Tag Archives: Feldblum

Feldblum: Trustee-Student Task Force on Campus Community Communication Final Recommendations and Next Steps

Dear Students,

On behalf of the Trustee-Student Task Force on Campus Community Communication, we would like to share with you the six Task Force Recommendations, all of which were accepted – with revisions to the details of two of the recommendations – by the Board of Trustees Student Affairs Committee last Friday.   The six recommendations of the Task Force are as follows, and you can read the full Task Force report on the Dean of Students Sakai site:

1.       Enhance the Board of Trustees website to include information on how the Board works. Specifically, information about Board members, Committee rosters including information about the Trustee Committee Chair and Vice-Chair, and contact information for student representatives, contact information for the newly re-envisioned Student Affairs Committee and institutionalized communication channel.  Post agenda of Board of Trustee Committee meetings concurrent with mailing to trustees to allow students to triage their comments on any of these topics to student representatives on the respective committees. Post on the website soon after Board meetings the action items that were taken during the board meeting (in draft form if need be).  Post as appropriate links to reports or executive summaries from reports.

2.       Add students to specific Board Committees, including 1 additional student representative to the newly re-envisioned Student Affairs Committee, and 1 additional student to the Academic Affairs Committee, and add 2 student members to the Finance Committee (where there is currently no student member). This will increase the number of student slots on Board committees from 6 to 10.

3.       Re-engineer the Student Affairs Committee into the Student-Trustee “College Affairs” Committee, whose mission would be enhanced as a vehicle of communication between students and trustees and by including all the student representatives from the different Board committees.  The student Co-Chair would be the ASPC President and would work closely with the Trustee Chair and Dean of Students to advise on agenda items related to student life and general issues of communication with the student body.  The Trustee Chair would serve as the primary Trustee-Student liaison for the Board.

4.       Create opportunities for formal and informal dinners between small groups of students and trustees. Particular attention should be paid to setting up dinners during the year with members of the student leadership groups focused on community building on campus.  Opportunities for such interaction could include quarterly Board of Trustee Meetings and whenever trustees are on campus such as for Task Force meetings, etc.

5.       Institutionalize a visible channel of communication for students to give feedback throughout the year or provide comments regarding specific issues. This channel would be connected to the newly re-envisioned Student Affairs Committee. Create a process by which comment periods can be initiated to address issues.  Create an email alias as part of this institutionalized communication channel to which students would send comments or other feedback, and receive confirmation that their messages were received.

6.       Review these changes after a year to ascertain if they are effectively addressing the issues identified by the Task Force.

The full Board received the Task Force report, and approved a motion to support the additional student member positions on Board Committees as outlined in the Report so that the Trusteeship Committee can move forward with its work  of making recommendations for bylaw changes for the Board to consider, and  so that there could be spring elections for the 3 new positions.   Nate Brown will be sending out additional information regarding these new elected positions.

As always, if you have any questions about the revisions or other issues, please feel free to email me.  Or, you also can contact one of the students on the Task Force.

Sincerely,

Dean Feldblum

Members of Task Force:

Jason Rosenthal, Co-Chair, PO ‘92

Lynn Yonekura, Co-Chair, PO ‘70

Leslie Appleton, PO ‘12

John Bonacorsi, PO ‘12

Maya Booth, PO ‘14

Nate Brown, PO ‘12

Alice Chan PO ‘14

Miriam Feldblum, VP and Dean of Students

Kathy Lu, PO, ‘14

Meg Lodise, PO ‘85

Frank Sánchez, PO ‘13

Francine Scinto, P ’09, ‘11

Michael Segal, PO ‘79

Emi Young, PO ‘13

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Feldblum: Update from the Trustee-Student Task Force on Communication

Dear Students,

On behalf of the Trustee-Student Task Force on Campus Community Communications,  I am writing to give you an update on the work of the Task Force and open up a comment period for you to send in any feedback to the Task Force (please see below for a list of all Task Force members and the Charge of the Task Force).   All comments should be received by February 22, 2012

The Task Force has had 2 meetings, and is scheduled to have 2 more over this next week, February 19 and February 23.   Members have worked to collect information about Board communications, student-trustee interactions, and student representation on Boards from other campuses, and have explored a wide array of ideas. The two Co-Chairs of the Task Force are Jason Rosenthal, PO ‘92 and Lynn Yonekura PO ’70.  The Task Force anticipates presenting a set of recommendations to the Board of Trustees at the February Board of Trustees meeting.

The Task Force is currently exploring recommendations in four areas: Continue reading

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Feldblum: Public Announcement of Arrests and Civil Disobedience

Dear Students,

I want to share with you what we know about the events that took place on campus this morning.

A group of about 125 to 150 protestors, including some students and alumni from Pomona and other colleges and representatives of UNITE-HERE, conducted a demonstration and sit-in after breakfast this morning in Frary Dining Hall. They were permitted to take over the dining hall and the servery, but for health and safety reasons, they were not permitted to enter the kitchen areas, where College employees were at work. The organizers stated that their intention was to have 17 of their number arrested by Claremont Police, but College officials declined to have them arrested so long as they were peaceful.

The protestors then moved to Alexander Hall, where they resumed their protest, continuing their stated intention of being arrested. Around 11:30 this morning, as a result of a negotiation between the protestors and the police, CPD arrested 17 protestors for blocking College Avenue.

Frary was closed as a safety precaution as a result of the demonstration. We will give you an update as soon as possible as to when it will reopen. We know that these events can be distressing to members of our community, and I will try to share with you more information as it becomes available.

The College is committed to respecting the rights of, and supporting, those who wish to protest as well as those who do not wish to take part.

Sincerely,

Dean Feldblum

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Feldblum: Response to Community Actions

Dear Students,

On Tuesday, November 29th, I sent you an email regarding our community and recent events on campus.  In that message I mentioned the possibility of a boycott of the dining halls and communicated the expectation that students have the right to demonstrate and other students have the right to eat in the dining halls.  I want to take this opportunity to further illuminate expectations regarding these events, especially as the boycotts are continuing.

Some of the demonstrations have been loud while few others have not. I understand that some of the demonstrations have taken place during quiet hours, which are midnight to 8am, Sunday through Thursday, and 2am to 10am Friday and Saturday.    We would like to strike a reasoned balance between students’ rights to demonstrate and students’ rights to a quiet and comfortable living space to study and sleep.  We hope the students and others who choose to demonstrate will adhere to the established quiet hours and not create amplified sound.  Some of the demonstration sites are right next to residential buildings and have violated quiet hours.

If students experience excessively loud noises during quiet hours, I recommend they approach it like any other noise complaint; try and ask the source of the noise to respect and comply with quiet hours.  If the noise continues, please contact Campus Safety (909-607-2000) so they may address the noise and subsequent policy violation.  We have asked Campus Safety to notify the on-call dean so that the on-call dean can respond with the Campus Safety officer and communicate College policy.   As you may have seen, on-call deans may be present during demonstrations and can be an additional source of support, if needed, both for students who are demonstrating and those who are not.   This includes the extended vigil that students are holding outside of Alexander Hall.

As stated in their “Statement of Presence, ”  this group of students is committed to “communicating clearly and respectfully with all community members,” not obstructing access to Alexander, abiding by quiet hours and being mindful of noise levels, and “maintaining a peaceful, nonviolent space.”   In turn, they have asked of the College to respect their rights and presence, including “consideration and clear communication from all community members,” access to the lawn outside Alexander Hall, and limited involvement of Campus Safety or CPD (except for a Campus Safety officer at night).    I support their desire for open, respectful dialogue, and support their rights to express themselves and their presence outside Alexander Hall.

It is my deep hope that as a community, we can all recognize this particularly stressful time.   With final exams, papers and projects coming due in the next weeks, and the continuing events on campus, it is even more important for all of us to be courteous and respectful toward one another, and be open to hearing what others say.

If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Take care,

Dean Feldblum

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Feldblum: On Community Actions and Protests

Dear Students,

On behalf of all the Student Affairs offices on campus, I want to acknowledge that this has been a very painful period for many members of our community. We deeply feel the impact of this on the student community on campus. I want to let you know that all Student Affairs staff and offices are here to provide support, to listen to you and your concerns, or just be a place to come to if you would like to do so.

Whether we are directly or indirectly affected by the actions the College has taken in order to comply with its legal responsibilities, many students, staff, and faculty have experienced great distress. The recent events on campus have brought to the fore the difficult immigration realities that hang over millions of individuals and families in the U.S. today, even as they also highlight that many of us here hold competing opinions about our country’s  immigration laws and practices.  Members of our community also have widely divergent points of view concerning the situation here on campus, and the impetus and implementation of the College’s actions.  These divisions are now creating new rifts within our community, and challenging us as a community to maintain our capacity for respectful conversations.

On behalf of the student deans, I would like to add that the role of Student Affairs deans extends to being present any time there are demonstrations on campus in order to support students – both those who are protesting and those who are not – and to support student understanding of and compliance with College policies concerning such events. We are there to ensure that students are able to express their rights to demonstrate, and we also want to support those individuals who choose to express a different opinion or who choose not to demonstrate at all. We understand there may be a boycott of the Pomona College dining halls tomorrow, November 30.  Students have a right to demonstrate and call for a boycott, and other students have a right to enter and eat in the dining halls. Part of our role as Student Affairs deans will be to help ensure unimpeded access to the dining halls, as well as respecting the protestors, as per the College’s demonstration policy in the Student Handbook.

We recognize that students hold many different views concerning these events, and we want to encourage you to be mindful of your peers as well, and understanding of each other’s rights to varying opinions. Whether in the residence halls, dining halls, Smith Campus Center, or elsewhere, we encourage you to remember this diversity of opinion and be respectful of these differences and of each other. I encourage anyone who has concerns about this to contact me or another Student Affairs dean.

If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Dean Feldblum

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