G.P ‘19 : Hello my name is Gen Perez. welcome to candidates forum of February elections. We have an order of positions that will come up. Questions will be asked. There is gonna be a notepad running around. Write your name, class year, and question so that we can accurately document it for minutes. We’ll start right now. First up, appointments. Any Questions?
Kamara Simms 19’
Nanda Bhushan 19’
Anushkha Robinson 19’
Creighton Ward 19’
Zauraiz Syeda 19’
Delia Landers 19’
N.D 19’- Why do you want to run for this position?
A.R 19’: I didn’t plan to run but they nominated me. I have lot experience with
K.S 19’: I didn’t initially intent to run but they nominated me. I looked into the position and I thought i would be well suited. I see the integrity of the people and I’m good seeing peoples strengths objectively and not judging people by other things.
Z.S. 19’ ever since high school i have always been very involved in student government. I feel like joining this would be very fun.
C.W. 19’ i talked to by HA about his position and he told me that working in this committee is the best thing that i could do. I was excited to have the opportunity to meet different people and discover the importance of diversity and inclusion
N.B. 19’: Being a part of a social community allowed me to realize how other people filter their passions.
L.O. U.19’ What makes you qualified for this position?
D.L. 19’ assessing candidates strengths and weakness
A.R.19’ determination because i will use all my skills to select people that are willing work.
K.S. 19’ my motive for this because i am doing this for good intentions because i want to make sure that the decision i make are really valuable. If someone’s passionate about something the outcome is great
Z.S. 19’ Im qualifies because i think im open minded and accept others decisions
C.W. 19’ i think Bryn Mawr has a lot of mosaic people and with that i want to work with the big picture and i take advantage of Bryn Mawr as much as i can to have a future in this campus
N.B. 19’’ my experience in high school leading two clubs and selecting the right and good person.
C.B 16’ : Take all your time answering this question, what is an experience where you had to make a tough decision in a group, um I know we have a time limit on this, but as members of the appointments committee you have to decide who gets on those committees and that often means making some tough calls and so it would be good for us voters to know when you have been in a similar situation.
D.L. 19’: I feel like a lot of my answers are going back to my past experiences on the board of my organization but um this past fall we had to make some difficult decisions because we had to decide to fire two of our staff members for like various reasons and one of them was new and just wasn’t the right choice for the role and the other had been there for five or six years. So it was a really difficult decision to let them go considering we had strong and personal relationships with them and it was like, it took a lot of liberation and thought. And it was definitely a difficult choice but it was definitely the right choice.
A.R.19’ Um I don’t have a specific instance but i’ve had several instances um through my previous work experience because i was a perfect in my secondary school and then through my previous jobs i had to build teamwork skills. I had to break in groups where we had to make lots of decisions because the prefect was in charge of the school and responsible for the well being of the students. of course I’ve had to make several tough decisions because i had to actually select my replacements of the jobs i left. My previous two jobs I had to select my replacements and i had to look through most of my friends who were at home at the time who were very good candidates and from what i heard from my previous jobs they all said the all people i was friends with had showed incredible work ethic and incredible contribution to the community they joined.
K.S. 19’ Can I have some time to think?
G.P. 19’ sure!
Z.S. 19’ Um so in high school i was part of the executive committee and as a part of that we had to choose heads for the subcommittees and so um for one of the committees it was my friends, she was running, and another qualified student. It was difficult to be objective about it because of my relationship but um i think that was the most difficult thing, to be objective and look past um yourself see whats um best for the community and the board.
N.B. 19’’ For me, actually this past weekend, this year I was given the great opportunity to be part of the E-board of the dance group i am a part of and we were holding auditions last weekend and we only could only choose three people to be part of the team and um it was hard because a few of my friends were auditioning and it was, and I had to try my best to not be biased and listen to other people’s perspective.
K.S. 19’ In regards to like, um making tough decisions I don’t think that’s always has to be within the structure so i’ve made tough decisions in regard to personal relationships that i have with people and i think to an extent that can be a really hard position to put yourself in and i think that is something I would come across if I were appointed to be part of the appointments committee because you are surrounded by so many people that you know on this campus and assess them objectively so being able to kind of decide what is best for you and your personal relationships and what is best for personal freind dynamics because i have had a lot of experience of that in my life. so i feel like i can relate that to um this in a formal structure but also recognizing the emotional aspect of it.
C.W. 19’ Hi, so i’m, I can’t think of a certain time in my life where i had to choose um whether to accept someone into a group or to reject them. But when I think about a time when I made a tough decision what came to mind was a time where I was a part of a program this summer and we brought in a state representative from new hampshire, lovely new hampshire, and he had the most misogynistic views and perspectives that i have ever heard. And it was appalling to me that i was sitting there and taking it at a program where it was supposed to teach girls to be strong and how to um stand on their own. Especially in a man’s world. And so i knew i had the eyes of every single person in this program on me and..
G.P 19’ Just, 15 seconds more
C.W 19’ Sure, and I stood up and I basically told him what was on my mind and I felt very put on the spot for that and what I think that showed me was that I have the ability to make choices that are based on my own morality even if I had everyone’s eyes on me.
G.P 19’ Could you guys repeat you name one more time?
D.L 19’ Delia Landers
A.R 19’ Anushka Robinson
K.S 19’ Kamara Simms
Z.S 19’ Zauraiz Syeda
C.W 19’ Creighton Ward
N.B 19’ Nanda Bhushan
G.P 19’ Any more questions? Okay then, you guys can take a seat now, thank you so much. Um I’ll have the next position coming up which is…..um the next position coming up is SGA president.
Rhea Manglani 17’
G.P 19’ Okay any questions? Yes, Charlie.
C.B ‘16: Can you talk about an issue on campus that needs to be addresses & what steps you would do to address it?
R.M 17’ So an issue on campus that i’ve been thinking about recently is um being low income and being a first generation college student which i believe really intersects with a lot of other issues of not being represented on this campus and not feeling supportive on this campus. Especially since it intersects with socioeconomic classes which intersects with a lot of people’s dealings with race on this campus as well and as well as students taking time off and not being supported when they come back to this school. So for me that’s been a big issue on my mind and i’ve been wanting to bridge gaps between um support systems on campus to build it better and stronger so people who feel invisible in this community can stand up and at least find a place for themselves to feel supported.
C.B 16’ Okay but the second question was, sorry I was completely distracted, can you repeat the part where you said what steps you would take to address it.
R.M 17’ So I have been on curriculum committee for the past year, and I have been working on expanding the diversity requirement and as well working with Dean Balthazar to have community college credit be transferable to this school. Um, I was loosely part of a student run organization for first generation college students and I wanted to see if we could pair them off with the dean’s office so that we could implement more programs. Um, I also want to talk to reslife and see what can be done through HA training and other trainings to make talking about this issue much more sensitive and it’s hard to go out and upfront and say like I am not prepared for a culture like at this school even though I worked my a** off to get here and so I really want at least what is structured here at the school to be more accessible for these students and for students who feel like their issues are marginalized and have to be kept quiet.
G.P 19’ any more questions?
ND 19’- What is your vision for SGA?
R.M 17’ So I guess to give back off what i’ve learned from Charlie and their vision was a lot of promoting a lot of accessibility and making the space more for people who feel like they can come and this can be a place for grievances and discussion. It was nice to see um students to come in and disrupt SGA and Gabby wrote a wonderful piece on how that should be a more regular thing and you know confrontation is a big thing at this school but people avoid it and are scared and they think SGA is either intimidating or clique-y and I want that to end. I transferred to this school two years ago and I am here now and I want other people to feel like they can make this, they can use this space because faculty members, I’ve been on the curriculum committee, they do listen. Plenary, they are interested, faculty is very, they don’t know what goes on in this campus and sometimes and things like SGA is a great intermediate for them to look at a structured or archived system for them to look into and say this is what i need to know, this is what I need to talk to my students about.
ND- Why do u wanna be president?
R.M 17’ Um, I guess leadership i’ve been ingrained and listen to. um, I was in a JROCT program in high school so i did three and a half years of military training. That was all about being the best you can do and I know it was military training but a lot of it was on community service and giving back. And again, I transferred from a completely different school, I felt so hopeless when I started here and this school has put me through a lot but it has also given me a lot. And I have seen too many people here who have feel that this school has hurt them and I feel bad that there wasn’t more that they could have seen or done because I want more people to feel this way, that this school, in many way that it might be difficult it can really make you as a person and shape you for the future. So many of the alumnae here speaks so strongly and I just want to see more people develop into that person I know they can be. Very much the same way I want to see SGA develop into a bigger, larger space for people.
AR- Do you have any specific plans or any ideas to help low income and students of color on this campus?
R.M 17’ For me, for the student of color part, while I am a student of color, I still want to listen and talk to people more and talk to people on an individual level because I know my experience does not speak to, there is general things I can understand better but I don’t think I feel comfortable releasing a full plan for that yet. But for low income and first generation, again I have been working with dean Balthazar in expanding community college credit. That would be something that students did bring up last year. I am trying to see what other ways the dean’s office can offer more support versus like telling you to go home right away or you know, we talk about sensitivity training and cultural conflict training for professors but it’s mostly in the race aspect and then there is a very large socioeconomic pole that a lot of professors are not really getting anymore and that’s something i want professor to really understand because that is a really big hallmark of this school.
C.B.- Can you describe a moment when you were challenged in your leadership and what did you learn from it?
R.M 17’ I can’t think of a specific moment right now but I do know I can be somewhat of a stubborn person. And when I fully prepare an idea and come at it, i get almost insulted when sometimes when i’ve been given criticism and that is something i’ve been working on through the years to be more open to criticism to be more open to um the way i go bout things because I am very careful and I like to piece things together and I know I definitely need to speed up and listen and act faster on others beliefs like taking the time to listen like this is what i have done, and so and so something else. So I can’t think of a specific moment but these are things I know about myself that I need to continue to work on.
LO -how do you plan on increasing attendance of the SGA on a weekly basis?
RM- So, from what I have noticed, it’s more of a cultured thing for people as well for business. So, I know the best way to attack it is to I guess pull in as many people the first couple weeks as you can. Um, and then work on the cultural aspect the best you can. Um, I am part of AMO groups and I have heard the way they have talked about SGA. A lot of them see it as a way to get budgeting for funds and sometimes I feel like I should have voiced better like you this is also a place for your grievences and it’s also a place for, if you’ve seen someone, something go wrong um don’t keep silence about it. This is the place to inform other student leaders who will try to inform campus and it should permeate that way so it’s a difficult task but I am really hoping to head towards that cultural shift.
MJ ‘17- Thinking on a broader basis, this position is very high pressure. It’s very intense, what support systems do you feel that have going into this?
RM- Fun fact about me, i thrive on stress even if it’s not personal. I can do very like, I throw myself like no other. I think last spring semester was one of the most challenging semesters of my life and a lot of personal things happened. Probably when I went to the most SGA meeting and paid the most attention. I find little projects to distract myself. But as for support systems I go to therapy on this campus and it is pretty good. It has personally worked for me so that is a support system I see. I have found really good friends her and family so if I feel like I have no one to talk to here I do have people back at home that I can turn to like um I do have very strong supports in my life and I am very lucky about all of that.
ND- You talked a lot about changing the cultural clubs in SGA, could you elaborate more specifically into this and give details on how you would change the culture and actually could you define what that is?
RM- So I can really only speak to the AMO groups I am a part of and for a lot of them it’s been mostly about viewing SGA as a source of funding and not having speaking out when they feel like there is something to talk about on campus . Currently, Haverford is , um, their American Asian Students Club is petitioning to build a space for themselves and for years in our AMO groups we have talked about spaces and then dropped the subject. And I just feel like it would have been something that would have been a productive conversation and to shift that I know that there has to be more personal involvement for myself and other students on SGA that are part of the AMO groups to turn to their leadership and be like, you know, I am part of this, we’re friends, we need to see how we can join forces, join resources, and do as much as we can. Because I can see with AMO groups, a lot of the cultural ties in them do mean a lot to the students, especially younger students.
ND- Um, so you just mentioned that you talked about bringing spaces together, basically, how, and the ball has been dropped, would you assure the continuity of ideas that you think would help people?
RM- could you rephrase that please, I didn’t really understand.
ND- Okay, so like with the ASA group at Haverford, you were saying that they wanted to come to bryn mawr?
RM- no, this is their SGA
ND- Anyways, well, okay, so people propose things and then they decide not to do them or they want to. How would you ensure continuity of these ideas?
RM- Um, so, the ASA thing at Haverford just started so that ball is yet to be dropped. Um, but I know you’ve talked a lot about institutional memory, and that is going to be a bigger part of a shift in SGA in itself. So, that’s one method I’ve seen. But I guess what I really want to do is make people who are either appointed to the positions or on the representative council, to kinda what I did in curricular committees, i’ve made myself to pet projects, um, the diversity requirement which is what they are currently talking about in a lot of student protests has really pushed forward that initiative. and the community college credit which has, I must thank my co-head, for a lot of her work on that. And continuing that on the committee. So it is just a lot of like, trying to encourage people who are in these positions to take on these pet projects at the beginning of the semester and we do have follow up reports throughout the semester but maybe not making a huge accountability like academic paper like kind of thing. But discuss, um, have meetings, or at least talk about it for a few minutes at SGA about it.
ND- Okay so in the constitution, it says that committees should report to the SGA. I think 5 semesters and bi-annually. It also says people should make reports on various things. So will you bring this back?
RM- I would want to talk to people first because, again, this is a stressful school, and I don’t know if it’s a five bullet point request and everyone is okay with that. I would certainly be happy about it if somebody rather sit down and talk to me and have a discussion and I take notes on that and write something of it. I am fine with that because again, everyone has different levels of commitment and different levels of like stresses that have to do. So I would rather talk to people that have been elected to give their time to this.
CB- What’s your favorite fruit?
RM- Favorite fruit?
RM- okay, this is going to sound basic desi girl thing but mangoes.
GP- Okay any more questions? Okay, i think the position next up is Vice President. Is that correct?
SGA Vice President
Shaina Robinson 17’
RB ‘18- what would you do to make appointments more accessible?
Shaina Robinson 17’- Thank you Rachel. In order to make appointments more accessible to people I think I would like to publicize it a little bit more widely. Hopefully, get out towards AMO groups that was mentioned. As well as other student groups on campus that has a diverse array of students in them. I would also like to really just publicize appointments more heavily using social media,email listserve. I know last semester Gabby suggested posting in bathroom stalls, which you know everyone is going to see at one point. So yeah, getting out there, getting to those spaces and take into consideration.
CB ‘16- One of the challenges on being on a committee or VP is having the committees accountable. How would you make sure that the committees that you have appointed would diligently work throughout the semester to accomplish their long, short term goals?
SR- Um, in terms of keeping the committees accountable, I would suggest a appointing head for each committee so that person who is the head could be in charge of that committee, make sure that deadline is being kept. And there would be a clear correspodance between me and that head to omake sure we are one the same page, that people are working towards their goals. And also if that for some reason wasn’t working out I think that the idea of a mid-semester progress report would be an idea that could be implemented as well.
GS 17’-So often the appointsment committee has to make a lot of hard desicions. Could you talk about time when you had to make hard decision?
SR- Definitely. I, in high school, was the president of a club and I had members who were really deligent and hard working. Up to a certain poiint there came a time in the semester where everything dropped off and you know I had to have a frank discussion with them about what was going on, see where their motivations lie. And asking them if they relaly wanted to continue being part of the club. And some people were honest and they didn’t want to do it anymore and you know I was okay with that because I knew that no matter what are friendship was, it would still be there. But they needed to know that it was okay to have this conversation for them to step down from the position and we could appoin someone who was better suited for that role as well. So confrontation is really important to me. I think that it is hard but it’s needed in order for things to run smoothly and productively.
AR 19’- So how would you balance academic & VP responsibilities ?
SR- as a person who has been to SGA meetings since my first year. I’ve personally taken it into consideration into account that I need to make sure that I have time in my schedule to do my academics as well as go to SGA and be a part of SGA. So, I’ve been trying to manage that for years. It’s been going well. I am also someone who is personally very well organized in terms of balancing academics and extracurriculars. I have done it for years to get success and I took it into account this semester that it’s something that I want to pursue. So I made sure I wouldn’t be doing anything to overwhelming in terms of academics or extracurriculars when considering running for this position.
GP-Any more questions?
HC 19- If you were to describe your leadership style in three words, what would it be?
SR- observational, active, participatory
GP- next up, head of elections
Head of Elections
Isabella Chaney 19’
Genesis Perez-Melara and Mariana Garcia 19’
CB- Why do you want to run for this position?
MG- Gen and i wanna work this, wanna run for cohead of elections together because I know at the beginning of the year Gen decided that she wanted to run for head of elections because there wasn’t anyone in the position and sort of I’ve been watching her, and her conversations with charlie and I think the things she has learned and the things that Gen and is doing is really interesting and at the beginning of the year Gen and I have talk about, you know how we written our supplements for Bryn Mawr, one of the things that we were interested in was self-government because we were both sort of in student council.And you know, the honor code supplement we wrote we sort of wrote the same thing about how we really wanted to be engaged in student government and I told I have ran for VP of the student council back in high school. And so we’ve decided that it was gonna be one of those things we were gonna do together.
IC 19’- I want to be head of elections because I really believe in the power of voting and I think people here don’t realize quite how powerful their vote can be. And I would like to work on making people realize that they do have quite a bit of say in what happens at our school by trying to encourage them to vote more and trying to encourage more people to come to events like this and in general try to make candidates positions more available to the general school population.
ND- Okay, so if you go back three years, you would find that every semester there’s a problem with meeting minutes for candidates forum. How would you fix this problem? Okay, so to elaborate, over several years there has been, the meeting minutes do not accurately reflect what people are saying. So how would you solve fix this?
GP- So considering how minutes are taken now we have voice recorder and we have I think two people taking minutes right now, three people taking minutes right now, so I think that if there has been a problem with the minutes, because I was not aware of it, I would maybe having more people take down minutes and then comparing notes afterwards, after the candidates forum. Having more volunteers and meeting up with them afterwards to compare minutes and also compare with the voice recorder to make sure that we know we write down what the candidates really said and what they were really trying to get across.
IC- Alright, I actually helped with this in the previous candidates forum in the fall. I am a freshman dorm representative and I help take notes at that meeting and we have had several people but it was still really hard to keep up with what people were saying because when people are talking really quickly it’s hard to understand. So my idea in how I would fix this is I would have the job of freshman dorm representatives have the voice recording but also have the video transcript so that people could watch it later. People who are abroad could watch it and know what the issues are at school and know what is going on.
AR- So I have heard that Elections head is a very detailed oriented position, do you consider yourself detailed orientated? If you aren’t, how would you compensate for this to make yourself more efficient as head of elections?
GP- i hold position of head of elections now, and you are right, it is very detailed oriented, it is easy to miss a minor detail that happens to be very very important. I think that it is really really important to have a co head with you because if you miss one detail they can catch on to it. So having that kind of partnership and you know like that double mindset of trying to make sure that everything is in order and everything is set is really important so running as coheads is gonna help me a lot and improve as head of elections if elected.
IC- I’m really detail oriented. I write lots of stuff down, I did a lot in high school, and I have leadership positions in a lot of different things. I had a leadership position in horse 4-H, I had a leadership position in my school’s band so I basically ran the band program for like six months, um and there are a lot of details there too so I have experience running things that are very detailed oriented, have some precedent and knowing how to balance what other people have done with what needs to be done to move forward.
AL ‘19- The head of elections has to deal with all of the elections that go on in SGA, What is your plan to increase voter turnout in the student population?
MG- Basically I would first go read bylaws to make sure anything we want to implement can be actually done. But what Genesis and I would implement is, I guess I know I would, I mean, I think there has to be more mobilization on behalf of the SGA to encourage the rest of the student body to participate in elections. I know that it is not possible to do the door to door campaigning but in a way like if maybe the HAs and the peer mentors and the rest of the leadership positions that are in the dorms that they could remind students like on a face to face basis rather than by emails because I know that in american elections, you know, the percentages of what works better from media campaigns to door to door campaigns, the percentages are higher so that I think those percentages are out there maybe could be something we could implement here and take into considerations.
IC- I think the root problem as to why we have low voter turnout is that people don’t think their vote matters. So first of all I would obviously try to fix that idea to make it less prevalent around campus. I would also make it easier for people to know how to vote. When I was first voting in the fall elections it was kinda confusing, I didn’t really know what was going on and it was a little scary at first especially because when you vote it’s just names, and unless you just already look it up you don’t know where any of the candidates stand on any issues, you don’t know anything about them. So I think it would be really useful to have what people are running for and kind of a tag line with their name when you’re voting. Also I think the elections committee should be more involved in getting publicity out getting more people to know what is going on, more publicity in general maybe more posters, more mailbox fliers things like that.
ND- What are your views on paper ballots ?
GP- i believe paper ballots can get, I think there is more risk for error and also having people stuff the ballots. You know, there is more room for error, human error and also like you know if somebody is like cheating their way through, you know like putting in extra paper ballots um I think it is just safer to stick with the moodle voting. Also, in order to substitute paper voting there could be more tabling. So having the elections committee more involved in tabling. And it is kinda of the same thing as paper ballots except it is more specific because you know you have to sign into moodle with your own account and vote, instead of having paper voting. And you know, I feel like that there is more risk to having it be more unfair and more error having been caused.
IC- Yeah, so the nice thing about having paper ballots is that you get a physical reminder, hey I need to vote, so that is one reason I would want to start having more box stuffing things to give people a reminder like that but I think the having people vote on moodle is a little more secure. It makes it easier to count things and it takes away some of the human error because it is something more mechanized i guess. It can’t be tampered with no matter the outcome.
BM 17’ – How do you deal with confidentiality?
MG- So back in hs, had I had a lot of leadership positions that required to have some kind confidentiality from the rest of the students. I was class president, I was secretary and treasurer of Model UN, I was VP of the social media club within the student council which basically you know it dealt with like publicize the student events the council had and a lot of the times there were a lot of emergencies meeting that had to happen dealing with certain problems of certain students. And you know we had to keep confidentiality of those problems because they were actual meeting with heads of the school. And Genesis back at high school was part of the religious committee back at her school which is something also exposed to her a lot of meeting and a lot of dynamics with a lot of members of the board of her school which she could not share with the rest of the student body because it is case sensitive in a way.
IC- So I mentioned being one of the leaders in my high school band program my senior year I was student conductor so I was kinda of the liaison between the students and our teacher. So that had me hearing a lot of things from my teacher about what was going to happen and what was happening behind the scenes and not being able to tell my friends that even though I wanted to but also hearing things from students. Students say kind of nasty things and knowing how to put those in a constructive phrasing to get the issues addressed without specifically saying this person doesn’t like this specific thing. So I have a lot of specific things with keeping confidentiality in leadership situations.
HC 19’- Candidates forum had to be moved today due to schedule conflicts, so as elections head you are going to need to organize and work on a lot of people’s schedules, so my question for Gen is how did you choose to do what you did and what were the benefits and drawbacks of that decision and then for Isabella, what would you do?
GP- I mean when I did schedule candidates forum it was as soon as I came back from break. I am not aware of other people’s schedules, you know. I didn’t know, I wasn’t aware of the other events that were happening on campus. You know, they were having job talks and lecture and also a lot of club meeting and I wasn’t aware of that. I accept responsibility for making that mistake and not checking to see if there were any other events on campus. If elected as co heads with Mariana, I would, um you know, I learned from that mistake, so I would take responsibility to actually investigate what events are happening. To make the decision to move the this event to 9pm, I mean it was a bit difficult because I sent out the posters, I made mailbox stuffers I couldn’t put in anymore, but I think it was a mistake I made and something I will learn from and take responsibility, moving candidates forum wasn’t easy but I made sure that the people who needed to be here was going to attend. So I really wanted to people who were candidates to be here and present themselves in front of the Bryn Mawr Community.
IC- So scheduling is always tough but I think it is something you need to get used to I also dealt with this problem in band they could come to things and we did work around people’s schedules as much as we could. But we were very careful to look ahead of time and see if there was a career event at this time, so we don’t want to have rehearsal. So I would try to look ahead, I understand that sometimes deadlines were coming up fast and it is hard to do that. But I would try to look ahead as much as possible to give candidates as much notice as possible to deal with changing schedules to see how they can move their arrangements around, things like that.
RB ‘18- You all spoke about spreading the work about elections, in what ways would you try to appeal to more first year incoming students and let them know their voice can be heard?
MG- So in terms of publizing the elections I think that a really good idea would be to like use Facebook and use twitter and other sources of media. I mean maybe the SGA E-board could get together and do a video showing elections in a really fun way, you know, without trying to make it all so serious so formal becasue the SGA, to make students, show students that there is a lot of fun working for the student body. I think that making videos and memes and really funny things would actually make people laugh and would encourage people to participate to go to the SGA meetings on sundays and to then be like oh these people are in the E-board these things are really cool, I want to be like them and I want to do stuff they are doing, I want to participate, and I think that is really nice. and it should be something we should do.
IC- I think I want to publicize more about what the jobs are about. So elections are great and like hearing oh someone is up for SGA secretary, thats great. Unless you really don’t know what that job entails. So I think we need to work on spreading more word about what the jobs actually do and not having be a thing that much people look into when they are running. But I think people look into before they come; having maybe a pamphlet on like the basics of SGA, I am sure there is one already. And distributing to first years so that they read a little bit more and know a little bit more about the process before they are just thrown into the position.
C.D 19’– Do you think freshamns would actually go through with what your solutions are for their voice to be heard? Does that make sense?
M.G- Could you rephrase that?
C.D- Would both of your ideas work together or separately maybe?
M.G- Well I think that being part of elections is, even though you win or not, I think its about hearing what people are proposing and taking those ideas into consideration. I think that like running this with Gen as co head is going to be something very helpful because we are going to both have different ideas and we are both going to make sure we are both taking into consideration other people in the elections who have ideas to, for inclusion of students, and I think that if, you know it is all about teamwork so if we work all together and we make sure that all the ideas are you know have a step to step procedure of how to implement them, I think that is going to be very successful but I mean that is if we all get together and you know we decide on a step to step basis on how it is going to work.
IC- freshmen are notoriously enthusiastic, and I think revert that enthusiasm into the area of SGA and student government to make them a little more interested in something that sounds kind of serious. Pamphlets are just an idea i had on the spot, something like that could work, perhaps it won’t. But I Would definitely look at things that have worked in the past. And look to other places that have had higher voter turnout. I know Australia has a no voting tax, but we can’t do that here.
AR- Hi, I know we talked about scheduling earlier for candidates forum but what are other things you could do in terms of, to make scheduling easier for the candidates because I know there are problems with getting candidates statements on time and actually getting election material before actually voting begins?
GP-Could you just rephrase your question in one whole thing.
AR- What do you think you could do to help make scheduling for the elections period easier for candidates in terms of the times of getting nominates and the period of actually running?
GP- People who are nominated and then go to the info session, I think it would be a good idea to make a doodle page, maybe even before the info session, even if they are slightly consider in going to the info session, I think it would be really good to set up a doodle page and email it to them and see what date works for them and what time works for them best. And then based off of that and comparing what events are happening during those dates too, and then decide what date and time is best for candidates forum.
IC- I think that dates, like candidates forum, needs to be set a little farther in advance so that people have more notice if they are thinking of running and they think they might have a scheduling conflict. Also it would give them the opportunity to schedule around the conflicts. I also think it would be nice if we could send the people the email that they have been nominated, we can attach a thing, you’ve been nominated and here is what comes next. You can give more of an idea of what happens in the process between when they know that they have been nominated and have to figure out if they are running or not and going to the meetings. Just so that they have a little bit more of an idea of what they need to do and what the next couple weeks are going to look like for them.
ND- You talked about gathering new ideas, why and how.
GP- I am sorry could you…
ND- How would you gather new ideas from people and could you make an argument as to why you would do this?
GP- So many of the ideas we talked about was how to make the Bryn Mawr community more participatory in the SGA. I think that is really important. Especially with these elections. You know, I think it is really difficult to get people involved because SGA is really intimidating and I think our ideas, you know getting out there with social media and making memes and funny videos, just to show that you know this is a community we are here for each other, we are self governing you know, it doesn’t mean we are going to put the fist down and be really strict and you know I think just showing freshmans that and showing that this is a good place to build new friends and new connections and enjoying yourself here at bryn mawr and getting that community of being comfortable and safe and feeling like you are actually doing something meaningful during bryn mawr is really important and just reaching out to freshman means using social media, video, and pictures and yeah.
IC- in terms of how to actually gather ideas, I think the elections committee is a resource that is under utilized. So I think that would be useful especially if I were to be elections head. I would go and work with them closely to see if, have more a little delegation of what happens. Go to them for ideas that might help. I also think tabling would be really helpful. To ask for suggestions, things like that. And maybe even some sort of raffle. Like if you submitted a suggestion card and you are entered to win something, something like that.
Alexis McDonald-Wiltshire 17’
CB ‘16- Why are you running for this position?
A.M. 17’ I am running for this position because I have some plans I want to do with my class. Last semester I did a post card social for people who were abroad to kind of foster more community of the class and just have like a stress break from the class. Especially since junior year your work load goes up and I just want to have like events and times that people can just come together as a class and have a stress free event.
C.B- What is your favorite fruit?
AW- I like bananas & mangoes.
A.R. 17’- The class of 2017 is heading towards their senior year, so what will you do for your class to set an example to the school worth remembering?
A.M. I was under the impression that I was just carrying this position till the end of this term.
R.B 17’- What are some ways that you will make some interactions with your siblings class?
AR- I have already budgeted for a sibling class tea. I was going to be in contact with the class president shortly about that, but I really do want to ring them together especially for first years to get to know their sibiling class and have a support group.
Olivia Hollinger 16’
C.B. – why are you running for this position?
OH- Because I am already in this position. My partner took a leave of absence and so now I am just rerunning. And I love this position, lots of fun.
CB– How are you going to cultivate leadership for the next resco head, even though your term is up in April, officially which means that you’re going to graduate? How are you going to make them prepared?
OH- They (DLT) see I delegate a lot so they definitely know what goes into it. We are very open about our schedules and they know what I am taking on and how much work it is. So they definitely know. I definiltly have my eye on a couple of people who I think are going to be really strong for next year and I will probably start talking to them at the end of February before spring brak so that they can think about you know during the break of they would want take on this position next year.
NR 19’- What exactly do you love about this job?
OH- I am kind of a control freak and this job lets me kind of bring on my control in a very positive way. But I love helping and talking to people and I get to run a committee of 19 people and they are all looking up to me and it is fun to delegate and also be on call. I have a mom complex. I like being needed and this position really helps me feel that.
NR- What was the biggest challenge as head of resco?
OH- I think it was making sure I sent out email on time. I start a list of the things I need to do and That list just piles up and I just start every Sunday night to send all those emails out. We have been really lucky this year, we didn’t have any conflicts, and I just cross my fingers that it stays that way until April.
Rachel Bruce 18’
Hannah Chin 19’
I.C 19’ Why do you want to be SGA secretary and qualities do you have fit for this role?
R.B- I believe SGA is the ultimate way students can make their voice heard. Not enough students realize this and as SGA secretary I hope to change that. I believe I have experience for this position because I have served as member at large freshman year, appointments committee member, and customs which has been a pleasure. This is a way to diversify the student body and reaching out to students who don’t really believe they have a say.
H.C- I care about SGA. When I first came to bryn mawr I didn’t fully understand SGA so I was not expecting a lot during my first meeting but when I came in there I felt like I mattered. Not everyone gets that that’s why I believe it is important to communicate that with the student body. To also cultivate transparency and trust in the SGA and the rest of campus.
ND- So secretary takes minutes, my question is how fast do you type and what positions you have held that relate to this job?
R.B.- I type 85 -95 words per minute however the best I have done was 110. In high school I was part of the French honor society where I took notes in English. I also help leadership roles where I had to take minutes for various things.
H.C. Mine is not that impressive, I type 72 words per minutes. I was an exchanged student and I wrote down everything that happened in class because I didn’t understand any of it. So I would go home and look it up. So that’s my experience in typing. I have also taken minute for various minutes in my high school because I went o community college and I took minutes for a club there.
C.B – I was the secretary at one point and one of the responsibilities of the secretary is to know the constitution well. Have you read the constitution?
R.B – Yes I have read the constitution several time and it says several crenation’s of several plenary sessions.
H.C- Yes so many times.
A.R. 19’ How will you make sure that people have more access to minutes?
R.B – Instituting a video of transcripts of meetings to ensure that people who might not have, lets say reading lots and lots of minutes may not be their fore trade, with everything to do, that would be a accessible way to implement that. Another way would be continuing with the SGA weekly recap, which is something I work with the members at large during my first year at this institute which has been a tremendous success especially this year. I would also encourage posting on the Facebook page, getting the minutes out as soon as possible. Post on various social media pages.
H.C. I am a current member at large. So I know how this works. I have seen people put together the video recaps and I’ve seen Angela taking minutes, I know at least for me personally, minutes are often inaccessible often because I can’t find them in my email inbox. So I would make sure these are easy accessible, I think there is a blog for SGA and I think if the minutes are accessible there that would help. I do think we should reinstitute the recap because now it is not a thing because our member at large who would do them is no longer working with us. But, basically I would say the key part here is communication and accessibility and making it available to not only just the SGA community.
- 17’ What was an initiative that you guys did as members at large? How do you do an action plan to get them running till the end of the year?
R.B- Several projects have been successful this past year, we started one when during my freshman year when I was a member at large. It was 2014-2015. I would like work with members at large to take initiatives with the video recaps, SGA representative of the week, things that people listen to, things that people watch, things that people can get to easily. As SGA secretary, I would hope to make the position of member at large more clear, as far as when people looking at which positions they want to run for. Holding weekly meetings to make sure everyone is doing their work. I believe communication is the most important part of any student government position if you want any effective change. This is something I will attempt to do.
H.C. 19’ As current member at large I have had the opportunity to work with Angela, who is the current secretary. The things I really appreciate about her is that she communicates very clearly with all of us. She sends out emails, she tells us what we are going to do, and so for me it is something I really appreciated for a lot. The other thing that we did as members at large, is that we sometimes called emergency meetings which basically when we felt that there was an issue on campus that we needed to talk about as member at large but also as people we would call a meeting and sometimes this was like a 8am in the morning, which was addressing, but I think that in general that helped us working as a team and in understanding where we were all coming from and so that we could fully represent out constituents.
C.B. 16’ Name a time where in your leadership where you were challenged and what did you learn from it.
R.B A challenge I face this year on the appointments committee was that I had to do a showing by trying not to show bias because my peers have applied for different positions and it was very difficult at times to try to see them just as a person who I did not really know so that I could look at their qualities and different things they could bring to the position more clearly. That has been challenging but it has helped me grow and that will help be more effective as a student leader on this campus.
H.C. One of the issues I consistently ran into in high school during my freshman year was bringing people together and listening to their stories but also getting them to get moving in a particular direction. So, early on in my senior year, I was in charge of the outreach team for my theater group and I was trying to get everyone to move, but no one responded to my emails, people were not showing up to rehearsals so I couldn’t talk to them and they were difficult to talk to and reach. I called them people did not want to commit to anything, I was really confused and I said why is this happening and what I realized is that I have to understand where everyone is coming from. I think a lot of times as leaders we can often, well I can often, look at people how they are in the work environment I want them to work in and not recognizing that there are people who are student who have personal things to do. The most important thing I learned in my leadership position was that I need to learn to recognize that everyone is coming from a different place and that I need to meet them there.
A.R’ 19’ What would you do to make minutes more accessible to students with disabilities?
R.B. Something I brought up earlier was having a video transcript for blind students as well as for deaf students. Consistently updating the website with the minutes and videos so that students who are not able to come to the meeting that they can be involved. Also reaching out to students within the community who would not ordinarily come to the SGA meetings such as socio-disabilities because of accessibility issues, students of affinity groups, just different things. I believe the most important thing to do is to make SGA more accessible for students regardless of where you come from.
H.C. I would say first of all that is a great question. In addition to the video transcript, which is a fantastic idea, I would say that the important part of making sure that things are accessible is listening to the feedback people give you. In particular, I would say making the video transcript easily accessible making sure that people all know about it so that we can post on the SGA pages. Making sure that someone says, hey I can’t access this for whatever reason I don’t want to go to an SGA meeting but I want to know what is going on, that it will be widely well know so that someone can say, oh hey I know where you can get that, I saw that on the Facebook page, I saw that on the blog and this is how you can find it. If not you can talk to me you can talk to any member of the SGA community and they’ll know as well.
ND- Angela was talking to me about how many hours she worked, she said she worked between 10 to 40 hours a week. So I am asking if you guys have 40 hours a week to dedicate to this job?
R.B. I understand that being the SGA secretary is a tremendous responsibility and if elected I intend to give it my all. I do work, however I will make that commitment work, with the duties that this position entails. If elected I do intend to withdraw the application of various DLT positions because I believe this position deserves the persons all in order to make it successful and in order to have a great turnout.
H.C. I cannot say that I have 40 hours a week. I think even if I stopped sleeping I would not have 40 hours of free time a week to commit to SGA. This is a fact, I’m sorry. With that said I can promise that I will through myself heart and soul into whatever you give me. I have always been one of those people who have cared to much and who bites off more than she can chew and then chews it out of mere stubbornness. I was running out the door and my roomie Lydia was watching me pack my things into my bag back and stick an apple in my mouth and attempt to leave the room. She goes, Hannah why are you doing all of this? And I say, because it is worth it. And then I ran away with an apply in my mouth. I think that is why I am running and why I am throwing myself wholly into this position because for me SGA is worth it. It id important and it matters to me and I think it should matter to other people. I cannot not promise I will dedicate 40 hours per week but can promise that I will do whatever I can.
C.B. 16’ I am current SGA president. I was the SGA secretary at one point, I have never had to dedicate 40 hours per week. That is an over exaggeration.
ND: On the e board you have influence on this campus and is a prominent and visible position how will you use that as a platform for goals and bigger things?
R.B 18’ i agree being on the e board and the SGA is a huge honor and responsibility not to be taken lightly. I believe that this position should be used for positive change. A really great piece I received from someone was to embrace change and not to fear it especially when you are such in a position. As a member of the executive board i will be open and I will listen and I will take your thought verbatim to the executive board because as the campus grow the students grow. As it changes every four years and what we want now is not what people may have wanted 20 years ago. But it is important to recognize what we want now is what we need now.
H.C. You are completely right, being on the e board is a position of authority but also of responsibility. I think as a member of the e board I would do my best to, this is something that comes up when people ask me, oh why are you running for this position if you are a freshman? I am a freshman but I believe that a lot of things are possible and in such a position I can say I will ask a lot of questions but I will also shoot for the stars. I mean if we don’t make them at least we tried. I believe it is important to cultivate an understanding to listen to other people ask questions, to not speak for them but to empower them to speak. I also think it is important to build a trust. I think think it is important create a transparent SGA to the community in which we can say we are going to serve. So, as a member of the SGA e board I would attempt to make all these things happen I would attempt to make it more representative, more worthy, more transparent and ultimately better.
N.B 19’ Do you have a plan to accomplish these goals?
R.B. The goal I want to achieve in SGA is making it more accessible more transparent. To encourage more students to come to the meetings, reach out to affinity groups, ASA and sisterhood, to make sure people who may have not thought historically that they have a say in bryn mawr’s community and that their say is very important. I also hope to reach out more in social media. Let people really know what is going on as it is happening. Perhaps create and SGA Snapchat account because that seems to be the best mode of communications these days. Use the twitter account, the Facebook account, really take advantage of the resources we have on this campus to spread the word.
H.C.- So if you look around you will see the people here in this room and recognize they are the same people who shows up consistently to the SGA things over and over and over again. And I think that is fantastic and a great thing, but I wish there were more people. And coming into SGA I was amazed because I was like wow this is such a fantastic thing. But also in the moths I’ve been working as member at large, I have been disappointed because I invite a lot of my friends to SGA meetings and they come they are like you know Hannah this isn’t really for me, I don’t feel like I belong here, I feel really awkward like I shouldn’t be saying anything like I am not part of the repco, what is the repco? And I feel like that is a problem. So I guess I would strive my deliverables to make SGA more widely represented of the student body as a whole. To actively reach out to yes affinity groups, yes to clubs, yes to individual people even if that means I schedule office hours in really weird times. Then that’s okay butj basically I want ot make sure that meet people at where they are at so that by the time of the end of my term if I am elected is over, I hope that the SGA would be more representative of the student body in general.
- 17’ This is all inspiring but working on the e board involves with relationships with non-students. Do you have any experience with working with people that are of this level of importance to us as a college and plans of what you might do with those connections and how you could really use your positions as representatives of this student body to help us in that capacity going beyond the undergraduates?
R.B 18’ Yes in the last few years I have had experience working with people in positions of power. I have served as an intern for my state representative for the past three years and I have the pleasure of interacting with many state politicians and trying to spread the message that constituents are trying to get a point across. In high school I was VP of my school’s SGA where I had the privilege of working with the principle and the vice-principle, trying to make the students voices heard which is very difficult to do in a high school, because it is difficult to do in a college but image doing it with a bunch of people who were under the age of 18. And I believe also that reaching out alumni creating a data base, but also taking that beyond in someway is really valuable. A lot of the alumni have really great advice to offer us and we should definitely take it and run with it. I mean they’ve been where we are and they give us advice for this reason.
H.C. So I was homeschooled, which meant that I have spent a lot of my time interacting with adults. Yes, as the SGA secretary I would be meeting people who are in positions of privilege or power and I know that can be intimidating at times. I also did tri-co which is the summer institute and I met a lot of people but most relevantly I went on an exchange and not only was an ambassador for my club but also for my country so I had to represent America and I came to place where they already had ideas about what America was, what Americans did, who they were, what they were like, and I realized had to representative not only of myself but of a lot of people who may or may not have been like me. I like to say I did a good job, I’m not honestly sure. I would say that I tried my hardest and that when I would be interacting with people of positions of power that I would do the same.
Head of the Honor Board
AR- Why are you running for head of Honor Board ?
SS- So I’ve been on the honor board for a year now, and I ran for it when I was a freshman. At the end of freshman year, my friend was on the boar, and she always seemed like to go to these hearings and like talk to much and super elusive. And like it was elusive but we also brought it in every aspect of our lives. We always were talked to about the honor code. I guess we had this brief idea of what it was, it means don’t be mean, don’t steal, don’t cheat. We have those basic view but like we don’t actually know what it is. Like how does it work if you break the honor code. What are the processes that you go through? Like I didn’t know this; I was super interested to learn more and I figured the only way to do that was to be involved in this. So that’s why I ran.
CB– What are some criticism that you’ve heard about either the process of the honor board hearing or how community members perceive the honor board and how you would hope to address them in the term you would be in?
SS- I think one major concern is that it is really secretive and obviously it is secretive for a reason. There is no way we would be able to be completely open about like what we do and how we do it. But I think I would like for incoming first years to get like a more than superficial understanding of the honor code. Like, maybe a mock trial. I know I said this when I ran and it proved to be impossible. But I feel like if they understand something as simple as the language of the honor code is so like, I hear my friends tell me, oh so you’re going to a trial right now? Don’t use that work ever, like just small things like that is really frustrating to hear misconceptions about it. And I think that just something, like the language, I would like to change.
MM- What is your favorite thing about the honor code and how would you like to see that embodied in that?
SS- My favorite thing about the honor code is the part about positive confrontation. I really love the fact that about the honor code it is pretty straightforward. It says that if you see your peer doing something that is not appropriate you confront them. You go up to them, you talk to them, you sort it out and if it needs to be mediated then that gets done and I really like the fact that its not like someone goes to the professor or the dean. I really like the fact that it is face to face. Like if you have a problem with someone and you deal with it yourself. It’s not like you tell someone and they deal with it for you. That’s not how it works.
RM- Recently I talked to an alum who referred to the confederate flag incident as a failure of the honor code and I do know several students who feel like the honor code fails whe incident like this happen. How would you go about this image and discussing it in a productive manner so that we may move forward?
SS- I think this relates to the accessibility of the honor code and just the fact that people who have problems with it, they don’t really know where to go. They don’t know how to address it. So I feel like I think that if we made it more accessible and we had forums where people could, especially in like situation like that they could have this face that could represent them on the honor board to like talk to about issues and concerns and that if they wanted to change parts of it to like address specific situations because so much happens in bryn mawr and like if there is no direct change that we could do to address it, like I said it is a failure of the honor code like you said it.
RB- One of the really cool part of being head of the honor board is making the slide shows for the SGA meetings, so what is one thing you would try to have during the slide shows?
MJ- You are currently the co head of SRC, for people who don’t know what SRC is what is it and what is your vision for it ?
SS-So the SRC stands for conflict resolution committee. It is basically this body of people that get trained in the first couple months of the year and they are supposed to be there if somebody has an issue and they don’t want to talk to someone they don’t know. They want an impartial face the SRC is supposed to guide them through the confrontation process. I feel like I kind of failed this year, me and my co head, it was a struggle like getting everyone together and like teaching them how to do in different ways other than their normal points of contact would go to. So I guess having people who are, I guess what I would actually like is this being part of the DLT would be cool.
AR- What do you think of the spirit of the Honor Code at bryn mawr? Do you think it is stronger or weaker than when you were a freshman and what would you do to strengthen it if it is weaker?
SS- I mean it has just been a short year and like Rhea said, there has been so many incidents that have happen and I don’t think the honor code adapts with those situations. Its like not fulfilling the needs of the student and I feel like that’s what the honor is all about. So I don’t think it has changed that much and that might be a problem but it might also be good because yeah I think that’s a problem actually that it doesn’t change with what the student’s needs are so I feel like if we had forum throughout the year they can tell us what they didn’t like about it and what they would want more out of it and I think that would be cool.
BM- So as head of the honor board or you will personally or someone you that you delegate will be, soon to be renamed, alcohol review board. Yay. What are some ideas you have for ways that you can use the honor code productive and use it in a safe way in the social culture of campus?
SS- The whole thing is going to be restructured so I don’t know what it’s new goal is gonna be? I think the honor board would want to reinforce the fact of when people are being disrespectful to one another; that’s something the honor board can handle. When it is something about constantly in the honor code so I feel that a point of reinforcement would be good.