Dean’s Office proposes long-term Committee

After ten years without the establishment of a new, long-term College committee, various administrators have decided to create a team for a “Committee on Missions and Priorities.”

The Student Government Association (SGA) held a formal meeting on Sunday, Oct. 19. Provost and Dean of Faculty Lori Kletzer and Vice President and Secretary of College Andrew McGadney began the meeting with a speech from the Dean’s office endorsing the new committee. The team would be a part of the long term committee structure at Colby, meaning that it will find a permanent place on campus. Since 1969, both faculty and student endorsement is required to start a new committee.

“The intention is to be a central committee to take in and review data, discussing intermediate and long term plans,” Kletzer said. She explained that most presidents, at the start of their term, set up a strategic planning committee for a few years which eventually dissolves. Unlike those committees, the Committee on Missions and Priorities is set to be a part of the inherent committee structure. Kletzer added, “The main motive is to increase transparency and inclusion. This is an advisory to the President and the Board of Trustees, chaired by President Greene himself.”

“It is pretty unusual for a President to open a door in this manner, and it is definitely not seen in a lot of institutions,” McGadney said. Kletzer and McGadney went on to answer questions about the committee. All appointments for committee members are going to be made by the President, including two student positions. The committee would be “always looking forward,” focussing on topics like growing faculty and staff, new programs, increasing square footage, and the like.

Dean Kletzer said, “This is not down in the weeds, this is the big goal we are discussing here.” After receiving faculty approval earlier this month, Kletzer and McGadney needed SGA approval. The committee will also have four members of the senior staff, who will be elected and appointed faculty members, and students.
The student government voted on the committee later in the meeting and approved the request, so the formation process will begin soon.

After the Deans finished presenting, SGA continued to the regular structure of their formal meetings. They began with a report from the Executive Board: Osman Bah ’16, summarized the SGA funds. He said that the SGA budget was about $291,000 at the beginning of the year.

Not including standard expenses such as the funding for the Echo, the school’s New York Times subscriptions and the like, he said the working funds available were about $147,000. 40 percent of this amount is allocated for the Fall semester. Bah added that SGA has spent about $20,000 so far in the semester, which is on par with the total funds and approximations for the future.

The student leaders then moved on to discussing old business. SGA approved the Colby Bodybuilding & Weight Training as an official Colby club. The club was met with an unusual amount of discussion on the students’ part because of the nature of the club. The official approach to clubs that involve any physical contact, or those that involve any student liability, is rather conflicting. SGA ultimately approved the club, but only after discussion on the nature of these liabilities and the role of the Athletic Center.

SGA is also teaming up with Sodexo to have TV monitors for publicity in the dining halls. Sodexo will display information about the food that is being served, while SGA and other student-led organizations will display information about upcoming events. This plan is likely to be implemented later this year.

At the end of the meeting, Committee leaders shared their biweekly reports. The College Affairs Committee has been working on creating safer sidewalks, and increasing lighting along the Olin-Museum pathway as well as in various parking lots. There is also a proposed shuttle service from campus into Waterville that will be initiated for a test period soon.

The Information Technology Committee has been working on upgrading the internet across campus, and fixing commonly reported issues. They also intentionally sent out a phishing email at the beginning of the semester, to check Colby students’ response to such scams. Since it was a controlled, intentional email, the students who fell for it just received a warning.

The Cultural Affairs committee has been working on approving events for first year orientation, and planning for the International Food Festival. The Health Care Advisory Committee has been working on expanding Counselling Services to better account for student needs, in terms of both staff and physical space. A few committees have still not met, and a few others are working on ideas that are still in premature planning stages.

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