STUDENT POLICY COMMITTEE

6-September 1997, 9:30 PM

Converse Red Room

President Paul Rieckhoff called the meeting to order, and began things with an introduction of Hermenia T. Gardner, Amherst College's Affirmative Action Officer.

Ms. Gardner spoke briefly of her role at the College, reminded us that the affirmative action office is our resource, and distributed a detailed packet outlining the office's responsibilities. She then brought up, as per Paul's request, the issue of student input into the tenure process. This topic, fated to serve as a motif for the evening, is cast by the faculty as an issue of student apathy, as the surveys of non-tenured professors distributed by departments to all students enrolled in the professor's class are frequently have a return rate of under 25%. In other words, we're wasting the little chance we're currently given.

Paul next introduced Vanessa Olivier and David Breslin, the class of 2001's President and College Council Rep., respectively. When asked for comments, Dave emphasized that he's "open to input."

The remarks next touched on the aforementioned tenure issue. Prof. Griffith, who is chair of the Tenure Committee, wants to work on a new process for review.

Pres. Gerety will "do his best to work with us" on getting free Valentine Guest Passes.

The ATM workers should be in by next week (Columbus day week).

The fax is up and running, as is E-Board dinner Mon. Nights in Valentine, which may well be attended by Deans Lieber and Boykin-East.

The Career Center has a teleconsulting team whose charge is to diversify recruiters on campus. This project is spearheaded by Dermond Thomas, Jon Oliver, and Chip Turner.

VP Todd Sutler spoke about plans for the second floor of the Campus Center (hereinafter the "CC"). A survey on what to do with the CC will go out to all campus groups, and some sort of application process, potentially including Pond Office space, will be administered.

The College Council is working on getting steps installed behind Crossett, so that students don't fall.

They are also addressing the TAP dorm damage dilemma. As it stands the expense is borne by the residents of the house, which might be less than fair.

The Committee on Financial Aid is working on special interest recruitment issues, and wonders of the drop in enrollment of students of color.

The Library Committee reports that some library person claims that opening the library on Sunday mornings at 9AM will only cost an extra $400 per year.

The SFC emphatically urges persons to staple receipts to the back of check requests. This is a major problem.

First order of business was Chip Turner's Committee on Educational Policy report. The mechanism for faculty hiring is the Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) application process. Departments apply for the right to search for an FTE. The CEP advises the faculty on which 4-5 of 15 applications it most likes. Chip believes that this advisory process is being undermined by the administration, because the administration ignored both the CEP's recommendation to wait on approving a poly sci search until the regular time, and the CEP's repeated recommendation to grant the comp sci department the right to conduct a search. The CEP is nothing more than a "legitimation apparatus," and we should "take this to heart."

Dermond re-presented his community service proposal, that to install a used clothes bin in the CC, and it was voted for overwhelmingly (31-1-1). It is important that this is a committee so that it may endure and grow.

Next order of business was the TEACH proposal. Becca Epstein presented the Ad Hoc Committee on Teacher Certification at Amherst's proposal to allow Amherst students to get certification during their years here. This proposal, which is only relevant for students who want to teach in public schools, would allow students to get credit for two classes not currently accredited, both of which are taught through Mount Holyoke and involve pre-practicum work. The proposal would require no expenditure of resources, and argues that teacher certification and the "liberal arts ideal" are reconcilable.

Also, Frank Bria is "totally, 100% in support" of the proposal. Needless to say, a motion to voice SPC support of the proposal passed with 27 votes for, but only after a ten minute recess that allowed members to diligently peruse the documentation.

The final order of business was the NESCAC/NCAA proposal, i.e. Gerety's desire to vote to not allow NESCAC teams to participate in NCAA playoffs. Gerety attributes his vote to academic integrity (final exams) and recruitment issues. It is yet unclear why this latter issue involves the NCAA and not the admissions office.

One SPC-athlete expressed that coaches perceive that their salaried goal is to reach the NCAA playoffs.

Williams and Middlebury may depart from the vaunted NESCAC alliance should the vote pass.

Bilal urged the SPC to stand up to Gerety. Bilal himself is not a sports fan, but many students are, and we should back them up.

Paul responded that Gerety is a "President who doesn't give a ~#!&*~ what we have to say." This was also in reference to Gerety's conversation with Todd and Paul wherein he voiced that he already knows which way he will vote, but nevertheless wants student input.

Kit made the final point, that there is an underlying problem on the campus with the "powers that be" not listening to us.

Respectfully submitted,

Eric Budish

Recording Secretary, SGO.