Alumni Executive Council Business Meeting Minutes
October 10, 2015
I. President Forbes called the meeting to order at 8:08 am.
II. Roll Call
Secretary North called the roll:
Members present: Armstrong, Bantz, Casler, Cowan, Danielson, Farnham, Faulkner, Forbes, Hallock, Halstead, Hansen, Kuno, Lee, Lloyd, MacBrayne, McKee, McLaughlin, Montgomery, North, Posener, Rood, Sprague, Sullivan, Terrillion, Weaver (Danni), Weaver (Sue), Williams (Jan)
Student delegates present: Goulet, Vazquez, Williams (Maya)
Members absent: Chatterjee, Olivo, Scheider, Taylor
Mr. Forbes declared a quorum was present for the conduct of business. In lieu of a President’s report, Mr. Forbes thanked all Council members for a great weekend and announced that the Council team won the trivia contest at Pub 56 the night before.
III. Approval and acceptance of minutes from the Virtual Business Meeting on 2015.
The minutes were approved unanimously on a motion by Ms. Farnham and a second by Ms. Bantz ,
IV. Treasurer’s Report
Ms. Kuno provided the treasurer’s report verbally (see slides attached). Revenue to date includes $30,000 from the arrangement with the bookstore and $39,000 from the Silent Auction for a total of $69,000 for this budget year. Mr. Forbes suggested that we set up a call with all Council Members in order to have a more detailed budget discussion in the next couple. This will help us prepare for the budgeting process that needs to occur by the end of the year. As a result of the substantial revenue this year, we do not anticipate any problems with the budget.
V. Committee Reports
President Forbes called the committee chairs to deliver reports on behalf of their committees.
a. Finance & Resources
Ms. Kuno, Council Treasurer and Chair of the Silent Auction, reported that the Silent Auction raised $39,000 this year, as compared to $17,000 raised last year, and expressed the excitement of all involved in the successful event. She thanked the team – including
Finance and Resources Committee members Bob Rood, Heidi Hansen, Amy Pollard, Jay McKee, Phil Sprague and Jackie Hallock for their outstanding work. She extended special thanks to Jackie, Phil and Bob who were able to be on campus throughout the auction, and also to Bill Cowan for his help in determining shipping costs. In addition, she expressed her thanks for the exceptional work and dedication of the Student Delegates – Kyani Vazquez, Chris Hyde, Maya Williams and Emily Goulet, stating that their help leading up to the auction and throughout the weekend made all of the difference in its success. She thanked our campus partners – Lisa and Anne for their gracious support throughout the year-long process, and the other campus partners who helped facilitate everything from technical support to publicity – Rene Thatcher, Rhett Thatcher, Jamie Richardson and others in the IT area, and Joe Keniston who facilitated our email publicity and is helping on the back end with shipping and storing items at his offices at 40 East Main, and Meg Keniston for her great support with social media. She also thanked Chad Tessier for his support in including the Parents Committee in the process this year for the first time, and also Joanie Hall P’17, who was instrumental in engaging parents as contributors to the Auction this year. As well, Ms. Kuno thanked all of the Alumni Executive Council members for supporting the Auction by donation experiences or items, stating that we simply could not have had this kind of success without everyone joining in with their great support.
She announced that an anonymous Council Member had offered to match additional donations to bring the total raised to $40,000. She invited members to see her before the end of the night to join in the challenge. Ms. Kuno also spoke about the Auction’s intrinsic value for the University, since it provides a festive event during Family Weekend that people now look forward to, and it engages alumni, parents, students and friends of the University throughout the year. She expressed her Committee’s delight that this program is in keeping with Alumni Executive Council goals of offering opportunities for Laurentians to become engaged with the University.
Ms. Kuno reported that Mr. Sprague and Ms. Hallock have agreed to become the Co-chairs of the 2016 Silent Auction, and she expressed her personal gratitude for their willingness to lead this important endeavor in the coming year. She reported that, as in past years, it will be vital to have all details of auction items wrapped up by the Canaras retreat in 2016, and invited Council members to please determine soon how they might like to support the auction next year, and to let Phil and Jackie know. She also announced that her committee has determined that an important component of next year’s successful campaign is having someone on campus who can dedicate a great deal of time to the auction, from an administrative standpoint. Consequently, the committee is recommending that a paid intern, and an assistant paid intern be hired to work throughout the coming year in preparation for the 2016 Silent Auction. The Committee is developing a detailed plan for the interns, and believes it’s a great opportunity for two students each year to be involved in a significant Council project which will not only
provide them with a multitude of marketable skills, but will also provide them with direct connections with Laurentians throughout the Auction process. Ms. Kuno also expressed the Committees delight that supporting interns would be in keeping with the Alumni Council’s stated objectives to support student internships and experiential learning opportunities.
Ms. Kuno also reported that, because of the recent fundraising successes, the Finance and Resources Committee discussed the possibilities of supporting, in some way, the Alumni Executive Council’s Centennial Endowment for Internships and Experiential Learning Opportunities for students, or, creating an endowment which would potentially support operating expenses for the Alumni Executive Council in the future. This type of support would be completely contingent on the continued success of fundraising endeavors by the Council, and would require Council approval. The ideas will continue to be discussed throughout the coming year.
Ms. Kuno wrapped up her report by telling two stories about special gifts to the Silent Auction and the impact they had on funds raised and Laurentian Engagement, and again expressed her thanks for everyone’s support.
b. Advancement & Engagement
Mr. McLaughlin reported that the A&E Committee has several initiatives underway but for the purpose of his report and in the interest of time, he would focus on just one. The University Advancement office is challenged with recruiting and training alumni volunteers, such as Reunion Planning Chairs, Reunion Development Chairs and Class Reporters. The A&E Committee has established a sub-committee focused on helping to identify potential volunteers. This group is very tactically focused on identifying people. Joe Keniston will provide the sub-committee with job descriptions; identify high priority needs by class and type of volunteer needed; and engagement profiles. Once recruited, the University staff will manage and train the volunteers. Mr. McLaughlin noted that this initiative is similar to what M&H does and that the question has been raised about whether this will this conflict or diminish our efforts in that area? The Committee believes it will not conflict, but rather could be a feeder into AEC membership, looking at volunteerism as a progression from Reunion chair to AEC. Mr. McLaughlin further notes that all of AEC can help by identifying prospective volunteers in each class and region. We may also be asked to help recruit a volunteer that is identified in our cluster and/or geographic region. Ms. Farnham will head the Volunteer Recruitment sub-committee and will send survey out soon to gather potential volunteers.
c. Membership & Honors
In Mr. Chatterjee’s absence, Mr. Forbes reported that M&H is in full recruitment mode to identify new members in clusters 1, 3, 4, and 5. Two new1 members have been finalized for cluster 2 and will join us at Canaras. Mr. Forbes noted that there is a dearth
of candidates in cluster 4, especially males, and he encouraged members to please nominate candidates if you know a good prospect. Our goal is to add 8 new member this year, and 7 next year. The M&H Committee is also working on the Alumni Citation and Sol Feinstone award which will be presented in the Spring.
d. Student Service & Recruitment
Ms. Terrillion reported on a number of SS&R initiatives:
• The number of students who matriculated in September was 680 students, 18% of whom are legacies (chips and twigs). This is a recent record and does not include nieces, nephews, or grandchildren!
• 267 yield calls were made by Council members in the Spring and 40 of those students matriculated, for a 15% “conversion” rate! For next year’s calls, the Committee is suggesting that participating Council members hand write notes to all accepted students on the call list and then follow up with phone call. The belief is that this would make the calls less random and perhaps increase effectiveness.
• Off-campus interviews are complete for the year. Council coverage was not strong for various reasons. However, this initiative is meaningful for students and the Committee would like to improve the process to make it work. Re-evaluation is underway.
• Overnight on campus by HS students with alumnae parents took place in the summer. This program is modeled after programs at other schools such as Colgate. The intent of the program is to give students a feel for SLU and educate them on the University.
• The NYC semester event was opened up to NYC internship providers, and led to several conversations for new internships. Ms. Hansen asked why the event was over budget? Mr. Forbes replied that the event was underbudgeted to begin with and that we supplemented the budget with funds that were budgeted but not spent on an event in DC. Ms. Hansen further asked if the cost of the event is being shared by the University? Mr. Forbes assured her that the University will be challenged to do so going forward.
VI. Student Delegate Report
• Ms. Williams reported that she is enjoying the position of Student Delegate. The Student Delegate recruited 36 students as volunteers for the Silent Auction. Ms. Williams is working with the SS&R Committee Cort, Tracy & Maya talked about how to retool Career Services – help foster relationships with alums, weekly spotlight on an Alum, plug in Laurentian Mag to create LinkedIn profile so students can reach out.
• Ms. Vazquez reported that the auction went well from their perspective. She is currently working on finishing out auction items, including thank you notes and pub cookie fulfillment.
• Ms. Goulet thanked the Council for participating in the Trivia contest on Friday night. Ms. Goulet noted that she spoke at convocation last week and focused her speech on L4L in an effort to help first years understand what this means.
VII. New Business
Mr. Forbes presented the following resolution to support the University diversity statement:
“WHEREAS the Alumni Executive Council endorsed the Diversity Commission report in 2014, and
WHEREAS the Alumni Executive Council heartily embraces the long-standing culture of inclusion that has set St. Lawrence apart since its founding, and
WHEREAS the Alumni Executive Council considers diversity and inclusion in its own membership, so
THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Alumni Executive Council stands in support of the 2015 Statement on Diversity and Inclusion.”
Ms. Hansen read the following statement: “I try to focus on the St. Lawrence University Mission Statement:
“The mission of St Lawrence University is to provide an inspiring and demanding undergraduate education in the liberal arts to students selected for their seriousness of purpose and intellectual promise.” With such a topic as diversity, any “Statement” must be inspiring and demanding. “…a public affirmation of our longstanding culture of inclusion at St. Lawrence.” is a good idea, however, I feel that the proposed Diversity “Statement” falls too short.
I am disappointed the Diversity “Statement” says nothing of diversity of thought. Education without critical thinking is nothing more than indoctrination. You cannot have critical thinking without diversity of thought or opinion.
When we consider that SLU students shut down Route 11 traffic (including commercial traffic) about a year ago in a protest, we have a diversity of thought problem we cannot ignore in any diversity context proposal or statement. The University also needs to affirm non-violence and non-disruption. Sadly, this may now need to be spelled out in the “Statement.” Other outlets are available for student discourse and protest, such as The Hill News and should be presented to students as early as The First Year Program, the diversity required courses and perhaps considered for the diversity statement.
On October, 10, 2010, SLU focused upon the “SLU Teagle Project: Critical Thinking About Diversity Rubric”1 presenting a useful framework to assess progress. As a result of the generous grant and study, we now have course requirements on Diversity and one course which hopes students will, “…interact respectfully with people and ideas across cultural and social boundaries."2 Where was the respect to the truckers on Route 11 trying to do their job and earn a living; perhaps even bringing food these protestors would later eat? Perhaps the “Statement” should touch on the Teagle Project February 2013 findings and be more specific as to how SLU will attempt to thwart diversity challenges with class assignments promoting interaction among diverse students, organizing residential assignments, study abroad and community involvement.3 The University is trying; perhaps the “Statement” should acknowledge the efforts.
The “Statement” is not action oriented. I suggest it promote intergroup dialog. The alumni engagement from the Diversity Commission appears to be focused more upon dollars and does not speak to opportunities for alumni involvement and dialog with students that might aid in the diversity challenges. According to the Campus Memo diversity purpose and plan:
“In addition, the many dimensions of student life and alumni engagement will be fully integrated into the new map.”
Where in the “Statement” do we find mention of alumni involvement?
Martin Luther King Jr. famously spoke of “judging people by content of character instead of color of skin.”4 The “Statement” focuses on ratios (“variety,” “expanding a diverse University community.”). The “Statement” appears to say SLU will have a mix of people (increase the green, blue and purple races/cultures) and we will work together. It says nothing of how the integration will occur or by whom (which groups) other than by “working together.” The Teagle findings indicate that the students often need to be nudged, that relying on “working together” may not be enough. I am proud that the Alumni Executive Council sponsors various opportunities for members to engage directly with students and I am involved directly with students too. Can we do more?
I applaud the Trustees degree requirements and program design, but with the street protest, I wonder if the students are directed to other outlets to promote change and if this Trustee goal is more elusive:
“c. an understanding of the dynamics of power and justice within and/or among groups or societies and an ability to reflect on their responsibilities toward others as citizens at the local, national, and global scales.”5
A Diversity “Statement” is an opportunity to inspire and educate the SLU students, however, in my opinion, this proposal does not.”
A motion was made by Mr. Casler and seconded by Mr. Sullivan to pass the resolution as is. 29 in Favor; 1 Opposed. The Resolution passed.
VIII. The motion to adjourn was made by Ms. D. Weaver and seconded by Ms. Terrillion. The meeting was adjourned by Mr. Forbes at 11:02 am.
2 Cultivating Citizenship for a Multicultural Democracy and a Globalized World (http://www.stlawu.edu/sites/default/files/page-attachments/Teagle%20Dive...)
5 Motion 2011-2012-21(Passed on 5/8/12) The Academic Affairs Committee moves that the St. Lawrence Faculty approve the following as the requirements for a St. Lawrence undergraduate degree: