1/29/20 Town Meeting Minutes
Selectboard Clerk Felix, January 29, 2020
29 January 2019
Town Meeting Minutes
Minutes are taken by Selectboard Clerk Felix and reflect to the best of my ability what goes on during Town Meeting. If you have any questions or concerns please comment here or email email@example.com.
Head Selectperson Address
Selectboard this semester meets Thursdays 11:30-1:30 in Staples
- this week we have an extended closed meeting but most Thursdays the bulk of our meeting is open and all are welcome to sit in
- if you have an agenda item for Town Meeting, please get it in a week in advance
- take care of yourselves and each other this semester <3 (read below for Charlie’s full message)
- Selectboard this semester meets Thursdays 11:30-1:30 in Staples
- working groups are doing well
- financial group has been working on due process with Emerson, and Emerson is now aware of the cost of the merger for them when it comes to hiring our faculty and matching student tuition
- there is a trustee meeting Febuary 8 and a tea February 7
Committee on Staff Awards
- congratulations to Margaret Hunt, Tanner Jones, and KP Peterson for winning Distinguished Service Awards, which come with a bag of Marlboro swag and a $250 cash prize
- read below for committee reports and announcements
Emmanuel is reminding us of a few rules: we are a legislative body, if you speak please introduce yourself, also because we are trying to foster a greater debate, I will prioritize, if you have already spoken once in the debate, I will call on you a second time if everyone else who has not spoken has spoken
[HEAD SELETPERSON ADDRESS]
Charlie Hickman, HSP: this semester Selectboard is meeting on Thursdays from 11:30-1:30 in Staples, so if you have any ideas or anything you want to tell us or just want to sit through a meeting, you are welcome to enjoy us anytime, but not this week because we have an extended closed meeting tomorrow. On that same note, Selectboard is looking for suggestions of things that you think will make this semester as good as it can be. We have some money in the bank, we are looking to fund projects, make things happen that give people things to do… along with that I’m requesting this semester that if you have an agenda item for TM that you get it to us a week in advance. If you have an agenda item for next TM, I recommend you get that to us tomorrow before 11:30 so we can vote on it in our meeting, and that gives Selectboard enough time to work through the agenda and also gives Emmanuel enough time to plan the meeting and make sure that TM flows as smoothly as possible
(the microphone was giving a lot of background noise and now it’s fixed, yay! Charlie is repeating their last point)
Charlie: on a slightly sadder note, I am acknowledging that this is the last first Town Meeting of anything ( :-( ) and I think that doesn’t necessarily have to be a sad thing, we can acknowledge that this whole situation is not something that any of us chose or expected to be in, and it’s important to recognize that there are going to be many challenges this semester and that it is already hard enough to be in school and now there are so many more things piled on top of just making it through the semester, which is why it’s so important that we support each other, but supporting each other doesn’t mean that we let each other become volatile or rude or mean even though that may come out sometimes, supporting each other means we keep each other in check, we can put positivity back out in the school, this does not have to be a bad experience. Don’t let the negatives of this situation override the joy of the experience you’re having.
Kevin Quigley, President: I’m just thinking about how quiet and empty the campus is when you all are not here, it’s wonderful to have faculty and staff back on campus, I want to begin by echoing our HSP’s reflections and recommendations, reflections on the moment, it is a bittersweet moment, to acknowledge that but also their recommendation and their thought that let’s do everything we possibly can to support each other and make this the best possible semester for all of us, I think we owe that to each other and we owe that to the college, in terms of an update on the transition process, I just want to go back to the term sheet that was signed December 6 (? maybe didn’t hear the date)… one of the terms was to put together working groups to talk about the transition to Emerson… those groups have been working really hard over the last months, a lot of progress has been made, we had a special board meeting on Saturday, it’s a special board meeting, not an emergency meeting, this is the 7th or 8th of these we’ve had, that’s to help the board exercise their fiduciary responsibility, all but 2 board members were able to participate, we had 7/8 faculty members who were on the working groups (Kevin is asking those faculty members to stand and everyone is clapping)… they’re working really hard, visited Emerson, weekly calls with colleagues, Patrick, Fumio, their working group have done lots of good work to facilitate students who want to go to Emerson and work out some of the thorny issues around housing and financial aid, and thanks to Fumio we have transfer agreements with three institutions in Vermont (Castleton, Bennington, St. Michael’s) and one in Maine (College of the Atlantic), our students have choices, those four agreements are all on the website, they’re designed to make the transfer as easy as humanly possible, waiving transfer fees, accepting our credits and financial aid, they’re not exclusive, if students want to go to other institutions the college will be supportive, Fumio and their team have set up an arrangement where there’s a counselor for every class, first, second, third-year students, Krystal, Spencer, Alex are the counselors, that process is underway, they’ve worked on governance issues, how many Marlboro trustees will go on the Emerson board, their status, how long their tenure, they’ve made great progress, financial issues, that working group meets twice a week as part of the due diligence process, Rob and I are really pleased because it’s clear through their process that Emerson really understands now in a way I don’t think they did when the deal was first announced that Emerson is going to undertake some significant financial liabilities associated with this deal and this is not a 40 million dollar giveaway, Emerson is going to incur some substantial cost to make this deal work, and it’s not about finances, it’s about pedagogy and fit related to its purpose, that’s insight Emerson has, something we long feared that they would dive into our finances, realize the costs of taking all our tenure-track faculty, taking all our students, subsidizing their tuition and housing that that imposes some significant financial costs on Emerson, even with that Emerson is very committed to this because they think it will enhance the Marlboro Institute at Emerson… those working groups are underway, we have another board meeting coming up in a couple weeks, coming February 7 and 8, trustee tea, board meeting…
[COMMITTEE ON STAFF AWARDS]
Becky Catarelli, Chief Operations Officer: the college periodically gives out Distinguished Service Awards for staff, opportunity to recognize a member of staff… we had nominations back in November and we made a decision in December and we were waiting for a TM to announce, we’re giving out three awards, all three winners were nominated several times, in addition to a bag of Marlboro swag, the winners get a $250 cash prize…
our first winner has been here for 22 years, the people nominating her have said that she’s often called upon to make a last-minute event or meeting look like it’s been planned for weeks, always has a smile… our first winner is Margaret Hunt!
our second winner has a very difficult job but is rarely seen without a smile… he’s always on the move, presents himself very professionally, and is always ultra-polite, works to make sure students are taken care of, is very pleasant to deal with… does everything imaginable for this college, I truly believe this place would not be functional without him, Tanner Jones!
our third winner literally keeps the lights on, people nominating her write she will brave nasty crawl spaces, septic pump chambers, works during power outages and freezing weather, provides a listening ear to the whole community, also got a Master’s degree while working full time, KP!
Nick Katrick: I am here to report for an extremely important committee, the Broomball Committee, with the Grand Poobah of Hannah, has some important announcements
Hannah Anderson: we’re kicking off this Friday with a game of maintenance and a very hodgepodge team, game schedule has been posted on the board, all the information you need has been posted, captain’s meeting tonight, all teams must be represented so that we can get ready for a tournament this weekend
Jaime Tanner: Committee for Global Engagement, next Wednesday, February 5 we’ll be celebrating Lunar New Year with a community dinner, dumpling making, food demonstrations, KPOP, sparklers, dragons, etc., also open to broader community… also we are running summer grants this year for summer language learning and international research, deadline for that will be Friday, February 28, email will go out, ask me or Maggie Patari if you have questions
Matan Rubenstein: Committee for Prizes and Scholarships, we are soliciting a prompt for the MacArthur Prize, it’s a cash-carrying prize for a creative project, an essay, that relates to a prompt… we need a prompt! If you have a prompt please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Quick: wanted to start by saying I wanted to thank Charlie’s words, sets the precedent of good faith, in support of good faith, admissions wants to say that tomorrow we’re going to have a table for any type of service we can do to help students submit FERPA waivers, help with transferring… Friday we’re going to have an admissions counselor from Bennington, Carter Strong, here… if you need anything please be in touch with us
Kirstin Edelglass: I’m a counselor at the THC, this semester Wednesday (?) at 3:30 I’m doing a mindfulness class, spend an hour meditating with me upstairs in the health center conference room, lasts until May
Rosario de Swanson: this February 11 in Ragle Hall we have a speaker for Black History Month… Michael Datcher from LA, actor, activist, believes in art as a form of activism, he will be speaking, reading his work, speaking about Black History Month, he will be accompanied by (I didn’t catch the name) hip hop producer, jazz musician, you don’t want to miss this, February 11 3:30 in Ragel
Sully Segreto: on behalf of Events Committee we want to say thanks for coming to the Winter Formal
Nastia Stevens: and if you have any ideas for other events let us know
Sully: our meetings are Tuesday at 4:30 in the library
Nick: one more from the OP, if you’re practicing for broomball this weekend that’s fabulous, but please don’t leave hockey pucks or brooms on the ice, with this weather it will melt into the rink, we don’t want that, clean up when you’re done, be extremely cautious if you’re skiing on the trails right now, pray to any snow gods you know of for more snow