Student Caucus has continued to build momentum over the course of the past few weeks. This Monday the 15th was the first Community Meeting of the year where the budget was discussed with John Ehrlich and Sandy Pfeiffer. This was an unprecedented event as the budget had never been discussed in such a forum. We are happy to report that approximately 160 students, staff and faculty attended. This meeting was called in part as a response to the suggestion that Sandy received last year during one of the Caucus sponsored conversations with the President. Student Caucus is looking to continue these dialogues and the first is currently scheduled for the end of October. We hope they will be as well attended as they have been in the past.
At Caucus meetings this year we have already heard from several guests. Bates Canon came to talk about beginning a mentoring program. One of our trustees and her wife, Sandra and Al Kaplan, approached Bates Canon about beginning this program. The program would connect interested students with professionals in their respective areas.
All of us have experienced and been affected by the new ID system and policies. As a result Caucus spent a meeting discussing the subject. At the conclusion of the discussion it was unanimously voted that all students, including day students should have access to the dorms. New IDs are available to any day student that desires them, free of charge in the print shop.
This week, in addition to affirming the voting membership of an incredible 49 voting members, Caucus invited Brian O’Loughlin and John Ehrlich to speak and answer questions about lunch plans, specifically the structure of the traditional 14 and 21 meal plan. Many other ideas were presented and Brian demonstrated a willingness to explore feasible options. John Ehrlich also took the opportunity to introduce himself, speak about his position and answer a few follow-up questions from Monday’s meeting.
We also briefly delved into the topic of Staff Forum. For those of you who do not yet know, Forum must have one faculty and one staff convener. At the present they do not have a faculty convener. Because of this they fail to fulfill their bylaws and can do no business that is not related to addressing this issue directly. This means that when it comes to the shared governance process on campus they are essentially nonfunctional for the time being. This affects Caucus in that many of the issues we hear must also pass thru Forum before going to the president. It is an uncertain time for shared governance on campus making it even more important for Caucus to be as organized and present as possible in developing the student voice. Needless to say Caucus remains a place for the student opinion to be heard by those involved in the decision making process here at Warren Wilson. As always Caucus meets every Tuesday evening in the lower Glad student space at 6:15. All are welcome to attend.