12/3/19 Selectboard Minutes

Selectboard Clerk Felix, December 03, 2019

3 December 2019

Selectboard Minutes


Present: Charlie, Stephanie, Ritu, Ariana, Izzy, Seth, Maggie, Felix, Tanner, Beth Ruane


Charlie: hi everyone, Beth is here to talk about Plan-binding again


Beth: we are already in touch with December grads, we do need to make decisions about Plan-binding really quickly, we’re already getting submissions, we are committed to binding Plans for this academic year, and we need to figure out as we are asking our December grads to give us information is the free TM gift of a physical Plan copy… we’ve already charged one set of personal copies to TM in this fiscal year, we’re hitting you up again in the same fiscal year, I could bring this to a vote in TM, I’m going to sound you out first for capital funds, I also was thinking we might be able to handle it internally using the rollover funds… we’ll accept Plan submissions from December grads, we’ll hold onto them, then we’ll do May grads… so we won’t get a bill right away, we’ll do it all in one big batch, we would invoice in June… we are also anticipating a larger graduating class this year than last year, last year’s batch charged TM $1,000, this year would be about $2,000, a larger class, just to give ourselves some wiggle room…


Seth: but that would provide for every person to get their own copy


Beth: if they choose to, we don’t have funds in library budget, academic affairs doesn’t, don’t want to say that this is the first year we can’t do it… we want to budget to $2,000 because we think more people will take us up on it


Seth: at the risk of distracting… any talk of what’s going to happen to the library copies


Beth: there have been a few talks, most of the conversation is confidential, Emerson is interested in the digital record, they need to take the digital record, they’re taking over those duties, this is part of the permanent record of all students, we’re looking into digitizing more Plans, physical Plans are still a quesiton, I have already started reaching out to libraries with well-established archives that have also worked with colleges that have closed, UVM and UMass Amherst have expressed interest, hopefully they would take Plans, alumni and faculty collections, history archives, maybe Kipling collection… we’d love for them to stay in Vermont at UVM but UMas is in the region… we do already have a relationship with UMass, I would feel pretty good if that ended up being the home… we are very concerned about what happens, particularly to the Plans, if you want to look at Marlboro… we want to add this academic year’s Plans to it, we know there’s going to be one more year of Plans, we’re thinking about that too, I don’t know if we’re going to have any say or pull in that decision, my hope would be that when the Plans go somewhere Emerson will know that and that graduating class would be bound and added to that as well


Tanner: $1,400 covered last spring and fall… you charged $1,000, still have $1,400, you’d be looking to do $1,600 more to meet the $2,000…

Beth: to be paid out in early June


Charlie: do we have money? what’s the breakdown?


Tanner: part of the issue we’re looking at now is we’d establish budget lines, we’d want to stick closely, we wouldn’t care if people didn’t utilize a full budget line, so we have money for that, we also have money for W/D, we eat up the rollover with doing this $1,600 and trying to expand the resource centers, we’re also at the mindset of trying to use all the money, which means I need to look at where are the expenditures in other spaces… we’re not budgeting for a year, we’re budgeting to use all the money. I don’t know what that looks like yet, I need to see how much has the Citizen used, how much money did we not spend on Fire Chief, Dining Hall Crew Chief


Maggie: gotta add the HSP fund


Tanner: yeah… there is money for that, it’s just where does it come from, this way we can all make the most informed decisions, I haven’t been able to get that information yet, I have to sit down with Laura, Rob, student accounts… but I don’t see any reason why that can’t happen, what I’ve been provided thus far is not enough to make these decisions


Beth: but I can say we’re offering the free TM copy… if I do need to bring a funds request to TM let me know, I feel confident that it would pass…


Tanner: we could start reserving some of the reserve fund for it, don’t want to restrict it though (Tanner has left the room on a phone call)


Beth: I wish it was a little more clear-cut, but I understand, we’re in the same situation, it’s shifting, priorities are shifting


Charlie: if worse comes to worst this is absolutely something that could be a W/D funds request at this point, I am very confident you could get it


Beth: okay, we’ll tell December grads the good news!




Beth: there are very few TM minutes, more recently everything was kept in that file cabinet that was in Gander


Charlie: the MISSING file cabinet


(Beth is gone)


Izzy: there’s a new mysterious file cabinet in Dalrymple


(Seth knows which file cabinet Izzy is talking about)


Maggie: do we need someone to look for that?


Charlie: I think Tanner was doing that, he’s very busy


(Maggie will try and help)


Charlie: I am sure there is no filing cabinet in the Selectboard office… (Gander 6)


Maggie: could it be in the lounge? does anyone have the key?


Stephanie: I thought it was the room attached to the lounge


Charlie: that’s the office


(talking about the office, Tanner is back)


Maggie: have you looked into where the filing cabinet might be?


Tanner: I knew the filing cabinets down there weren’t well-labeled and there’s nothing I have a key to, there’s a box of random Selectboard things in the basement that I didn’t troll through… didn’t get harmed (in haunted hallway), a bunch of us had different things stored segmented through the room and now they’re together


Maggie: maybe I can go through today


Charlie: Maggie Sleuth Mission!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Charlie: how’s the budget?


Tanner: I need to redo it, again


Maggie: the conversation we started to have with Beth, is that worth having in a big– do you need help thinking through what’s a priority, is our goal to run it down?


Tanner: some of that stuff we were waiting to hear back from when the student working group got done… I think I did talk about it with Patrick… any organization with students runs through SGA, that’s not where we want to give our money, that’s not a space that needs that amount of money, we talked about it briefly… if we wanted to start looking at how we can best utilize the money we have, I need to better know how much money we have, I know how much we should have at the beginning of the year, we want to use it all… we’d want to have a cushion, we’d need a plan to use that cushion… we’d have to make sure there is an end point where we’re able to use the money in an efficient fashion, it could be whatever’s left over, as Beth pointed out, this is the last group that would be getting Plan, there’ll probably be some hard copy thing… we have students who will be finishing Plan next year, send money over… do we throw it into some endowment, ask someone to endow so people can still get a bound copy of their Plan…

Charlie: is there way to set aside money to help people finish their Plans, for people who are working on Plans next year at Emerson, especially for students whose majors or areas of focus aren’t adequately supported at Emerson


Maggie: I wonder if our Development team would like this idea, we could give them the fund, they could expand it, if it’s “hey alumni, do you love your Plan, do you want to see that continuing for students who are going to be on Plan at Emerson and want to hold that as true as they can,” I can see alumni and our donor base going for that


Tanner: with the budget it’s two pieces, I need to get a solid aount of money in the funds, include ideas that aren’t in the budget, we’ll either start prioritizing them, and then as a community find other ways to find funding for those ideas, and that could be what we bring to the town and the community can decide


Charlie: we could potentially reach out to our committees and say “do you know that you have money, are you planning on using that money…” I don’t know if we’ve done that and I’m forgetting


Maggie: I’m guessing they’ll be like “I don’t know, do we?”


Izzy: I sent that email already multiple times and no one’s responded, which I understand


(talking about committees, some haven’t met yet, some are sort of petering out…)


Charlie: I want to ask… what committees are the most important right now, can we funnel more resources to them, do we try to tighten the belt a little bit, it makes me sad that we have committees with people on them that are not functioning, and could be functioning but do not know their purpose in light of our uncertain future


Felix: we should look at which committees work short-term and which are long-term


Charlie: Events Committee, Lectures Concerts Exhibits, could be doing interesting things


Felix: Events probably is


Izzy: Events Committee reports at TM, they’re very active, respond to emails


(we love you Events Committee!)


Izzy: I said people weren’t getting back to me, I do understand that this past month, people have been stretched in even more directions than usual, I’m trying to think of a gentle push for next semester, even if we frame it as “we want to make this last semester the best that it can be,” your best ideas, we would love to see every committee hold an event, frame it in a positive, productive way… we want to see committees be the best they can so this semester can be full of life and things happening


Maggie: this is tangential, but I’m realizing do you think we should reach out to committees and ask for some deliverable, or like something to hold in perpetuity, to add to the archives, the box of Selectboard stuff, what did you do… what projects have you done, now’s your time, are you working on a report for this thing that you’re like “I don’t need to do the campus climate report for diversity and inclusion…” like finish your report, do this last event, do some kind of write-up, maybe that will help them have some purpose, if they need some money… and then we could, I’m thinking of how to wrap this up, and if we have some final thing from a committee maybe that would be good


Felix: some committees will need that and some won’t and it’ll be nice to give them the opportunity


Charlie: I think the goal is this is a great idea, the problem we’re facing is people aren’t responding to our emails, do we resort to tracking people down in the dining hall… I have a lot less sympathy for tracking down people in the dining hall this semester… I don’t know if it would be an effort in futility


Felix: a few people would jump at this opportunity, it’s maybe not that many people but it’s still good


Charlie: this might be a good beginning of next semester thing


Maggie: we should work on that over the break, being thoughtful of what we need to elect and not elect…


Charlie: we should do elections at the end of this semester so people know


(now we’re talking about HSP elections)


Charlie: do we want to suspend elections


Tanner: I personally want to do that, I think it was off the record that maybe someone was going to say something… at what point do we broach that to the community…


Felix: I think if we say something at nominations… this is the right time in the semester to do them… if you stand up and say you’re willing to continue the election is almost ceremonial


Charlie: this is a learn-as-you-go job, I still am not sure what I’m doing, if someone gets elected and starts next semester, they’re going to be just getting their feet wet


Seth: even though it seems bizarre we should go ahead with the elections as normal, Charlie you’re the obvious candidate… there has been a time when the community’s stance towards the HSP has been not what makes the most effective choice for government of the college but what might spread the opportunity around, that might resurface, people who thought they’d have the opportunity


Charlie: if we’re holding elections, I’m going to run again, say I’m in it for the long haul, I think I’ve been doing a good job, I’m committee to carrying it all the way to the end of the game, play hard until the buzzer… are there any other thoughts about this?


Maggie: I would concur with Seth, I think we should hold elections, if a community member stands up and says they want to suspend…


Felix: how does that work? I feel like the only way is to have elctions


Tanner: …we’d just suspend live nominations and questions… do we really want to suspend a part of the governance model, there’s been a lot of contention


Felix: this is our last chance, we might as well go for it


Maggie: how do HSP elections work


(live nominations, questions, voting on Nook… now we’re talking about moderator elections)


Charlie: also we need other elections to open


Felix: I’ll just open whatever’s empty


Maggie: did we add the names of Alta and Chris to Curriculum Committee… we still have openings for committees


(I need to add their names to Nook! and I will do that soon)


Charlie: I can do a committee report for Selectboard talkiing about elections, I don’t think just saying “they’re open” is enough of a statement


Maggie: should we highlight some of these open spots?


Charlie: Felix can go up and talk about elections, you go up and talk about open spots


(Faculty Committee, Dean’s Advisory, Finance Committees all need members)


Tanner: so we do HSP nominations live, then normal nominations


(the 11th is the last day of classes, next week is the last TM)


Charlie: if we could announce who got elected to committees at TM, then everyone knows… it is out there


(talking about HSP elections)




Proposed Agenda 12/4/19

  1. Transition Update (TENTATIVE)
  2. Community Conduct (TENTATIVE)
  3. HSP nominations/questions
  4. W/D deliberation
  5. Committee reports
  6. Announcements


(I missed a bit, distracted)


Tanner: we need to address with the community the giant spike of incidents of theft and vandalism, but if they’re doing that at TM they’ll decide at senior team meeting later today


Charlie: my meeting with Emmanuel that I am able to go to but would prefer to take that time to go home and walk my dog before I have to go to rehearsal… who can cover it, can you get answers to those questions


Tanner: I can get answers, I can meet with Emmanuel


Charlie: once you’re done with that meeting can you send me any revisions or send me an email saying there weren’t any revisions so that I can get the agenda out in time


Maggie: can I ask a question that I’m realizing we talked about months ago… making a motion to change the time or timing of Town Meeting?


Charlie: I think it’s too late


Felix: that’s a really long-term issue


Tanner: we were supposed to bring that to Curriculum Committee… we were distracted!


(move to vote on this agenda, seconded, agenda passed)




Seth: I had a conversation with a couple of people last week that turned to graduation, this person’s hope was that graduation this year wouldn’t be what it’s been in past years, invite someone from outside, it would feel dissonant with what else is going on… I was wondering if it was maybe Selectboard’s place to think through that…


Charlie: I think that there needs to be, like we absolutely cannot go through commencement this year acting like nothing’s happened


Maggie: are we going to offer up more honorary degrees to people


Izzy: I’m asking if current Junior 2s who would be graduating in the fall semester at Emerson could symbolically walk at this year’s graduation, I just wanted to bring that up if we’re talking about honorary things, graduation


Seth: we don’t need to resolve this now, I was just wondering if Selectboard…


Felix: we can support


Charlie: we can support, offer opinion, not our job to plan it


Maggie: we can spend some energy, if they’re given a beautiful plan it would help





Maggie: a potential for either next week’s TM or maybe more realistically at the start of the year, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is still pondering the idea of a resolution for identity based flags to go in the dining hall… I might be stalling it just because of the knowledge that I have of the complexity of this situation… we’re going to try and make that happen, part of our rationale is “let’s just bring a resolution in,” we’re hoping it’ll just be “yeah, let’s do it, let’s just have nice flags up for the last semester”


(Tanner is going to put up a Black Lives Matter flag, this is not a reaction, this was separately planned)


Maggie: does anyone here know… talking about how students, faculty, staff can report if a faculty member does something in class that a student finds inappropriate, student-to-student, staff incident, we know avenues for if a student wants to report a faculty member, which is Committee on Faculty or Dean if they want to, student-student can do Community Court or other conduct processes, staff?


Tanner: would be HR/their supervisor


Felix: but anyone can go to community court at any time


Maggie: just wondering…


Tanner: community court doesn’t have purview over people’s employment, used to, I think my termination would sit with HR and Patrick and Becky


(if something happened a student would go to Becky, staff would go to Laura)


Maggie: general… students don’t always know those avenues, we’re working on writing those up and having Patrick send out an email to students as an additional follow-up


(motion to adjourn, seconded, passed)

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