The Student Government meeting began with the Executive Address from President Ashley Kibel (‘25), who first discussed logistics for the upcoming 2023 Drewstock. In a meeting with Dean Michelle Brisson, Kibel recommended revolving the date of Drewstock around Spirit Week, as either a kickoff or wrap-up to the celebrations. The musical acts will be intentionally selected to bring in a diverse group of cultural styles and a variety of genres.
As for location, various spots are being considered, such as the deck outside of The Commons or one of the sports fields. Additionally, Kibel proposed inviting nearby colleges to Drewstock in order to increase turnout and welcome some new faces to Drew. During Student Government’s discussion about Drewstock, many senators chimed in to share their ideas about providing other outside games, such as frisbee or cornhole. Student Government is hoping to make the planning of Drewstock a collaborative process with the College of Liberal Arts student body and they urge students to reach out to Student Government if they have any ideas.
Kibel also aims to better connect Student Government to the department heads on campus. This would create a symbiotic relationship with the student body, Student Government and the faculty in order to increase communication about upcoming events and allow anyone to propose comments, questions and concerns.
Student Comments and Concerns:
Senator Erisdania Martinez (‘23) brought up complaints from other students about the date of the Junior/Senior Ball, which is currently scheduled for Friday, April 21. There has been pushback about the date because there are a variety of events on that Friday, such as the Dance Show and an a capella concert. Senator Khyri Fortenberry (‘24), who serves as liaison to Facilities and the Residence Hall Association, will check in with Student Activities and the association to see if the date could be changed in order to increase turnout.
Senator Joseph Rojek (‘25) inquired about Ramadan dining. Vice President Jocelyn Freeman (‘25) clarified with the Senate that Dining Committee Head Jessica Leaf (‘25) organized Ramadan dining for the upcoming Ramadan season, and resources can be found on the Muslim Student Association Instagram.
Senator Mira Cohen (‘24) brought up student concerns about the loss of to-go boxes in The Commons. Many students have inquired about this, and there is general upset about to-go box removal on campus. However, Freeman shared that to-go boxes were taken away as a result of an Aramark policy that came down from their leadership, which is out of Student Government’s hands. The to-go boxes were only mandated due to concerns about COVID-19. Since COVID cases have decreased, the boxes were removed.
During the middle of the meeting, Student Government passed a resolution written by Senator Jenny Ibuzo (‘24) that will allocate funds to create a mural in the Student Empowerment Center in Hurst 14. The current design includes an image of Mead Hall and will be drawn on the wall in a “paint by numbers” style. Ibuzo is collaborating with Drew’s Residence Hall Association to come to a decision on the final design. The goal is to include both artists and non-artists alike in the creation of the mural.
A variety of Student Government committees shared updates. Martinez shared that the Student Health and Accessibility Committee recently held a successful tabling event regarding the intersectionality of mental health resources. There is also a “Mental Health Resources Accessible For All” sheet being created that will be posted in the residence halls and around campus. This committee is also planning a future event in collaboration with the BIPOC Peer Mentoring Center. The current main goal for the committee is to increase accessibility and diversity in mental health resources and to reach out to Drew students.
Chief of Staff Elisabeth Sauerman (‘24) shared that “Drew in The Dark,” an energy-saving competition, will be conducted at the beginning of April. The competition challenges residence halls to use the least amount of electric power over a two-week period. The Sustainability Committee will be tabling next week, so students will have the opportunity to learn more about the competition. Sauerman also advertised the upcoming Climate Teach-In that will be held on March 29 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Hall of Sciences 4.
Fortenberry announced that a new president of the Residence Hall Association has been appointed and that the Residence Hall Association is currently working to elect new board members. Additionally, the Legendary Lottery is currently being planned, and the tentative date for the event is April 16. The winner of this event will be the first to select housing on campus.
Martinez shared the many successes of the Racial Justice Committee from this semester. Their main goal right now is to push the administration to include more diverse questions on course evaluations. This would allow students of all identities to feel they can be heard and valued when evaluating how they were treated in the classroom during the semester as well as whether or not the professor was accommodating. The Racial Justice Committee also set up a beautiful Women’s History Month book display in the Library. In April, there will be a book display about Israeli apartheid.
Chief Financial Officer Jenni Grafilo (‘25) shared that the Board on Budgeting has funded several recent events, such as an upcoming Drew University Music Society musical festival on April 1, the TEDx Talent Talk and the first meeting of the Fiber Arts Association at Drew, which has already been very successful. Student Government is hoping to table in Brother’s College on Wednesdays. The goal of tabling is to better engage students and make them more aware of the purpose and value of Student Government.
Lastly, Spring Elections are coming up. The Student Government wants to promote this process to anyone and everyone in the student body. They are urging students who want to run to start thinking about their campaign.
Students who are interested in finding out more details from the meeting can access the agenda here.
Anna Beth is a sophomore and the Chief Communications Officer for Student Government