Hail to the Chief
This week’s ASPC Senate meeting opened with a visit from President David Oxtoby, who updated senators on the state of the $250 million Daring Minds fundraising campaign, which has already reached the $145 million mark. According to Oxtoby, while this is the first time in the last eight years that there has been no construction on campus (apparently the South Campus “sandbox” doesn’t count), he implied that the completion of the campaign in 2015 would bring about changes to Pomona’s facilities. Oxtoby then briefed senators on the state of negotiations with Pomona’s dining hall workers, who have been pushing for a union since March 2010. He said Pomona had guaranteed 12-month employment for all dining hall employees who sought it—an improvement over the previous contract, which guaranteed only nine months of employment. Regarding a vote on unionization, Oxtoby said, “We would like to have an election as soon as possible.” When some senators asked Oxtoby about the workers’ request for full neutrality in the election, which would prohibit all school administrators and supervisors from discussing unionization in the workplace, Oxtoby said he does not want to limit speech in any way. Transparency, anyone?
Blackwater Security: Coming to a Liberal Arts College Near You
Oxtoby also discussed the campus security upgrade that the college is exploring. Earlier this semester, Dean of Students Miriam Feldblum came to Senate to talk about a security consultant that would be evaluating Pomona’s current security climate. According to Oxtoby, the consulting firm hired by the college turned out to be a bit more intense than expected. “This firm was great for defending U.S. interests in Iraq, but they weren’t necessarily suitable for Pomona College,” he admitted. While a security upgrade could involve increasing Campus Safety patrols, upping the number of security cameras around the residence halls, or restricting access in the residence halls, Oxtoby seemed skeptical of the proposal to install machine gun turrets around the SCC to fend off marauding retirees from the Village. Phew, dodged a bullet on that one (har har har).
Rishi’s All Revved Up
Next up, First-Year Class President Rishi Sangani PO ’15 informed senators that he has taken Pomona students’ concerns about career preparation into his own hands. After attending the Trustee-Student Retreat two weeks ago, Sangani was motivated to increase student interaction with the Career Development Office (CDO). “I brainstormed with [CDO Director] Mary Raymond about ways to get freshmen more involved at the CDO, because if you’re just going in there for the first time by junior year, it’s too late,” he said, to which Commissioner of Environmental Affairs Hsuanwei Fan PO ’12 blurted out, “Whoops.” After their brainstorming session, Raymond and Sangani decided to set up time slots for sponsor groups to visit the CDO and begin the process of résumé building. Way to hit the ground running, Mr. Sangani.
Take a Gander at These PECtorals
Last on the agenda, Commissioner for Campus Life and Activities theory friction practice PO ’12 motioned to change the name of ASPC’s events-organizing committee from the Committee for Campus Life and Activities (CCLA) to the Pomona Events Committee (PEC), which the Senate approved. While the acronym runs the risk of being confused with the Public Events Committee, which is a faculty committee, practice assured senators, “No one likes them anyway.” Other ideas that were dismissed included EvCo (short for Events Committee), but this was voted down because, as practice put it, the name sounded too much like “some kind of boojy water.”