11/13/19 Town Meeting Minutes

Selectboard Clerk Felix, November 13, 2019

13 November 2019

Town Meeting Minutes


  1. Head Selectperson Address
    1. Selectboard is still working in the months we have left
    2. nominations are up for student, faculty, and staff representatives for a working group dedicated to discussing the future of the campus, vote on Nook
  2. Transition Update
    1. next week members of the senior staff at Emerson’s Institute will be on campus, they will probably be at Town Meeting
    2. November 24 is an event for students in Boston featuring a lunch and a play at Emerson
    3. there will be working groups discussing various aspects of the merger, the campus one will have elected representatives and the rest will be pulled from existing committees
  3. HSP Compensation Bylaw Vote
    1. proposed language:

Article XI Sec. N.

The Head Selectperson will be paid a stipend based on a ten hour per week work study position from the Town Meeting budget.

  1. proposed amendment:

Article XI Sec. N.

The Head Selectperson will be paid a stipend based on a ten hour per week work study position from the Community Activity Fund.

    1. language has been passed
  1. Budget Vote
    1. resolution to approve the ’19-’20 Community Activity Fund budget
    2. budget has been voted down
  2. Committee Reports
    1. see below
  3. Announcements
    1. see below


Minutes are taken by Selectboard Clerk Felix and represent to the best of my ability what goes on during Town Meeting. With comments, questions, or concerns please comment here or email selectboard@marlboro.edu.


Emmanuel Miller, moderator: Happy monochrome day!




Charlie Hickman, HSP: to start off, I want to acknowledge that there has only been a week since the announcement and this whole community, there’s such a wide range of emotions, excitement, despair, fear, I just want to acknowledge that those are all valid, another thing is that last Wednesday I was filled with so much love for this community, the announcement was the moment where I could see everyone’s face on this campus in one place and see how much love we have for each other no matter what constituency you belong in, and just the amount of compassion and caring across this campus over the past week has been really astounding to me, and just reminds me why I came here, why I love this place… furthermore, Selectboard is still doing things, we still have seven months, one of the big things is the creation of some working groups to discuss merger-related things, and right now there are nominations live on Nook for a working group on the future of this campus, and so please go to Nook, nominate your friends, nominations close tomorrow at midnight. if you have any questions about what Selectboard’s doing, ideas about what we should be doing, send an email to selectboard@marlboro.edu, come to meetings Tuesdays 11:30-1:30 in Staples, have a chat with any Selectboard member at any time because we are here to support you, and I love you all




Kevin: good afternoon everybody… two quick things, this time next week our colleagues from Emerson will be on campus, president, provost, dean of the Institute for Liberal Arts, vice president/special assisstant to the president… plans for that, it will probably involve them coming to TM, a meal of some sort with faculty, an opportunity for them to meet with students next Wednesday… thanks to the generosity of our trustee Ted Wendell, taught math here in ’62-’63, was dean of students, was on the board, a donor to Emerson, invited our two communities to get together informally on Sunday November 24, the college will be organizing transportation, Patrick and Richard for students and faculty, we’ll get buses, vans, whatever we need, program will involve a lunch at 12:30 and a performance of a one-act play called Iliad and a discussion afterwards. I know Patrick and Richard are working with our colleagues at Emerson so that students might get a tour of campus,more details to come but I wanted to mention those two things. thank you Charlie for those wonderful words today… the trustees are moving ahead to establish five working groups, Charlie talked about the working group on the future of the campus, co-chaired by former vice-chair of the board Sarah Coffey (?), another chair is (didn’t get the name), elected students, faculty, staff, asking the Town Selectboard to elect a representative, and then two trustees, Dick Saudek, (didn’t get name)… also working groups on students that will address issues on student life, recruitment, retention, one on faculty that will look at curricular issues, one on finances, another one on the campus, and there’s a fifth one, staff/HR… those groups are getting underway, the first one being formed is on the future of the campus, each will have a specific charge that lays out their mandate, timeline, in some cases there will be some resources to support those efforts, this process is moving along very quickly, this is an opportunity for the community to get engaged, try to find answers to the questions we all have… we don’t know answers, it’s early, this is the process designed to help us get answers to these issues, so that’s my brief update, if there’s a question or comment I’d be glad to address that


Nick Katrick, OP director: my question is about the campus working group, you mentioned a couple things about the makeup of the group, seems like the nomination only includes 1 student, 1 staff member, 1 faculty, since there are a lot of people on campus, why only 1 from each of those groups


Kevin: thanks for the question, in effect it’s really three representatives of the college with an overall group of nine, designed to be optimal in terms of efficiency, there’ll also be a process where community members can interact with their representatives and send their concerns to that email, will the the responsibility of that working group to give them consideration


Rosario, faculty: asking on behalf of a student, I believe the question represents a question for students graduating this spring: when they go away, and they Google their degree, will it come up Marlboro? I don’t know if I’m explaining the question? Students who are graduating will have a Marlboro degree, but after Marlboro moves to Emerson, when they Google those degrees what will come up?


Kevin: thank you… for the students who are graduating in the spring, this isn’t an issue because it’ll be a Marlboro degree, we’ll be having a Marlboro graduation, for students going forward, it’ll be an Emerson degree–


Bronwen Tate, faculty: I think what I’m hearing is a question about if you have a degree from a college that doesn’t exist anymore, what happens when a future employer looks up your college, what’s the legacy of that degree?


Rosario: that’s exactly the question


Kevin: this is one of the details to be worked out, we recognize there is a related question about “will we have a marlboro.edu address,” my hope is that we will, my hope is that behind the rejuvenation of the Marlboro alum association, that will be a website that will be there, but that’s a good question and worth exploring, will there be some way to maintain a virtual presence for Marlboro, in the community there’s a lot of concern about what’s the legacy, Internet legacy, physical legacy, topic taken up by the future of the campus and other groups, but that’s a great question


Jenny Ramstetter, faculty: I’m glad there’ll be an email link that’ll allow people to contribute to the conversation, initially as you were talking I was hoping there would be a place for faculty alumni/emeriti, just thinking in terms of the legacy of the entire almost-75-year enterprise of Marlboro, I understand why you don’t want a bigger working group, I’m wondering if you can say in the nine positions…


Kevin: the nine positions, I mentioned it would be chaired by those people, two trustees, staff, faculty, student one each, you heard from Charlie that nominations close tomorrow night, one from alumni selected by alumni and one selected by Marlboro Selectboard… important issues, lot of creative ideas that come out of our community, I would encourage everyone to connect with alumni council, association, we’re working with them to develop ideas as to how best to preserve the Marlboro legacy


Jenny: hearing again the representation it makes me think again we need more Marlboro townspeople on it than one, there is the possibility that whatever happens next with this campus is not really about Marlboro College at all, but more about the local community, I don’t know if there’s an opportunity to play around with that mixture


Kevin: I hear your point, I think the way this is being designed is to be efficient, we’re inviting Selectboard to choose a representative, that person will have to be representative, the expectation is that they will reach out to the community… and this group will have to move very smartly to address some major issues, beginning with, what’s the relationship with the music festival, should they buy the campus, I think that would address a lot of issues right up front, would give certainty, would allow the community more time to develop viable solutions


Seth Harter, faculty, Selectboard member: I’m surprised there isn’t a slot for the music festival


Kevin: Seth raised a good question, they’re going to be invited, whether or not they choose to participate is up to them, I understand they might not choose to participate, they have rights under the lease, so whatever happens with the college, they’re here


Allison Turner: so I appreciate the need for efficiency and not having an unwieldy large committee, I’m concerned that you have four people from the trustees/related to the trustees, and then one each from very large constituencies outside of that, my reason for concern is that any group can come up with any good ideas, but the smaller the group is the more limited the ideas, they think of different things, I would argue to rethink, open meetings, meetings designed to be huge, where you have people show up to give their ideas… not just in email, I send an email off and God knows what happens to it. if I say something in a group of 200, everyone in that group has seen that email, and people can modify it. you’ll also eliminate the problem we have right now, with people outside this group, a few alumni, who want to destroy the Emerson deal, they think they’re doing something good for you all… so if you have it open from the beginning, like where the trustees were working for months and months and months on probably some great ideas, none of us heard, none of us know that maybe Emerson really was the best idea. so if we are open from the beginning and everyone gets to participate, we’ll avoid that problem later on


Kevin: some great suggestions, what I said doesn’t preclude having open hearings, there’ll be a Google doc, all the ideas for the use of campus will be assembled, that’ll be accessible… I think that’ll be part of the process. I want to be really clear with the community: this is a decision that is going to be made by the board of trustees. this is their decision. this is not a community decision. this is a chance for the community to have input, but it’s the board’s fiduciary responsibility. there are two other players in this process, the music festival which has a 99-year lease, and Emerson College, Emerson will also have a role in this process, so I don’t want to overstate or lead to expectations that the ideas from this working group will be realized. they may not be


(one last question)


Lydia Nuhfer, student: you mentioned other working groups about students, staff, curriculum, etc., I know that in some of the communications about the elections, it was said that those would be chosen through existing committees, do all of those committees have students, staff, faculty on them, and if not will they be elected


Kevin: the intention is to use our TM committees to support this work group, not be duplicative, to the best of my knowledge there are currently community members on each of those committees, students, faculty, staff


Emmanuel: would Selectboard be willing to take questions and direct them to Kevin, sort of a community forum?


(Selectboard doesn’t see why not)




(Maggie is reading language)


Article XI Sec. N.

  1. The Head Selectperson will be paid a stipend based on a ten hour per week work study position from the Town Meeting budget.


(arguments in favor)


Felix: we expect a lot of work from the HSP in addition to being a full time student and working other jobs, better late than never


Sully: we haven’t paid a previous HSP ever, it doesn’t make sense to do it now because this would be the last year, this is something we were going to put into play as a precedent


Nelli: I strongly support this proposal because in the past we have done so many things that we shouldn’t have (everyone is cheering) …even though we all have community service, it seems to me from my experience on campus that HSP puts so many more hours into their work


Annalise: this is more of a question, point of inquiry, where would the money be coming from, from the TM budget, W/D fund, to pay the HSP


Felix: plan is to take from TM budget


Moon: everything we could have done in the past, we still have this next semester to do, we shouldn’t look to the past to stay there, look to the past give thanks, to know what we need to do moving forward


Nick Creel, student: I have an amendment, I would like to propose that we replace TM budget with Community Activity Fund, there is no TM budget, it’s the Community Activity Fund


Article XI Sec. N.

  1. The Head Selectperson will be paid a stipend based on a ten hour per week work study position from the Community Activity Fund.


(no arguments, proposed amendement)


Jenny Ramstetter: I am wondering whether faculty or staff or only students vote on matters relating to the Community Activity Fund


Felix: I think because it’s a bylaw anyone can vote on it, we can’t stop faculty and staff from voting on bylaws because this is Town Meeting and part of that is everyone can vote


Tanner Jones, treasurer: this is what we were touching on with the budget, what we’d be deliberating on, the students can choose to not spend money on something, we would have to retroactively change language to reflect that, the community can decide to put this in, and then students would have to decide to approve it in a budget


Nastia Stevens, student: I’m wondering why it’s 10 hours per week and not more, if that is the amount of time the HSP takes to work on their stuff


Seth: we chose 10 hours because it seemed like a fair minimum, even though they do more work, it accorded with other positions, created consistency


(moving on to a vote)


(the ayes have it, motion passes)




Tanner Jones, treasurer: so this budget proposal before you is predominantly reactionary with the intention to be proactive, a lot of the factors we were banking these decisions around aren’t in play, there are now new things to be done in regards to the budget, if there are questions I can take that, but anything else I can say would be in favor or against


Emmanuel: could you just briefly say, so, there appears to be some questions, would anyone care to clarify the rationale for bringing forth this budget, and for potentially voting for or against it


Tanner: we were trying to balance a $10,000 for our revenue, we have a rollover fund that would have been covering that that we didn’t want to eat up, that is no longer a concern, we don’t encourage passing this budget because we don’t need to make those changes, some of the changes we made restrict access to resources… so if we pass the budget we would grant $1,000 to the WRC, QRC, LIC, TM would no longer fund Dining Hall Crew Chief, Fire Chief, we would also be taking $4,000 from TMSF, also strike the PO box line. if you vote against we would not be doing any of those changes, there are stil new things that have come into factor, we will need to bring in a new budget regardless, but the budget we’ve proposed is not in the best interests of TM


Lucy Johnson, student: was saying Citizen budget has $0, wondering why that is?


Emmanuel: some of what Tanner I think was saying was that if we vote down the budget then this will be a time when they can revise all of these numbers and change it all


Felix: we still have salaries, we were under the impression that you print in the library which is free to students, if that is incorrect come tell Selectboard and we can change it


(vote, nays have it, budget does not pass)




Amber Hunt, librarian, EQC: just a reminder that it’s cold, please close windows, refrain from opening if you can, please close them when you leave a room, we’re finding them open around campus and having to close them, and I would like to introduce Malaya Wright, who is our Environmental Quality Assistant, has things to say


Malaya: I’ve been walking around and shutting off lights, and I’m going to shut windows, but you guys should be really considerate of turning off lights when you leave rooms, we’re going to put stuff up, even if you think someone’s going to use it later, just turn it off, especially in Ragle, dance studio, Whittemore…


Malaya, for Events Committee: we’re having an event tonight in the coffee shop 7-9, open mic, come, perform, watch performances, open to faculty, staff, students, we’re having two closing acts, Cliff and Kevin, it’s a band and a poetry guy, I’m really excited




Nick Katrick: so, the OP, lots of challenging things for this community, I can tell you one certain thing is that the bedrock this college was built on is not moving to Boston, the trees are not moving to Boston, and a bunch of us are not moving to Boston. that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, just means a lot of us are here to connect with this land and we want to make sure you connect with it, come to our events, use our board games, climbing wall! soon there will be a sauna! this Sunday, if you want to get cold, we’re going to climb a mountain in northern VT, lots of other things going on, trailwork, projects, students are organizing, come find us


Matan Rubenstein, faculty: this Sunday Ruth Garbus and Cal Travers (?) are going to be giving a concert at Ragle free of charge, for those of you who don’t know these two, just google Ruth Garbus or Cal Travers, if you know the band Rubblebucket, Cal did that… concert at 3:00 this Sunday, my advice is to come a little early because seats will probably be hard to get


Bronwen: I have two announcements, both for tomorrow, first is that Kristin Horrigan and I will once again be hosting our Thursday lunch/support group for seniors on Plan, 12-1 in Staples, and tomorrow evening 6:30 in Appletree, awesome queer poet of color reading from her book Stray Harbor (?), show up, don’t embarrass me


Amber: as we get into the crunch of the semester, I just want to remind you of Shut Up and Write, Friday mornings, reference room, snacks, tea, coffee, always Matt Ollis


Ariana Rodrigues-Jarbe: tomorrow we’re going to be having an artist talk in Snyder, visiting professor in photography Nick Meyer, his show focuses on Greenfield, also a reminder that both shows will be going down Saturday, check out Fay Ku in Drury and Nick in Snyder


Maggie: next week for International Education Week, we have events all week long, be on the lookout, we’re folding a thousand cranes, KPOP busking, events here and in Brattleboro, get ready, get excited


Megan: I have announcements for my office, tonight at six there is a healthy masculinity workshop in Gander Lounge, folks of all genders are welcome, Friday I am doing the rescheduled Bystander Intervention Training, Friday 1-2 in Gander Lounge, Tuesday at lunch there’ll be a representative from Planned Parenthood in Brattleboro…


Hannah Anderson: this Saturday I’m running a trip to the Keene Y from the DH at 11:40, I’m asking students to pay $5 if you’re able, if you’re not we’ll work it out, two pools, weight room, cardio room, sauna, at low to no cost, I encourage you all to join me


Moon: just on the conversation earlier about making things like TM, the discussions that you guys are having about the merger, I have a solution on behalf of two students, Star and Darien, and it’s called limitless Marlboro, it works, if you guys like it maybe you can use it or adapt it, it’s basically an online forum through Slack, if everybody downloads Slack you can discuss through channels things that you’re interested in, whether it’s TM, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, different outreach, it’s a proposal, I’m putting it out there, it’s all about transparency, I’m wondering with this proposal who do I need to go to, hope you guys like i,t putting out a lot of love, ease, this is a tough time, a time of so much opportunity to really give to Marlboro everything you could ever have imagined it to be, it’s an amazing place with amazing people…


Lucy: Lucy and Kat with the Citizen, producing an edition tomorrow, want to extend it to everyone in the community to submit, everyone can always submit, especially this time I think it’s really important anyone who wants to submit please do it


Kat: we will be having Shabbat Friday night at 7 in the Schrader common room… come hang out, food, drinks, it’ll be a good time


Nikita: just a quick announcement, we know that this is a difficult time and everyone’s losing their head all over the place, however, we’ve also been losing mugs all over the place, the DH is running a severe deficit, please return them


Asa: I just want to vouch for Ruth Garbus, I think you should all go on Sunday if you can, and if you need to let out a little more energy anytime before then there’s a show we’re putting on Friday night, it’s a punk rock show, it’ll be in the voms


John Willis: I just wanted to make an announcement regarding the trustees, wanted to say this to Kevin, think he’s gone, I was one of the hands that didn’t get to be called on, the deal is the trustees do have a fiduciary responsibility to make a decision, that’s their job, they also do it because they love the school, they love what it’s about, they’re good people, I’ve been on the trustees as faculty rep a number of times, and my experience has always been that the trustees always want to know what TM wants, what TM believes, students, staff, faculty, etc., it helps them, they ask for that, so I’m going to write to the Selectboard as was suggested and request that TM have an opportunity to ask for that working group to be larger. at least 2 students, 2 staff, 2 faculty, 2 townspeople added to it. I realize it has to be efficient, but this community needs more representation, can work effectively


Annalise: next Friday will be the opening for Hamlet, I hope all of you know John Marinelli, but if you don’t, super great person, has contributed so much to this school, mentor to me, he’s graduating, this is his Plan show, I love him, he deserves all of your support, I’m co-director, he’s amazing, inspiring, come next Friday the 22 at 7??? and a show Saturday the 23 at 12 noon, another announcement, if you guys know anyone who wants to pay for housing for me next year in Boston, please let me know


Drew: Friday we’ll be doing another council in HV common room, every Friday, 1 PM, later spin in the dance studio, toss stuff, juggling, there’s a third one, Mondays during dinner we’re going to start up a Plan support group, if you’re a Plan student and happen to be experiencing stress come talk about it in a non-academic/supportive setting


Rosario: since next semester is going to be our last semester here I wanted to tell you that the Events Committee has planned speakers, we’re going to kick off the semester in February, Michael (last name?) one of the best African American writers of our current time, and also Jess Brown (?) who will be here at the same time, we have funded a lot of speakers, and after we return from vacation we are organizing faculty forum with Casey Ford


Casey (?): doing a research project, come find out what that is, Monday Dec. 2 at 3 PM in Appletree


Aaron P., student: in light of the recent news, we’re all affected by it, I just feel like it’s important that we have discussions face to face, this is such a big moment in the college’s history, I wanted to put out there that I’m still trying to process, this decision was sprung, we feel like we haven’t had a lot of say in it, I feel like that’s a feeling I’ve held, I feel like it’s better to all talk in person, that’s why there’s this tradition of TM, if people want to approach me during the week, they have any ideas as to how to approach this positively as a team, faculty, staff, students, community, emeriti, are all going to be affected, possibly hundreds of years in the future this whole region could be different, these decisions are going to have profound effects on this area over time, I’d love to have more of an open discussion, that’s exactly what this space is for, come to me with your ideas, I know everything’s happening fast… everybody’s working quickly, but it’s also important that we stay present… we all work together as a community and we all continue to work quickly, these things are going to affect a great number of people’s lives


Amy, counseling intern: at some point in my year here I have to plan a community event, and because this community is in a time of great flux and lots of changes are happening, I want to hear from you as to what that event should be, any ideas you have for what you would like to see and show up to would be awesome, email me, if you see me, any suggestions you have


Felix: I’ve been talking to alums, a lot of them are really supportive, I encourage you all to reach out to them if you haven’t, reach out to me and I’ll connect with them, but also some of them want to send postcards, notes, etc. and I’ve said that they can send them to my box and I’ll put them around campus, so if you see those around that’s why!


(motion to adjourn)


(meeting adjourned)

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