Keeping Up with the King’s Council: Innovation Fund for Refuge, Proposed Constitutional Change and a New Student Organization

The meeting began with prayer and a quick blurb from Ten Boom President Emma Brown about her House’s Thrift Shop fundraiser, taking place in the Council office in the Student Union on January 26, 2017. This fundraiser is a product of Carrie Orteza (‘18) and will consist of almost 700 items of clothing, including business casual brands such as Loft, J Crew, and Zara.

Student Body President Katherine Thompson then moved on to speak on the behalf of the Director of Spiritual Life Michael Martinez since he was absent. The Clergy and Panel and Church Fair that Director of Spiritual Life Martinez organized included pastors from 27 different churches. The Day of Service was a success with 127 students, faculty and staff helping at the International Justice Mission, New York Gospel Mission and the Bowery Mission. Also on January 26, the Day of Fasting and Prayer will be lead by Victoria Bevill and have events throughout the day including the Torah Dedication and the first Refuge of the semester.

Since it is coming up sooner than we think, SBP Thompson encouraged those who are considering running for the role of Student Body President to handle themselves with a level of decorum. Also, she informed the Council of a change in the traditional structure of the election, if there is a runoff election, there will be a runoff debate that will focus on the candidate’s knowledge of very specific details of the job.

The meeting then moved on to discuss three motions. The first would allow “The Table” to become an official Student Organization. President of The Table Taylor Johnson spoke about racial tension and the necessity to build a community for minorities at King’s. She hopes that this organization will allow minority students to feel comfortable in their academics, rather than pulling themselves back because of racial insensitivity. The Table offers two closed meetings a month for the 35 members of the club so that they can vent about any issues they have had and support one another. Johnson also would like to have campus-wide events to promote diversity and appreciate difference. Once Johnson finished her presentation and the House Presidents got their questions answered, Director of Communications Healey asked the Presidents to vote. All Presidents, excluding the absent President of Reagan, voted “Yes” on The Table becoming an official Student Organization.

The next motion was a request from President of Refuge Grace Karls and former President Mathew Salavitch asking for $800 from the Student Organization Innovation Fund. Karls and Salavitch pointed out how important Refuge is to King’s and how much students rely on it, especially for events such as Fall Retreat. One of their greatest difficulties is transporting their equipment to the retreat because they don’t have the proper cases. The money would go toward a roadcase for their keyboard, a new drum kit, guitar stands, etc to improve their sound. Karls explained, “Bad sound quality distracts from the message and the purpose of the night.” If they are granted the money, they would like to create a system, similar to the Media Lab, where students can check out any equipment they would like to rent. This would allow the whole community to benefit from giving Refuge money and improving their equipment. Nine out of nine present House Presidents voted “Yes” on Refuge getting $800 from the Innovation Fund.

The third and final motion discussed concerned the Council Meetings themselves. SBP Thompson requested to change the Council Constitution to only allow presidents six proxied meetings per semester. SBP Thompson made it clear that the reasoning behind this amendment is not based off any current House Presidents, but that it would be beneficial for the Student Body President to have the ability to enforce such a rule. House Presidents discussed whether six is too much or too little and if the rule is necessary since it has not been an issue for this specific Council. Presidents of Lewis, Churchill, and SBA seemed to be in favor of the rule, but QE1 President Jessica Matthews showed some hesitancy. Director of Communications encouraged the Council to “put your pajamas on and think about it,” and everyone agreed to officially vote on this motion at next week’s meeting.

Many more items remained for the Council to discuss further but the two hour, vigorous meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m. An additional budget meeting followed, with members of the Council working past 10 p.m.

Meeting Highlights:

Student Body President

  • Thompson reminded the Council that anyone who is considering running for Student Body President to handle themselves with decorum and as Director of Communications Helen Healey put it,“Don’t be petty.”

Director of Finance

  • Money was distributed to Houses that got 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the GPA Competition.

Director of Student Events

  • Michelle Lindhardt and her committee having been looking at potential Spring Formal venues

Motions

  • The Table is now an official Student Organization.
  • Refuge received $800 from the Innovation Fund to purchase new equipment.
  • There will be a vote on the change in the Council Constitution next week concerning whether House Presidents should only be allowed six proxy meetings.
Savanna Wilson