Senate Minutes

Find and read the Senate minutes from past Senate meetings.

Spring 2017

March 21st, 2017

Senate Minutes

Last senate we had a presentation from Residence Life on housing lottery, for more information, please refer to senate meeting minutes or reach out to residence life staff. We also had a presentation by the Sustainability Taskforce detailing on their goal of innovative ways to address green and environmentally friendly development on campus. Lastly, we had Meet the Candidates Night with student leaders running for Student Government Association and Class Board Positions. The polls opened on the 21st March 10pm for voting and will be open until 11.59pm  April 3rd 2017. Please get your votes in!

To vote, please select an option below:

March 7th, 2017

Senate Minutes

This senate we had Ms. Jolley and Ms. Perez from Alumni Association present us on gifts received by MHC, ways MHC students can connect with the Alums and how current students can engage in the process of promoting MHC values. We also had APC talk about major distribution requirements. Lastly, we had the senate team present on their positions fir the upcoming election.  

February 28th, 2017

Senate Minutes

This senate we had four working groups: Accessibility Services, low-income first-gen students, Career Development Center and Facilities Management come and present on current campus updates and situations these specific areas.  

February 21st, 2017

Senate Minutes

We had Shannon Gurek VP of Financial Services present us on the financial aspects such as endowment and future prospects of MHC and the senate voted on MHC Climate Justice Coaltion's divestment plan.

February 14th, 2017

Senate Minutes

Happy Valentine's Day! This senate we had updates on student funding allocation and got an overview of fall 2016 report showing financial aspects of student activities on campus. The senators were introduced to new methods of communicating with ways and means for funding applications. We also had MHC Climate Justice Coalition come and present on "Break up with fossil fuels, it’s time for MHC to divest" and were detailed on divestment issues and actions on campus.

February 7th, 2017

Senate Minutes

This senate we had President Stephens, Dean Western, and Dean Halls come over to talk about resources that MHC can provide for students affected by the current political climate, about fund allocation to different academic departments, and shared their plans to expand MHC education around the globe. And uphold the liberal arts education and institutional values. 

January 31st, 2017

Senate Minutes

We had Jennifer Medina, international student adviser, and Donna Van Handle, international student dean come over to Senate to provide updates on how the current political climate might affect international students, DACA holders and what resources are available on campus for those students. 

Fall 2016

December 6th, 2016

Senate Minutes

We had our last Senate of the semester last week where working groups got together. The SGA treasurer and the co-chair of Ways and Means presented on the finances related to student activities. Good luck with exams and have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

November 29th, 2016

Senate Minutes

Last senate we had presentation on Native American heritage month and on Undocumented immigrant alliance (UIA)'s work on campus. This coming Tuesday will the last senate of the semester. All are welcome!

November 15th, 2016

Senate Minutes

Karen Engell stopped by to present on the updates on health center: Changes in website, more user friendly, new format, introducing questions and answers and be more informational, having focus group on what kind of information we will have, looking for more improvement on information related to trans-health.

November 8th, 2016

Senate Minutes

We had Carol Stewart come in and present on - Managing conversations, thinking about election and stress and thinking about different types of conversations. Then we discussed working groups- the senate expressed interest in the following areas-option in meal plans, more printers, activities for student,involving student planning, student programs, room and board for CAs, alums- how could the campus orchestrate more communication between students and alums, student jobs, departmental changes, say in who gets hired, who comes to campus, having professors to take classes with, more continuity, CDC more resources for standardized test, low income first generation focus groups, washers and dryers swipe, financial aid for international students and first gen students, advising for first years, divestment fossil fuels, community space in 3rd floor, getting comfort animal, career adviser, accessibility issues,  ambulance, health center, healthcare services.  

November 1st, 2016

Senate Minutes

We had Shannon Gurek and Dean Hall come and present on Super Blanch!

Points covered:

Looking at the floor plan and new dining edition, 1000 seats in total, individualized dining experience, comfortable space, roomy spaces day: coffee house, night: pub type atmosphere, hours: 7 am to midnight continuous time for meals, unlimited meal plan! Unlimited swipes, taking away the idea of specific swipes. Place to socialize! Each cooking area has distinct equipment so no contamination, no significant rise in dining/meal plan cost actually have lower food cost.


The old dining hall ( study)- renovation costs- study group on what the spaces in different residence halls will be used for, class rooms for living learning opportunities, have movable furniture, meditation spaces, no change in guest swipes, spring 2018 will be done with construction, open in january of 2018.


Impact on school’s sustainability: most environment friendly containers, food dehydrators, have more hydration stations, once the full building is operational there will be no kendade, student employment for first years- there will be fewer student jobs, looking at other level 1 jobs. Third floor of super blanch- leadership commons and access to open meeting spaces. Dining dollars will continue. Campus store will go across the street to village commons. There has been no discussion about brunch, there is a station, there will be breakfast specials all the time. Building community-gracious dinners!

October 25th, 2016

Senate Minutes

We discussed free speech on college campuses and had presentations by Counseling Services and Janet Lansberry from Weissman Center, who spoke about leadership opportunities. We are also delighted to announce our weekly office hours will be every Monday 8:30 pm-9:30 pm next to Uncommon Grounds.

October 18th, 2016

Senate Minutes

Guest President Stephens talked about new programs committed to creating more diverse and inclusive spaces. Mecha and La Unidad gave an informative presentation on Latin American countries, culture, students movements and on the history of Ortega house. 

October 4th, 2016 and October 11th, 2016

Senate Minutes

Both October 4th and 11th were optional Senate sessions. We welcomed MoZone, who conducted a training focusing on race and diversity (10/4) and training on gender identities (10/11).

September 27th, 2016

Senate Minutes

On the first festive senate of the year we had the Deans welcome the students, and inform us on the resources available on campus- the student programs, student life, cultural centers and academics. It was endearing to note that we now have 9 living and learning communities, new faculty and more new academic initiatives. We have some exciting conference coming up- the Seven Sisters Conference, the application will be open for everyone to apply to. During the upcoming optional senate sessions on October 4th and 11th we will be hosting Mozone trainings. Lastly, we will be having a big concert coming up in Spring! 

Spring 2016

April 19th, 2016

Senate Minutes

This Tuesday evening was the last Senate meeting of the semester. The meeting began with election speeches and voting for the in-Senate positions of Chair of Senate, Chair of Organizations, and Chair of Halls. The in-Senate position speeches were followed by awards and prizes recognizing Senators for their work and participation in Senate this semester. There were four different categories of awards:

Awesome Attendance--showed up to almost every Senate meeting 

Outstanding Attendance--attended all Senate meeting and the Leadership Retreat

Served as Senator during Senior Year--attended Senate and is a senior

Senator all Four Years

The next portion of the meeting involved an inauguration of the Executive Board members for the 2016-2017 academic year. The last portion of the meeting was dedicated to an ice cream social where Senators had the opportunity to enjoy ice cream and socialize with their peers and fellow Senators.

April 12th, 2016

Senate Minutes

General Announcements & Concerns were followed by:

  1. Ace Election Results: members of All Campus Elections Committee presented the results of the recent elections for Class Boards, Young Alumna Trustees, and SGA Executive Board
  2. In-Senate Election Nominations: Nominations were made for the positions of Chair of Senate, Chair of Halls, and Chair of Orgs. Nominees will be giving speeches next week in Senate followed by an in-Senate vote.
  3. VP of Finance Sharon Gurek Presentation: Shannon Gurek gave an annual review of the college budget. Financial sustainability of institution is part of the Strategic Plan for the college.
  4. Constitutional Review Voting: Vote on the proposed qualifications for position of Executive Board President, Proposal of an additional clause for transfer students or students going abroad, Appeals process to be in place if necessary. The result of the vote will be announced next week in Senate.

April 5th, 2016

Senate Minutes

This week in Senate, the meeting began with General Announcements and Student Concerns. The announcements and updates were followed by a presentation from members of the Ways and Means Committee regarding proposed changes in funding guidelines. The presentation was followed by a Q&A for Senators and other student guests to voice concerns and ask questions. Senators voted on the proposed changes, and the vote passed.

Proposed Changes

  • One budget per event, no more semester and yearly plans
  • Beginning next semester, no more weekly requests
  • Apply about a month before

Revised Guidelines

  • Funding for conferences, and off-campus learning activities
  • No funding for international travel
  • Giveaways cannot exceed a certain % of budget
  • Decoration expenses will be limited
  • Funding quotas for technology equipment

Fundraising Changes:

  • Focus on making events on campus available to everyone without additional charge, getting rid of fundraising requirements to allow for free events

The Ways and Means presentation was then followed by a brief presentation from members of the Constitutional Review Committee. The members of the committee outlined some of the major changes including:

  • Memorandum Amendment: dictates procedure to be followed to introduce, vote, and follow up on content of memorandum
  • Campus Concerns Correspondence: another channel for campus concerns made in Senate getting out to the administration, Recurring concerns will be compiled and brought to the administration
  • Presidential Requirements Change: requirement for SGA EBoard President to have previous experience on EBoard to run, if this is not met, senators with at least 3 years of experience

The next portion of the meeting involved a brief presentation from Residential Life on the Housing Lottery. Senators brought up personal concerns and questions in a Q & A following the presentation.

March 29th, 2016

Senate Minutes

This week in Senate, the meeting began with General Announcements & Campus Concerns. Among the announcements and concerns were: 1. MHC 2016 Class Board: fundraiser, selling cups in Blanchard for the rest of the week, $8 per cup, second floor of Blanchard

2. Rugby Team: Sunday, April 3rd Game: playing Wellesley, one of two home games this season

3. “God of Carnage”: Friday, April 1st and Saturday, April 2nd, 7:30 pm, and Sunday at 2:30 pm in Pearsons Dining Room.

The announcements and concerns were followed by a brief follow-up on the Strategic Plan presentation from last week given by Dean Marcella Hall.

  • There will be a detailed presentation on the Strategic Plan once the plan is completed, in the Fall Semester, information-gathering stage at this current time

  • Please email Dean Marcella Hall with any further questions!

The next portion of the meeting involved a vote on the newly completed Inclusivity Memorandum. The memorandum was voted on by Senators and passed.

There was also a vote on changes to the Constitutional Review process for this year. The changes were approved via a Senator vote.

The remainder of the meeting consisted of Meet the Candidates Night. Each candidate for SGA EBoard positions and Class Board positions gave a 2 minute speech followed by 2 minutes of questions from senators and Senate guests.

March 22nd, 2016

Senate Minutes

This week in Senate, the meeting began with General Announcements and Student Concerns, followed by the newly installed weekly Update from the EBoard. Members of the EBoard gave a friendly reminder about the Annual Spring Leadership Retreat, which is taking place on April 2nd. Additionally, there was a reminder regarding the upcoming All Campus Elections. Senator nominations will be taking place next week in Senate.

The announcements and updates were followed by a presentation from Dean Sonya Stephens on the Strategic Plan. The presentation outlined initiatives and goals of the plan including: creating a comfortable, accommodating community center with centralized dining and redefining what it means to be a women’s college and liberal arts institution in the 21st century. The presentation was followed by a Q&A for Senators and other student guests to voice concerns and ask questions.  

March 8th, 2016

Senate Minutes

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY! This week in Senate, the meeting began with General Announcements and Student Concerns, followed by the newly installed weekly Update from the EBoard. Members of the EBoard gave updates on the Annual Spring Leadership Retreat, which is taking place on April 2nd. Additionally, there was a reminder regarding the upcoming All Campus Elections, and an announcement of the “Senator of the Month” winners.

The announcements and updates were followed by a read-through and then Senator vote on the edited Trans Memorandum. There are three main components of this memorandum: 1. Safety, 2. Inclusion, 3. Learning and Education. These components are applied to new student and transfer move-in, admissions, and other campus-wide scenarios. The vote on the Trans Memorandum passed and the document will be sent out via an all-campus email.

The last part of Senate was dedicated to a presentation on the comprehensive fee increase given by VP of Finance Shannon Gurek. The presentation included a brief overview of campus revenues and expenses. The presentation was followed by a Q&A for Senators and other student guests to voice concerns and ask questions.

March 1st, 2016

Senate Minutes

This week in Senate, there was a discussion on the Trans Memorandum and proposed edits for the document before being brought to the administration.

A Few Memorandum Points of Discussion

  • Clear Articulation of Campus Resources Available to Trans Students: Information on what to do if roommate is transphobic, Training for students, pamphlets in admissions and elsewhere on campus, Diversity link on Mount Holyoke website, Page with overview of Trans websites with links to online resources, Five College Consortium link to discuss trans issues collectively
  • Removal of Gender Prefixes: More accessible ways for students to share preferred names and pronouns, Not having to put pronouns when entering the name of the student
  • Orientation Programming Using Gendered Language: larger conversation piece, cannot guarantee that this will happen because are not accountable for the language of those who are not a part of our community

The Trans Policy Senate Working Group, in collaboration with the SGA Executive Board, plans to make final edits to the memorandum so that it can be voted on next Tuesday, March 8th.

February 23rd, 2016

Senate Minutes

This week in Senate, Beckie Markarian, Senior Officer, Student Philanthropy and Young Alumnae Programs in the Office of Advancement visited, followed by a presentation from the Student Conference Committee on the results of the SCC Survey.

February 16th, 2016

Senate Minutes

This Tuesday in Senate, the Students of Color Committee led a brief presentation on the history of people of color at Mount Holyoke College.The presentation was followed by a discussion in which Senator representatives had the opportunity to voice their views on various questions.They discussed why Black History Month is important to MHC and ways can students can integrate what they learn at the Senate meeting into their daily lives and what the MHC administration and students can do to ensure that Black History Month continues to be a priority.Student responses emphasized that that there is a need for greater communication about issues of race between students and faculty/staff/administration, the importance of incorporating knowledge about issues of race into all fields of study and a desire for greater diversity of campus guests, speakers, and faculty and staff.

February 9th, 2016

This week in Senate, the meeting began with general announcements and campus concerns.Among the announcements were:Campus Dems/Republicans- Tabling from 11am-1pm for voter registration and Fireside Chat, on the topic of Flint @ Stimson Room Thursday next week.For a full list of the announcements and campus concerns, please refer to the Senate Minutes. The second portion of the meeting involved breaking out into Working Groups to discuss goals for the semester.The Working Groups are:Academics (including departments), Trans Policy, Racism, Student Workers, and Dining.

February 2nd, 2016

Senate Minutes

This week in Senate, the Senator representatives came together to have a productive debrief conversation about last week’s Q&A with President Lynn Pasquerella and Dean of Faculty Sonya Stephens.Senators shared their thoughts and feelings about the Senate last week.