By the people, for the people: CSG weekly update

The Chatham Student Government (CSG) had a full agenda for their meeting on Thursday, March 19, when – in addition to their normal proceedings – they heard guest talks from Donald Aubrecht, Chatham University Police Chief and Mary Whitney, University Sustainability Coordinator.

Aubrecht – or “Chief” as many students on campus call him – attended the meeting to discuss the relationship between the officers on campus and the Chatham student body.

“Police and students can be friendly,” he began. “We want to serve our campus as best as we can, and I want my officers to be friends with as many students as possible.”

In addition to proposed meet and greet events like “Pizza with the Police,” Aubrecht pointed out that the University already offers classes about public safety several times a year, but said that they are always very poorly attended.

“We try to pick topics that will be relevant to your real lives,” he said, pointing out that he knows several police officers that would be interested in speaking to students at Chatham, but expressing trepidation about inviting them only to have them, “sit in an empty room.”

“We’ve done everything except go to your room, handcuff you, and drag you there,” he joked.

This appeal to the CSG came after Alex Waasdorp, class of 2018 president, reached out to the public safety staff about ways for the students to get to know the campus police. She explained at the meeting that this was simply the next step in, “moving forward with bridging the gap between the police and the student body.”

Following Aubrecht, Whitney took the floor to speak about sustainability on campus – specifically the proposed plan to replace paper towel dispensers with air hand dryers in several bathrooms on campus.

She explained that the University does have a green fund of $500 that can be used for a sustainability project on campus, but lamented that fact that students never apply for the green fund money.

She did make it very clear that applications for the green fund have to be very thorough, saying, “If you can’t figure out the small details of a project, you’ll never be able to push ideas through at work in the future.”

In regards to the question of whether the green fund could be used for the proposed hand dryer project, Whitney explained that Chatham takes its carbon footprint very seriously, and the dryers could potentially have a drastic impact on the University’s electricity usage.

However, she maintained that if the CSG could provide calculations of a cost versus benefit analysis between paper towels and hand dryers, the project could potentially be approved.

There was also a brief discussion of the possibility of composting in the Chatham apartments, however Whitney explained that there is no room for compost bins near the apartments, as the trucks needed to empty them are very large.

In addition to both of the speakers, the CSG also conducted its normal proceedings, including a vote on several proposed changes to the Undergraduate Budget Committee (UBC) constitution. These changes included a name change, the elimination of gendered language, changes to the resignation process, and a clause for the reallocation of funds from the event budget to the travel budget when necessary.

The changes were approved unanimously.

Next week the CSG will vote on changes to its own constitution, after which the changes will be presented to the student body for a vote.

The CSG meets every Thursday, and all meetings are open to the student body.