be outdoor activities to make the most of the nice weather.
Congress noted the success of last summer’s MariMeet event, where Marianopolis students meet at Park Jarry, have a basketball tournament, a potluck, etc. This allows first years and second years to meet and start forming friendships before school starts. Congress plans on making this a Congress-organized event this year.
Andrew also plans on organizing more Free Food Days next year, along with other events like the Coffee House. Social Activities will also be helping with the organization of the Talent Show.
- Start Intramural project
Andrew plans on organizing intramural sports activities during AP, starting in August and ending when it gets cold outside.
- Social Justice presented by Darya J.
The Social Justice Committee members will also be selected by applications and interviews.
Darya plans on working closely with different ethnic and cultural clubs at Marianopolis, making sure that they are all represented and working with the future Coordinator of Cultural Affairs.
Concerning the cafeteria compost system, Darya has spoken to Elizabeth and will have more details at the beginning of next semester. Darya will also be sitting on the Green Committee next year.
Darya’s plan for Mspeaks–a private Facebook Group where people can talk honestly and seek help, and a club of the same name where the execs are the ones monitoring the group (who’s allowed to comment, who gets kicked out, etc.)–necessitates the creation of many rules and guidelines, which she will be working on this summer.
- Campaign Ideas presented by Aria & Ying G.
The first idea is to make for coordinator committees more accessible to students by having the Coordinator of Communications make a single post, pinned to the top of the MSU Facebook group, that includes the names of the committees, email and name of the coordinators and information.
The second idea is the Green Initiative to have more plants in the school (Alcove, Student Lounge, etc.) and bring more life to Marianopolis. Congress could partner up with the Green Team to water the plants, and will have to draft a proposal.
The third initiative is working with alumni foundation to create a database where students can go and talk to alumni about their education path, their first-hand experience, etc.
The fourth initiative, the Welcome Booklet, will be worked on this summer. It includes a list of all the clubs at Marianopolis, the bus schedule, the different services available to students, counselor information, Congress elections/appointments information, etc. to inform new and returning students of everything Marianopolis has to offer. This centralizes all the information into a pdf document posted online.
The fifth initiative is the purchase OPUS card loaders at Wayne’s, which can facilitate lives of many students. Congress plans on buying one or two loaders as a pilot project, gage how many people use it and see its effectiveness before getting more.
The sixth initiative is an easily accessible complaint line on Congress website, where students can message Congress directly without needing to resort to Msecrets.
Finally, Congress wants to host an AGA at the beginning of the year after the first year positions are announced. This will allow Congress to vote on new changes and inform new students of what Congress is.
- Membership Fee presented by Aria K.
Aria wants to increase Congress membership fee from 20$ a semester for every student to 25$.
This increase would not be applied to the third semester, but might affect the fourth semester. The Congress fee has been 20$ for past seven years or so and while it should have increased with Accreditation, it did not. In order to put this into effect, however, it needs to be passed at the General Assembly–hopefully on at the beginning of the year.
Congress should be prepared for students’ questions about what will be done with this extra money. Therefore, a proposal will have to be created to show what this extra money will be used for.
Since the current Congress may not be the ones getting this extra money but will be the ones who implemented the change, they will make a detailed outline for how 100,000$ will be budgeted for future Congress members.
Congress motioned to vote on writing a proposal to increase the membership fee for next year from 20$ per semester per student to 25$ per semester per student.
- Parties presented by Aria K.
Congress agreed that it is not necessary to spend an extreme amount of money on a party that only benefits a small percentage of the student population. Congress plans on having future parties at cheaper venues, which will lead to cheaper tickets and increased accessibility for students, since the goal of Congress is to serve the student population.
- Coordinator Budgets presented by Aria K.
Each coordinator will be getting a designated budget per semester to give each person a better idea of what they can work with.
- MSU App presented by Aria K.
The MSU App was made last year, but encountered some technical issues and wasn’t used to its full potential. Next year, the app could be used during orientation, include a masterlist of what is going on during the week, and centralize all Congress announcements in one place; this means it won’t be as cluttered as the Facebook page.
Other ideas for the app include the Welcome Booklet, free classroom listings, bus schedules, and gym hours. All app-related things will be handled by the Technology Committee, which can also collaborate with the Programming Club.
The app can also have different sections (for social justice issues and environmental issues, for example), made clear by different icons.
All posts on the app and the website will go through the Coordinator of Communications.
- Retreat presented by Aria K.
The retreat will be after the first year elections/appointments. It will be held at a rented chalet, and will include leadership activities, study periods, collective cooking, etc. and is a good opportunity for Congress members to bond.
- Student Space presented by Aria K.
Due to the HVAC situation, there is not a lot of student space for people to relax in; this results in people having to sit on the floor, stand in the hallways, etc. Congress wants to buy a few couches for the Student Lounge and possibly put cushions on the wooden benches to make the space more comfortable for students.
Congress also wants to make the school more aesthetically pleasing and lively by exhibiting student art, partnering with the Photography Club, and putting more plants in the school.
Congress will have to set a budget for revamping student space. It will also be possible to ask businesses for donations going toward better student spaces in the school.
- General Team Remarks presented by Aria k.
This past year’s team had a really great dynamic, with good teamwork and a successful Congress retreat. Usually, problems came up in times of contention and miscommunication; this year’s Congress members are encouraged to speak up if they disagree, get to know each other and communicate with each other as much as possible. Congress members are also expected to treat their respective tasks and positions with professionalism and to be good role models for the other students on campus.
For the summer, Congress members are encouraged to start working on their projects. Trudy will be at school until June 20.
As for future meetings, all Congress members are expected to be present to every meeting; if they cannot be present, they must let Aria or Ying G. know beforehand. There will also be a member of the MWR reporting at every meeting.
Motion to adjourn – Passed (unanimous)
This meeting was adjourned at 6: 32 P.M.
Total duration: 1 hour and 54 minutes