Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

ASWC allowed to present at trustees meeting

Last week, ASWC-appointed student representatives presented for the first time in front of Whitman’s trustees at the fall Board of Trustees meetings, held from  Thursday, Nov. 4 to Friday, Nov. 5.

Senior ASWC senator Gary Wang and juniors Hannah Moskat and ASWC Finance Chair Matt Dittrich were nominated by ASWC President senior Carson Burns to represent the student body to the trustees.

The Board of Trustees meets three times per year, in November, February and May, and the meetings are a time for the both the trustees and overseers to come together and discuss matters ranging from the college’s budget to the faculty plan to shift to a 5 course teaching load and overall student life on campus.

Faculty and student appointees are invited to sit on various committees to offer their insights on Board agenda items.

While ASWC appointees have been allowed to sit in on past committee meetings, this year’s meeting marked the first time that ASWC representatives were given time to present on issues concerning the Whitman student body. Senior John Loranger, chair of the ASWC Student Affairs Committee, along with Burns and Dittrich presented in front of the Board during a Friday luncheon.

According to Loranger, they presented three main student concerns: the need for more tenure-track faculty, more solid pre-professional and graduate school advising and a resolution to the present ban on unaccompanied international student travel. They also emphasized the need for continued student participation on the board.

Students need to be seen as collaborators, it needs to be a part of what it means to be a Whittie, and it needs to be incorporated into what it means to go to Whitman so we can have a smoothly functioning community,” Loranger said.

ASWC’s presentation marks a major step for student participation in future Board of Trustees meetings. Loranger expects presentations similar to Friday’s to become a norm at future meetings.

It’s a huge victory for student representation and a step for a student [on a] trustee board and getting them to vote,” he said.

Whitman President George Bridges is similarly in favor of  ASWC’s  presentation.

One of the highlights of the meeting for me, and many of the trustees, was having the students present and having their contributions to the conversations,” Bridges said.

According to Bridges, the meeting was similar to most past November meetings in terms of discussing the school’s budget. Trustees and overseers at the meeting also focused on projects for the year and discussed the outline of next school year’s budget.

It wasn’t any different over the last couple of years because the economy remains a subject of concern, and many more students require greater amounts of financial aid,” Bridges said. “The Board and administration are concerned about how much financial aid support Whitman will have in the years ahead.”

The trustees also addressed student health, diversity and enrollment. The Board kept in mind this year’s larger-than-average first-year class when discussing the budget and admissions processes for the Class of 2015.

Whitman alumna Megan Medica, a trustee and member of both the Enrollment and Student Life committees, said that although the student body is larger than average this year, Board members discussed the budget in regards to meeting the overall student body’s financial need as well as other concerns.

More students accepted [this year] than [we] thought, so we discussed how this affects the budget and student loans,” Medica said. “It’s a continuation of discussion.”

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