By Steven Jackson
We had a very special guest at this week’s meeting: President Scott Bierman, who would be presenting in the forum. But first, committee reports: Residential Life Committee proclaimed that only official residents can utilize storage in special interest and Greek residences. Programming Board finalized plans for next year’s Folk & Blues. Student Policy Committee has met and will continue to meet with Concerned Students for Policy Change to discuss adding a section to the policy to account for hate speech and cultural insensitivity.
In the forum, Bierman updated students on campus initiatives and college news and generally filled us in regarding “what’s on my mind.” He announced the new track renovations and the construction of a turf field, which will allow us to start a lacrosse program at Beloit. This makes us the first liberal arts school in our region with a lacrosse team. Renovations began this Tuesday. This initiative is also the first step in a $30 million project for a new recreation center in the years ahead.
The Parents’ Fund is working towards campus beautification and historical preservation, Bierman said, with paint jobs and refinishing work for academic buildings currently underway. In other news, the campus is about two weeks away from our bandwidth upgrade on campus.
Bierman displayed some statistics from the National Study of Student Engagement, an annual survey that records college’s rankings in a number of areas. Compared to the national average, Beloit scored very high in student engagement in classes, faculty dedication to students, and faculty-student interaction. Bierman also reported that we recently received the Senator Paul Simon Award, which annually honors five colleges with exceptional international education.
With warm and fuzzy feelings firmly in place and everyone in the room bursting with Beloit pride, Bierman touched on larger issues of behavioral change on campus, suggesting that socially-driven change will be more effective and lasting than change at the policy level. He encouraged students (that means you) to stop by his office to discuss ideas of how to positively change campus culture.
Following the break, we discussed the proposed increase in Student Activities fees. The increase of $25 would boost each student’s yearly contribution to $285. Jeremy Kaplan ’11 suggested a $15 increase instead, with plans to review the Student Activities budget next year. This amendment failed, as most students wanted a larger increase in order to significantly improve campus programming. The fee increase resolution was passed and will be presented to the trustees.
Last week was election day for treasurer and assistant treasurer positions, but we missed quorum by 12 votes, announced Election Committee Chair James McQuaid ‘11. He asked for BSC to validate the election anyway, since both candidates ran unopposed. Because we are not bad, bad people, we validated the election and moved on with our lives.
Finally, the Club Oversight Organization presented some bylaw changes. According to these changes, clubs granted full status after the start of the budget process can propose a budget from the New Club Fund for the remainder of the year, and then start from the beginning of the budget process the following year. The bylaw changes were minimally tweaked for clarity and fancy-shmancy vocabulary and tabled for next week’s meeting.