Vassar Student Association


Vassar College's committee system is the centerpiece of its joint governance. Students, faculty, and administrators sit together on a wide variety of issues to solve common problems. Here, view the elected student members of all VSA and joint committees.

Fall 2016: The following information is in the process of being updated. Please contact the Vice President at for more information about committees.

Committee Descriptions:

VSA Council Standing Committees

VSA Council maintains four open standing committees and one closed committee to consider and recommend to Council new policies, legislation, and action. The vast majority of the VSA's work occurs through committees. Members of Council serve on at least two committees; a Vice President from the Executive Board chairs each committee.


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Judicial Committees

Judicial Board

Judicial Board Chair: Amreen Bhasin
Student Board Members:
2016: Mira Motani, Tatiana Londono, Zoe Kurtz, Maggie Donolo
2017: Vanessa Hung, Lucas Kautz, Trent Berg, Josean Melendez
2018: Sophie Tohl, Joshua Perlin, Noah Webster, Mercedes "Mercy" Arndt
2019: Violet cole, Makeba Walcott, Nicole Gonzalez, Maxwell Canty-Hilchey

The members off the Judicial Board are comprised entirely of elected students. It convenes to hold trial for students accused of violating VSA Bylaws and mandates. Decisions are made by a majority vote, with the chair only voting in case of a tie. The VSA Vice President for Operations serves as a non-voting, Constitutional Advisor. Appeals of its decisions may be submitted to the VSA President for consideration of a re-trial. Members of this Board also serve on the Academic Panel and the Interpersonal Violence Panel.

Academic Panel

Chair/Contact: Ben Lotto, Dean of Studies
Students: Same students as the Judicial Board
Meets: As needed

The Academic Panel reviews all reports of students charged with violating academic or library regulations. The Dean of Studies will review a written statement of the faculty member or student enforcing the charge, and then confer with the accused student. The Chair may not vote on the matter of innocence or guilt. The chair may only vote on the type of penalty in the case of a tie. Breaches of academic integrity, such as cheating or plagiarizing may be placed on a student's internal record (for the Dean's use only). Panel recommendation of suspension as a penalty must be approved by the College President.

College Regulations Panel

Chair/Contact: “DB” Brown, Dean of Students
Students: Judicial Board Chair and the Judicial Board
Meets: As needed

The College Regulations Panel is a student/ faculty/administrative committee, comprised of four students, two faculty members and one administrator at each session. This committee convenes to evaluate cases in which students are accused of violating rules outlined in the Vassar College Regulations (copies may be obtained at the Office of the Dean of Students). Responsibility is established via a two-thirds vote of panel members, while the chair does not vote. Charges must be filed within 16 months of the time of the alleged violation.

College Regulations Appeals Board

Chair/Contact: Chris Roellke, Dean of the College
Meets: As needed

The Appeals Committee hears appeals of cases from the above College Regulations Panel. Appeals should be submitted to the Dean of the College and may be grounded upon alleged procedural errors, new evidence, or excessive penalties imposed by the College Regulations Panel.

Student Committees

Student Committees are the similar to joint-committees except they consist of and are chaired solely by students instead of both students and administration together.

Board of Elections and Appointments

Chair: Adam Ninyo
Student Board Members:
2016: TBD
2017: TBD
2018: Bethany Semblante, Apostolos Anyfantakis
VSA Council: To be determined.

Founder's Day Committee

Chairs: To be determined.
The Founder's Day Committee is also overseen by the VP for Activities.

FDC coordinates and plans everything involved in the Founder's Day event, including activities, music, and alcohol. Founder’s Day is an open committee. Anyone that would like to join should contact the VP for Operations and the Chairs of the committee.

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Joint Committees

Admissions and Financial Aid Committee

Chair: Art Rodriguez, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid
Students: Joshua Sherman '16. Sophia Burns '18. D'Angelo Mori '19.

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.

Campus Investor Responsibility Committee (CIRC)

Chair/Contact: Marianne H. Begemann, Dean of Strategic Planning and Academic Resources
Students: Juan Fernandez, Alexia Garcia
Meets: 5-6 times annually

The CIRC review 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.

Campus Life Resource Group

Chair/Contact: Ed Pittman, Dean of Campus Life and Diversity
Meets: To be determined. Open to all students.

This vital committee provides forums for dialogue and discussion for all members of the Vassar community on a range of campus life matters. In this vein, CLRG plans Conversation Dinners throughout the year and the Annual All College Day. Membership is open to all members from every area of the college and students should feel free to contact members and ask to attend meetings or Conversation Dinners.

College Committee on Sustainability

Chair/Contact: Alistair Hall, Coordinator of Sustainability
Student: Elaina Peterkin
Meets: Once per month, in the Faculty Parlor

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 prevue 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. Its success varies according to membership but it has been very productive as of late.

Committee on College Life (CCL)

Chair: Christopher Roellke, Dean of the College
Students: Christopher Brown (Student Life), Mark Lawson and Ashley Hoyle (BHP Co-Chairs), Laura Schachter '16, Samatha "Sam" Hoher '17, Ryan Maher '18, Elise Shea '19.

This is a voting body, with the Chair only voting in case of a tie. This committee 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.

Committee on Curricular Policies (CCP)

Chair: Jonathan Chenette, Dean of the Faculty
Students: Logan Hill (Academics), Matthew Higgins
Meets: Monthly, on Wednesday afternoons

This is a Joint Student/Faculty Committee with two professors from every academic division and one student from each academic division, plus the Academic Executive. The CCP is the primary body for the review and development of curricular (academic) procedures and policies. Significant decisions of the CCP are usually brought to the Faculty for final approval.

Computing and Academic Technologies

Chair: Andrew Tallon
Students: Jordan 'Jerd' Gotbaum
Meets: Every 2 or 3 weeks.

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 video conferencing system, telecommunications changes, and the Classroom Committee.

Food Committee

Chair/Contact: Sarah Sandler (Student Co-Chair)
Members: Open to all students.

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

Master Planning Committee

Chair: Bob Walton, Vice President for Finance and Administration
Students: Ariadne Skoufos, Antigone Delton, Benjamin Kurchin

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.

Student Wellness Advisory Committee (SWAC)

Chair: Renee Pabst

SWAC is a concerned group of students, faculty, administrators and staff members. The primary mission of the DEC is to promote the health and safety of Vassar students with regard to drug, alcohol and tobacco use. The committee specifically focuses on: health education based in harm and risk reduction; education regarding law and campus policies; the acknowledgement of temptation and use; the encouragement of prevention and non-use; evaluation of use and non-use on campus; recommendations for policy and sanctions related to abuse; and working with student organizations.

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