Politics and Economics

SGA discusses: Book Buyback Proposal, Educational Council Constitution

On Nov. 4, 2020, SGA Senate began with a quick discussion of current events during the Community Commentary. Cleef Jonathas ’23, Chair of the Class of 2023 Class Council, referenced the previous day’s presidential election and the current lack of a confirmed candidate, and registered surprise at the realization of the existence of a Conservative Club on Wheaton’s campus. Carlos Corrada, Class of 2022 Member-At-Large, brought up the Puerto Rican elections, with several quick updates on the current situation. 

Aba Lypps ’21 kicked off Presidential Updates with a reminder to keep an eye out for peer-run events to support. They spoke of people who had been made vulnerable by the election and the state of U.S. politics, suggesting strong interest in advertising and boosting voices specifically of those vulnerable voices speaking out. Nicole Lombardi, SGA Advisor, emphasized the same, then spoke of the importance of following coronavirus regulations set out by the school. 

The first item on the agenda was suggested by the Vice President, Abby Cook ’22, who brought up the first item, which she had placed on the Agenda, the possibility of holding space for general election thoughts. SGA moved into informal discussion, with Ciara Kilkenny ’23 and Jonathas expressing personal interactions with the news. Mikaela Savarese ’22, Accessibility Board Chair, offered herself as a resource for personal conversations, as did Lypps. 

Senate then resumed, moving to the Book Buyback proposal authored by Sofie Weston, Class of 2022 Communications and Marketing Chair, which had been tabled the previous week. Weston opened with a personal anecdote regarding the discovery of books she had purchased from the bookstore, that she was unable to sell back or use again. Her questions, expressed at multiple points as the discussion unfolded, included a request for suggestions of an appropriate platform as well as help figuring out SGA’s specific role in the process. 

Points of discussion included the possibility of using Facebook or a website. They also discussed the possibility of students buying books from one another versus trading, with Savarese bringing up the possible benefit for low-income students of trading rather than purchasing. Further discussion was conducted about the possible relationship between the forum and the bookstore. The discussion concluded with a motion by Corrada to refer the proposal back to Weston, for further work. Weston thanked the Senate for the opinions and ideas expressed. 

In the absence of the Chair, Victor Edwards ’22, Kavita Premkumar ’21, Education Council Secretary, who was present in her capacity as Wire reporter, presented the updated constitution created by the council. This constitution had been previously approved by the Operations Committee, and the Senate voted to pass it. 

The Senate then moved into Standing Committee Check-Ins, where the observed Operations committee discussed their upcoming projects, working with the Wargaming club on becoming SGA recognized, and setting up an email for the committee. 

Finally, during Community Commentary, Savarese drew attention to a previous point of contention, when the Cook pointed to a point of information concerning the election as an emotionally charged side conversation. Savarese suggested that the point, concerning Nevada, followed the democratic rules of order. Cook said she was uncomfortable with setting a precedent that allowed for side conversations, and Savarese pointed out that the set precedent allowed for it. Cook and Savarese agreed to continue the discussion privately.