By the people, for the people: CSG weekly update

The Chatham Student Government (CSG) meeting on Thursday, January 15, began with a number of announcements from Dean Zauyah Waite, CSG advisor and Dean of Students.

She brought up the fact that the interviews for Chatham’s new Women’s Institute are approaching, and she asked that that students come to the candidate’s presentations, as “[the students’] input would be critical.”

She then moved on to the topic of the student engagement transcript (previously called the co-curricular transcript), discussed by Dean Motely in a previous meeting, and how it is meant to boost professional skills, and prepare students for the future.

In regards to the coeducational transition, Waite said that a team is currently working on a Title IX handbook that will be given to all students with information about their safety and security. She also mentioned that all students will engage in a HAVEN (Helping Advocates for Violence Ending Now) training before they can register for their classes next semester.

Looking at next year Waite said that 26 students are confirmed, three of whom are men.

“That is about 10 ahead of last year,” she said, reminding the Senate that most do not deposit until March first, when financial aid comes out.

Sarah Jugovic, CSG Executive President, then spoke briefly about the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. She was followed by Jenny Schollaert, who reminded students to update their organizations’ information on the Student Organization Forum’s (SOF) Moodle page.

The meeting then turned to Sam Elbaz with the budget report, during which she reported that at the last Undergraduate Budget Committee meeting, $350 was allocated to the Drama Club, and $1,280 to the Artist Collective, leaving $17,845.91 in the budget for the rest of the semester.

The next point of discussion, class reports, revealed that the Class of 2015 is still working on fundraising ideas for their senior gift, and that the Class of 2016 is still looking for a representative to replace Brittani Berch-Schmidt.

Additionally, the Class of 2018 is working on ways for students to learn more about public safety, including a possible meet and greet with the Chatham Police at orientation.

Alex Waasdorp, Class of 2018 President, also suggested creating a pamphlet that would give students instruction about who to call for various emergencies. “For example, if there’s a deer in the parking lot,” she said, “who do you call?”

In new business, a survey was passed out to the Senate regarding what bands they would like to see come to campus next year.

The meeting then moved to old business, during which students were reminded to sign up for the Circle of 6 training sessions, and ideas for what event the CSG would sponsor at Relay for Life were discussed, though no decisions were made.

Jugovic then brought up the Town Hall meeting that occurred last semester.  She said that after much discussion about, “how best to get the word out and update the student body,” it was decided that an editorial, written by the executive board and approved by the Senate, will appear in an upcoming issue of the Communique.

As the meeting drew to a close, Waite stood up to address one last issue.

“Add drop has ended” she said, “and if students are not registered, they are not allowed to be here in classes, or in the residence halls. The University is in a great liability spot when we house students who are not registered.”

She made this point in order to quell rumors around campus of students being removed from their residence halls, saying that the University is currently working with students to “work things out,” but that she didn’t want people to think the University was being unfair to its students.

By the people, for the people: CSG Weekly Update

On Thursday, January 8, the Chatham Student Government (CSG) convened their first meeting of the Spring 2015 semester.

Though there were several absences due to illness, those in attendance had much to discuss about the coming semester.

The meeting began with a presentation from Dr. Sean McGreevey, Assistant Dean for Career Development, in regards to the Circle of 6 phone application, in which Chatham University is considering participating.

After briefly plugging his financial wellness course, McGreevey went on to explain the purpose of the Circle of 6.

“How do we promote bystander intervention,” he asked the Senate, “and how do we promote healthy behavior?”

His answer relates to this application, which people can use to quickly and subtly alert their friends that they are in an unsafe situation, through a number of preset messages that can be sent out to a group of six friends with nothing more than two clicks.

He went on to say that Chatham will be hosting three, hour-long training sessions for the application on the evenings of January 21, January 27, and February 2, and reminded the CSG that students can register for these on MyChatham.  The training sessions are part of a study by the counseling psychology department, to gauge students’ reactions to the application.

“We just want to put some thought into this process, if this is the right move for [Chatham],” he said

He went on to say that the “magic” may not be in the application itself, but in students telling their friends–“lets have a conversation about putting you in my Circle of 6.”

After his presentation McGreevey passed the floor to Meg Scanlon and Lynzy Groves, co-chair people of the Chatham Relay for Life committee, who asked the Senate to brainstorm ideas for how to get people involved in the event.

“Relay for Life was designed to unite communities to fight a problem,” said Groves.  “Many people don’t have to opportunity to raise their voice when something matters,” she continued. “You have a responsibility to raise your voice”

During the brief discussion that followed, Skylar Wilcha, Class of 2015 president brought up the point that, “people have a misconception about non-profits that not all of the money goes to the cause.”

“Find a way to show students where their money will go,” she suggested.

They also discussed idea for events that the CSG could sponsor at Relay, including a possible Quidditch tournament.

The floor was then passed to Darlene Motley, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Business, who spoke a bit about the transition process for the future of Chatham.

“We will be looking for your input as we continue to work on tutorial and general education requirements,” she said.

“We also need to boost networking, internships, and the student engagement transcript” she said, “and market Chatham better.”

Finally, she said that there will be information sessions when various decisions are made, and that they plan to have, “more training for professors and advisors,” so that they can better serve the student body throughout the transition process.

By the people, for the people: CSG weekly update

With Chatham University’s coeducational transition gradually moving forwards, Zauyah Waite, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, took most of the Chatham Student Government (CSG) meeting on Thursday, November 13, to discuss the various changes that will occur.

As she pointed out, the university will be, “welcoming a whole new demographic.”  However, she reminded the senate that, “without the current [students] we won’t have a future.”

One of the first changes that Waite discussed was the Eden Hall campus.

In addition to the increased faculty that they plan to hire for it, the campus will have a residence hall with suite style housing and will officially begin housing students in the fall of 2015.

She also discussed the housing on the Shadyside campus, however when asked which residence halls will become coed, she said that residence life staff will find out that information first, then the senate will be informed.

In regards to prospective students for next year, Waite said that currently there is a 200 percent increase in applications, with 20 percent of them being male.

While Waite explained that only 10 percent of applicants who are admitted to Chatham will choose to attend, she added that if Chatham has 30 male students next year it will be comparable to other women’s colleges that have gone coeducational.

Erin Smith, Vice-President of Communications, then added that, “at least one male student has deposited for next year.”

The meeting then proceeded to a discussion of health and safety measures that will be taken on campus next year regarding alcohol and drug awareness, sexual harassment, and sexual health. These measures will include more programs and information.

Waite said that they plan to take a “proactive approach,” adding, “we’re not your moms and dads, and we don’t want to be your moms and dads, but we want to provide you with sufficient information to make educated decisions.”

Additionally, Waite said that they would increase late night activities on campus, so that students have somewhere to go.

She then went on to say that all policies regarding students and student conduct will be gathered into one place, and hard copies will be given to all students sometime next semester.

At the end of her talk Waite handed out notecards and asked the members of the senate to anonymously write down the, “top three things that we [the university] absolutely need to have done come Fall 2015.”

While they were writing, she added that a campus planner has come in to look at ways of changing Anderson, and a marketing team is currently collecting research on ways to rebrand the University.

After Waite’s advisor report the meeting proceeded as usual with Officers’ reports.

Sam Elbaz, Vice-President of Finance, gave an overview of the most recent Undergraduate Budget Committee meeting, in which the Creative Writing Club, Chabad on Chatham, and Vira Heinz were all awarded money, leaving $4875.91 left in the budget for the rest of the semester.

In class reports, Skylar Wilcha, Class of 2015 President, reminded everyone that there will be a 50/50 raffle at Thanksgiving dinner to raise funds for the class gift–redoing the patio outside of the Carriage House.

The meeting ended with final announcements, in which Wilcha reminded the senate to attend More Than Me’s screening of “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” in Sanger on November 18.

Waite also told students to look out for Chatham Happening’s redesign, which is now smartphone friendly.

The CSG meets every Thursday on the PCW room, and all meetings are open to the student body.


By the people, for the people: CSG weekly update

On Thursday, November 6, the Chatham Student Government (CSG) assembled for their weekly meeting to discuss various issues that impact the University.

The meeting revolved for the most part around a presentation by Dr. Sean McGreevey, the new assistant Dean of Career Development, who spoke to the Senate about the changes that have been made and are currently being made to Chatham University’s Career Development office.

McGreevey, who has been at Chatham since 2011, told the Senate, “Those of you who know me know that I want to be accessible and know what’s broken [in regards to the program].”

He continued, saying that he wants to connect with every single student on campus and make student employment, job shadowing, mentorship, and internships, more accessible and integral parts of the Chatham experience.

According to McGreevey, there were approximately 800 advising appointments all last year, and this year in October alone there were nearly 200; therefore they are trying to set up a system that will facilitate this increase in volume.

“Monday through Friday from nine to five someone in the office will pick up the phone,” he said, “and we’re also working on walk-in appointments.”

Additionally, Chatham’s NACElink program is being rebranded with a name that connects to the institution, to make it more accessible.

“NACElink can be connected to students’ Facebooks, Twitters, and LinkedIns,” he said, and the system can now be accessed with students’ Chatham login information.

McGreevey also explained that all advising appointments will begin with an instructional session on how to use NACElink to find jobs and internships, and how to set it up to send individuals direct emails with information pertinent to their majors.

Notes will also be taken during advising appointments so that when students come back they can meet with any of the counselors and all of their information will be readily available, so they don’t have to, “start over at each meeting.”

After a few questions from members of the Senate, he spoke a bit about graduate school preparation and writing resumes catered to specific majors, saying that they would involve professors in the process to better serve the students’ needs.

As Zauyah Waite, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, pointed out, and McGreevey agreed, “career development begins from the get-go…it is not a senior year experience.”

Other points of note from the meeting included a guarantee from Sarah Jugovic, Executive President of the CSG, that the Town Hall newsletter would be out by the end of the semester, as well as a discussion of various amendments to the CSG constitution by Tahmina Tursonzadah, 2017 Class President.

These amendments included making the attendance policy for CSG members stricter, using more gender neutral pronouns in the constitution, and changing the name of the government from the Chatham College for Women Student Government, to the Chatham University Undergraduate Student Government.

The CSG meets every Thursday on the PCW room, and all meetings are open to the student body.

By the people, for the people: CSG weekly update

The Chatham Student Government (CSG) meeting on Thursday, October 30, was fairly narrow in scope, centering for the most part on the topic of the recent Town Hall meeting.

Sarah Jugovic, Executive President, began the discussion by saying, “It was a new structure, but it worked well…[because] of all the leg work we put into it beforehand.”

She then opened the floor for suggestion for future improvement, wherein Chloe Bell, Class of 2016 representative, brought up the idea of having future meetings in a different, more informal setting, like Anderson. “People will be there for dinner anyways,” she said.

On the topic of having the administration there, Alex Waasdorp, Class of 2018 President, felt that it was good because students got to meet the administrators, and the administrators got to hear from the students, “especially with this being such a year of transition.”

Skylar Wilcha, Class of 2015 President, agreed, but felt that they took a bit long answering the questions, which meant that there was not enough time to address all of the questions.

Wilcha also pointed out that, “we need to hold them accountable in some way,” referencing the fact that they have been promising to “look into” many issues for years, but have never actually addressed the issues.

In regards to dispersing the information, one idea that was discussed was sending out a newsletter to the students with a recap of the Town Hall meeting. The newsletter would also address the questions that there was not time for and have messages directly from the administration about what they plan to do about the issues.

There was also discussion about holding a feedback session for the students.

In officer’s reports, Jugovic informed the senate that Zauyah Waite, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, intends to have an all campus update on the status of the coeducational transition.

Additionally, Jugovic said that they are compiling a list of Student Government contacts at institutions similar to Chatham, “specifically women’s colleges that have transitioned to coed,” to help with the process.

Jenny Schollaert, Executive Vice President, reminded the senate that the November Student Organization Forum meeting is an online meeting on November 4. She emphasized the importance of every organization contributing to every meeting, pointing out that failure to miss a meeting results in that organization losing the ability to receive Undergraduate Budget Committee (UBC) funding for the rest of the semester.

The Vice-President of Finance, Sam Elbaz, then gave a recap of the last UBC meeting saying that two organizations requested funds, but only one came to the meeting and was granted $1,500.  This leaves $3,194 in the budget for the rest of the semester.

Another item of note was Wilcha’s update on the senior gift fundraising efforts, in which she informed the senate that there will be a 50/50 raffle at Chatham’s Thanksgiving Dinner.

There was also a brief discussion of the CSG’s awkward family photo booth at Chatham’s Eggnog, which will have a “rustic winter ski-lodge” theme.

The CSG meets every Thursday in the PCW room, and all meetings are open to the student body. Check MyChatham for times and any further information regarding these meetings.

By the people, for the people: Town Hall meeting

On Wednesday, October 22, Chatham University hosted its third annual Town Hall meeting, where students had the opportunity to voice their concerns regarding a wide variety of campus issues.

Chatham Student Government Executive President Sarah Jugovic moderated the meeting, which was held in the Beckwith Auditorium in the Buhl Science Building.

In addition to asking questions at the meeting itself, Jugovic also carried a basket around with her in the hours leading up to the meeting, in which students could write questions on a piece paper and submit them to anonymously.  There was also a Twitter account to which students could submit questions.

At the meeting itself there were about 50 people including students, faculty, staff, and administration. This was different from past years, when the Town Hall meetings were exclusively for students.

The rationale behind including faculty, staff, and administration in the proceedings was to eliminated the “middle-man,” and make the lines of communication more direct between students and administration.

The meeting itself covered a broad variety of topics, but some of the most discussed topics had to do with Chatham University’s ongoing transition to coeducation and the changes that are occurring as a direct result of that transition.

One anonymous question spoke for a large portion of the student body when it voiced concerns about the recruitment of male athletes and whether or not it was disproportionate to the rest of the recruitment efforts.  In response, Amy Becher, Vice President of Enrollment, said that 20 percent of the current applicants for the 2015-2016 school year are men, and most of them are interested in Chatham for academic reasons, not sports.  To emphasize this point, she went on to say, “We’re targeting academics. We’re targeting regionally. We’re targeting music and arts.”

In fact, Becher pointed out that the first deposit from a male student was from a young man from Fox Chapel School District with a 4.0 G.P.A who is interested in social work, which elicited a cheer from the social work majors in the audience.

Another big question was whether or not current sports teams, like the tennis team, were cut to make room for men’s sports, in accordance with Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex.  However Dean Zauyah Waite, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students assured students that this was not the case, explaining that Title IX says nothing about the number of sports teams, but rather its specifications are based on enrollment.

In regards to if the tennis team would be re-instated soon, Waite said, “Not in the near future, at this point in time…[but] we’re always looking for interest.”

Chatham University President Esther Barazzone then spoke up saying, “There’s something underlying these questions that needs to be addressed…anything that is cut is not cut to make room for men.”  Rather, she explained that the transition is meant to “enrich the experience for everyone.”

At this point in the meeting, Jugovic had the various Deans stand up and introduce themselves, including Darlene Motley, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College for Women; and William Lenz, Dean of Undergraduate Innovation.

Lenz spoke to the issue of the transition by saying that they had been, “meeting and talking about a number of issues that will have an impact on what happens next fall,” including general education requirements, tutorial and internship structure, professional development, and technology.  He also said that they would involve students more directly later in the process.

A concern of Alex Waasdorp, Class of 2018 President, was whether or not class sizes would remain small, but Motley allayed her worry when she said, “When you get more students, you get more professors,…classes, and resources.”

This led to a conversation about Chatham’s historic focus on liberal arts, with Lenz saying, “I can promise you the liberal arts are there–alive and well,” although he also said that it may not look quite the same as it has in the past.

Lenz went on to say, “We’re starting from ground zero–what should a meaningful Chatham College Undergraduate experience be?”

Merissa Clark then voiced her concerns that, “small majors where one professor teaches the whole curriculum,” are being neglected, and required classes are not being offered, to which Lenz responded that they would be conducting a “curriculum audit” to see where the various majors are falling short.

To close the meeting, administration once again asserted that the transition is a success, citing the fact that applications from the 2015-2016 school year are up 290 percent.  Through marketing efforts, including increased campus tours, they are “busting the myth” that surrounds Chatham, Becher said.

Jugovic also pointed out that people can still email or tweet the Chatham Student Government with questions and that information from the Town Hall meeting will be dispersed.

By the people, for the people: CSG weekly update

The Chatham Student Government (CSG) meeting on Thursday, September 25 began with a discussion of the coeducation transition from Zauyah Waite, CSG Advisor and Chatham University Dean of Students.

Waite asked that students offer feedback throughout the transition process. “I think it’s a learning experience as we move forward with the restructuring…be patient, but also speak up to constructively help the university,” she said.

She also urged students to be kind to each other because this is the time of year when many “student issues begin popping up.”

Stephanie Reynolds, Assistant Director of Student Affairs and Residence Life, then took the floor to remind students that Battle of the Classes (BOTC) starts Sunday, September 28. To clarify some points of confusion, she noted that, while classes are technically determined by credits, students are free to participate in the class with which they feel they best identify.

Officer’s reports followed, during which Jenny Schollaert, Executive Vice President of CSG, reminded students that the next Student Organizations Forum meeting will occur online on October 7.

Sam Elbaz, Vice President of Finance, gave a recap of the last Undergraduate Budget Committee (UBC) meeting, saying that, between the Beyond the Page Book Club, and This is Me, $300 were requested and granted, leaving $11,742 in the budget for the rest of the semester.

In regards to new business items, Sarah Jugovic, Executive President of CSG, brought up the possibility of the revising the constitution so that it uses more inclusive language. She discussed the possibility of forming a committee to research how other institution’s governments are run.

Erin Smith, Vice President of Communications, supported this idea, saying, “I definitely think it’s necessary. Starting with the research and having a conversation prepared will be really helpful.”

By far the most contentious topic of discussion at the meeting was that of the Chatham shuttles.

The subject of the shuttles is a hot topic around campus, and students constantly recount stories of being stranded in various locations without being able to contact the shuttle drivers.

Members of the CSG proposed several ideas to combat this dilemma, but all agreed that the first order of business is research on why people choose to either ride or not ride the shuttle.

In response to this Chloe Bell, Class of 2016 representative said, “when they cut the shuttle hours, people stopped riding it, because they were bitter.”

The Senate also discussed ideas on how to collect data ranging from petitions and tabling to an online survey, though they did not make a decision.

Though the CSG has a lot of work to do before implementing any changes, some ideas for possible action include a cutback on weekend daytime hours to increase nighttime hours, a shift of the shuttle system to more of a safe rider option on the weekends, and the creation of a student position as a van driver.

In open forum business, Alex Waasdorp, Class of 2018 President, mentioned that she contacted Pattie Malloy about the creation of a button on MyChatham for students to check their account balances, but had not yet received a response from her.

CSG meetings occur every Thursday at either 7:15 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. and are open to the student body.

By the people, for the people: CSG weekly update

On Thursday, September 18, the Chatham Student Government (CSG) convened in the PCW room, off of Anderson Dining Hall, for their weekly meeting. At 11:30 a.m. Jenny Schollaert, Executive Vice President, called the meeting to order, after which Erin Smith, Vice President of Communications, took attendance.

Following the approval of the minutes, the CSG officers delivered the officer’s reports, beginning with Sarah Jugovic, Executive President of CSG.  Jugovic’s report covered the issues discussed at the recent Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting, including access to food for athletes after their games. She also mentioned a meeting with a New York Times representative regarding integrating technology into CSG proceedings.

The report then moved to Schollaert, who discussed the Student Organization Forum (SOF) retreat, which occurred the previous Friday. Samantha Elbaz, Vice President of Finance, reported that the Undergraduate Budget Committee had a good turnout at their first meeting.  Elbaz also noted that there were two requests for funding and one appeal, and that they came in under budget. Officer’s reports closed with Smith, who had nothing to report in regards to Communications.

The next item on the agenda, class reports, had no significant updates aside from the need for another Class of 2016 representative.

The meeting then shifted to old business, which included a discussion of the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics (PCWP) and their efforts to raise awareness for turbo vote. In addition to the tabling that is already occurring, it was also mentioned that word of mouth is an excellent way to raise awareness.

In regards to internal affairs, the CSG spoke briefly about a possible amendment to their constitution revising their attendance policy to include late arrivals.

The final topic of discussion before the meeting closed was the possibility of adding a place on MyChatham for students to check the status of their meal plans, and their flex balance. As Alex Waasdorp, Class of 2018 President, noted, “We talk about being eco-friendly, but…the only way to check our meals is to print a receipt.” After some discussion it was determined that both Pattie Malloy, Head of Dining Services, and the IT department would need to be contacted in order to make any headway on this issue.

The CSG meets every Thursday in the PCW room, and all meetings are open to the student body.  Check MyChatham for times and any further information regarding these meetings.