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Oct 19 WEEKLY UPDATE: Student Life, Halloween and Community Service.

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Oct 19 WEEKLY UPDATE:

Student Life, Halloween and Community Service.

This week saw a successful response to the Student Life Survey – which, if you haven’t filled out yet, you should do here, constructive discussions around mental health on campus, and progress made for Halloween.

Meeting notes:

On Wednesday, we discussed college branding. YNC, unfortunately, remains an illegitimate term, but we’re hoping to gain approval for both it and some form of college crest. We also talked about the relationship with CIPE SAC and a proposal for lunch tables with them. Internally, plans were made for the Student Council retreat at the end of term, and we revised the budget and how to improve planning and record-keeping.

Again, find more detail in the minutes.

 

Project Updates:

Within Student Life, the survey is progressing well. At last count, almost half the school had completed it. If you’re not yet one of them, please change that by filling it out here. They also coordinated a rewarding  and respectful discussion on Mental Health co-hosted by Dean Bridges. There will be another on November 16, which everyone is again welcome to attend.

The Athletics Council is in meetings with the ICG and will have a constitution by the end of November. Student Orgs, meanwhile, is training committee members and preparing to approve clubs. They’re also in in talks about encouraging community service and collating the various opportunities offered within school.

Get Involved! –

Want to help out on Halloween? Even if you don’t want to perform, we welcome help setting up, moving things around and generally helping things run smoothly! If you’re willing to lend a hand, please sign up here.

 

Infrastructure:

We received feedback that the room booking system is too slow. While that is unavoidable to some extent, we’re working with Dean Bridges to improve efficiency by setting an approval time. We’re also talking about the MPH air ventilation system and gym hours, although there are several logistical and bureaucratic concerns associated with both issues (please feel free to email yncstudentgov@gmail.com for more details).

 

Final Thoughts:

Class options for next semester are now out, and suddenly the future is relevant once more. Please make sure that you’ll enjoy yourself in it, as well as meeting academic and career goals!

All the best,
Hebe Hilhorst
Director of External Communication

 

Quote of the Week –

“My religion is Beyonce.”
 – Mia Raghavan

Oct 12 WEEKLY UPDATE: Meatless Mondays, lost IDs and Office Hours.

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Oct 12 WEEKLY UPDATE:
Meatless Mondays, lost IDs and Office Hours.

This week saw a reviewal of External Communications possibilities, a variety of interesting quotes (which cannot be shared for purposes of professionalism) and increased discussion around Meatless Mondays.

 

Meeting notes:

At our meeting this week, we decided to propagate this Weekly Update more resolutely by opt-out emailing it to the entire school, we appointed Izzah as Deputy Director of External Communications to make our propaganda department more efficient, and decided to use FreshDesk so people can more easily monitor the progress of their feedback. Project updates are covered below. Once again, discover the details in the Minutes.

 

Infrastructure:

The Cendana lifts stopped a couple of times over the past week; both times were intentional. Once was for a battery change, another was to find an ID card that fell through the cracks of civilization. Apologies for the inconvenience.

 

 

Project Updates:slack_for_ios_upload_1024

Halloween has been moved to the 28th, Meatless Mondays may make many mammals merry, and soon your StuCo members will be grinning happily at you from the walls of lifts. We also held our first office hours this week, and enjoyed talking to you about what’s going on at school!

 

Get Involved! –
Office hours continue, every Thursday lunchtime in dining hall. Please come along and say Hi! Meanwhile, we have a new feedback platform that allows you to track the progress as we make it – simply email yncstudentgov@gmail.com with the subject line ‘Feedback’! 

 

STUDENT LIFE SURVEY!

What do you need? What do you want? What do you absolutely loathe and want to get rid of at all costs? Fear not! The Student Life survey is here to help you fulfill your dreams.

Please take a moment of time to complete this so that we know what you want to change about our college. Let us know, and we will do our best to make it happen. Ignore this survey, and we won’t be able to.

 

Final Thoughts:

As the Octant recently illuminated, there’s a pervasive culture of busyness at Yale-NUS College. Don’t overcommit, although you should definitely get involved with absolutely everything mentioned in this email. In the words of our venerable President Saza Faradilla, “Naps are self care.”

 

All the best,
Hebe Hilhorst
Director of External Communication

 

Quote of the Week –

“They’re not secret. They want recognition.”
               – Anandita Sabherwal

Oct 5 WEEKLY UPDATE: False Alarms, Mental Health and a Culture of Care.

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Oct 5 WEEKLY UPDATE:
False Alarms, Mental Health and a Culture of Care.

Last week saw the Student Council planning how to support mental health and a culture of care at Yale-NUS, investigating the reasons behind the continuously faulty fire alarm and sending out STANDING COMMITTEE APPLICATIONS.

 

Meeting Notes:

First job of the Wednesday meeting was to finally get our group photo out of the way! Then proceeded more bureaucracy, on financial aid, feedback, the budget and the website, which you can find explained in more detail in THE MINUTES. Of particular interest was the discussion around visibility and office hours, which should result in posters in the lifts and Student Council members available to talk in each dining hall every Thursday lunchtime. We also finalized our STATEMENT OF INTENT.

 

Infrastructure:

Several queries and concerns about the school infrastructure were discussed this week.

  1. Non-Yale-NUS related photography on campus:
    Infrastructure works with Public Affairs to review and approve commercial requests for photo-taking at Yale-NUS. For these events, security officers will usually be deployed. In other cases, students are advised not to approach strangers on campus, but rather to call the security hotline. An officer will be deployed to approach the group/individual.
  1. Fire Alarms and Lift Breakdowns:
    Whenever there is a technical issue with the fire alarm or lifts, Yale-NUS Infrastructure has to report these issues back to the main building contractor, Ssangyong, via NUS. This results in slower response times.
  1. Air Conditioning in the MPH:
    In order to maintain our Green Mark Certification, the MPH will not be continuously air-conditioned. However, discussion is ongoing about whether it may be during big games.

Yale-NUS Infrastructure is compiling a list of infrastructure issues on campus to be resolved over winter break, and would like to encourage all students to report any feedback/defects to infra@yale-nus.edu.sg for consolidation.

Apologies if any of these explanations seem incomplete; they are the most we can publish in a public forum. For further queries or elaboration, please contact our Infrastructure Liaison Glen Koh at glen.koh@u.yale-nus.edu.sg.

 

Project Updates:

For Events, planning is continuing for a terrifying Week 10 in the build up to Halloween. Prepare for scary movies, themed dinners, haunted houses and Utown wide events.  

Mascot finalization has continued with Student Life. This week,after three focus group sessions, a report with suggestions for improvements and overall impressions of the designs was sent to Public Affairs, which will be reviewed and considered before the designs are presented to the governing board for approval. Special thanks to all those involved!

The Presidents, in conjunction with Student Life, are planning for the promotion of a culture of care by spreading messages of love and compassion on campus through activities such  as welfare packs and faculty and staff appreciations. This includes the promotion of mental health awareness and workshops.

 

Get Involved! –

STANDING COMMITTEE APPLICATIONS are now open. If you’re interested in getting involved in the community, with Student Life, Student Organisations or Academics, definitely apply for these NOW!

There are also lots of other ways to engage with Student Government. Come to any of our office hours – in all of the dining halls, every Thursday lunchtime – or simply attend the weekly meeting, every Wednesday at 4pm in classroom 14. Then, of course, there’s our FEEDBACK FORM.

 

Final Thoughts:

 

Life is getting busy on the Student Council, and now it’s easier than ever for you to get involved through a STANDING COMMITTEE or simply attending our office hours. But even as the pace picks up, remember to take time to yourself to process. THe Student Council, and the College as a whole, is here for you; let us know if there’s anything that can be done to help.

 

All the best,

Hebe Hilhorst

Director of External Communication

 

Quote of the Week –

“Couple names are smushed together, not hyphenated.”
          – Avery Simmons

Sept 28 WEEKLY UPDATE: Compassion, Community and Care.

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Sept 28 WEEKLY UPDATE:
Compassion, Community and Care.

This week has been an emotionally challenging and tumultuous one for our college community. As such, the Student Government would like to reach out and let everyone know that the health of our community – both emotional and physical – is imperative. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your friends, DFs or members of the government as unity must eclipse all other priorities for the time being.

Alex Meyer has kindly put together a sheet of the resources you have available, so please reach out to any of them if you need to.

The Student Government will be putting out a statement in the coming weeks. For now, here are some updates.

28-9

Meeting notes:

Due to Week 7 absences, most of the agenda was postponed until enough people are on campus for quorum. However, we did appoint Timo and Sara as the graduation committee liaisons. The aircon policy was also reviewed. Although the system is under NUS administration and hence is difficult to change, we will continue the conversation around ensuring it works 24/7 in the common lounges. Please see the minutes  for more information. Other conversation centered around publicity and design.

 

Project Updates:

Student Life further discussed the Mascot Committee and planned the setup of a focus group. This will be publicized at a later date.

 

Final Thoughts:

Once again, our thoughts and sympathies go out to everyone. Now is a time to draw together and support one another, so do not hesitate to reach out. Food and safe spaces will continue to be provided in the Common Lounges and College Offices. Remember that your professional and peer counsellors are also available at the Wellness Center and in Cafe Agora.

 

All the best,
Hebe Hilhorst
Director of External Communication

 

Quote of the Week –

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”

Lao Tzu

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 3]: Election Forum, Student Orgs Review Committee, Goodbye

This week’s update marks the last from my council and I, before we hand over to the incoming Student Council.

Project Updates

From Student Organisations, applications are open for students to join the Student Orgs Review Committee. The committee is responsible for reviewing applications from new student orgs and will meet twice – once on 5 Sep (Mon) to review and suggest amendments to submitted constitutions, and a second time on 9 Sep (Fri) to check these amendments.

Apply by 1 Sep (Thu) here: https://goo.gl/forms/dbk17EQzWaarBNxi2. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to Director of Student Organisations, Izzy (isobel.ngo@u.yale-nus.edu.sg).

From the Election Committee, an Election Forum was held on 25 Aug (Thu) where the 18 candidates running for Student Council were able to outline their positions and answer questions from the college community. Videos from the forum are available here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCQbKaTPZ8QGjeRIkFPxHsA/playlists?view=1&sort=dd&shelf_id=0

Voting for Student Council elections opens on 29 Aug (Mon) and will close on 31 Aug (Wed). Students will be able to vote on their personal computers via CANVAS, or at voting booths set up around campus. Results from the elections will be released by 2 Sep (Fri), following which the Presidential & Vice-Presidential races will begin.

Applications for the Judiciary are still open, and will remain open until 5 Sep (Mon), 11.59pm. Interested students can apply to join the Judiciary here: https://goo.gl/forms/bzLS7d2waZpEErcy1. The Judiciary is a branch of the Government that checks on the Council – it ensures the Council upholds the Constitution and settles complaints and disputes. Members will be randomly selected for the Judiciary from interested applicants, controlling for demographics. They will then elect a Chief Justice from within the group.

To stay updated on the elections timeline and to access other relevant information, do refer to the following page: http://studentgov.commons.yale-nus.edu.sg/elections-20162017-term/.

Summary of Weekly Meeting

In the weekly meeting on Friday (26 Aug), the Council discussed whether to alter the minimum vote proportion for elections, handover details and recognising student organisations. The way in which the election votes are considered were discussed, due to the danger raised by Scott that it might be too easy for candidates to enter the council.

However, there were concerns raised from other members of the council that such changes might be arbitrary, or might overly limit the number of elected candidates below the minimum of ten to form the new Council. A constitutional amendment proposal did not pass, but the format of the election quiz will ask voters to have a ‘one candidate, one unique rank’ system, and candidates which the voter does not want in council can have a ‘no vote’ option to place beside his/her name.

Also discussed was the formation of a student organisations recognition committee to be overseen by the government. This was agreed that the Director for Student Organisations will be in charge of setting up this committee to recognise student orgs come the September round.

Finally, the points of handovers were raised by the individual directors. Some helpful comments and tips would be relayed to the next council, but discretion was advised to allow the next council to chart their own direction for the coming Academic Year.

Read a more detailed account of the meeting here: Weekly Meeting Minutes (26 August 2016)

Final Thoughts

Photo taken at our first meeting on 19 February 2016

My Council and I have come a long way since we took this photo at our very first meeting together, yet at times it also feels like it was just yesterday that we came into office. When we began our term, we knew that we did not have much time to achieve the things we hoped to do, and since then it has indeed been a term of many ups and downs, unexpected challenges and successes, and lots of hard work.

To the incoming Student Council, it is our hope that we have laid a foundation solid enough for you to build an even stronger institution on, and that the Student Government will continue being an important voice and advocate for the student body in the years to come.

On behalf of the Council, a big thank you to all for your support over the course of our term. We hope that we have done justice to the faith and responsibility given to us, and it has been an honour to be your representatives in the Student Government.

 

Regards,
Joceline Yong
Director of External Communications

Weekly Update [Week 2]: Student Council nominations, Judiciary applications, Constitutional amendment

Yet another week has flown by. This week we bring you more updates pertaining to the upcoming Student Government elections.

Project Updates

From the Election Committee, an information session was held on 18 Aug (Thu) where the current Student Council provided more information to interested students about what being part of the Student Government entails.

Nominations for the next Student Council close on 21 August (Sunday), 11.59pm, and nominees have until 22 August (Monday), 11.59pm to confirm their candidacy.

Applications for the Judiciary also opened on 19 August, and will remain open until 5 September, 11.59pm. Interested students can apply to join the Judiciary here: https://goo.gl/forms/bzLS7d2waZpEErcy1. The Judiciary is a branch of the Government that checks on the Council – it ensures the Council upholds the Constitution and settles complaints and disputes. Members will be randomly selected for the Judiciary from interested applicants, controlling for demographics. They will then elect a Chief Justice from within the group.

To stay updated on the elections timeline and to access other relevant information, do refer to the following page: http://studentgov.commons.yale-nus.edu.sg/elections-20162017-term/.

In other news, the Council also voted unanimously to amend a clause in the Constitution, Article VI, Section 3, Clause 5, to allow voting for elections to be done on personal computers on CANVAS, in addition to voting booths. This will make it easier for those on study abroad to vote, and also ease the logistical burden for the committee. The amended Constitution can be found here: Constitution (19 August 2016)

Summary of Weekly Meeting

In the weekly meeting on Friday (19 Aug), the Council discussed its meeting with members of the Governing Board on the Presidential Search where members had the chance to raise issues such as the lack of sufficient courses in certain majors and internet access capabilities, in addition to points discussed last week. The Council also passed a motion to amend a clause in the Constitution – more details above.

Also discussed was the CIPE feedback report, status of the school mascot, and graduation committee discussions.

Read a more detailed account of the meeting here: Weekly Meeting Minutes (19 August 2016)

Final Thoughts

The Council is heartened to see that some Student Council nominees have already accepted their candidacy, and we hope that more nominees will consider doing so. A student body as vibrant as ours certainly deserves an equally dedicated and driven Student Government to represent its voices, and we urge every nominee to take up this mantle in service of your fellow schoolmates.

The Council is structured to work well as a team, with members supporting each others’ projects with their individual experience and skills. Candidates should bear this in mind: Consider what kind of role you can play in the team, and also be assured that you will not be doing the work of representing the student body alone.

 

Regards,
Joceline Yong
Director of External Communications

Weekly Update [Week 14]: Constitutional Amendments

Amidst writing final papers and preparing for final exams, the Council convened this week for our final meeting of the academic year to discuss and pass a number of constitutional amendments.

Summary of Weekly Meeting

In the weekly meeting on Friday (22 Apr), the Council voted to pass eleven substantive amendments to the Constitution.

Amendments of note include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Reduction of the number of members in the Judiciary from 9 to 7 (Article V, Section 3.1)
  • Switch from the Kemeny-Young voting system to the instant run-off voting system for elections (Article VI, Section 3.4)
  • Separation of Presidential and Vice Presidential races (Article VI, Section 3.8)
  • By-elections to be held at the beginning of Semester 2 instead of whenever a vacancy opens (Article VI, Section 5.2)

A full report of all the amendments passed as well as the rationale for their passing can be accessed here: Constitutional Amendments Report (22 April 2016)

A copy of the updated Constitution with the amendments marked in red can be accessed here: Constitution (22 April 2016)

Read a more detailed account of the meeting here: Weekly Meeting Minutes (22 April 2016)

Final Thoughts

Time has truly flown over the past few weeks and the semester has swiftly come to a close. On behalf of the Council, I would like to thank the student body, staff, faculty, and all others who are part of the Yale-NUS community in one way or another for supporting us and our work over our term. It has been our honour to serve the College, and we hope that the work which we have done has been useful. As we break for summer and prepare for the upcoming elections, it is our hope that more students will be drawn to take up the mantle of representing and advocating for the student body, and that the Yale-NUS Student Government will continue to be an important and effective institution.

Wishing all a restful summer and so long until August!

 

Regards,
Joceline Yong
Director of External Communications

Weekly Update [Week 13]: Elections Committee formed, call for Constitutional Amendments

This week we wrapped up most of our projects and begin preparations for the next round of elections by forming the Elections committee.

Project Updates

From Academics, the Council has published a memo summarising student feedback gathered on the Science Common Curriculum via focus group discussions held in March 2016. This memo was sent to the faculty committee on 12 April and will serve to inform their decision-making and the final report the committee will produce. The memo can be accessed here: Memo on Science Common Curriculum Feedback

Applications for the Elections Committee closed last Friday (15 Apr) and the final committee was formed as follows:

  1. Scott Currie (Council convenor)
  2. Isaac Lee (Council convenor)
  3. Adrian Stymne (Arbiter)
  4. Angela Ferguson (Arbiter)
  5. Dave Chappell (Arbiter)
  6. Holly Apsley (Arbiter)
  7. Pragya Sethi (Arbiter)
  8. Wu Junn Kit (Arbiter)
  9. Yun Do Ung (Jonas) (Arbiter)

The Elections Committee will be meeting over the next two weeks to publish an Elections Code to be used during the upcoming elections.

The Council is preparing to propose and vote on amendments to the Constitution during our next meeting on 22 April (Friday), 6.15pm @ Saga Anteroom. These proposed amendments are based on our experience working with the Constitution, and are in preparation for the next Student Government. If you have thoughts on our proposed amendments (see link below for our current proposed amendments) and/ or suggestions for other possible amendments, you can submit your thoughts using the following form (http://goo.gl/forms/VhsCRSM2lt) or join us for our meeting.

Summary of Weekly Meeting

In the weekly meeting on Friday (15 Apr), the Council formed the Elections Committee and discussed the need-based stipend, which the Council approved in-principle. The need-based stipend will provide up to 5 members of the Student Council with a one-term scholarship of $500/- for their work in Student Council. The stipend recognises the time commitment necessary for Student Council members and the broad nature of the Council’s contribution to the student body as a whole. The stipend is not a salary, but financial support to allow students to serve when they might otherwise need to put that time into a paying job. The Judiciary will be considering the constitutionality of the need-based stipend over the coming week and provide comments.

Read a more detailed account of the meeting here: Weekly Meeting Minutes (15 Apr 2016)

Final Thoughts

With the semester and academic year winding down, so too is the term of this Council drawing to a close. As we wrap up our projects for the year and begin preparations for handing over to the next Government, it is timely that we pause to reflect: on what we have achieved, what we could have done better, and what we can do to ensure that our successors build upon what we have done to make the Government an even better representative of the student body. If you have any thoughts or reflections on any of the above, we would be happy to hear from you via our feedback form or email.

 

Regards,
Joceline Yong
Director of External Communications

Weekly Update [Week 12]: Kingfisher ratified, Elections Committee applications still open

This week the Council successfully ratified the Kingfisher as the student choice of mascot and began to wrap up its projects for the semester.

Project Updates

From Student Life, after three days of manning ratification booths during which a total of 336 students participated in the voting process (69% of the student population), the Kingfisher gained 77.8% share of the yes and no votes, and was therefore officially ratified as the student choice of mascot. The Council will be forwarding this result to the senior administration and Governing Board for approval.

KINGFISHER ANNOUNCEMENT

From Academics, minutes from the Council’s meeting with members of the administration (EVP Tan, Dean of Faculty Bailyn and others) last week regarding the Latin Honours Classification were published here: Minutes of Meeting with Admin on Latin Honours. Students should attend the President’s Town Hall on Academic Affairs happening on Tuesday (12 Apr), 8pm at Cendana Dining Hall to discuss any further concerns on Latin Honours.

The deadline for applying to join the Elections Committee as one of seven arbiters has been extended to 15 Apr (Fri), 5pm. Arbiters of the Elections Committee will help hold, coordinate, and facilitate the election process of the Council and President, as well as formation of the Judiciary for AY 2017/18. Arbiters may not be be a candidate in the election, and must be present and available (when school is in session) from the second week of April to the election of the President in September 2016.

Interested students may apply to join the Elections Committee as arbiters at http://goo.gl/forms/QMiZlGVd63.

Summary of Weekly Meeting

In the weekly meeting on Friday (8 Apr), the Council agreed on Scott and Isaac as conveners of the next Elections committee, and voted to extend the application deadline by a week. It also discussed students to recommend to the DOS for the student input taskforce on Graduation.

Updates were heard on CIPE feedback, working with PA on the mascot, IVPs (athletics), summer housing and a possible town hall at the start of next semester before the Council’s term ends.

Internally, with Reading Week approaching, the Council will wind up work for the semester, finishing up current projects but not initiating new ones. The Council’s last meeting will be on 22 April and focus on amendments to the Constitution.

Read a more detailed account of the meeting here: Weekly Meeting Minutes (8 Apr 2016)

Final Thoughts

Congratulations to all for making it to the final week of classes for the year! Even as this academic year draws to a close, the Council would like to strongly encourage students to look forward to the next year and consider applying to join the Elections Committee. Do your part to ensure fair and well-run elections, and enable the Student Government to continue being an effective body of representation for students.

 

Regards,
Joceline Yong
Director of External Communications