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About the Advocacy Agenda

The Senate is required to establish an advocacy agenda at the beginning of each academic year consistent with the mission statement of the Association and the Strategic Plan of the Association. The agenda consists of a series of student concerns to be advocated for by the Senate for the academic year.

A mid-year and annual report are conducted to review the progress of the Association’s efforts to advocate for the student concerns established in the agenda. These reports are publicized to the student community to facilitate accountability and improve student relations.

Please note that the number assigned to each agenda is administrative in nature and does not reflect the importance of said agenda.

Thriving at Vassar

Promoting Equity and Inclusion and Health and Wellness

Priority 1: Intentional and Effective Student Governance

In the past, no member of the Vassar Student Association received any financial compensation for the work and contributions they made to the student constituency. It was only recently in 2019 that the members of our Executive Branch were compensated for their continued dedication to advocacy, leadership, and the maintenance of both the external and internal operations of the Association as a whole. We are now committed to compensating Senators for all of the work that they do to promote advocacy through writing the important legislation that enables change to occur. 

By compensating all Association officials, we thus commit to treating all positions in the Association as jobs that require care, attentiveness, and accountability. Perhaps most importantly, allowing students to be financially compensated for the work they do in the Association is our way of removing barriers for all students to contribute regardless of financial status. 

Contact : Emily Doucet, Vice President ( and Olivia Gross, President (

Although the academic year ends for all students in mid May, the Vassar Student Association has year round responsibilities that require attention over the summer. As it currently stands, there is only one individual who is hired to do work on behalf of the entire Association during the summer months. While this role was initially created to offer aid and support to the members of the incoming Cabinet, it has since morphed into taking on every role that members of the Cabinet are unable to complete. 

All Fall Leadership Conference Planning, maintenance of our websites and social media platforms, and all work on operational materials that need to be completed in order to seamlessly transition into the next session either goes uncompensated for the members of the Cabinet or are piled onto the shoulders of one individual. 

This initiative serves to monetarily compensate at the very least our most active Cabinet members during the summer, being our Director of Finance, Director of Student Organizations and our Director of Communications. In compensating these positions, Association officials will then have further motivation to be engaged with their roles for the full duration of their tenure, instead of the months that they are actively interacting with their positions and other students on campus.  

Contact : Emily Doucet, Vice President (

The internal operations of the Vassar Student Association are imperative for the proper maintenance and functioning of the Association as a whole. The members of the 154th session worked hard to restructure the entire Association, and given how new the system is, some polishing is necessary to ensure that all of the changes made were meaningful and continue to be well managed. 

Much of this maintenance must come from the clarification of newly added sections to our Bylaws, which may include implementing new reforms, amendments or policies. One major example of this is to clarify the new election timeline, as it was established during the last session but not finalized. The Internal Affairs Committee will work on collaborating with all Association members, including those in the Judicial Branch, Executive Branch and Elections and Appointments Commission, to ensure that each sector of the Vassar Student Association receives whatever reforms that are necessary for the smooth execution of the 155th session and all future sessions to come.

Contact : Emily Doucet, Vice President ( and Olivia Gross, President (

Last year’s Senate passed numerous bills. Topics addressed included a new structure for student organizations , the selection of commencement speakers and the adjustment of the existing NRO eligibility of nearly all elementary language courses. 

The Vassar Student Association will follow through on the bills previously passed in two ways: first, through requesting notice from the College on the status of these points of advocacy; and secondarily, through additional advocacy, if needed.

Contact : Emily Doucet, Vice President ( and Olivia Gross, President (

A 2023 VSA referendum revealed 85.8% percent support for a student vote on the Board of Trustees.  While the VSA remains steadfast in our pursuit of this student vote, there has also been an internal push to include other members of the VSA Executive Branch on Trustee committees that relate to student interests. One student observer on the board of trustees only provides a snippet of the whole story and allowing other members of the Executive Branch who advocate for specific issues would allow for a more substantial impact. 

The Association thus pledges to continue previous lobbying efforts to expand upon our  desire to secure a vote for our President on the Board of Trustees by calling for more meaningful Cabinet involvement with the Board of Trustees.

Contact : Olivia Gross, President ( and Emily Doucet, Vice President (

The Office of Sustainability will be led by a new director beginning this year who will have the opportunity to make the office more useful to the student body. Collaboration between the Office and the Association’s Sustainability Executive  would be beneficial in expanding the reach of both organizations. Currently, the Association has collaborated with the Office of Sustainability on campaigns including the expansion of the composting program and Green2Go. 

Sustainability interns, who will likely be assigned more tasks under the new director, have conducted audits around campus that could be useful in further supporting future initiatives of the Association. The Association’s Office of Sustainability is thus committed to re-working any and all initiatives as they relate to sustainability as more audits are conducted.

Contact : Demetri Sedita, Sustainability Executive (

A 2023 VSA referendum revealed 85.8% percent support for a student vote on the Board of Trustees.  Such a proposal is meager and largely symbolic: one student vote would rarely carry significant, tie-breaking weight. Nevertheless, the spirit of shared governance lays bare the logic behind such a proposal: arguably the most powerful body on campus must have at least one meaningful student vote if we are to ever claim shared governance truly exists on this campus. The Association thus pledges to continue previous lobbying efforts to secure a vote for our President on the Board of Trustees.

Contact : Olivia Gross, President ( &  Matthew Tavarez , Director of Communications (

Vassar students are extremely hard-working and should feel proud of their accomplishments. To show our appreciation and respect for both Association officials and students, the Office of the President in collaboration with the Division of Communications, is committed to implementing practices of appreciation in the form of awards at the end of the academic year. 

We will discuss the specific guidelines for which students will receive awards and what the awards will consist of with the members of  Cabinet. The intention of this initiative is to improve spirits within the Association and also promote involvement to the wider student constituency.

Contact : Olivia Gross, President (

Priority 2: Mental Health and Accessibility

There have been many complaints about the functionality of the Office for Accessibility and Educational Opportunity (AEO), as many students have reported that they are unable to get in touch with the office or that their emails are never responded to. This complaint stands true after last year’s administration conducted an in depth analysis of the AEO, and discovered the need for additional staff to offer initial support to students. For Vassar College to fulfill its commitment to students with disabilities, it must be a priority that the college hire two or more staff members to work in the AEO for the following school years. 

The Office of the Equity Executive is committed to collaborating with Mary Jo Cavanaugh, the director of the AEO. 

Contact : Traci Francis, Equity Executive (

Continuing the initiative from last year, a lot of campus-wide events involve activities that require individuals to navigate large areas, be exposed to potentially overstimulating noises, and stand for long amounts of time. This can often result in a neglect of safety and comfort at times, especially for participating individuals  with disabilities. There should be a greater emphasis on inclusion and comfort of all individuals within the college community.

The Division of Student Events in collaboration with the Office of the Equity Executive is committed to exploring the inclusivity of activities on campus.  

Contact :Faye Stevens, Director of Student Events (

A significant factor in Vassar students’ lack of access to physical and mental healthcare is the process of appointment scheduling at Baldwin, Health Services and Metcalf. Currently, appointments can only be scheduled online at Baldwin for emergency contraception, pregnancy tests, PrEP, STI screening, and sports physicals. This leaves out a range of other health concerns, including respiratory viruses such as COVID, routine birth control prescription/gynecological care, and sports or other injuries, to name a few, that students have to call the front office for and may not feel comfortable speaking to a representative. The situation at Metcalf is even less accessible, with no online platform available to schedule an individual meeting with a counselor at all. As a result, having to share confidential health information over the phone, which can be an anxiety-provoking and time-confusing process for many students, tends to impede access to necessary physical and mental health services. 

Given the aforementioned concerns, the Office of the Equity Executive is committed to the  expansion of the online scheduling platform at Baldwin and Metcalf, with the added inclusion of an “other” option under “reason for visit”.

Contact : Traci Francis, Equity Executive ( and Sofia Balich, Wellness Executive (

Priority 3: Responsibility and Efficiency for Student Organizations

It is important for all student organizations to operate with sustainability in mind. One main way that this can be accomplished is through the education of organization treasurers on sustainable purchasing practices. This includes adhering to existing organization purchasing guidelines that prohibit the purchase of many types of single-use plastic products and the creation of a database of organization inventories to prevent duplicate purchases and encourage sharing between organizations. 

The Office of the Sustainability Executive is further committed to ensuring that all purchases made through the Association are sustainable. Coordination with the Directors of Finance and Student Organizations will be important in making sure that sustainable purchasing policy is followed throughout the Association and all student organizations.

Contact : Demetri Sedita, Sustainability Executive (,  Dylan Ouderkirk, Director of Finance (, Kate Bamberg, Director of Student Organizations ( 2026 Senator Karolina Naidon (

Many organizations take advantage of additional funding that the Association offers them throughout the year. Especially through the Capital Fund, numerous of the same items are bought frequently in one academic year such as cameras, DJ sets, and microphones. While the Allocations Committee has no problem approving these requests if the organization has a good use for the item, a lot of money could be saved if these organizations communicated with each other to borrow the items from each other throughout the year.

Given this revelation, the  Allocations Committee is committed to establishing a capital item request-share program for all student organizations. The Allocations Committee would not be responsible for housing the items or checking them out, and would instead maintain a Google Sheet to track ownership. Before approving the capital item request, the Committee would only approve the item if the organization is willing to be a part of the Group Share. The requirements of the Group Share would be to document the item, the organization, and the point of contact that could be reached to borrow the item. Another organization that wishes to borrow an item is responsible for updating the Google Sheet for the new point of contact. If an organization damages or loses the item, they would owe the Association that amount from their budget to replace the item in the Group Share.

Contact : Dylan Ouderkirk, Director of Finance (

Although  student organizations provide the bulk of programming and events on campus, it can be difficult and often inaccessible for students to join orgs well into the academic year or after their first year (i.e., after orientation week and the Activities Fair have concluded). A proposal mentioned by several respondents to the Annual Comprehensive Survey was the creation and dissemination of a database accessible through the Association’s website and include a list of organization names, descriptions, emails, links to their respective social media websites, and potentially meeting times. 

The Division of Student Organizations in collaboration with the Division of Communications is thus committed to creating  a centralized database of all relevant student organizations and events.  

Contact : Kate Bamberg, Director of Organizations ( and Matthew Tavarez, Director of Communications (

Currently, each student organization on campus is required to have at minimum a president and treasurer on their Executive Board, but the specifics of this policy are unclear and have not yet been put in writing.

The Division of Student Organizations thus proposes to work alongside the Office of the Vice President to clarify an orgs policy that stipulates a maximum number of organizations which one person can serve as treasurer of, and potentially president of in addition. The policy would also include a provision stating that the president and treasurer of an org cannot be the same person. 

Contact: Kate Bamberg, Director of Student Organizations ( and Emily Doucet, Vice President (

Priority 4: Promoting Inclusive Understandings

The “Brothers@” is a mentorship program to improve the academic, social, and emotional well-being of young men of color in secondary school and college. The student-led program that began at Bard in 2014 has become very successful, as it has expanded to more than 20 colleges in five different states. 

The Office of the Equity Executive is committed to working alongside Devyn Benson, Brothers@ Ambassador, to expand the Brothers@ program. The Office of the Equity Executive will reach out to more high schools in the Poughkeepsie area to find more contacts and therefore more local students we can help. At Vassar, we envision providing a safe space for young men of color to speak and debrief, as well as planning outings for the group to help others in their community. Having this program as an addition on campus can help young men of color who may be struggling to find their place on campus or as they transition out of high school. 

Contact: Traci Francis, Equity Executive (

The Office of the Equity Executive is committed to continue work with the commission that is carrying out the Vassar Inclusive History Initiative to reexamine Vassars’ history as an institution. The commission will be holding conversations to begin what we want our work together to look like and set concrete goals. This will be an ongoing initiative throughout the year and possibly into the next academic year, as the commission has not set an end date.

Contact: Traci Francis, Equity Executive (

Priority 5: Student Labor

Many students at Vassar hold work-study positions or are employed on campus. Student workers, just as any other employee, hold unique rights in their position. Education on what rights students have as workers is critical to ensuring that students get the most out of their positions and adequately understand their rights and responsibilities as a student worker. Moreover- those who are on work-study need a more accessible way to keep track of their hours beyond calculating time from paystubs. 

The Student Financial Affairs Committee is thus committed to furthering the education on Student Workers rights. This will allow students to more easily and effectively schedule their hours. Education and accessibility in rights and tracking hours will better allow those working on campus to thrive in their positions. This education would take place in the form of an event/workshop at the beginning of each semester for student workers to learn and communicate with one another.

Contact: Mae Long, Chair of Student Financial Affairs Committee (

A lot of Vassar students depend on a work-study position to support themselves throughout the school year. Although there have been recent strides in expanding the amount of money earned through a work-study position, there still is a hard upper limit to what students are allowed to earn. 

Given the enormous contribution Vassar student workers make on this campus in their positions, they should be afforded the opportunity to earn beyond what has been pre-set if they are motivated to do so. It is in this spirit that the Student Financial Affairs committee is thus committed to abolishing the work study allocation maximum. According to the 2024 Annual Comprehensive Survey, 57% of students agreed that the college should remove the link between work-study jobs and financial aid packages. This could be a possible solution to get rid of the maximum allocation and allow students to earn money based on the actual hours they work the job on campus.

Contact: Dylan Ouderkirk, Director of Finance (

Priority 6: Increasing Communication

The Vassar Student Association, founded in 1868, is an old institution needing to adapt to today's technology. To improve our presence on campus, the association is committed to enhancing its online communications. The Association hopes to make emails concise, carefully choosing the frequency of our communications to ensure the information given is intentional and deliberate. Social media platforms, such as Instagram, would be used to update constituents on the work the association is doing and used as another avenue of communication between the Association and its constituents. These two avenues of communication account for 91.7% of preferred forms of dispersing information and, if improved, will allow constituents to understand the Association's work. 

Increasing the Association's on-campus presence is also essential. Creating and maintaining events such as Town Halls, Residential Forums, and Meet & Greets will be used to provide face time with Association members. These opportunities allow constituents to know who is representing them and begin to build relationships, making them more approachable. 

This initiative addresses constituents' concerns about trusting the Vassar Student Association and the ease of finding information related to the Association. With 49.4% of constituents not trusting the association and 57.1% finding a lack of ease in accessing Association related information, improving the presence of the Association should combat these two issues. 

Contact: Matthew Tavraez, Director of Communications (

The casework system is a relatively new way to get senators' support in advocating for a constituent's personal issues. With how new the system was, there was confusion about what purpose Casework served and what didn’t. The association realized there was a need for an avenue to express general concerns that affect a broader population rather than a single issue regarding one constituent. 

For the Association to refine and develop these forms of communication with officers will allow more constituents to feel validated and heard regarding their issues. The initiative hopes to address constituents feeling that the Association needs to effectively advocate for their needs (39.9%) and be able to express college life concerns to the Association and its members more effectively (51%).

Contact: Matthew Tavraez, Director of Communications ( and Olivia Gross, President (

The various organizations at Vassar are at the heart of what keeps life on campus entertaining and refreshing, as there’s always something new to experience. Although organizations are so integral to life on campus, at times, it may be challenging to figure out information regarding an organization. Whether it be where and when club meetings are to sign up to be on a mailing list, many constituents are often time thrown for a loop when finding information regarding an organization. The association hopes to support Organizations better to ease the organization process. Ways in which the Association hopes to better the organization experience is by refining the communication the Association gives to organization leaders, working with the college to bring one centralized master calendar showing all campus events, and adding information on the VSA website guiding people to sign up for an organization's mailing list. 

The initiative hopes to address an overwhelmingly popular stance, with 90.4% of constituents stating the Association should be responsible for facilitating access to VSA-certified organizations.

Contact: Matthew Tavraez, Director of Communications (

This year will mark the first year within the new structure adopted from the work of the last sessions Operations Committee. Like most life changes, many constituents may need time and deliberate communication to express the nature of the changes that happen with the VSA and the rationale behind them. Constituents have also made it clear that some feel they need clarification on the work the Association is doing at any point in the year.

This initiative hopes to use existing and new forms of communication to experiment and see what conditions work best in engaging constituents. The association seeks various ways to present our information to best appeal to where the Association may already engage our constituents. 

Contact: Matthew Tavraez, Director of Communications (

Living at Vassar

Residential Experience and Community Engagement

Priority 7: Student Engagement and Activities

Annual Comprehensive results revealed that students are often unaware of campus resources and events. They are broadcasted in an unorganized fashion and on too many platforms so students are often unaware of where to look. Several services such as the free Poughkeepsie bus system, Saturday City Shuttle, and VCycle are just a few examples of resources not widely known to students.

Finding an alternative method for communicating these services and events would be beneficial to Vassat students. In collaboration with the Division of Communications, the Division of Student Events is committed to navigating the way events are advertised, and brainstorming new solutions for meaningful outreach.

Contact: Faye Stevens, Director of Student Events ( & Matthew Tavarez, Director of Communications (

Vermont and a few other states do an annual Green-Up day which could very easily be implemented on Vassar campus. Green-Up day is the first Saturday of May where the state comes together to pick up the side of the roads and local areas of litter and debris. A collaboration between the Division of Student Events and the Association’s Office of Sustainability to implement a Green-Up tradition, that also could involve the Poughkeepsie community, would be an impactful event that builds community and an opportunity to clean up the environment. 

Contact: Faye Stevens, Director of Student Events ( and Demetri Sedita, Sustainability Executive (

With the excitement surrounding the Brewer Games for incoming freshmen, there has already been a demonstrated interest and desire for fun, collaborative events promoting student involvement. The Division of Student Events is committed to implementing more meaningful programming, and through the campus class competition initiative are further invested in establishing a new Brewer Olympics to promote healthy competition between Vassar students. The goal of this initiative is to involve all campus apartment living spaces to foster a greater sense of community across all class years. The Brewer Olympics could potentially mirror the Brewer Games in a similar aspect of Field Day style events, but with a greater emphasis on reflecting the values of the Association as it relates to Equity, Wellness and Sustainability.  

Working alongside the Association officials, students could earn points for their class in wellness, equity, or sustainability aspects. Some ideas include a rewards  system for recycling, or composting, getting narcan certified, attending various campus events, etc. 

Contact: Faye Stevens, Director of Student Events (

There are high points of stress in every Vassar student's academic journey, be that during finals, huge move-ins, or long  breaks where students will be separated from their friends. During these times and especially between our large campus events where there are fewer traditions for students to look forward to, it creates something of a dull period. For example, the period following winter vacation and before Founders Day. 

The Division of Student Events is committed to brainstorming possible smaller scale campus-wide events that could be implemented to break up that period. Furthermore, we are committed as an Association to re-establishing MUG Nights, programming around Academic Accomplishments like the Major’s Toast Event, and other events that involve the collaboration of student organizations and administration. 

Contact: Faye Stevens, Director of Student Events ( & Jordan Norman, Chair of Academic Affairs (

One main goal of the Association is to expand our community outreach in ways that are meaningful for the student constituency. The Senior Associate for Outreach  position within the Office of the President, was created in the pursuit of expanding this sense of community engagement, and will further aid in creating a strong relationship with leaders in Poughkeepsie. 

Through this position, the Office of the President will be able to more readily obtain and circulate information about community events, volunteer opportunities, and ways for students to make and maintain involvement with the Hudson Valley. This will make it easier for students to leave the “Vassar bubble”, learn about the community, and foster an atmosphere of valuing the people who live around us.

Contact: Olivia Gross, President (

Priority 8: Strengthening Climate-Positive Commitments

The Association has purchased 27 bikes for free use by students around campus through a new bike-share program. Given that this is a brand new program beginning this semester, it will be important to monitor its success and make adjustments as needed based on student feedback. Despite the program not yet being in use, many students indicated in this year’s  Annual Comprehensive Survey (Figure 5) that they would like to see additional docking stations around campus.

Both the Division of Services and Office of Sustainability are committed to ensuring all necessary steps for maintenance and expansion are taken, including: further contact with the bike shop for bike maintenance, the implementation of a damage report system, and additional bikes. Additionally, the Office of Sustainability is committed to continuing their discussions with the Vassar administration communicating with Town of Poughkeepsie officials regarding the expansion of bike lanes on the streets around Vassar campus. 

Contact: Demetri Sedita, Sustainability Executive ( and Max Bergman, Director of Services (

The Green2Go program is a useful asset to Vassar students who wish to reduce the amount of plastic and food waste generated through our dining operations. An expansion of this existing Green2Go program to include beverages would encourage students to use reusable containers for their beverages instead of disposable coffee cups. 

The Association’s Office of Sustainability is committed to implementing the MyMug program, which would be a spiritual successor to the Green2Go program. The incentive for the program would come in the form of a reward to be distributed to each student after they use their reusable mug a certain number of times. There has been communication with Dave Osburn from CIS about their capacity to implement a tracking system  Continuing to communicate with CIS about what a tracking system would look like and purchasing some reusable mugs for a pilot program would be the next steps to ensure the success of this initiative and further reflect the interests of the Office of Sustainability.

Contact: Demetri Sedita, Sustainability Executive (

The implementation of food waste collection bins in residential areas has been discussed as students have expressed interest in wanting more places to dispose of compostable waste (Figure 22). The expansion of compost collection is important to increasing campus sustainability by reducing the amount of waste Vassar sends to the landfill.

The Association’s Office of Sustainability is committed to implementing compost all throughout campus in phases. The initial phase of this expansion should be to the senior housing areas, based on the results of the waste audit conducted by the Office of Sustainability. This report highlighted the high amount of food waste generated at the apartment complexes and led representatives from Greenway to agree to install collection bins in these areas. With this initial phase completed, the Office of Sustainability Is further committed to piloting  a similar program in the residential houses, including a more streamlined program to educate students on proper compost etiquette. 

Contact: Demetri Sedita, Sustainability Executive (

Priority 9: Student Services

Since 2010, Vassar operated a Zip Car rental program on campus which was suspended due to COVID-19. According to this year's Annual Comprehensive Survey, 88% (Figure 3) surveyed would like to see this program return. This program would create an easier way for students without cars on campus to travel off campus.

The Association’s Division of Services is committed to investigating the return of the ZipCar program, and re-implementing it as an aspect of the Vassar Student Association’s services.  

Contact: Max Bergman, Director of Services (

CHOICE was a Fully Certified student Organization in which sexual health products such as condoms, dental dams, and lubricants were dispersed via bags on the doors of Student Fellows and in the Health Center on campus. These bags were often found empty or devoid of certain materials. Although this certifies the importance and popularity of the CHOICE products offered, the need to restock them has proven to be a nearly impossible human task. 

In support of this effort, the Association’s Division of Services will start CHOICE vending machines on campus that will be more secure locations for CHOICE products. Furthermore, the Division of Services will work to ensure that these products are more accessible and abundant throughout the campus to help promote the health and safety of the student body.

Contact: Max Bergman, Director of Services (

Project Period was a Fully Certified student Organization where students would volunteer their time to help administer period products throughout all nine residential dorms and main academic buildings on campus. These products often ran out quickly and were challenging to resupply by students. Despite the difficulty of restocking, the need for menstrual products has not faltered and remains a necessity for a huge portion of Vassar students during emergency scenarios. 

The Association is committed to continuing the initial mission of Project.Period by incorporating it into our Division of Services. With the support of the Vassar Student Association, Project period will have ample support and funding to ensure its service remains. 

Contact: Max Bergman, Director of Services (

Priority 10: Residence

For many Vassar students, their contribution to the college extends beyond the academic year. Due to student jobs, URSI, and other opportunities on campus, Vassar attracts summer students who are expected to exist on campus for several months with fewer resources than they would have during the academic year. Given the more limited pool of students on campus, the Gordon Commons also operates on shorter hours and significantly reduced food options. Due to those time constraints, students may need to find alternative dining options for the other hours of the day.

The Student Financial Affairs Committee is committed to advocate for the  allocation of Arlington Bucks to summer students,as they will then be able to access food and dining options that may otherwise be financially inaccessible. Students who live on campus during the summer need to have the same amount of support that they get during the academic year- and giving summer students Arlington Bucks is one such way to ensure that everyone’s unique needs are met.

Contact: Mae Long, Chair of Student Financial Affairs Committee (

The V-Wash stipend was certainly a step in the right direction toward making Vassar more financially accessible, but as an institution that is fully committed to meeting all demonstrated financial needs, more work can be done in the pursuit of removing financial barriers for Vassar students. One of the largest concerns communicated via the Annual Comprehensive Survey data (Figure 59) is that the stipend is not large enough to accommodate for an entire semester of laundry. Given the basic needs of each Vassar student to maintain cleanliness, the stipend covering an incomplete amount of laundry costs necessitates students to pay for laundry out of pocket, which can pose a significant financial burden towards the latter parts of the semester where tensions are already high due to finals and impending deadlines. By increasing the VWash stipend, students will be able to comfortably do their laundry without worrying about running out of money and having to pay out of pocket.

Beyond the stressors of the academic year, summer students also need a VWash stipend. Students are paying a maximum of $45/day for summer housing without financial aid, and  even with lower income students having some of their costs subsidized, there is still the expectation to dedicate a large portion of summer earnings to housing alone. This leaves less money for laundry and, without a VWash stipend, students are paying even more money to fulfill their basic needs. By giving summer students a VWash stipend, they will be able to live and thrive on campus much more comfortably.

Contact: Mae Long, Chair of Student Financial Affairs Committee (

Having community partners throughout the Arlington neighborhood is crucial, and the size of Vassar’s student body presents a valuable opportunity to stimulate the local economy and foster connections with our community partners. As it currently stands, Arlington Bucks can be redeemed at over fifteen establishments, including: Crafted Kup, One Dollar Inc., Twisted Soul, and Bagel World. Students are able to expand their taste palettes and eat at traditional restaurants, as opposed to campus dining options. As reported by this year’s Annual Comprehensive Survey, students desire an increase in Arlington bucks (Figure 57).

With the desire to further promote the initial spirit of Arlington Bucks, more work is necessary to ensure meaningful expansion. It is in this spirit that the Residential Affairs Committee is committed to reassessing which aspects of the Arlinton Bucks program necessitated expansion, including, but are not limited to: partnering with non-food businesses, increasing the amount of Arlington Bucks students are allocated, opening up Arlington Bucks use to the Pop-Up Market, and allowing Arlington Bucks to roll over to proceeding semesters.

Contact: Connor Dalgaard, Chair of Residential Affairs Committee (

Vassar has much to be proud of, and given its reputation for being one of the most beautiful campuses in the country, students may want to invite their friends or family to campus to offer a glimpse of their college lives. Overnight guests are allowed to stay on campus, provided that they abide by college rules and regulations and are properly registered. With housing considerations covered, dining options should also account for guests.

Similar to Vassar Student Association-sponsored VPrint and VWash funding, the Residential Affairs Committee would also like to see a VDine fund instituted. VDine would essentially provide guest swipes into the Deece and a limited fund for items at the Retreat and Express. VDine, which could be used by the friends and families of students, allows everyone to experience Vassar’s on-campus dining options at no cost. After all, it seems absurd that the families who sacrifice so much for their children to attend Vassar are not treated to a meal or two when they visit their children.

Contact: Connor Dalgaard, Chair of Residential Affairs Committee (

Vassar students are often extremely occupied with their coursework and extracurricular activities, and snacks from vending machines are not enough to sustain students during late night study sessions and social gatherings. Vassar students are busy to a fault, and may struggle to eat meals during daylight hours due to their rigorous classes, engaging extracurriculars, and sporting events. The current hours of the Deece, Retreat, and Express do not adequately serve student needs, and the cost of snacks, however meager they might be, compile to high amounts over the course of each given semester. 

In order to combat this issue, the Residential Affairs Committee would like to see a 24-hour food option be piloted. Such an option could occur in a limited fashion in the Deece, Retreat, or Express in a similar manner to the 24-hour section of the library, (or as an extended grab-to-go option) .

Contact: Connor Dalgaard, Chair of Residential Affairs Committee (

Vassar offers a variety of housing options such as singles, doubles, triples, and quad-living options in dorms, Terrace Apartments, Town Houses and the Southern Commons. In an effort to promote equity, students pay proportional costs for room and board no matter what housing option they are assigned to or choose, except for a slight increase in cost for those opting to live in the Terrace Apartments and Town Houses. Despite the good intentions behind this policy, there are a few pitfalls that have proven to be undesirable for students. One of these implications are overly crowded rooms, noted particularly in the nine main residential dorms, where rooms intended to occupy one often end up occupying two. 

The Residential Affairs Committee seeks to evaluate what constitutes a single, double, and triple dorm to ensure that students have adequate spaces to live and learn at Vassar. Properly displaying these parameters, as well as the amount that each residential house contains, would promote more transparency from the Residential Office of the College (ROC) to Vassar students.

Contact: Connor Dalgaard, Chair of Residential Affairs Committee (

Vassar students notoriously have involvement with several activities, not even including their extremely demanding coursework. With the expectation to remain awake and alert during all of these endeavors, many Vassar students are still not satisfied by the campus coffee options. While the recent partnership with Chris’s Coffee was certainly an improvement to the caffeine options on campus, students have still demonstrated an interest in more diverse choices. Expanding offerings to include drinks like espressos would help satisfy the variety of student tastes on campus. Moreover, ensuring a supply of coffee–as well as hot chocolate–in all of the campus dining options would add a level of consistency that currently does not exist at Vassar. 

Student-led organizations like the Brew are well-loved by students, and given their newly adopted membership as a Chartered Student Organization, the Residential Affairs Committee is committed to further collaboration with the Brew and Vassar proper, with the intention of relocated the Brew to the inside of the Deece or in the College Center. 

Contact: Connor Dalgaard, Chair of Residential Affairs Committee (

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Contact: Connor Dalgaard, Chair of Residential Affairs Committee (

Priority 11: Student Wellbeing

Numerous students who participated in the Annual Comprehension Survey stated concerns with Vassar’s counseling services. There is a need for more counselors on campus, with an additional desire for counselors that represent the diverse ethnic and racial background of Vassar students. A greater pool of diverse counselors would create a more comfortable atmosphere for students, to ensure that it is easier to ‘connect’ to their therapist with shared backgrounds. 

In the spirit of the aforementioned concerns, the Association’s Office of Wellness is committed to expanding and re-evaluating approaches to mental health support on campus, including: a student video or guide illustrating how to access counseling resources, more meaningful conversations with Professors about how to appropriately accommodate students and more engagement with Metcalf . 

Contact: Traci Francis, Equity Executive ( and Sofia Balich, Wellness Executive (

On multiple occasions, students with allergies or dietary restrictions have had problems at the Gordon Commons due to a limited list of ingredients. Other institutions like UNC-Chapel Hill list all of the correct ingredients on the online menus for students with allergies, so students can more easily and comfortably access food that is safe for them to eat. With the easy accessibility of these labeling practices, it will save time for students and give the staff at the Gordon Commons a more outlined  guide of the ingredients in the food so that they may label more efficiently. During school held events, ingredients of food being served should also be provided as well. 

The Association’s Office of Wellness is thus committed to re-evaluating  labeling practices at the Gordon Commons to ensure that each Vassar student is properly informed about all food items prior to ingestion. 

Contact: Sofia Balich, Wellness Executive (

Numerous students have participated in ‘all-nighters’ just to complete the rigors that a Vassar education offers. The Association’s Office of Wellness is committed to the  establishment of a sleep wellness program that will help confront this. This program will be a support group where students can all learn and keep each other accountable for healthy sleep hygiene practices, so everyone can get a better quality of sleep, which in turn, will help students physically, emotionally, mentally, and academically. Time management is a vital key in this issue as well, so in this support group, students can help each other manage our schedules in a more efficient manner as well.

Contact: Sofia Balich, Wellness Executive (

In partnership with a student chapter called It’s On Us, an initiative started by the Obama-Biden administration to combat sexual assault on campuses nationally, there are free workshops where students can learn how to be educated about bystander intervention, sexual assault awareness & consent education, survivor support, online dating safety, and more. The Association's  Office of Wellness is thus committed to further and more meaningful collaboration with It’s On US With to combat sexual assault. 

Contact: Sofia Balich, Wellness Executive (

Learning at Vassar

Academic Expectations and Support

Priority 12: Curricular Choice and Enhancement

Community-Engaged Learning (CEL) is a program at Vassar that allows students to combine work in a non-profit organization, a government agency, or a business with academic work under the guidance of a faculty sponsor. CEL occurs both during the academic school year and over the summer. Although a reported 89.8% (Figure 80) of the student constituency are aware of the CEL program, many Vassar students are either uninvolved with CEL entirely, or find the system a bit difficult to navigate. Of the students that were aware and involved with CEL, 77.3% (Figure 81)would find some type of handbook or guidelines on how to navigate CEL helpful. 

Working along with these results, the Academic Affairs Committee is committed to further improving the current system by working alongside the office of Community-Engaged-Learning to clarify the expectations for both students and faculty members participating in CEL. These changes once implemented will open the floor for more expansive opportunities that align with the values demonstrated by Vassar students in their classrooms and beyond.

Contact: Jordan Norman, Chair of Academics (

One aspect of the student experience that exists beyond our Vassar campus is the demonstration of academic excellence in other institutions. While this demonstration of excellence can be reflected through Advanced Placement courses in highschool, coursework completed at other institutions prior to transferring, summer work or courses taken while studying abroad, transferring these credits has ingrained itself as a necessity for much of the student constituency. 

The current guidelines as set by Vassar College are restrictive, especially in the case of AP/IB exams. Several incoming Vassar students apply with several Advanced Placement coursework with the intention of transferring those credits, and Vassar’s current guidelines restrict students to two courses. Although there does need to be a balance skewed towards Vassar in the amount of coursework counted towards graduation, Vassar students should be granted the opportunity to use more than two of the AP courses they paid hundreds of dollars for with the expectation of using them. In the spirit of this, the Academic Affairs Committee is committed to advocating for an additional AP credit and exploring all other current transfer credit policies. 

Contact: Jordan Norman, Chair of Academics (

Last year the Annual Comprehensive Survey results reflected a desire for students to reclaim more autonomy over their academic journey at Vassar. As it relates to the topic of course overload, Vassar students want to take the reins of their education and potentially enroll in more courses. Even more so than this, a reported 71.4% (Figure 87) of Vassar students are not aware of the qualifications needed to be considered for a course overload.

As it currently stands, the course load requirements for Vassar are 3.5 CLS credits at a minimum, and 4.5 CLS credits at a maximum. Although the Academic Affairs Committee of the previous sections worked with the Dean of Studies Office to write out the list of expectations for course overload, these expectations have not been updated and Vassar students remain to be uniformed. With an intensified desire to educate students and to reflect the updated needs regarding course overload, the Academic Affairs  Committee is committed to renegotiating the terms set by last year’s Administration, and ensuring that further qualifications are created to more intentionally represent the desires of the Vassar student constituency.  

Contact: Jordan Norman, Chair of Academics (

Priority 13: Academic Aid

Textbooks are a huge expense to college students around the globe, and Vassar students are no exception to this reality. Given Vassar’s dedication to meeting all demonstrated needs for financial aid, and its reputation regarding need blind admission, several Vassar students have already demonstrated an additional need for financial support before even arriving on campus. 

With an approximate 66.6% of students receiving some type of financial aid and the expectation to enroll in substantive coursework requiring multiple textbooks, some students may not have the means to buy those books necessary to thrive in their classroom environments. 

Given the makeup of our constituency, Association officials are committed to creating a textbook fund alongside all other Association other funds, in which students can apply throughout the year for financial support. This would include some coordination with the Financial Aid office as well as the Allocations Committee to discern if students should receive the funds. There would be a maximum allotment for each student on aid per semester to avoid excessive use and to ensure equality among all the students.

Contact: Dylan Ouderkirk, Director of Finance (