The October 25 meeting began with roll call and quickly began discussion of all grants submitted, as there were many for the week. The first grant was quickly approved for $112. The next grant allocated $162 each for 8 people for a geography seminar in Baltimore and was thus treated as 8 separate grants. However, once the amount was agreed upon for one person, council agreed to approve the rest in a mass vote for all of them.
The last grant, for the Wellesley College Hackathon, however, spurred a lengthy discussion. Originally the request for the grant was $170, but the grants committee only recommended that $36 be allocated. The vast difference between these two suggestions came from the requestors’ desire for an Airbnb.
However, grants committee found that the conference provided sleeping arrangements at no cost for those in attendance. This spurred a lengthy discussion regarding the quality of the sleeping arrangements provided. This discussion also brought up the point of a previously approved grant, which had Airbnb costs allocated. The issue of the previous grant was tabled so the committee could do more research about housing for that event. The only members asking for the grant who were available to defend the $170 cost were those on council, and these members – due to conflict of interest – were asked to abstain from voting. The grant was ultimately approved at the suggested amount of $36.
Later in the meeting, grants committee chair Lars Dahl un-tabled the issue of the Airbnb for the event in Rochester. In this instance, it was found that the conference was providing a discounted rate for hotels in the area, but the proposed Airbnb rate was cheaper, so grants was recommending that it be approved.
After this, the other council committees presented their updates to the council. Finance committee met with the ultimate frisbee team to discuss budgeting issues that may arise. Finance also reminded council that all clubs must do mid-year audits. Student life committee reported that the Thanksgiving Bus Schedule had been posted. Elections committee announced their first meeting would be on Friday (10/26). Communications said that they want to work on intercommunication between committees, so they know what to post about, as well as become more involved with clubs and possibly take a group council picture next week. Communications also suggested that each committee write short summaries of their findings for the week so that all representatives know what is going on prior to each meeting, rather than discussing it at the meeting. Judiciary had no updates but is expecting new charters next week.
Minority representatives on CUSC then reported that they will be meeting with Haley Haywood and Sheree Marlowe (SP) of the Diversity and Inclusion Office on November 19.
E-Board members then gave their own updates. President Eric Barrese reported that he sent out a survey about council elections participation in response to the Scarlet article discussed previously. He also brought up the idea of creating a coalition of student governments in Massachusetts, and that he had already reached out to a few schools to find out who would be interested. Barrese also pitched the idea of adding skateboards and scooters to the Bike Share. Finally, Barese stressed the importance of all representatives reading their emails and responding quickly. Another topic Barrese brought up was releasing a statement on behalf on CUSC in denouncing President Trump’s plans to update the legal definition of “gender,” which would oust transgender and non-binary individuals, among others. This spurred another debate regarding whether or not CUSC should get involved in political issues, with Barrese arguing that CUSC has taken a stance on political issues before, such as during the travel ban against Muslim countries. Though some representatives wanted to remain neutral, another representative, Eunice Dollete, reminded those in attendance that not all of their constituents had the privilege of remaining neutral in situations like this, and that CUSC should stand up for those who may not have as large of a voice and influence as Council does. The motion of support passed with a majority vote of support and one abstention.
Vice President Sameen Azad reported an update with the PDAC and that he would soon meet with Kate Cassidy of RLH to possibly launch surveys to improve the student experience.
Other business were then discussed, including the library resolution proposed last week and possible changes to the Protest and Demonstration Policy.
$112 was granted to Abdur Rahman Muhammad
$162 were allocated to Claire Shapton, Lolanthe Brooks, Kaiomo Innis, Afriany Ventura, Chris Sturiale, Jasmine Butler, Katie Wallace, Sophia Clarke to attend a seminar entitled (anti) Blackness in the American Metropolis.
$36 were approved for Abdur Rahman Muhammad, Evan Hoffman, Sam Rubel, Akhmadjon Kurbanov, Naomi C Geffken, Daria Manea, and Faustina Owusu to attend WHACK