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CSA creates new chaplain’s liaison

To create a Chaplain’s Liaison, the student body passed a CSA constitutional referendum that changed the number of CSA voting members from 22 to 23.

At its Monday, Feb. 6 meeting, CSA voted unanimously to change its bylaws to include the Chaplain’s Liaison as its 14th liaison position.

After the senate vote, a referendum went out to students on Saturday, Feb. 18, asking them to approve changing the CSA Constitution to include 23 voting members. Of the 401 students who voted, 83 percent voted for the change, so CSA will add a Chaplain’s Liaison position.

“Religious and spiritual life is so integral to many students, so understanding what these students are doing and how we can support them is incredibly important for moving forward as CSA,” said CSA president Tiffany Thet ’17, who led the initiative to create a Chaplain’s Liaison.

“Simply put, religious and spiritual life has been ignored by CSA for too long.”

Because CSA represents the student body, it is important for CSA to include students from all aspects of the Carleton community, explained Thet. In fact, the other offices on campus, such as the Office of

International and Intercultural Life and the Gender and Sexuality Center, already have CSA liaison positions.

These offices have liaison positions to facilitate communication between the various communities on campus, according to Thet. In addition, CSA funds events and organizations within many of these offices, and the liaisons help CSA better allocate funding.

“I am really grateful that Tiffany helped move this position through,” said Chaplain Carolyn Fure-Slocum. “The other offices on campus have liaisons, and we are just trying to set up a similar sort of thing in the Office of the Chaplain.”

Fure-Slocum explained that the Chaplain’s Liaison is a way to create open communication between the Office of the Chaplain and CSA.

“I see religion as one form of identity that students hold,” she said. “Over 50 percent of students claim a religious identity, so it is a large part of campus. We want to make sure CSA keeps this facet of student life in mind when it goes forward with policy and funding.”

This term, CSA piloted a Chaplain’s Liaison by including Chaplain’s Associate Mabel Frank ’19 at CSA meetings as a non-voting member.

“It has been my responsibility to serve as the connection between the chapel and CSA,” Frank said. “I advocate for religious and spiritual life when it pertains to CSA discussions. It is also helpful for me to know what the general campus climate is, so that we, as chaplain’s associates, can better shape programming to fit the needs on campus.”

Although she has been unable to vote this term, Frank said she has contributed to discussions, especially those about the roles liaisons can and should play in CSA.

“Before holding this position, I didn’t know anything about CSA, and this term, I have learned a lot about this organization and how we in the chapel can work with CSA to improve religious and spiritual life for students,” Frank said. “It’s been a really, really cool opportunity.”

Based on the result of the recent referendum, CSA is updating its constitution to include a voting Chaplain’s Liaison position, and CSA applications are now open for the Chaplain’s Liaison. As with the other open liaison positions, students will vote on the Chaplain’s Liaison candidates in the spring.

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