The New College Student Alliance (NCSA) functions as a three-branch student government. All New College students are automatically part of the Senate, where campus-wide voting and announcements take place. The first Senate meeting of the 2023-24 school year was held on Wednesday, Sept. 13. The meeting opened with a vote to approve fourth-year Cynthia Lucas as Senate President Pro Tempore. She stepped into the role following the departure of former Senate President Libby Harrity. The paid position of Senate President will be voted on in the upcoming election. The petitioning period lasted until Sept. 16, 2023 with elections held on Sept. 21. Stay tuned for the final announcement of the 2023-24 NCSA committee representatives.
Third-year Safari Swanson took the stand to propose Fairies and Dryads at Walls, similar to how they have been integrated in the past. A Google Form was sent on Sept. 14 to get more direct input on how this role should look. At its core, those who take on the role would be providing another layer of safety at events by keeping an eye on party goers who may be in a vulnerable position.
This unpaid position would consist of volunteers who undergo training and can be a point of contact for any students at a Wall who feels they are at risk. Some suggestions came from the Senate to strengthen this initiative, one being to put restrictions on who could volunteer, such as the volunteer having no Title IX cases. Another being that the volunteers would wear a specific article to identify themselves for example a vest or pair of wings. The title of “Fairies and Dryads” is not set in stone.
Though still being decided as to whether or not an event will be canceled if the host cannot find two people to act as these safety patrols, it seems as though there is enough support and interest from the student body that this should not be a concern.
A proposal by NCSA Co-President Grace Keenan to add an Athletics representative to the Council of Student Life was approved by a two-thirds majority vote. The person holding this unpaid position will attend monthly meetings and be a voice for students involved with sports on campus.
The NCSA is also in need of more Student Allocations Committee (SAC) members. These students are responsible for distributing funds for student activities, including clubs. NCSA Co-President Colin Jefferis announced an increase in the budget for student activity and campus events, totalling $85,000.
Arguably the most anticipated part of the meeting was the voting for the Wall and Center of the Universe Party (COUP) themes. Submissions for Walls ranged from New College classics such as “Nearly Naked” to fresh ideas such as “Latin Night” and “Bounce That Azz.”
Second-year Adom Neizer-Ashun, NCSA’s Chair of Student Life, gave a quick presentation on proper party etiquette. She implored students to get consent before doing anything such as filming or touching others. This way, everyone feels comfortable and stays safe. It was also reiterated that any misconduct would be reported to the campus police.
Finally, it was announced that the official 2023 Halloween COUP will be a “Haunted Carnival.” A presentation by second-years Calypso Camacho and Lainey Rose beat out an “Unbaptism” theme and an “Avatar the Last Airbender” proposal.
The beginning of the semester comes with lots of opportunities to be engaged with the NCSA. The Senate meeting was held in the thick of the petitioning period, where students are running for open office positions in the legislative, judicial and executive branches of student government. These representatives attend council meetings and represent certain groups on campus. Senate meetings typically occur on Wednesdays from 8-9 p.m. and email is the best source for the most up-to-date information on all things student government. Students can definitely look forward to a fun-filled year of events!
A group of students from Ringling College of Art and Design headed by Ringling student Celi Mitidieri is putting together a documentary to capture student life on campus. The Senate approved them to document the meeting, and the group filmed only those who had previously signed photo release forms.