Senate Minutes – 12.02.14

For questions or clarifications, please contact Senator Amelia Fong at ude.l1545206501tsuw@1545206501gnof.1545206501ailem1545206501a1545206501

  1. WUFUSED presentation
    1. Speaker: Nahuel Fefer, Chair of Admissions Policy at Washington University in St. Louis
    2. 7% of WashU students are Pell eligible
    3. Average household income of WashU student is $200,000
    4. $10,000,000 in the endowment is set aside for tulips; only the interest is spend
    5. According to a survey done by the NY Times: WashU is the least socioeconomic institution, relative to other institutions with more than 75% graduation rate
    6. Need-aware admissions practice
      1. Consider a student’s financial background in the admissions process
      2. 30,000 applications, 5,000 people accepted
  • Ideal class includes 800 Pell-eligible students
  1. Office of financial services does not have enough funds to accept all of these students
    1. Cut out 400 low-income students
  2. Consequences for the student experience:
    1. 13% of students from high income background and 25% of students from low income background do not like the sense of community in WashU
    2. Difficult for low-income students in WashU
    3. Impacts the lives of everyone at WashU; decreased socioeconomic diversity
  3. Diminishing returns of investments in buildings, dorm, and food
    1. Going need blind costs $25 million a year
    2. Investment relative to other commodities
  4. How can the $25 million be funded
    1. Raise the Dean’s Tax
      1. School the student comes from gets majority of a student’s tuition fee
      2. 33% of tuition fee, recently increased from 30%
    2. Endowment
      1. Has generated a 9% return, we only spend about 4%
  • Allotting more money from donations
  1. About WUFUSED
    1. Want to make WashU more accessible and welcoming to low-income students
    2. Strategy
      1. Inform students
        1. Panel with ADPhi
        2. WashU voices
      2. Lobby administration
        1. Petition
        2. Meeting with the Administration
      3. SU Resolution
    3. About the petition
      1. Increase the percentage of Pell-eligible students attending WashU by 2020
      2. Release a detailed memo that presents multiple policies that can be used to reach the above goal
  • Increase support for students from St. Louis public schools to apply to attend WashU through targeted outreach programs
  1. Increase support services for low-income students in Washington University
  1. Questions:
    1. Where does the money come from?
      1. Calling for the University to reprioritize the spending of money
    2. Donations are specific, how can WashU use donations for financial aid?
      1. Untied donations can be allocated to financial aid
  • How would increasing the Dean’s tax help financial aid?
    1. Departments need to cut things elsewhere with an increase in the Dean’s tax; would that result in an increase in tuition
  1. What is a reasonable time frame to work towards WashU being need-blind?
    1. Other universities have done it in less than 5 years, using the limit of 5 years
  2. Does WUFUSED have an interest in becoming a part of SU the way the DAC is?
  3. What sort of aid is available for Pell-eligible students?
    1. Actual academic success of low-income students
    2. Big part if increasing the population of low-income students to get those issues out in the open
    3. Critical to making such students feel comfortable on campus
    4. Make people aware of some of the socioeconomic issues that their floor mates face
  • Lack of financial resources in Cornerstone – difficulty in supporting students from low-income backgrounds
  • Estimate of how much it would cost to fund these support services?
    1. Negligible percentage of $25 million
  1. WUFUSED survey on socioeconomic diversity from a few years ago
    1. Low percentage of individuals consider themselves upper class, 80% are according to their reported income
  2. Why is the number of Pell-eligible students the main marker of socioeconomic diversity?
    1. Number that has to be reported to the Board of Education
  3. Clarify point number 3 of the petition – decreases regional diversity of the University
    1. University program: fund 25 students to go to Community College, if their grades are high enough they will transfer to Washington University
    2. Can only have a real lack of regional diversity when people come from urban backgrounds
  4. Project Brainstorming
    1. Resolution for socioeconomic diversity
    2. Creating a system where individuals from WashU can submit resolutions to the Senate (co-written with Chairs or the Speaker)
      1. Open up the SU process to more students in getting involved
    3. Volunteer tutoring service on-campus
    4. Re-sale of Clothes and Textbooks program
    5. Link Engineering Services and RARA
    6. Increase hot food options at Whispers
    7. Have hand sanitizers in BD and The Village throughout the year
    8. Work with WUPD, SPB, and other campus organizations about WILD and how they go about shutting down events
    9. WUPD self-defense class for men
    10. Opening up night access to certain buildings
    11. Add a printer location aspect on the WUSTL app
    12. More computers with specific program required for classes
    13. Current projects
      1. All-school calendar
      2. Combining all of the reservation services
  • Get an elected students on the Board of Trustees
  1. Get the requirements changed in ArtSci to allow students to get credit for classes taken in other schools
  2. Tutoring services for students in ArtSci
  3. Starting an East Asian Major
  • Co-programming Ibby’s, have student groups have events with the food and event sponsored
  • Whiteboards – I Love WashU But…
  1. Improving the ResCollege system on the South 40
  2. Cooking class for students moving out
  3. Part-time Senior students
  • Blow up mattresses
  • Putting more tables and benches on the East end of Campus
  • Getting the library study rooms to undergraduates
  1. Tabled printing resolution
  • Head’s up campaign
  1. University is creating a task force on Sexual Assault (Dean Stahl)
  1. Updates
    1. Exec
      1. Returning chair for Green Events Commission
      2. Revamp the election process to not require signatures
        1. Attend an info session instead
      3. Mike Hayes
        1. LeaderSHAPE applications are open (Dec 18)
        2. Last day for Student groups to program is Sunday