Politics and Economics

SGA discusses: Club Congress, Presidential Election Scholar Strike and Ping Pong Club

Note: The first section of this meeting’s report, the Urgent Discussion proposal by Carlos Corrada, has been previously published. 

The meeting commenced with Presidential Updates from Aba Lypps ’21, SGA President. Lypps spoke of the senior superlative yearbook nominations, then moved to discuss several Halloween events, including Halloween at Hanno’s and the Class of 2022 Pumpkin Picnic. Lypps spoke briefly of the protest the previous weekend, reported on by Ben Cohen ’22. Lypps said they were proud of everyone who stood up for what they believed in with their peers, saying that the college was, “show[ing] this world what they have,” and suggesting that what Wheaton students did have was honor and bravery. Lypps spoke of particular pride in those who continue to stand up for things they believe in, even when “you don’t feel very brave.” Lypps concluded with a reminder to “Stay brave, hydrated, inspired and incredible!” and wished good luck to anyone still having midterms. Lypps has also created a podcast with WCCS, to record and broadcast Presidential Updates to the campus.

Nicole Lombardi, SGA advisor, reminded students to stay safe during the upcoming Halloween weekend, and asked that they remain cognisant of costumes and choices. She spoke of similar pride at participation in the protest and expressed surprise that there was only a month left until the conclusion of the semester, with Abby Cook ’22, SGA Vice President, announcing that there would be only three more Senate meetings in the semester. 

Sofie Weston, Communications and Marketing Chair for the Class of 2022, asked that her Book Buyback Discussion be postponed another week, and the first discussion was concerning Carlos Corrada’s Urgent Proposal, previously reported on in the Wire. 

After the creation of an Ad-hoc committee, chaired by Corrada, SGA discussed Abby Cook’s Club Congress proposal. The proposal suggested the creation of a platform for two members of every Wheaton club’s executive board, with these members convening three times per semester, to allow them to learn the procedure for creating proposals to present to SGA. Eva Danielson, Class of 2022’s Chair, expressed concern about adding yet another responsibility to an overwhelmed campus leader’s list. Cook responded by pointing out that it would not be mandatory, and that the clubs were welcome to switch out members attending. Lypps spoke of the recent Intercultural Board Town Hall, referring to it as a “spicy good thing,” and of creating connections between members of various clubs. In response, Cook said she would update the document to reflect a new emphasis that took into account Danielson’s concerns. This proposal was then passed. 

The Senate then moved to discuss the recognition of the Ping Pong Club. Following a presentation by executive board members, Eli Trimbur, Blake Stevens and Zach Heineman, Sophie Waters, SGA Secretary, questioned the occupation of all executive board roles by the aforementioned three members. The club responded by pointing to their status as a new club, suggesting that they would soon be looking for additional members for their executive board. Danielson asked after their prior issues with storage, and the club spoke of their closet in the Clark Recreation Centre. After a vote, Ping Pong Club became an SGA-recognised club. 

The Ad-hoc Voting Days Off Committee, consisting of Mikaela Savarese, the Accessibility Chair, Guthrie Hartsfield, SGA Treasurer, Delia MacLaughlin, Sustainability Board Chair, Lilly Kemp 2023 Member at Large, and Abby Cook, SGA Vice President, presented a proposal entitled, Presidential Election Academic Scholar Strike, which was the conclusion of conversation the committee had had with Wheaton administration concerning the upcoming Presidential election. The document proposed the establishment of a future academic holiday for presidential elections, and suggested a Scholar Strike event for November 3rd, 2020, given the lack of time to prepare. During this time, there will be opportunities for education and club involvement for students that have already voted/are unable to vote. These opportunities will include the topics of social justice, the American political system, and involvement on campus. 

Victor Edwards, Chair of the Education Council and Mikaela Savarese went back and forth, editing some language in the document to make it more inclusive. Several members of the council expressed hope that the proposal would open up a discussion about having an established precedent for the next election, in four years, with others bringing up the importance of midterm and local elections. The proposal was then passed. 

Taking note of the time, Cook opted to skip the Standing Committee Check-ins for this Senate meeting.