Dispatches from Community Meeting

Antioch is starting to come around. Due to great planning from a tireless on-campus leadership core and a focused and talented alumni presence at this weekend’s teach-in, more and more students are joining the effort to save the school. Attendance reports for the event became progressively stronger throughout the weekend peaking with the meeting behind the C-Shop on Monday night that garnered more than 60 students. Riding the swell of pride and hope that students felt this weekend, community members piled in to McGregor 113 for this week’s installment of Community Meeting.
What ensued was a gem. The thank-you section ran through four stacks. CFB proposals moved efficiently. There were over 20 announcements about fresh events and opportunities for the community [for real, you have to go to Community Meeting to know what’s going on at Antioch.] Community Members of the week went to Record editors Jeanne Kay and Kim-Jenna Jurriaans. Trivia With Beth went down like “The Price Is Right,” and Susan Eklund-Leen outbid her opponents in a Pencil-Case Showdown to walk away with the grand prize. And for once Pulse was contentious and controversial for all the right reasons.
The cup overfloweth with thank-yous. The capstone came from 4th year, AdCil student representative Julian Sharp, who thanked the community, he said, “We’re looking out for each other and it feels great.”
AdCil member Julian Sharp gives an update to the community: “The search for Steve continues. He was last spotted near the Pine Forest in the Glen.”

That community spirit manifested itself in Pulse through community members  bringing up issues of transparency, honoring governance structures, and challenging the notions for appropriate ways to challenge authority.
4th year ComCil student representative Sarah Buckingham rang the first bell by asking Director of Student Affairs, Milt Thompson about a rumored $50 charge to student accounts for laundry services. Once students arrived on campus this term they found the formerly coin-operated laundry service to no longer require quarters. Students were under the impression that the laundry service was free.
However, Thompson confirmed that the charge was indeed real. Thus commenced a discussion on if the change was ratified through the proper channels.  Thompson said he brought the issue to either ComCil or AdCil either one and a half or two years ago.
Associate Professor Nevin Mercede, who sat on AdCil as a student representative when Thompson presented the proposal, said that it was sometimes difficult to teach class to stinky students, and, “Quite frankly we hoped [non-coin-operated laundry] would encourage you to do your laundry more often.”
4th year student David Bishkoff argued that he should be exempt from the blanket laundry charge because he does his laundry about once a term which used to cost him around $2.00. He also wanted to know why he wasn’t notified of the charge.
Former Community Manager Levi B. Cowperthwaite responded as a point of clarification that, “There isn’t really a precedent for being notified of tuition or fee increases.”
There may be more news about this to come…
5th year student Nicole Bayani brought up a question of process to Community Manager Chelsea Martens.  Bayani asked if Martens would take a step back in facilitating tough discussions with current Chief Operations Officer Andrzej Bloch. Bayani thought that in last week’s Pulse Martens restricted the space for community members to aggressively interrogate Bloch.
Bayani’s point was that there’s a difference between being disrespectful and being aggressive she said, “Demanding that he [Bloch] answer a question is not being disrespectful.”
There were a variety of views espoused on how to facilitate an effective dialogue and how to ask the most productive question. It was the perfect way to finish one of the most perfect Community Meetings.