The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

SGA submits proposal to rework relationship with College administration

Ariel J. Richards
The proposal, which was sent to President of the College Anne Harris on February 21, requests that a new administrative supervisor for Student Government Association. Photo by Ariel Richards.

The Student Government Association (SGA) cabinet sent an email proposal to President Anne Harris on February 21 requesting a new administrative supervisor. Associate Director of Student Involvement Ashley Adams is their current administrative supervisor. In the proposal, SGA requests that the College assign Adams’ responsibilities to either Harris, Chief Diversity Officer Schvalla Rivera or an administrator of SGA’s choosing from within the Division of Student Affairs (DSA) or the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Offices.

The proposal, which was sent to the S&B, also states that DSA and SGA would create mutually agreed- upon guidelines for all-campus emails and the inclusion of the SGA president and vice presidents in departmental meetings of the College administration.

SGA President Fernando Villatoro `22 said that he feels the current dynamic has been detrimental to self-governance at Grinnell College.

He said he feels “her [Adams’s] role has shifted from the role of an advisor to a supervisor.”

As such, the first request of the document is to allow SGA to change their administrative advisor to another administrator. Villatoro said that the cabinet feels that Adams and the administration in general have placed structural barriers that prevent SGA from effectively and efficiently functioning.

Villatoro said that hiring is a major grievance, as he said he feels both the College’s switch away from freelance work and Adams’ involvement in the hiring process have hindered SGA’s ability to function. He also cited the new budgeting procedures as continuously causing delays.

“Another structure of the relationship is very much having power over us rather than being there to productively help us in our roles,” said Villatoro.

Adams declined an interview for this piece, saying she has no comment at this time.

“The simplest way to put is that we’ve had to touch base with Ashley [Adams] to do mostly anything,” he says, “and that’s just not the way that SGA has operated in the past.”

The second request of the proposal addresses SGA’s ability to email the entire student body. As of now, all-campus emails must be approved by Adams before they can be sent.

In place of this system, the proposal suggests creating mutually agreed-upon guidelines for these emails, but allowing SGA to send them without explicit approval or oversight.

Villatoro said that the current email system has led to censorship and that several of their emails have been blocked by Adams.

“How are we supposed to effectively communicate with our constituencies or the people we’re supposed to represent?” he said.

The third request stems from what Villatoro said is a lack of communication between SGA members and the members of corresponding administrative departments. In response, they would like to have a space in these departments’ meetings. The document specifies three particular instances in which they would like cabinet members to be able to attend their administrative counterparts’ meetings.

The proposal asks that the SGA president be included in the College’s senior staff meetings and communications, the SGA vice president of student affairs be included into the Division of Student Affairs meetings and communications and the SGA vice president of academic affairs be included within the college’s academic affairs meetings and communications.

In the three requests of this proposal, Villatoro said that SGA is aiming to bolster their dedication to self-governance and improve the efficiency of their organization.

“We want to basically perpetuate that idea the self-gov is something that is worth holding on to,” said Villatoro.

The propositions are followed by an extensive appendix covering previous SGA resolutions that emphasize autonomy of student groups and appointment processes. There are also two testimonials from current cabinet members.

The first of the testimonials comes from Concerts Chair Robby Burchit `23, who listed lack of training and inconsistent email response times as reasons he feels the current SGA oversight is ineffective. The second comes from former Assistant Treasurer McAfee Chandler `23 in the form of their resignation letter, in which they cited the sheer amount of work given to the treasurer position in addition to the complicated budget approval process as reasons for their ultimate resignation.

Villatoro said that after receiving the proposal, President Harris responded to set up a meeting between her, members of the SGA cabinet, Rivera, Vice President for Human Resources Jana Grimes and Vice President for Academic Affairs Elaine Marzluff for the week of April 11. SGA and the administration will discuss the outlined requests in more detail at this time.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Eleanor Corbin
Eleanor Corbin, Editor in Chief
Eleanor is a fourth-year political science major with a concentration in statistics. Nine out of ten times she is ready and willing to discuss embroidery, types of loose-leaf tea, and metal music. Best approached with her favorite candy, cherry Twizzler bites, in hand.
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *