Jan 25 WEEKLY UPDATE: Money, Sports and YNCyclopaedia.

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Many students are given money by Yale-NUS, whether in wages, grants or student org allocations. We’re making sure that distribution is fair and appropriate. There’s also been a lot of progress in athletics, around ICGs, MPH policy and Gym resources.

Again, find more detail in the minutes.

 

Project Updates:
Honour Code: An honour code has been drawn up, for the community to uphold and respect. This will be released soon, and we’ll hold a Town Hall to process feedback.
Classroom Bookings: If you have any ideas for our classroom booking policy, please feedback to us.
YNCyclopaedia: Student Council is pushing for the creation of a useful student database. This is intended to hold curriculum resources, info on the school structure, our histories and a student advice wiki. Please email clin.lai@u.yale-nus.edu.sg if you’re interested in helping!
Finance Committee: One is being created to assist the director and increase transparency.
Student Research Payment: Currently, pay is not enough to support international students who don’t have a place to stay. We’re working to come up with a way around this.
Study Abroad: Spots are limited, particular for majors in CS, US and GA. We’ll be working with CIPE to get more info and try to improve the situation.
Student Orgs Travel funding: There’s inherent conflict-of-interest issues with the distribution of travel funding to student orgs by Student Council members, given how everyone knows everyone in this tiny school. That power will remain in the hands of DoS.
External MPH usage: Teams from other RC’s can get permission to use the gym in the period leading up to the ICGs. Since several of them lack their own space, we’ve made ours available in the spirit of fair play, provided they get approval from Athletics and Brandon. We’re working with infra and athletics to crack down on unauthorized usage.
Gym resources: A weighing scale and new gym mats are being procured for the gym.
Extended Gym Hours: Start next week!

 

All the best,
Hebe Hilhorst
Yale-NUS Student Council | Director of External Communication

Quote of the Week –
             “Guys did anyone say anything interesting this week.”
– Me

 

Jan 19 WEEKLY UPDATE: Important Updates on Health, Athletics, Bookings, Student Associates, Student Orgs, Library and Wi-Fi.

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The Directorship of External Communications exists to ensure students have access to relevant information; this week, there’s a lot. Please make sure to carefully read through the Project Updates section!

 

Meeting notes:
We had a long but productive meeting this week. We welcomed new government members Clin Lai and Matthew Ware, and our long-awaited retreat, which was wonderful for our government synergy.

Again, find more detail in the minutes.


Cabinet Reshuffle!
President: Saza Faradilla
Vice-President: Avery Simmons
Speaker: Scott Chua
Director of Student Orgs: Anandita Sabherwal
Deputy Director of Student Orgs: Scott Chua
Co-directors of Student Life: Saza Faradilla and Avery Simmons
Deputy Director of Student Life: Stinson (Shi TIngsheng)
Co-directors of Academics: Clin Lai and Matthew Ware
Deputy Director of Academics: Shardul Sapkota
Director of External Communications: Me
Deputy Director of External Communications: Izzah Harris
Director of Logistics: Sunwoo Nam
Director of Athletics: Brandon Lee
Director of Finance: Aditya Karkera
Director of Events: Nirali Desai

 

Project Updates:
Health Insurance: Our insurance policy is remaining the same. We’re pushing for information
sessions this semester so everyone can learn what that means.
Mental Health: The contract with SACAC, our current mental health vendor, runs out this year. We’re getting external people from NUS to operate in the same function as SACAC currently does.
Mental Health days: We are in discussion with the Dean of Students office to have mental health days available.
Sex: Dean of Students Office is working on eight consent workshops.
Retreat: Our retreat was held this weekend. This greatly improved our corporate synergy.
Room Bookings: The free-for-all room booking policy has come under question, due to the abuse of the system in the form of block bookings. A review is underway. If you have any suggestions or commentary, please contact Student Government through our email or feedback form.
Student Associates: Payment will be changing from a fiat (flat) to a tiered system, with payment allocated based on competitiveness and difficulty.
MPH: Although aircon is unfeasible due to building regulations, windows will be installed to help with ventilation.
ICGs: Are proceeding well and will be held from the 4th to 16th of February. Names will be finalized within a week.
Extended Gym Hours: Are happening, we promise. These will start by next week.
Staff appreciation month: February is slotted as staff appreciation month, so please remember to say ‘thanks’ to everyone who helps make Yale=NUS such a great school, be they your favourite professor, an efficient admin, or a librarian you couldn’t finish your capstone without.
Student Orgs Process: Updated forms will be available on the website soon, alongside a timeline for new orgs to follow. THe deadline will be sometime in early Feb. A directory will no live sometime in March,
Student Orgs room cleanup: A room usage policy is being worked out. There will be a week where groups can claim items; after, they become forfeit.
WiFi: A contractor has been appointed to fix spotty wifi spots. Please contact ERT at yncit@yale-nus.edu.sg if you know of any places they should take care of.
Library cards: There should be no difference in access regardless of whether your number starts with an E or an A.
Computer Lab access: Will hopefully go 24/7.
Library lighting: The current yellow bulbs are to be replaced with brighter white bulbs.
High speed computing: Will be looked at next semester.
Mascot: Will be emailed to all members of Yale-NUS on Feb 3.


Contact us!
Open hours are now every Wednesday, lunchtimes in each dining hall.
Meetings are location TBA, timing TBA. I will Facebook, should anyone spontaneously decide to attend. Please do.

 

All the best,
Hebe Hilhorst
Yale-NUS Student Council | Director of External Communication


Quote of the Week –
                 “Let’s capsize!”
– Avery Simmons

Jan 1 WEEKLY UPDATE: By-Elections, Food and Money

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Jan 1 WEEKLY UPDATE: By-Elections, Food and Money – the markings of democracy.

 

Meeting notes:
Student Council: In our last meeting, we primarily discussed internal affairs and structure as we transition into a new semester. Plans were made for a meeting based around the constitution and proposed amendments.
By-Elections: Voting  will be possible on Canvas Monday 16 through Thursday 19. Physical voting booths will also be set up in strategic locations around campus.

Again, find more detail in the minutes.

Project Updates:
Meatless Mondays: Will continue in Elm, for lunch. Regular menus will be served in the other Dining Halls.
Budget: Has been finalized. As previously noted, the stipend proposal was repealed.
Academics: A survey to gain feedback on Academics and CIPE is in the works.
Govt retreat: Is upcoming this weekend.
Donation meal taps: Will sadly not become a thing, due to contract issues.
Student Orgs: The Directorship is pushing for greater organisation, both through tidying up the student orgs room and solidifying the database.
Arts: Plans for a UTown-wide Tembusu music concert are in the works.
ERT: Has gained a new Dean. Our liaison is building a relationship to support the push for better lighting and climate control.
External Communications: I will let you unsubscribe from these emails just as soon as I get my hands on the full-school email listing.

All the best,

Hebe Hilhorst

Yale-NUS Student Council | Director of External Communication

 

Quote of the Week –

“Social democracy is objectively the moderate wing of fascism.”

– Joseph Stalin

 

Student Council Resignations Rationale – 2016/17 Sem 1

The Yale-NUS Student Council has 5 slots open in the by-elections. The President and Vice-President, as well as the entire Council, would like to thank each of the resignees for their service this semester.

Here is a list of the resignees, their reasons for leaving, and their temporary replacements:

Subhas Nair ’17- Resigned early in the semester

Timo Lim ’18, Director of Academics- Resigned due to personal reasons. Temporarily replaced by Shardul Sapkota ’20, Deputy Director of Academics. 

Michael Moyer ’20, Director of Logistics- Resigned due to a change in personal priorities. Responsibilities temporarily fulfilled by Saza Faradilla ’18 and Avery Simmons ’19. 

Glen Koh ’18, Speaker, Liaison to Infrastructure, Liaison to Arts & Media- Resigned due to study abroad at NYU next semester. Temporarily replaced by Deputy Speaker Scott Chua ’20, and permanently replaced by Brandon Lee ’20 as Liaison to Infrastructure and Sunwoo Nam ’20 as Liaison to Arts & Media. 

Logan Ye ’20, Backbencher- Resigned due to a change in personal priorities.

The Council takes these resignations very seriously, and would like to emphasise the commitment which students undertake when accepting a spot on the Student Council. After by-elections next semester, the President will initiate a Cabinet reshuffle to fill reassign portfolio responsibilities. In the meantime, the Council continues to function at top efficiency, and responsibilities have been reassigned as seen above. Outgoing members have assisted in the transition of these responsibilities. The Student Council encourages all interested and committed students to run in by-elections

Nov 23 WEEKLY UPDATE: By-Election, Budget and Gym Hours.

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Nov 23 WEEKLY UPDATE: By-Election, Budget and Gym Hours.

This marks the last update you’ll get from me until next semester. Over the past months, Student Council has made a lot of progress. The Student Life survey has given us a new focus, internal processes have been streamlined, and subcommittees are up and running. We continue to try to improve the bureaucratic structures and regulation, such as within athletics and student orgs. In response to feedback gained from the Town Halls, surveys, and office hours organised throughout the semester, we’ve planned several projects to be implemented in our term. These include, but are not limited to, extended gym hours; brighter library lighting; athletics appreciation; Meatless Mondays; and a meal tap donation scheme.

 

Meeting notes:

Arts: Sunwoo is now your liaison.
Positions : Director of Budget has been renamed Director of Finance.
Stipend Proposal: The Stipend Proposal has been discussed and repealed in consideration of concerns from several members of the student body and the Judiciary.
Subcommittee Meetings: The Student Orgs Recognition Committee has published it’s rationale behind keeping their minutes confidential. They will also be handling both approval and funding.
Budget: The Budget Resolution has been passed and forwarded to judiciary.

Again, find more detail in the minutes.

 

Project Updates:

Gym hours: Beginning next semester, the gym will likely be open all the way until 2am. There will be a log book. Please actually utilise this, as the amount of traffic will determine the success of the scheme.
Athletics Dinner: Thank you to the Dean of Students and Athletics Council for successfully organising this.
Athletics teams: Starting next sem, funding will be given out on a different matrix. A document will be out next sem describing how this works.
Retreat: Our Student Council retreat has been moved to 21st January, so our new members from the by-election can be included.
Weekly Updates: Unfortunately, you can’t opt-out from these emails till I have the full school’s email list, which will happen when I have the capacity to chase it down.
Byelection: Glen and Joceline ‘18 are co-chairing the committee. A full By-Elections Code document with more info will be disseminated on Monday.

 

Final Thoughts:

Our best wishes stay with you through the rest of exam week. Yale-NUS is far from easy academically, but we have faith that everyone will rise to the occasion. On a happier note, holidays are literally just around the corner! This semester has had more than its fair share of ups and downs. We hope you enjoy the chance for a break over December, and take the opportunity to reflect on the good times and the bad, to remember your friends and spent time with your family, and to prepare yourselves for the rest of the year.

 

All the best,
Hebe Hilhorst
Yale-NUS Student Council | Director of External Communication

 

Quote of the Week –
“I can volunteer my private reputation.”
                 – Scott Lee Chua

Nov 16 WEEKLY UPDATE: By-Elections, Town Halls and Important Emails.

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Nov 16 WEEKLY UPDATE:

By-Elections, Town Halls and Important Emails.

Over the past week, we reviewed and responded to the judiciary report. We have clarified that no student will be turned away from the Wellness Center, regardless of how many sessions they attend. Significant progress has also been made on gym hours and library lighting.

 

Meeting notes:

Wellness: The 8 sessions are meant to serve as a guideline and not a cap; no student will be turned away should they require more than 8 sessions at the Wellness Centre.

Upcoming elections: There will be by-elections for two new Student Council members at the beginning of next semester, due to Subhas Nair’s resignation at the beginning of our term, and Speaker Glen Koh’s absence due to study abroad. There will also be an internal election for a new Speaker. In the meantime, Scott Chua ‘20 has been appointed Deputy Speaker.

Other Minutes: Minutes from subcommittees and Town Halls will be available online. However, the Student Orgs subcommittee meetings will remain confidential, to prevent issues over budget allocation.

Meeting etiquette: In line with the judiciary report findings, there will be more stress laid on attendance and attention during meetings.

Constitution: A motion has passed to update Article V, Section 5.4, such that the judiciary must:

“Present three (3) public reports to the student body on the conduct of the Council, with special regard for the Council’s adherence to the stipulations of the Constitution. One report shall be released at the end of Semester 1, one mid-Semester 2, and one final, cumulative report shall be released at the end of Semester 2. Additional reports may be presented at any time should the Judiciary feel the Council’s conduct renders it necessary.”

Again, find more detail in the minutes.

 

Project Updates:

Library lighting: A brighter library is at the top of their priority list for next semester.

Alumni library access: Based on the NUS system, alumni will have access to print texts, although digital access must be paid for.

Gym hours: Extension to 2am is possible. Thank you to everyone who completed the poll!

Athletics Council: First meeting has been held, minutes will be up on Sunday. The appreciation barbeque is scheduled for Monday.

Budget: The budget allocation for our term has been finalized.

Welfare Packs: Due to unavoidable logistics difficulties, these will be given out at the start of next semester instead of during exam week.

 

Dining and Infra:

Dining Town Hall: This was a fruitful discussion. Meatless Mondays will be implemented to some extent, as will meal tap donation. Varying meal tap amounts is a more tricky question. Our food is already being heavily subsidized, so everyone gets more taps than they pay for already. Changing the system so that people can pay different amounts for differing amounts of taps is difficult to within the terms of the subsidy. We also discussed food wastage and dining feedback. For more detail on this important subject, please see the minutes.

Infra Town Hall: This was a welcome discussion that explained why fire alarms and lift breakdowns are common, and addressed drain flies and recycling. Thank you to Dennis for hosting.

Contacts: For infrastructure issues, please contact infra@yale-nus.edu.sg. For Dining related issues, please contact dining@yale-nus.edu.sg.

 

All the best,

Hebe Hilhorst

Yale-NUS Student Council | Director of External Communication

 

Quote of the Week –

“I want to have a love match with our vendor, I do. We need a fulfilling long-term relationship.”

        – Dean Bridges

Nov 9 WEEKLY UPDATE: Town Halls, Listening Sessions and Gym Hours.

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Nov 9 WEEKLY UPDATE: Town Halls, Listening Sessions and Gym Hours.

This week, we reviewed progress on meal tap donation, arts facilities and course listings. Discussion also continued on extending gym hours. Upcoming on Wednesday, we have an Infrastructure Town Hall at 6:30pm in LT1. On Thursday, there’s a Dean of Students Listening Session in Cendana Anteroom from 12 to 1.

 

Meeting notes:

Actionables: A list of actionables have been put together from the Student Life Survey. These have been assigned to directorships and will form the bulk of our goals going forward.

Constitution: An amendment is being drafted such that the judiciary will release only 1-2 reports per semester, instead of one a month, due to their short term.

Dining: There’s a lot of chicken. People would like things that aren’t chicken.

Academics: DDP students will have 5th year housing, and most GA major courses will be cross-listed with PPE. Meanwhile, HI courses will still not count towards a History major as it’s a common curriculum course. Feedback on this and other common curriculum points will be collected.

Arts: The Arts budget is being overtaxed through too many performances, so the department would like to encourage groups to consolidate. The recording studio is somewhat operational, and students should go through Professor Jon He to use. PR1, meanwhile, is now a music/tech lab.

Judiciary: Now has a page on the website – check it out here!

Again, find more detail in the minutes.

 

Project Updates:

Judiciary: Last week, the Judiciary met to discuss the Student Council Stipend Implementation proposal as well as their upcoming report. Read the minutes for their opinions.

Stipend Implementation: A proposal for stipends to be given to financially needy Student Council members has been submitted to Judiciary for approval.

Meal tap donation: Student Life has put together a plan that will allow students to donate some lunch taps to college staff who otherwise wouldn’t have lunch on-campus. A form allowing students to opt-in will be circulated at the beginning of next semester.

Welfare packs: To promote a culture of care, students will receive a goodie bag during exam week. We opted for the bigger version (budget permitting) as we feel relieving stress in this time is important.

Arts: Yale-NUS is participating in the UTown Tembusu music festival! More to come.

Student Life: There will be another listening session with Dean Bridges this upcoming Thursday, in the Cendana Anteroom from 12-1.

 

Infrastructure:

Gym hours: Ongoing discussions to extend gym hours past midnight are looking positive, although safety concerns persist. If you support (or otherwise) this initiative, please fill out this poll, which will lend strength to our lobbying.

Town Hall: An open dialogue with the infra admin will occur 6:30pm-8:00pm, Wednesday 16 Nov, in LT1 (Saga). Please come along, as a lot of everyday life centers around this department. This is a good chance to express any questions or concerns you have and better understand their processes!

 

All the best,

Hebe Hilhorst

Yale-NUS Student Council | Director of External Communication

 

Quote of the Week –

“You can’t call me Queen Saza in government communications.”

                 – President Saza Faradilla

Nov 2 WEEKLY UPDATE: SA Payments, Staff Appreciation and Town Halls.

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Nov 2 WEEKLY UPDATE:

SA Payments, Staff Appreciation and Town Halls.

This week, we clarified the Student Associate payment process with CIPE and discussed how this could become quicker over the upcoming months, and held a productive Town Hall on the Student Life Survey.

Meeting notes:

External Communication: These Weekly Updates will be emailed out every Saturday evening and posted on our Facebook page at that time. Important information (such as Town Halls) will be included in the Weekly Updates and further disseminated on the College Students and RC Facebook pages.

Stipend Implementation: for Student Council members was discussed, as detailed in the minutes. More information will be disseminated when judicial approval is obtained.

Again, find more detail in the minutes.

Project Updates:

Student Life Survey: The Student Council held a Town Hall on the survey results. The event yielded some good discussions on the survey results regarding dining, communication and health insurance, which we will continue to follow up on over the rest of our term. Good conversation was also had on other issues like the MPH and Cendana field.

Athletics: Athletics Council has been formed, and ICG planning has commenced.
Staff Appreciation: To show our gratitude, as a student body, for the help and support of the Dean of Students in a tumultuous time for the College, staff will receive gifts from Yankee Candle.

 

Student Associate and RFP Payments:

Student Council President Saza Faradilla talked this week with EVP Kristen Lynas and CIPE Executive Zhana about the payment process, elaborated below.

First, the timesheet is sent to CIPE, who reviews and verifies every claim. This takes up to a week, and then it is sent to the Finance Department where it is processed like an invoice. Recently, due to slight understaffing and an increase in tenders for Infra etc, a backlog formed at this point. Overall, payments will take an average of three weeks, spending one week each in CIPE, Yale-NUS finance, and NUS finance.

We have asked the finance department to prioritize SA claims going forward, putting them through first.. More new staff are also joining these departments. Subsequently, claims should be processed at a faster rate.

 

Infrastructure:

MPH AC: Because of the way our campus was designed, it is difficult to cool the MPH while maintaining our Green Mark Certificate. However, the school is attempting to overcome this.

Role of Infrastructure Department: Following a discussion with Dennis, the head of Infra, the Student Council will call a Town Hall to explain to the curious student body the role of this important department.

 

Final Thoughts:

The results of the recent Student Life Survey has given our Council a new depth of focus and direction. Thank you to everyone who filled this out, your comments are very helpful in our planning and decision making process. If there’s anything important that wasn’t covered, please don’t hesitate to let us know on our feedback form!

 

All the best,
Hebe Hilhorst
Director of External Communication

 

Quote of the Week –
“Just keep your fingers on your keyboard and your eyes on your screen”
                 – Queen Saza