SGA Update

By Will Schwartz

SGA President Charlie Arnowitz ’13 is leading an initiative to create a survey on student life at the College. The survey will examine a number of issues, including, but not limited to, distribution requirements, interaction between students and professors, the dining hall, the endowment, student access to athletic facilities, library hours and student mental health.

“A lot of surveys happen on campus, but they’re very topic-specific,” said SGA Press Secretary Olivia Noble ’13. “The idea behind the survey is that we’re polling students to determine everything they care about. We want to know to how we can better serve the student body in the second semester and the years to come.”

The SGA is aiming for 60 percent student participation or better on the survey. SGA cabinet members have voiced concerns that the survey should not be too long, citing fears that student participation may decline as the survey length increases.

In the Nov. 11 meeting, the Senate unanimously passed the “Resolution for Inclusive Athletic Injury Care on Campus” with a vote of 14-0-1. The bill, sponsored by Senior Senator Nathan Arnosti ’13, seeks to provide athletes from non-varsity programs access to the athletic facilities. Leaders of the Cycling Club, the Figure Skating Club, Living Dance, RIDDIM, men’s and women’s ultimate Frisbee and men’s and women’s water polo were the main proponents of the bill.

The resolution proposes that the College fund a weekly “Open Hours” program by professional athletic trainers for the benefit of all students. The proposed program would run for two to four hours per week and would be open to all students.

“It’s time for the College to recognize that varsity athletes are not the only students who are at risk of injury as a result of on-campus activity,” wrote Arnosti in an email.

Arnosti also emphasized the scope of the proposal.

“The SGA is not recommending that the College pay for students’ long-term injury rehabilitation,” wrote Arnosti. “Instead, this program would provide immediate, professional consultation for students with less serious athletic injuries … This proposed program is not meant to impose an additional burden on Middlebury’s current athletic trainers, but to advise the administration that a small increase in the athletic department’s budget would go a long way towards improving the well-being of non-varsity athletes on campus.”

SGA senators remain concerned over the disappearance of dishware from the dining halls, and invited Director of Dining Services Matthew Biette to speak at the Nov. 11 meeting to comment on the issue. In particular, senators say their constituents have raised concerns about a lack of cups and bowls in Proctor.

“The biggest problem in Proctor is that too many students take dishes and do not return them,” said Biette. “Blaming the problem on my staff is unfair and incorrect. Environmental concerns prevent us from having paper cups available and there is a bagged lunch program at Proctor in the morning for those students who are unable to sit down for lunch. Additionally, there are take-out containers available at lunch time if students ask the staff.”

While there are currently boxes for dishes in student housing, these boxes are not often returned to the dining halls. Dining Services does not want to send staff to pick up dishes around campus, as this would take away from meal preparation efforts. Biette argued that the dish crisis could be easily solved if students take the initiative to return dishes.

Chris Inzerillo ’13, director of academic affairs, came to the Nov. 11 meeting to briefly discuss establishing Student Advisory Committees for all majors. Although these committees are currently required for all majors, only some departments have established the committees.