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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Promises We Can Keep: A CSA Progress Report

<r ago, you, the student body, elected new members to your government, the CSA Senate. As the Officers of CSA, we want to do our part to keep you informed and involved in the improvement of student life on campus. With that in mind, we would like to candidly discuss the progress that we have made over the past year, in order to give you a sense of where we are and what more we can do.

When we ran for office, we made very specific “promises we could keep.” We promised to: 1) improve student services, such as the Wellness Center and Career Center; 2) expand PE credit for Club Sports; 3) promote financially responsible investments towards a more sustainable Carleton; 4) increase accessibility and accountability of Senate; 5) improve budgeting; and 6) provide a rewarding first year experience. In order to address these tasks, we formed working groups that allowed all 18 Senators to focus their energies on a specific issue. Have we been able to achieve these goals?

1. Improve student services

The changes to the Career Center are obvious to anyone who has been to lower Sayles. Thanks to the hard work of Richard Berman and his dedicated staff, the Career Center has improved alumni outreach and instituted a variety of programs to help students find internships, jobs, and careers. CSA was able to play a role in this process by bringing students, faculty, and staff together to discuss and implement improvements to the Center.

Our Wellness Center working group has dedicated much of the past year to working with the Dean of Students Office on a review of the Wellness Center. The results of this review are set to be released later this term, and will identify what steps should be taken to allow the Center to better serve student health needs.

2. Expand PE credit for Club Sports

In collaboration with the student representatives on the Education and Curriculum Committee and the Club Sports Council, we worked to ensure that more P.E. credits could be earned for Club Sports athletes. The option of earning four P.E. credits from participation in approved Club Sports will be part of the proposed graduation requirements tahat the faculty will review and vote upon later this term.

3. Promote financially responsible investments towards a more sustainable Carleton

One of the most exciting advancements towards this goal has been the establishment of the Green Fund. This fund, which will be presented to the CSA Senate on Monday (1/19) will use a small part of the student activity fee to promote green activities on campus. We hope that this will make sustainable activity more available to all student groups on campus.

4. Increase accessibility and accountability of Senate

As promised, the Officers have had Office Hours every term. This term, members of Senate have committed over 20 hours of their time to being available in the CSA Office (Sayles 160). Outside of these hours and our Monday evening meetings, we have hosted workshops and town hall forums to discuss specific issues affecting our campus. Other improvements to Senate accessibility have included a comment box to the website; the availability of information about committee openings, working group updates, and Senate minutes on our website (; a video blog; and published agendas and synopses of every meeting in the Carletonian.

5. Improve budgeting

The Budget Committee is running more smoothly and more fairly than ever. Standard procedures are announced before and during each meeting, in order to make the Budget process clearer and more accessible to those making requests. Indeed, fewer than five organizations have not been funded after requesting money from the CSA. The budgeting process has become more streamlined, more fair, and perhaps most importantly, more friendly than ever.

6. Provide a rewarding first year experience

On this task, which all of us as students can appreciate, we worked with the Dean of Students Office through the First Year Experience Task Force to bring student opinion to the establishment a robust first year experience. The report of this Task Force, as charged by President Oden, will be released later this term and will provide recommendations for improvements to New Student Week 2009.

Thanks to the hard work of the whole Senate, we have been able to go far beyond these goals. We participated in workshops on an improved Campus Climate; helped to form the Initiative on Community, Equity, and Diversity; facilitated the revitalization of Upper Sayles; established a Support Fund for those who cannot afford the student activity fee; contributed to the proposal of Peer-Led Discussion Groups; bought furniture for the Bald Spot and much, much more.

We share this progress report to not only acknowledge the results of the work of your peers, but also to make it clear how much more can be done, and how you can be a part of that process. What would improve your experience at Carleton? We want to hear your ideas. All are welcome to Senate meetings on Monday nights at 7pm in Sayles 251, in addition to Office Hours everyday in Sayles 160. Check out how your can get involved and join us in advocating for Carls!

-Caitlin Fleming is the President and Pablo Kenney is the Vice President of the CSA Senate

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