Student representatives heard a presentation on Alumni Hall from Dean of Students Larry Breitborde and debated the merits of a Senate dress code as a way to improve Senate’s public image during Student Senate’s regular meeting last Thursday.
Breitborde spoke about “The Gateway Project,” formerly named the “Alumni Hall Taskforce.”
“It’s ‘The Gateway Project’ in the sense that Alumni Hall should be, where it’s located, the gateway to enter campus,” he said.
Breitborde said Alumni Hall has been unused for over 20 years and has been gutted in the last decade. The college has spent money to keep it structurally sound.
“We need that building and it hurts us to have that empty building there,” Breitborde said.
He said trustees and those involved in planning the renovation of Alumni Hall began to think of the building as a way to solve space problems — namely academic space — such as offices for faculty, classrooms and practice rooms. When the plans were to restore Alumni Hall as a “magnificent building,” donors were not very excited, but using the building to solve space problems garnered a different reaction.
“This Gateway theme, solving the college’s academic space problems is the first approach that has generated some signs of life,” he said.
In July, President Teresa Amott met with donors and the committee plans on keeping as much of the history of Alumni Hall as they can. Some of the potential plans for Alumni Hall are moving departments and offices into the building including Admission, Financial Aid, Global Studies, the Center for Career Development, the Community Service Center, the Lincoln Studies Center and Alumni Relations.
The next steps for the committee included a faculty meeting for those in the Ford Center for the Fine Arts, an open meeting for faculty and staff and possibility an open meeting for students on Alumni Hall.
In a presentation on public relations, sophomore senators Shelly Bahnot and Esther Farler-Westphal spoke about ways to make students more aware of the senators and functions of Student Senate, including posters and a dress code.
“Internally we’re a really powerful force, but we really need to let the students know externally on a more phenotypic level that we are really influential,” Bahnot said.
The dress code would be business casual during meetings, and Bahnot and Farler-Westphal promoted it as a way to get people’s attention, prepare them for the outside world and keep them focused.
Junior senator Kenton Tilford said he was not in favor of a dress code because it might alienate senators from campus further as they can be seen as elitist. Vice President junior Michael Gasparro was for the dress code because it would make senators be more open to questions.
Junior senator J.C. Weinberg said, “I think what the bigger issue as far as for public relations, as far the students’ perceptions of Student Senate is making sure that we take on tasks that we eventually accomplish.”
After the meeting, sophomore senator Nora McGinn said she was about to walk out of the room because she found the conversation ridiculous. Sophomore senator Phil Bennett said he was frowning the entire time.
At the end of their presentation, Farler-Westphal said to keep the dress code in mind.
Sustainability Chair Max Potthoff said after saving 30 percent of the Green Fee’s total of about $42,500, they have about $30,000 to spend this year. The committee also thought about working with the City Council to “improve relations with the college and the town” and wanted people on campus to see the composting system.
Dining services chair Kaitlyn Duling said the committee is close to getting popcorn free in the Gizmo on Thursdays and is working with Director of Dining Services Helmut Mayer to find out about pizza delivery and take-out in the Gizmo. Students can also request their sandwich on a bagel or a croissant in the Gizmo.
ResQual chair Ellen Jackson said the committee was meeting with Scott Maust about more energy-efficient washers and dryers and announced that each theme house is holding their own Halloween haunted house.
Tech chair Johnathan Ebbers said in his meeting with Steve Hall, they can get one digit sign to replace posters. As for the issue of lab computers being slow, there is a possibility of reverting the changes.
In the consent agenda, Estudiantes sin Fronteras (Students Without Borders) was approved $1,250 to show the movie “8 Murders a day,” International Club received $170 for a trip to Chicago, Amnesty International was denied money for a Chicago trip because their request was too close to the date of the trip, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship transferred $300 of their spring term budget to fall term and StarCraft club was approved without a budget.