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Weekly Update 14/9: Swearing in, Vision and Halloween.

Last meeting of the Student Government saw everyone accepting their positions (barring Subhas Nair, who has resigned), the ratification of portfolio responsibilities, and planning begin for the horror of All Hallow’s Eve.

 

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peepz

Meeting notes:

All elected members of the Student Government were sworn in, excluding Subhas, who earlier resigned his post. Portfolio responsibilities were assigned, accepted and ratified, as listed below.  Vision, expectations and other bureaucratic matters were clarified and acknowledged – check the minutes if you dearly desire to know these administrative affairs. They feature conflicts (of interest), crickets, and the Sheet of Power.

 

Project Updates:

Events is planning for Halloween’s Haunted House in conjunction with RC3, Artslab and l’dECO. A Select Committee was approved, and planning is in the process… may the rest be left to your imagination!

Get Involved! –

Standing Committee applications will be out soon, so if you’re interested in Student Life, Academics or Athletics, you should definitely check those out!

 

Final Thoughts:

Recess week is over, stugov is official, and things are happening. Please remember, through the layers of stress and excitement, that sleep and self-care are also important! Lose yourself in youtube, check out the newly-published Mocktant, or simply get off campus for awhile, but make sure to stay healthy and happy!

 

All the best,

Hebe Hilhorst

Director of External Communication

 

Quote of the Week –

“Maybe life is random, but I doubt it.”

  • Steven Tyler

Weekly Update [Week 10]: Latin Honours policy, CIPE survey

This week’s update comes a little later than usual as the Council rescheduled its weekly meeting to 28 Mar (Mon) on account of the Good Friday public holiday last week.

Project Updates

From Student Life, the mascot selection process continued as planned with the Mascot Public Debate on 23 Mar (Wed) allowing members of the community to bring up arguments for/ against the top three mascot options. Round 2 of voting (tinyurl.com/yncmascotvoting2) opened on 24 Mar (Thu), and closes tonight (29 Mar, Tue, 11.59pm). Looking forward, ratification for the top mascot choice will be held next week from 5-7 Apr (Tue-Thu).

From Academics, there was much discussion amongst the student body about the Latin Honours policy which was recently announced on 24 Mar. Concerns raised by students included the potential impact the policy would have on academic culture in the school, ramifications for employability, and lack of fairness across majors. These concerns and others were summarised in an open letter written by some members of the student body, and was co-signed by 175 students (as of 29 Mar).

In response to the strong sentiments from the student body, the Student Government reached out to the Senior Administration to request a Town Hall, during which student concerns could be addressed and the rationale for certain specifics of the policy could be clarified. Executive Vice President (Academic Affairs) Tan Tai Yong was open to having a dialogue on this issue with the student body, but expressed that the earliest possible date to hold the Town Hall was the week of 11 Apr (Week 13).

The Student Government will be meeting him on 31 Mar (Thu) (this meeting was scheduled 3 weeks ago) and will clarify the administration’s rationale for the policy, advocate student concerns, and have them addressed. A report of the meeting will be published to the student body.

In the meantime, feedback on the policy can continue to be submitted at http://goo.gl/forms/Dv4LwjiVml.

Also from Academics, the focus group discussions held during lunchtime from Monday to Thursday of last week regarding Science in the Common Curriculum allowed us to glean valuable insights into students’ thoughts and suggestions. We are in the process of collating all the feedback from the discussions, and will be presenting them to the faculty committee working on redeveloping the Science Common Curriculum.

Moving on from Academics, after receiving individual feedback from students, the Student Government is collating a comprehensive survey of student satisfaction with and concerns on CIPE. The responses from this survey will be collated and presented to CIPE.

The survey will be open until the end of the week, and can be accessed here: http://goo.gl/forms/kjT35Dswrj

From Events, the Student Government will be co-hosting together with The G Spot a closed-door dialogue & dinner session with Ambassador Chan Heng Chee on 30 Mar (Wed), 5pm. The dialogue will centre around the recent debate regarding Singapore’s human rights approach and record, as well as her dual roles as Ambassador for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Yale-NUS Governing Board member. More details about the event can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1703425683233731/

The Directors of the Council have collectively decided to discontinue their Office Hour slots due to low turnout. Should you wish to contact any Director to raise a specific concern, their contact details can be found here: http://studentgov.commons.yale-nus.edu.sg/about-us-2/. Feedback can also be submitted via our feedback form (http://studentgov.commons.yale-nus.edu.sg/give-us-feedback/) or via email (yncstudentgov@gmail.com).

Finally, the Judiciary is seeking to identify the plaintiff of an anonymous suit which was filed recently, as anonymous submissions cannot proceed to a hearing. More details on this can be found here: http://studentgov.commons.yale-nus.edu.sg/2016/03/26/judiciary-announcement/

Summary of Weekly Meeting

In the weekly meeting on Monday (28 Mar), the Council members declared their conflicts of interest, which the Speaker will take note of for voting decisions. Regarding feedback on the Latin Honours policy, a general memo will be released by the administration and a Town Hall organised by the administration in the week of April 11. Regina and Scott shared about their meeting with President Lewis on the issue.

A survey on CIPE was released on Monday to collect comprehensive feedback, in response to anecdotal feedback. Regarding the persistent issue of lifts, an email will be sent to Kristen Lynas to find out about what the policies are to provide for students which may face physical disabilities.

It was considered by the Council whether or not the mascot voting percentage pass should be 50%, with points made by Dave against the notion, and other Council members providing other points of clarification. Eventually, the motion to open discussions to reconsider the mascot voting percentage pass for ratification failed.

The Council also had a brief discussion regarding Dean Bridges and Ken Panko seeking student input on graduation and ERT.

Read a more detailed account of the meeting here: Weekly Meeting Minutes (28 March 2016)

Final Thoughts

While the Student Government has been hard at work pushing out our various initiatives and projects, we would also like to take the time to acknowledge and thank the student body for their continual support and active participation in our surveys, focus group discussions, and events. As members of the pioneer batches of Yale-NUS College, we have the rare opportunity of having our actions impact not just our experience in the school, but also that of future generations of students. Active involvement in building our school’s culture and systems is thus something which we hope every student will undertake – be it through voting for preferred mascot choices, submitting feedback and suggestions, or supporting our projects – and we look forward to continuing to be a representative voice for the student body.

 

Regards,
Joceline Yong
Director of External Communications

Judiciary Announcement

The Judiciary received a suit on 16th March 2016, 2221hrs regarding a possible conflict of interest of a member of the Council; however, this suit was submitted anonymously.

The Judiciary wishes to remind all members of the Yale-NUS community that anonymous submissions will not proceed to a hearing as the Constitution requires both the plaintiff and defendant to be present.

At most, anonymous submissions may lead the Judiciary to a review of Council conduct, but this review is unlikely at best.

If the plaintiff of this suit wishes to identify themselves, they may do so by emailing the Judiciary at yncjudiciary@gmail.com.

We will protect the identity of the plaintiff should they request confidentiality. Please also be reminded that hearings may be public or private, depending on which the plaintiff prefers.

Weekly Update [Week 9]: Mascot Debate, Science Common Curriculum Focus Group Discussions

Lots to get to this week, so let’s get straight down to business!

Project Updates

From Student Life, the mascot selection procedure is running as planned with the first round of voting having just closed last night (Sun, 20 Mar). Moving forward, we will be hosting a mascot public debate on 23 Mar (Wed) where students, faculty & staff will be able to discuss the top three mascot options (Clouded Leopard [48 votes], Kingfisher [58 votes] & Whale [66 votes]*) in detail. Following the debate, the second round of voting will open on 24 Mar (Thur) and will run until 29 Mar (Tue).

*The full breakdown of votes can be found on the original voting page: tinyurl.com/yncmascotvoting1

MASCOT PUBLIC DEBATE

From Academics, focus group discussions will be held every day during lunch this week (except on Good Friday) to collect feedback from students on the Science Common Curriculum. This feedback will be collated and shared with the faculty committee on the science common curriculum. Sign up at tinyurl.com/yncscience or drop by Saga Dining Hall!

Science CC

From Events, the Student Government will be co-hosting together with The G Spot a dialogue & dinner session with Ambassador Chan Heng Chee on 30 Mar (Wed). More details to follow soon.

The Judiciary released a Guidelines and Procedures document this week, as well as established a system for filing complaints against the Council. The form for filing complaints can be accessed here: goo.gl/forms/yrTgaUR6gB.

Finally, a reminder that the Council is always keen to receive feedback from the community via our feedback form, or via our email at yncstudentgov@gmail.com.

Summary of Weekly Meeting

In the weekly meeting on Friday (18 Mar), the Council passed its internal budget, and tabled discussion on a potential need-based stipend for Government members. The Council unanimously agreed on the percentage of votes needed to ratify the mascot choice: more than 50% of yes votes (over yes+no votes) will be needed.

Next week, the Council will put out a survey on feedback for CIPE. On 30 Mar (Fri), the Student Government together with the G Spot will host Ambassador Chan on campus — details have been discussed and a formal invitation will be sent to Ambassador Chan shortly.

Other issues discussed include lift policy, library door, housing, and student health insurance coverage.

In view of next week’s public holiday (Good Friday), our regular meeting will be rescheduled to 28 Mar (Mon), 6.15pm.

Read a more detailed account of the meeting here: Weekly Meeting Minutes (18 March 2016)

Final Thoughts

It was with great interest that I, along with some of my fellow Council members, read the Octant’s recent article on apathy towards the Student Government. Coming somewhat mid-way through our term in government, the article raised important questions for reflection and consideration – is the prevailing stance of the student body towards Student Government still one of apathy? Have we done anything to address this issue? What can we do more of to combat civic apathy?

We believe that the Student Government will only continue growing as an important institution of student representation in Yale-NUS, especially as the student body grows. Student concerns and interests will only multiply and grow more diverse, and a body of representatives will be key to organising student interests. This is something we will certainly continue to think about and work upon as we make our way through our term.

 

Regards,
Joceline Yong
Director of External Communications