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Student Senate minutes – Nov. 10

by Marisa Quinn

November 12, 2020

News Newsletters Student Senate Undergrad Student Information

The meeting was called to order by president Kendall Archer at 7 p.m.

A prayer was said by Collin van Waardenburg.

Members present: Cece Abel, Kendall Archer, Samantha Carlson, Larkin Clem, Jake Emeott, Sarah Fowler, Mary Furlong, Gabriel Graves, Noah Kimel, Megan Kowalis, Jonathon Krull, Abigail Lang, Thomas Magnavite, Allison Moysis, Tara Nokolich, Nicole Noreen, Lyanna Novak, Enitan Onayiga, Angel Sacta Espinoza, Joseph Schauf, Collin van Waardenburg, Destiny Walker, and Elijah Williams

Members absent: Lillian Klein and Sophia O’Neil

Members excused: Marcos Pedroza and Ryan Stoynich

Guests: Jeanne Minnerath, Scott Sorvaag, Dean Beckman, Janet Heukeshoven, Molly O’Conner, Susan Cosby Ronnenberg, Erin Clark, Shelly McCallum, Andrew Scott, Carolyn Ayers, Dr. Kyle Black’s Capstone 499 Class, Ann Merchlewitz and Tim Gossen

Discussion Items:

  • Introduction of Dr. Susan Cosby Ronnenberg, dean of the College
    • Serves as dean of Arts and Humanities
    • Deals with course schedule, integrated education, and faculty here at the Winona Campus
  • Faculty council discussion
    • Tasked by faculty body to have a conversation with students to see how things are going
    • Andrew Scott, Chair
    • Serve to advise our administrators
    • Question: What has gone well so far this semester that we can continue to do in the future? 
    • Answers:
      • Noah Kimel: Professors being lenient with students who are having technical issues. Very willing to help out with zoom and joining class virtually. Professors are also very helpful by giving students grace with assignments when being put in quarantine
      • Lyanna Novak: Thank you to the professors for giving us a mental health day, very much appreciated. 
      • Enitan Onayiga: Agreed with other two statements, and appreciated the mental health day. The professors giving us extensions has been very helpful given the heavy workload.
      • Destiny Walker: In addition to the mental health days, the professors have been doing a good job of checking in with the students and seeing how they are doing.
    • Question: What additional ways that faculty might help students succeed as we prepare for the future?
    • Answers:
      • Mary Furlong: The understanding and support of the professors has been great. Would like to look at a break again in the future, evaluating content and what can be done to ease the workload.
      • Abigail Lang: Professors doing zoom even when the class is in person has been helpful. It helps with learning and participation.
      • Tara Nikolich: Having a break during the semester would be a big help. Utilizing interactive stuff like breakout rooms instead of lecturing to keep the students engaged.
    • Question: Tycho de Boer; How might it be possible and workable for students to cut down on in class content but having students do it outside of class?
    • Answers:
      • Mary Furlong: Teachers have been creative and if the class can have a discussion about what works best for them is helpful. Having panopto is great. Being open to different solutions.
      • Lyanna Novak: Mirroring what summer classes do, accommodating to a more flexible schedule. The mental health break days did not align so it was an awkward break and didn’t necessarily feel like a break. A universal break would be nice in the middle of the week.
      • Tom Magnavite: Activities standpoint, hopefully we can have athletics open to fans.
      • Joseph Schauf: Agree with the increased content complaint, it doesn’t work well. Too much zoom is hard to focus, I don’t feel like I’m learning as much. Asynchronous class format would be more beneficial, discussion board features can be used very well but also very poorly. It is hard to imitate in class discussions in a thread format.
    • Question: Any feedback regarding classroom facilities, the registration process, wellbeing, academic advising, instructional technology?
    • Answers:
      • Sarah Fowler: Zoom can really drain students. Professors should be really interested in students wellbeing and understand the wifi in some of the dorms is very spotty and that students sometimes miss parts of the class. 
      • Enitan Onayiga: Maybe next year we could have classes outside if possible, it is good for our mental health.
      • Noah Kimel: Some students are exploiting the zoom to class capability when the class is still in person. Classmates then have to pick up their share of work.
      • Lyanna Novak: Not everyone has an accommodating computer, professors should remain mindful of technology usage and what they can/can’t do. Maybe focus more on utilizing google docs.
      • Elijah Williams: Created a survey and has 155 responses, stress pre-covid was 5/10 this semester is 8-10/10. Students thought the stress was coming from no break this semester. Greater workload and assignments, along with students feeling as if they are not learning anything, just meeting deadlines is another aspect. Inconsistencies among professors with zoom has also been a problem. Another big thing mentioned was a lot of professor organization stressed students out, switching the schedule made students stressed.
    • Professor Scott, “Finish strong, please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns for the faculty body”
  • Capstone 499 Food Pantry Presentation
    • Dr. Black’s Class
    • Overview of food insecurity on college campuses across the United States
    • Concerns the Lasallian Values of serving the poor
    • St. Isidore’s Food Pantry
      • St. Isidore was a poor Spanish farmhand who is the Patron Saint of agriculture, farmers, and workers
    • Survey Data
      • 244 survey respondents
        • 20% of students have experienced once at least not having enough food for their household
        • Only 5% students think that St. Mary’s does not need a food pantry
        • 83% of respondents expressed interest in volunteering at the food pantry
    • Location
      • Old Kitchen in Vlazny Hall
        • Has storage for food, cabinets, and fridge
        • Is a central location on campus and also discreet
        • Near other student services
    • Current Food Pantry
      • Unmet necessities in current food pantry
      • Collection bin for donations
    • Operations
      • Run by the Food Pantry Club
        • Would run fundraisers, keep it clean, manage the services provided
      • Hopefully provide hygiene products as well
      • Educational programming
        • How to can food (collaborate with garden club)
        • How to buy a week’s worth of food on a budget (collaborate with campus dietitian and finance club)
        • How to cook a simple meal (collaborate with campus dietitian)
    • Goals
      • Raise awareness of the issue
        • 50% of students were not sure if we needed a food pantry
        • Information table about the food pantry outside of Toner
        • Promoting it on social media
      • Volunteers
        • 40% of students would be interested in helping
        • Knights of Columbus would partner with the Pantry
        • Organize food drives
          • On-campus
          • Grocery store
          • Online
        • Organize fundraising initiatives
        • Finding sponsors
          • CUFBA (College and Food Bank Alliance) 
        • Steering Committee
          • Four faculty expressed interest in being a part of this
          • Possibly getting members form Student Senate, Chartwells, and Winona Volunteer Services
        • Partners
          • International Acts of Kindness
          • Garden Club
          • Winona Volunteer Services
      • Question:
        • Joseph Schuaf: On a campus where we have a meal plan, how is this a problem? Is it a failure of Chartwells? 
      • Response
        • Dr. Black’s Class: There are issues with dietary restrictions along with time issues. Complaints in the survey about those two matters. The survey showed that 217 students on campus come from families that struggle with food insecurities, we aim to provide students with food for over breaks. It also teaches students how to budget with food and also prepare it. If there is even one student who needs it, we must help through our Lasallian Values
  • Administration here to answer questions regarding today’s email. Ann Merchlewitz and Tim Gossen presented
    • Thankful for the students’ work so far this semester, changing the status has been very well thought out
    • Changed from green to yellow, and now from yellow to orange. The MN Department of Health recommended we move up to orange (level 3) as a result of statewide case increases at universities. Winona County case levels have also increased in the past weeks. Winona Health is beginning to face a shortage in hospital beds. Positivity rate in Winona County is over 9%, benchmark is 5%. Winona County is well beyond the cases per 100,000 that requires K-12 to move online as well. Here at Saint Mary’s, we have had an increase in cases over the past three weeks. The positive cases are alarming along with the number of students in quarantine (172 currently) 17% of the student population both quarantined here and at home. This is a decision that was agonizing to make, but it is the right decision to protect us and slow the spread here on campus and also to allow you to go home safely.
    • Faculty is prepared to move online
    • Fieldhouse, gym, and track and field are closed
    • Cardinal Club and Cardinal Coffee will remain open as long as students continue following protocols
    • All in-person events are canceled
    • Testing has been made available by the state to us, 600 tests to be open for students to take. More information coming this week, please take advantage of this testing
      • Results within 24-48 hours
    • Curfew 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
      • Guard Booth will be staffed and ID will be asked for entry
      • Student workers are still permitted to work here on campus and also off campus
    • There will be more testing prior to being sent home, information will follow
    • Number of beds for quarantining is running low
      • More space acquired through Cotter Schools
    • Ten individuals on campus are trained to contact trace
    • Questions and Answers
    • Is the “curfew” procedure only for entering and leaving campus, or does it apply to leaving/entering one’s dorm too? 
      • The curfew is a campus curfew as we will be monitoring traffic coming in and out of the university. You will still be allowed outside of your resident room during it. 
    • Will there be mass testing and will it be mandatory? What is the estimated time we would see results? 
      • There will be mass testing towards the end of this week/early next week. It will not be mandatory but recommended. The results are expected within 24-48 hours.
    • Can off campus students still come and eat to use up there meal plans? 
      • Yes, off campus students are allowed on campus between 6 am – 9pm. They will still have access to their email plan. 
    • These are highlights, for further information please refer to your Senator or visit the FAQ page that has been created: Additionally, there will be a town hall for student soon and we encourage students to attend
    • Thank you students, continue to be safe! There will be a gift bag going out to all students, and Tim Gossen will dye his hair if we stay all semester!
  • Vote on Ethics Committee co-chair
    • Ethics Committee co-chair Jonathon Krull appointed Abigail Lang
    • Approved by Senate unanimously
  • Executive Board Updates
    • Nicole Noreen, VP for Financial Affairs
      • Finance committee meeting for financial request tuesday
  • Motion to Adjourn
    • Motioned by Joseph Schauf 
    • Seconded by Collin van Waardenburg
    • Time 8:29 pm.