As President of the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC), I am excited to share with you some items on the ASPC Senate’s ambitious agenda for the 2011-2012 year. In fact, we have already accomplished several of our goals, such as ending the ‘GOTCHA’ program and voting to implement a sustainability project in Big Bridges Auditorium. What follows is a list, which is by no means exhaustive, of some of the important projects and developments on the Senate’s agenda.
First of all, just last week the Senate unanimously voted to loan the college $75,000 to replace the lighting system in Big Bridges with state-of-the-art LED lights. This loan will diversify ASPC’s investments, and it gives us the opportunity to give back to the Pomona community while eventually increasing the size of our reserves. You can read more about the loan elsewhere in this issue of TSL. We hope for future Senates to continue this program of loaning money to the college for sustainability projects.
I am also pleased to report that Dean of Campus Life Ric Townes has confirmed that the ‘GOTCHA’ program will not continue this year. The Office of Campus Life (OCL) will be considering other security awareness programs in the near future, and the administration has guaranteed that ASPC’s Residence Hall Committee will be involved in deciding on a program that is both effective and respectful of student privacy.
One issue that has just risen to the top of my agenda is Resident Advisor compensation at Pomona. RA salaries have suffered large cuts in the past few years, and the compensation package for Pomona RAs is currently the lowest among the Claremont Colleges. Given the difficulties of the job and the fact that OCL has struggled to fill RA positions for the 2011-2012 year, I believe that cutting RA compensation is exactly the wrong thing to do at this time. I recently found out about this issue, and I will be spending the next few weeks investigating why the pay cut happened and what ASPC can do to reverse this troubling trend. Look for my opinion piece in next week’s issue of TSL.
ASPC is moving ahead with the renovation of the Coop Store, which is scheduled to take place over winter break. The ASPC fully owns and operates the Coop Store and the Coop Fountain, and we recognize that the Coop Store is in desperate need of a renovation. Last year’s Senate voted to allocate money to the renovation, and now this year’s Senate will be in charge of implementation. Student input in the design will be essential, and I will be sure to keep the student body involved in the process.
We are also updating our website. As of this printing, the new website should be up at aspc.pomona.edu. Go check it out! Not every page is finished, but we decided to put up this semi-finished version in time for fall elections because it is such an improvement over the last version. The new website is prettier and easier to navigate, and it will include many more useful services by the end of the year.
ASPC is also representing students on many administration-led initiatives. The college is currently looking for an outside consultant to conduct a complete security review of the campus. ASPC’s Vice President of Finance Leslie Appleton PO ’12 and I are participating in these meetings and providing the student viewpoint on security measures. I want to reiterate my promise to fight against any invasive security camera presence on campus, as well as any restrictions on student mobility within the residence halls.
The college is currently undergoing a re-examination and revamping of the Career Development Office. The trustees have endorsed the creation of a structured “Four Year Plan for Personal and Career Development,” and ASPC will be providing input for the implementation of the program. There is a push to make certain elements of the plan mandatory, such as creating a resume and a list of possible post-college jobs and positions. After reviewing a survey given last year, I know that the student body is divided on any compulsory plan; I will therefore try to help the administration strike a balance between a more structured and a more flexible plan.
Now you know what ASPC’s current priorities are for the year. If you have any questions, problems, or comments, or if you want to add to the list of priorities, please do not hesitate to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always eager to hear from students and represent their concerns to the administration and to the Senate.