Vassar Student Association

Spring 2014 Elections

Vassar

Each spring, the VSA holds elections for our many representatives. These positions vary greatly in their responsibilities, time commitments, and necessary skill sets.

The Vassar Student Association shapes an incredible amount of the student experience at Vassar. Representatives are essentially the architects of campus life. We govern ourselves; we decide on new organizations and publications and performing groups; we sit with faculty and administrators on policy committees; we plan scholarly conferences and throw all-campus parties; and we point out institutional problems and come up with solutions. We have an unusual amount of power to shape not only our own experiences at Vassar but policies that will influence the future direction of the College. We hope that you will consider running for a position, and contribute your unique life experiences, perspective, and talents.

Note that this site is meant as a rough and general guide for students considering a position within the VSA. For more information on positions and responsibilities, please read the VSA Constitution and Bylaws. These documents also contain important information pertaining to campaigning and elections procedures. Candidates are responsible for being informed of the rules and regulations contained within those documents.

If you are interested in running for a position, you should consider going to the VSA Interest Meeting on March 2nd in the CCMPR at 6pm. There will be representatives for each position for you to ask questions and talk to. There will also be light refreshments.

Candidates | Results

Key Dates

Sunday, March 2nd at 6:00pm: VSA Interest Meeting - UpC. Chat and grab some Twisted Soul!
Thursday, March 27th at 12:00pm (Noon): Filing for positions begins.
Saturday, April 5th at 12:00pm (Noon): Filing ends.
Saturday, April 5th at 5:00pm: Mandatory Candidate's Meeting - Rocky 300; Campaigning begins immediately after.
Wednesday, April 9th at 6:00pm: Executive Board Debate - UpC
Tuesday, April 15th at 12:00pm (Noon): Campaigning ends, voting begins.
Thursday, April 17th at 12:00pm (Noon): Voting ends. Elections results party at midnight in the Retreat.

Available Positions

Executive Board

The President, Vice President for Student Life, Vice President for Operations, Vice President for Academics, Vice President for Activities, and Vice President for Finance make up the Executive Board of the VSA. These six students meet daily with administrators, faculty, trustees, and other student leaders. They serve as the link between the student body and the Senior Officers of the College, sitting on virtually all of Vassar’s most active committees. Please be aware that these positions represent a significant time commitment. Although previous VSA experience is not required, most Executive Board members have had experience serving on the VSA Council, house teams, or class councils. When considering these positions, be mindful of any other academic, personal, or extracurricular commitments.

President

The VSA President is the chief executive officer of the VSA, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the VSA and acting as a direct liaison between the student body and administration. The President does not focus on any specific area, but rather oversees the efforts of the VSA leadership. In this capacity, the President sits on the Board of Trustees as an observer, meets regularly with various administrators, including the College President, Dean of the College and Dean of Students, and sits on a number of College committees (including Priorities and Planning and the Committee on College Life). The President leads the Executive Board and also chairs VSA Council meetings.

Vice President for Student Life

The VP for Student Life is the primary liaison to the Dean of the College division. The VP for Student Life deals with all of the non-academic aspects of the Vassar experience, including Residential Life, Campus Dining, Security, and the Campus Life offices. Due to the close relationship between this position and the Dean of the College division, the VP for Student Life represents the student voice on a number of committees including the Committee on College Life (CCL) and the Committee on Inclusion and Excellence (CIE), and also chairs the VSA Student Life Committee.

Vice President for Operations

The VP for Operations oversees the College's committee system, including joint committees and VSA committees. As the primary liaison to Alumnae/i Association (AAVC) and the Development Office, the VPOP works closely with graduates and aids ongoing fundraising campaigns to support the mission of the College. The VPOP maintains the governing documents of the the VSA (Constitution and Bylaws) and all VSA Council records, including the minutes and agendas. The Vice President runs biannual elections and any appointments, and is responsible for all VSA communications and publicity, including the VSA Website and any VSA social media. The VPOP sits as the student representative to the the AAVC Board of Directors and Priorities and Planning, and also chairs the VSA Operations Committee.

Vice President for Academics

The Vice President for Academics is the primary liaison between students, faculty, and administration on academic issues. To this end, the VP for Academics represents the student voice on a number of College Committees regarding the academic experience at Vassar, including the Committee on Curricular Policies (CCP) and the Library Committee. The VP for Academics coordinates and advises all Majors Committees and also chairs the VSA Academics Committee.

Vice President for Activities

The primary responsibilities of the Vice President for Activities are to advise and coordinate all VSA-certified organizations. This includes ensuring that organizations are healthy and functioning properly. The tasks of this position include working with the Campus Activities Office to approve all student events on campus, making sure organizations are fulfilling their missions, meeting with the Student Activities Resource Center (SARC) interns, working with Campus Activities and other administrative offices on programming and office space for organizations, and training VSA organization leaders in the fall and winter. The VP for Activities also chairs the VSA Activities Committee, which oversees all policies relating to VSA organizations and considers all disciplinary action relating to organizations and their leaders.

Vice President Finance

The VP for Finance is the chief financial officer of the VSA, overseeing a budget of approximately $750,000. The VP for Finance works with more than 120 organization treasurers to ensure the financial health of student activities.

Class Council (2015, 2016, 2017)


President

The Class President is responsible for organizing and leading all meetings of the Class Council. The primary responsibility of the Class President is to act as the liaison between the class and the VSA Council. The Class President should be in constant communication with his or her class through e-mail and other means, and should listen and be other to any comments, suggestions, or criticisms that rise from the constituents of the class. The Class President must attend and actively participate in all VSA Council meetings and any other committees or sub-committee onto which they are placed by the VSA Council. His or her main responsibilities with the Class Council are to set the meeting agendas, delegate tasks for other members of the council, and to inform the council of any pertinent information from the larger VSA. The Class President also oversees all programming efforts and is responsible for delegating responsibilities to the various members of the class council.

Vice President

The Vice President is responsible for coordinating programming. This includes, but is not limited to, scheduling events with SARC interns, requesting programming support such as security as necessary, and coordinating supplies for programming.

Secretary

The Class Secretary is responsible for maintaining minutes for all meetings of the class council. This secretary is also the liaison to the VP for Activities and completes organization reports and review as necessary. After the meetings, the secretary will email the minutes to the class council. The Class Secretary is also actively involved in the programming of the Class Council.

Treasurer

The Class Treasurer is responsible for all of the financial dealings of the class. This includes the budgeting process, providing budget information to the Class Council, and transferring funds as necessary for programming. The treasurer is also actively involved in the programming of the Class Council.

Sophomore and Junior Representatives

The class representatives serve on both their Class Council and House Team, acting as a conduit between their residence and class. They participate in programming for both the class and the dorm. Note that there are two junior representative positions for each dorm: one for the spring and one for the fall semester. If a candidate desires to hold the position for both semesters, they must file to run for both semesters.

House Teams


President

Presidents shall call and chair House Team meetings and meetings of residents, if deemed necessary; serve as a voting member of the VSA Council and relay information and opinions between the VSA Council and their House Team; and represent their House in applicable meetings.

Vice President

Vice Presidents shall coordinate House social activities in conjunction with other officers and shall assume the duties of the President in her/her absence, incapacitation, or departure from office.

Secretary

Secretaries shall be responsible for all respective House communications and record minutes at all respective House Council meetings. The House Secretary is also actively involved in the programming of the House Team.

Treasurer

Treasurers shall be responsible for all financial matters of the respective House and maintain an inventory of all House assets, including capital items. The treasurer is also actively involved in House programming.

Apartment Positions (SoCos, TAs, THs, Town Students)


President

Presidents shall serve as a voting member of the VSA Council and relay information and opinions between the VSA Council and their apartment area; and represent their apartment area in applicable meetings.

Treasurer

Treasurers shall be responsible for all financial matters of the respective apartment area and maintain an inventory of all of the apartment area’s assets, including capital items.

Programming Director

Programming Directors shall coordinate special events and activities for their apartment area.

Judicial Board


Judicial Board Chair

The student body elects a Chair of the Judicial Board who will assist in organizing members for specific panels as well as calling and chairing Judicial Board meetings. The Judicial Board Chair also serves on panels.

Four Representatives per Class Year

Each class elects a total of four members to the Judicial Board. Judicial board members’ primary obligations are to serve regularly on student conduct and academic conduct panels. Judicial board members can also called upon to decide cases involving violations of the VSA governing documents or impeachment of any elected VSA officer.

Please note that students elected to the Judicial Board must commit to the position and serve on panels or face impeachment. Students may not serve on panels deliberating a possible violation for which they have been previously found responsible. To ensure this, the Judicial Board Chair will be aware of such findings. All Judicial Board positions are year long positions. Providing incorrect information on the Declaration of Candidacy form is a violation of the VSA Bylaws and does not align with the College Regulations. As a result, such an action may result in impeachment.

Board of Elections and Appointments


Board of Elections and Appointments Chair

The student body elects a Chair, who oversees and executes elections and referendums. This Chair also convenes the Board of Elections and Appointments to fill any vacant positions, when appropriate.

Two Representatives per Class Year

Board of Elections and Appointments members assist in executing elections and referendums. These members also interview candidates for positions that are being appointed and formulate a final recommendation that is sent to the VSA Council Consent Agenda.

VSA and Joint Committees


Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid - 1 Representative per Class Year

Members truly determine how effective this committee is, as they suggest the topics. Past agendas have included the FOCUS recruitment of students of color, the use and training of student tour guides, the alumni-admissions program, early decision, international recruitment, financial aid packaging methods, student employment and work study wage/hour limitations, the impact of possible changes in federal and state aid policies, etc. Recently there has been discussion on the diversity of the applicant pool and recruitment.

Committee on College Life (CCL) - 1 Representative per Class Year

This is a voting body, with the Chair (the Dean of the College) only voting in case of a tie. This committee is instilled with the power to review and alter nearly all college regulations, aside from academic, including alcohol policies, party policies, parking policies, and the legal definitions of punishable offenses.

Computing and Academic Technologies - 1 Representative

This group consists of faculty, administration, and students interested in discussing issues related to computing at Vassar. Recent topics of this group include the new online storage, new videoconferencing system, telecommunications changes, and the Classroom Committee.

Food Committee - 1 Chair

The Food Committee meets to discuss different aspects of campus dining. As topics arise, the Food Committee makes suggestions for improvements that can be made in those areas. Recent topics this group has discussed include pricing of food, quality of ACDC food, and increasing healthy eating options at Vassar. The Food Committee Chair leads and organizes this group of student representatives.

Committee on Inclusion and Excellence - 1 Representative

The task of the Committee on Inclusion and Excellence will be four-fold: 1. to build on, expand and continue the study of academic, extracurricular and student engagement at the College 2. through its ongoing research, to develop clearer understandings of relationships between student life, institutional climate and academic work as it is experienced by different student groups 3. to initiate an ongoing process of evaluation and re-examination of our goals for student achievement, engagement and satisfaction 4. to make recommendations for change to the President, Dean of the Faculty and Dean of the College to assure that members of all groups in the student body enjoy the fullest promise of a Vassar education.

Campus Investor Responsibility Committee (CIRC) - 2 Representatives

CIRC reviews issues of social responsibility related to companies in Vassar's investment portfolio, and makes recommendations to the Trustees. Each member selects 2-3 topics (global labor standards, defense, tobacco, etc.) In the past, the CIRC's activity has been famously effective and has caused the college to send a letter to GE about PCBs in the Hudson River and to issue a full divestment in South Africa during the 1980s.

Master Planning Committee - 3 Representatives

This group considers all major changes to the campus property. Recent agendas have detailed changes to the library annex storage, general storage needs on campus, parking issues, the future of the Juliet Property, the renewal plans for student residences. This committee, rather than Res Life, is the resource to refer to if you have major ideas pertaining to housing structures and building changes and improvements.

College Committee on Sustainability - 1 Representative

Formerly known as the Committee on Recycling and Sustainability, this group has no set membership among faculty, administration, and students other than the five busy interns who do much of the legwork from meeting to meeting. Issues under its purview related to accessing local foods, wind power on campus, recycling and overall environmental awareness on campus. The Sustainability works very closely with Greenway to help waste management and composting and just recently acquired control of the SWAPR program. This committee also runs a Freshmen Orientation BSC each year. Its success varies according to membership but it has been very productive as of late.

 

I want to get involved, but I still have questions about the position. Who should I talk to?

The Vassar Student Association is a widespread organization, and it can often be confusing to new (and even returning) students. We are here to help. If you have any questions about the positions or the elections (time commitment, responsibilities, etc.), do not hesitate to contact the VSA Vice President for Operations. We also encourage you to read about the VSA to understand some of the broader functions of student government at Vassar.


How to File (once filing opens)

Declaring a candidacy requires the following information:
» Your full name (you can optionally add a nick name in the following form: Abigail 'Abby' Doe).
» The position you are filing for.
» Your class year and on vs off campus status.
» A candidate statement. These statements typically describe your background (academic, extracurricular, work experience, etc.) and why you feel that you are qualified for the position you seek. If you would prefer to not submit a statement at this time, you may leave the box blank. Your candidate statement will appear along with your name on the voting (ballot) page of the respective position. Updates to your statement may be submitted to vsaelections@vassar.edu up to 48 hours before voting begins.

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