Vassar Student Association

Spring 2011 Elections

VassarEach spring, the VSA holds elections for our many representatives. These positions vary greatly in their responsibilities, time commitments, and necessary skill sets. 2011-12 will be a tremendously exciting and historic year, as Vassar celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2011.

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 their own experience 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 VSA 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.

Candidates | Results

What are they key dates?

Filing: April 13 at 8 p.m. to April 18 at 8 p.m.
Campaigning: April 18 at 11:59 p.m. to April 22 at 11:59 p.m.
Voting: April 23 at 12 p.m. to April 25 at 12 p.m.
Results Party: (Tentatively) night of April 25

Note that you will be given the opportunity to write a "statement of intent." Those statements typically describe your background (academic, extracurricular, work experience, etc.) and why you feel that you are qualified for the position you seek. What qualities would you bring to the job? What ideas do you have? What goals would you attempt to accomplish? Begin thinking about these questions; your final statement will need to be completed by April 16 at 5 p.m., although you are allowed to modify your statement at any point during the campaigning period if necessary.

What positions are available?

Executive Board

The Executive Board is comprised of six elected students—the President and five Vice Presidents. Read more about these positions here. The President is the chief executive officer of the VSA, and focuses on overall management of the student government. The Vice Presidents each focus on a particular area of College life. The VP for Student Life serves as the primary liaison to the Dean of the College division, working with all non-academic student services. The VP for Operations supports the work of the other VPs and college committees, and manages the day-to-day work of the Student Association. Students’ academic life is considered by the Vice President for Academics, who coordinates with the Dean of the Faculty division. The VSA’s 120 student organizations are managed by the VP for Activities, who works with the Campus Activities Office to schedule hundreds of events each month. Our budget of approximately $700,000 is overseen by the VP for Finance, who works with Accounts Payable and the Finance Committee to ensure the fiscal health of the VSA. Together, 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.

Class Council

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.

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.

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 juniors are permitted to serve for only a single semester, allowing them to study abroad. You should run this spring ONLY if you will be on campus in the fall semester; junior representatives for spring 2011 will be selected in January 2011.

House Teams

The President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer of each of the dormitories work together to create events and build meaningful community among their residents.

VSA and Joint Committees

Judicial Board
The members off the Judicial Board are comprised entirely of elected students. It convenes to hold trial for students accused of violating VSA Constitution, 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 the Judicial Board also serve on the Academic Panel and the College Regulations Panel.

Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid
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)
This is a voting body, with the Chair (the Dean of the College) 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.

Arlington Special Events Committee

This group constitutes the only active subcommittee to the Arlington Business Improvement District (BID), a panel of local business owners and landowners that plan local events discuss such issues as changes to the Arlington structure. The student delegate to Arlington BID gets involved in programming events such as the Arlington Street Fair, the Farmer's Market, and the Holiday Festival, which are increasing in attendance and success with every passing year. The student delegate helps to coordinate the Scavenger Hunt during Freshmen Orientation week and helps promote student use of the V-CARD. Students are welcome to inquire and attend actual BID meetings.

Campus Investor Responsibility Committee (CIRC)

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.

College Committee on Sustainability
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. 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.

Committee on Curricular Policies (CCP)
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. This committee requires one representative from each of the curricular divisions: Arts, Foreign Language/Literature, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Independent/Multi-disciplinary/Inter-disciplinary

Food Committee

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

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.

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 hear 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.

To file for a position, please send an e-mail message to the Board of Elections at with the following information:

-- Your full name. (You can optionally add a nick name in the following form: John ‘Johnny’ Doe)
-- The title of the position you are filing for (view the complete list of open positions).
-- A candidate statement. (To get an idea of the scope and length of a typical candidate statement, feel free to review last year’s candidate statements.) If you would prefer to not submit a statement at this time, please say so in your email. Your candidate statement will appear along with your name on the voting (ballot) page of the respective position.

The filing deadline is April 18, at 8 p.m. STUDENTS WHO FAIL TO FILE BEFORE THIS TIME WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO RUN IN SPRING ELECTIONS. There are absolutely no exceptions to this rule. After the filing deadline and until the end of campaigning, you will still be able to add or change your candidate statement. To do so, simply send an email with your updated statement to

Eligibility notes: You cannot run for more than one non-committee position. If you run for an Executive Board position, you may not run for any other class or house position. If you run for a Judicial Board position, you can apply for at most one committee position and you may not apply for an Executive, class, or house position. You may run for both a class or house position and one or more committee positions. In order to run for a position in a residence area, you must be living in that residence area next year (and this information must be on file with the Office of Residential Life). You can only run for positions if you will not be on leave for any part of the 2011-12 academic year. Please consult the VSA Constitution for detailed information on eligibility, and e-mail with any questions.


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