Senate Briefs 2/25/11

Timeliness Is Not Her Thing

For the third straight week, President Stephanie Almeida PO ’11 started the meeting late, this time without Senate Advisors Neil Gerard and Ellie Ash. As Ash walked in, Almeida proposed that the Senate approve the minutes at the beginning of the meeting this week, trying to give off the impression that she is indeed a timely person. The minutes were unanimously approved, but the Senate was really focused on the Girl Scout cookies that Ash had just passed out. Good thing she did not sell those boxes like she did mine.

The Reading Rainbow

The first guest this week was Joseph Long ’14, the new ASPC Webmaster of “ourpomona” fame. Long presented his newly designed ASPC logo, which looks like a mix between the NBC peacock and the Pomona College rainbow. Since this logo is a modified version of the Pomona College mark, the ASPC will need to get approval from the school before putting it on the website. Commissioner of Communications Alex Rudy ’11 argued that the logo is not “so much modification as it is inspiration.” Given the ongoing discussion about the possible replacement of the College mark, questions were raised about whether or not the new ASPC logo should reflect the old mark. Vice President for Finance Cosi Thawley ’11 had a very blunt answer: yes.

He’s Just Too Nice

Long continued by showing off his design for the new Room Review website, and noted that it was “something pretty to look at, which is always good for a meeting.” The website will offer students different methods of searching for a room: in terms of reviews and by filtering it by size, distance to various locations, etc. On each individual room review, there are a few different criteria on which to rate the room, plus space for comments, and rooms will be given aggregate rankings based on the ratings. The entire Senate applauded as Long finished his presentation, and Ash softly questioned, “Is this kid Mark Zuckerberg or something?”

Junior Class President Carrie Henderson ’12 quickly replied, “No, because he’s not a douche.”

Ari Actually DOES Care About Students

Up next, Commissioner of Clubs and Sports Ari “Goody Jr.” Filip ’12 discussed storage space on campus for clubs. There are several six foot tall lockers on campus, and a committee was charged with deciding which clubs got which spaces, based on the size of Pomona membership and the need for storage. For instance, the Psycho Taiko club and Ceramics Club were both awarded spaces, based on their need to store huge drums and a kiln, respectively. As Gerard eyed down the dwindling stack of Girl Scout cookies, Ari continued by noting that club heads will have to reapply every year for storage and needs will be reevaluated. There are also a few small, unfilled lockers on campus, and clubs can apply for them throughout the year.

We’re Smarter than the Trustees

Last on the agenda, Thawley presented the initial plan for a possible renovation of the Coop Store. The idea had been thrown around last year, since the Store is kind of “dingy and impractical and has all sorts of problems,” as eloquently noted by Thawley. The renovations would probably cost somewhere between $60,000 and $100,000, and would represent a substantial chunk of the ASPC reserves, of which the Senate is allowed to use a quarter of each year. Since 2008, ASPC reserves are up a little under 25 percent, a remarkable feat considering the financial crisis. Gerard added, “If the College’s endowment had performed similarly, we’d all be smiling a lot more.”

I Thought They Were Student Fees…

Filip argued that the Coop Store already serves all the needs of the student body, and that the push for remodeling is primarily driven by parents who feel that the Coop Store is not “pretty.” Given that most students who enter the Coop Store are only there for a couple of minutes, he believes that changing the look of the Store is not worth that much money. The Senate’s directive to the Coop Fountain and Store (as an entity) is to break even at the end of the year (which it struggles to do), with the majority of losses being made up for by the Store rather than the Fountain. Gerard pointed out that the Senate is in charge of these instructions, and that it would be free to change its orders to generate more profit, but it would result in increased prices. Another option would be to look to other sources of funding, perhaps Dean of Students Miriam Feldblum, to help fund the project, but it would require the Senate giving up a little autonomy over the Store, something it may not be willing to do. Vice President for Campus Life and Activities Frank Langan ’11 voiced his primary concern: “We need to get doors where the handles don’t fall off every other day!”

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