12/11/19 Town Meeting Minutes

Selectboard Clerk Felix, December 11, 2019

11 December 2019

Town Meeting Minutes

 

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

 

Agenda:

  1. Transition Update
    1. Marlboro and Emerson faculty are visiting each other’s campuses
    2. Emerson student life people and faculty will be here next week and in January
    3. Marlboro’s admissions office will cover application costs for students looking to transfer, and they are working on deals with a number of other institutions
    4. the board will be meeting this weekend to discuss severance for staff and faculty who aren’t making the transfer
  2. Town Meeting Moderator Elections
    1. Emmanuel will continue her wonderful work as our Town Meeting Moderator
  3. Diversity & Inclusion Resolution
    1. the resolution text is as follows:

Whereas Marlboro College strives to support a diverse and inclusive learning community; and;

 

And whereas the feedback from Town Meeting discussions, faculty and staff trainings, and student conversations all support the need for a welcoming atmosphere that is inclusive of students from underrepresented groups;

 

And whereas immense support has been expressed for flying the Black Lives Matter flag and other identity-based flags on campus;

 

And whereas flags can be an opportunity for continued cultural learning;

 

Let it be resolved that Town Meeting supports the Student Interest Groups outlined in the by-laws (currently LIC, WRC, QRC, and SLC) in raising flags in the dining hall representing marginalized identities. The Diversity and Inclusion Task Force will facilitate conversation between Student Interest Groups who wish to raise flags in the dining hall and any community members who may oppose a particular flag.

    1. the text has been amended to remove the word “and” from the end of the first sentence
    2. the resolution has passed
  1. Committee Reports
    1. read below for a summary
  2. Announcements
    1. read below for a summary

 

[TRANSITION UPDATE]

 

Richard Glejzer, Dean of Faculty: Kevin is at the NECHE conference for the rest of the week so I’ll be giving the update… faculty, 25 faculty were down at Emerson last week, Tuesday/Thursday with others individually to meet faculty, go through curriculum, getting to know one another, getting to know the kinds of teaching that would happen, that’s going to be followed up next week, Tuesday and Wednesday, with Emerson deans and faculty coming up here… one of the things we’re trying to arrange is for students to meet Anne Doyle (?) (has Catherine’s position) on Tuesday… working group, will meet with faculty working group here to talk about curriculum, campus working group met on Monday, I heard that was a wonderful session, they spent time talking about their agenda for coming meetings… information for students from Patrick!

 

Patrick Connelly, Dean of Students: admissions office and I met this morning, we’ve made the decision for any student who feels like Emerson isn’t the right fit, admissions will cover application costs for any institution you’re looking to transfer to, please thank Fumio when you see him on campus, we’re in the final stages of agreements with a number of institutions that would facilitate transfer, all of the institutions will accept all credits and acknowledge where you are academically and allow you to continue your program from there, we’ll be able before you leave to let you know who those institutions are and what that process looks like, Emerson will be doing a fact sheet with housing, financial aid, some of the other questions, they have the list… we’re also working on scheduling the Skype session for students with financial aid, advising, student life staff, hopefully late next week, we’re also working on a session for families at the beginning of January… we also have members of Emerson’s advising/student life team on campus January 19/20, that’s when you get back but we’re fighting the clock, getting information as soon as possible, other information will come up in the next 10 days, if you see emails from me please don’t delete so you can get information over break

 

Richard: one more piece regarding institutions that we’re looking to create pathways with, Fumio has been looking at a financial aid level to see that they could respect our students and the aid packages coming in… I know this body has been concerned about severance packages especially for staff, the board is meeting this weekend to discuss that for staff, faculty, including faculty who choose not to go to Emerson

 

[TOWN MEETING MODERATOR ELECTIONS]

 

Emmanuel: TM moderator runs Town Meeting after speaking a bit with the Selectboard, the moderator will have the opportunity to meet with the HSP on Thursday to plan for Town Meeting, so essentially the moderator will have almost a week in advance to plan TM, the moderator from my experience it has been helpful to meet with those presenting before Town Meeting, and I believe that is about it, the way this goes is essentially I’ll ask are there any nominations, you raise your hands, I call on you, you say a name, if the person is in the room, we ask, do you accept or decline, if you accept hold onto that, if you decline, okay, all those who have accepted will line up, the community will have the opportunity to ask three questions of the moderator, candidates will step out of the room, there will be time for discussion, candidates will step back in, next semester’s moderator will be announced

 

Nominees:

 

Emmanuel Miller

 

(supplemental minutes courtesy of Seth Harter, thanks Seth!)

 

Felix offers to moderate questions

Questions:

  1. Q: Do we need to actually vote?
  2. A: Charlie – I think it’s called ‘acclaim’ Emmanuelle can simply continue.
  3. Q: Rosario: What’s your favorite part of being town moderator?
  4. EM: Every time I step out of TM, I have time to reflect. Each time I think about the conversation we’ve had in TM, I’m learning how to be a better community member. I’ve seen everyone so thoughtfully participate. I’ve learned so much.
  5. Q: William E – This has been a hard time for us, and your presence as moderator has been healing and wonderful. It means a lot to all of us.
  6. Clarification: Maggie – one can make a motion to appoint the solo candidate by acclaim. I move to appoint EM as moderator by acclaim.
  7. Felix – you are moderator! Congratulations!
  8. EM: Thank you.

 

(End of Seth’s minutes)

 

No other nominees, William Edelglass thinks Emmanuel is good at moderation, Emmanuel learns a lot from Town Meeting! Yay Emmanuel!

 

[DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION TASK FORCE FLAG RESOLUTION]

 

Text:

 

Whereas Marlboro College strives to support a diverse and inclusive learning community; and;

 

And whereas the feedback from Town Meeting discussions, faculty and staff trainings, and student conversations all support the need for a welcoming atmosphere that is inclusive of students from underrepresented groups;

 

And whereas immense support has been expressed for flying the Black Lives Matter flag and other identity-based flags on campus;

 

And whereas flags can be an opportunity for continued cultural learning;

 

Let it be resolved that Town Meeting supports the Student Interest Groups outlined in the by-laws (currently LIC, WRC, QRC, and SLC) in raising flags in the dining hall representing marginalized identities. The Diversity and Inclusion Task Force will facilitate conversation between Student Interest Groups who wish to raise flags in the dining hall and any community members who may oppose a particular flag.

 

(Maggie Patari, head of international stuff, is reading this in)

 

(questions)

 

Seth Harter, Selectboard member, faculty: I’m in favor of everything that’s up here, but I understand that an earlier version of this discussion the invitation to hang flags was extended to the whole community and not just resource centers, and I’d like to hear about the reasoning that led to this instead of the broader version

 

Maggie: good question, in the conversations of crafting this one of the continuing questions we were thinking of is how to create some kind of accountability for both putting up and taking down or taking down, and some level of limiting just complete autonomous ideas of what should go up and what should not… (sorry I got distracted and missed some of this)

 

Ritu Mitra, Selectboard member, faculty: are there going to be religious symbols up there, and if so what are some of the ways we as a community can have conversations around that

 

Malaya Wright, student: I think that’s a really good question, if the Spiritual Life Committee was still running that would be something we would put to them, as far as I know they’re not working, if you wanted to have discussions about that you could still come to Diversity and Inclusion Task Force

 

(deliberation)

 

Felix: I miss having flags up, I like the wording of this language specifying marginalized identities, we can have a conversation about who’s marginalized but it means people can’t put up a flag for an oppressive group

 

(amendment proposed to remove the word “and” from the end of the first sentence)

 

(amendment passes)

 

(we are now moving on to a vote)

 

(the resolution passes)

 

[COMMITTEE REPORTS]

 

Felix: elections, we had technical difficulties, acceptances have reopened until tonight, voting until Friday night

 

Nick: I’m reporting for campus working group, trying to find solutions to the future of campus, first meeting was on Monday and we mostly established ground rules for the group in figuring out how we’re going to proceed, next week we’re going to be working very hard on the next steps, proposals for folks to send in on the future of the campus

 

Izzy, Health and Wellness: going to host an event next week, sew your own cloth menstrual pad workshop, we’ll have instructions, materials, fabrics, the 18th at 6 PM in the Gander World Studies Lounge, let me know if you have questions, open to all community members, people in town

 

[ANNOUNCEMENTS]

 

Lydia: this Friday night at Wunderbar in Bellows Falls there’s going to be a Drag Cabaret, food, drinks, community members, alums involved, no cover, bring money to tip performers, I’ll put posters up, you should be there

 

Izzy: serious fun and games class, tomorrow 1-3:30-ish we’re going to be in the Dining Hall demonstrating our final projects, we’re inviting people to play our games, I’m doing a puzzle room, let me know if you’re interested and I’ll reserve time

 

Beth: event everyone waits for, Rapid Reviews, tomorrow, Appletree, 3 PM, amazing reviewers…

 

Maia Segura: if you want to send some love to the class of 2019 we have pulled some Christmas cards and they are over that area and will be there for the rest of the week.

 

Ariana: this Friday is going to be the Art Crawl, starting at 5 with open studios, full schedule, visual art in Artland, reading in Whittemore, cookie decorating, hopefully a bonfire, refreshments in Dining Hall, music, come on out and enjoy

 

Sophie Gorjance: portfolios are due tomorrow, as we know we have Midnight Breakfast to celebrate that, if you are submitting we’re going to have a portfolio support night on the ground floor of the library, writing tutors, 6 PM to midnight, if you have any last-minute questions, formatting, we’ll be there to help you out, see you there! also board games talk to Krystal about it

 

Aaron Pilarcik (sp?): tonight there’s going to be an end of the semester concert, music students doing 5-6 chamber ensemble pieces, choir, that’s after dinner, either 7 or 7:30 in Ragle, if you want to see some wonderful music come and relax this evening, my second announcement, I’ve been talking with some other seniors, starting with Adam Weinberg’s idea to bring Emerson students here and show everybody what makes Marlboro so wonderful, we really want to do something to help this school, and we’re currently putting out some ideas, we’re thinking about putting together a weekly meeting group, all-inclusive, students, faculty, staff, people from the town, alumni, what we can do to support the school, the Emerson deal isn’t final so we’d be looking at that and possible things to save the school even though it’s a long shot, I’ll make an announcement after the break at the next Town Meeting, if anybody wants to contact me, I know others are working on ideas, if anybody would contact me with that it’d be great, after break we’ll get started again

 

(motions to adjourn)

 

(seconded)

 

(motion passes, meeting is over)


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