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Communiqué

The Student News Site of Chatham University

Communiqué

The Student News Site of Chatham University

Communiqué

CSG Brief: Chatham Student Government holds a Town Hall

CSG Brief: Chatham Student Government holds a Town Hall
Emily Brooks

Chatham Student Government hosted a Town Hall on Thursday, Nov. 16 at Eddy Theater as a method to hear directly from the student body. The panel consisted of the Executive Board, the Chairs of Committees and the class presidents. The Class of 2027 Secretary LJ Varley served as the host of the event. Students submitted questions via a Google Form to be answered by the panel. 

 

  • What efforts are being made to promote sustainability and environmental responsibility on campus?
    • Class of 2024 Representative Melissa Redding said that the senior class project aims to reduce waste on campus during move-out. She added that all class projects try to promote sustainability. Additionally, Class of 2026 President Morgan Rapsky spoke to the class of 2026’s class project’s plan to reduce food waste for on-campus events. 


  • How does the student government plan to improve communication between representatives and the student body?
    • Vice President of Communications Jada Jenkins ‘26 responded that she posts the meeting minutes on the Chatham Student Government website and that the body has been planning to increase transparency through Instagram. Redding also mentioned that CSG has hung up posters around campus with QR codes on them for students to scan. Executive Vice President Aidan Bobik ‘24 added that the amendment to office hours provides the Senate with a new way to increase transparency and visibility.


  • What steps are being taken to address mental health concerns on campus?
    • Rapsky spoke as chair of the Mental Health Committee. She responded that the committee is planning a wellness fair and a walk for suicide prevention, collaborating with the Counseling Center, and working to improve sensory spaces at Chatham. She also said that she has an interest in a proposed State Senate bill that would allow students to take excused mental health days.

 

  • How transparent is the student government regarding budget allocations and financial decisions?
    • Vice President of Student Finances Gabby Slovikosky ‘26 said that all budget allocations and information on financial decisions are on the CSG website. Additionally, she said that if students have any other questions they can ask her or any other student government member because all members have budget access and can give them information. 

 

  • How do you plan to collaborate with the administration to address student concerns and advocate for student needs?
    • Executive Vice President Jackson Adkins ‘25 said that he meets with President Rhonda Phillips at least once a month and that CSG is also working with Dr. Phillips’ student leadership group. He wants to ensure that CSG can be involved in reorganization decisions as much as possible. Additionally, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Madison Stokes ‘26 added that she is meeting with the new Coordinator of Student Engagement and Belonging, Ali Hoefnagel, who occupies a new joint position between the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Office of Student Affairs. 

 

  • What initiatives are you working on to improve academic resources and support for students?
    • Speaking as the Chair of the Academic Advocacy Committee, Class of 2027 Representative Connor Domke said that the committee is working on an initiative to post changes in syllabuses. He added that students can anonymously report issues, too, to the committee. 

 

  • Are there any open positions on the Senate?
    • Class of 2024: One of the two representative positions is open.
    • Class of 2025: Class secretary and representative are both open.
    • Class of 2026: Both representative positions are open.
    • Class of 2027: The class is full.

 

  • Are you still distributing free menstrual products in the bathrooms?
    • Adkins responded that CSG has worked to distribute sexual health and menstrual products in the past. While CSG began the project, it then handed it off to another club to continue. Due to the significant amount of turnover within the school, Adkins said that they can redirect focus to it.


  • Is CSG collaborating with the administration to address infrastructure needs?
    • Speaking as the Chair of the Safety Committee, Redding responded that she works with facilities to address safety concerns. She said that she has handled safety concerns like replacing broken steps. The Safety Committee has also worked to add crosswalks and stop signs at the bottom of Chapel Hill, and a crosswalk across the bridge on Woodland Road to increase student safety. 

 

  • How is CSG promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion among the student body?
    • Stokes responded that the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee has student representatives from multiple different affinity groups on campus such as the Black Student Union, Latin Student Association Asian Student Association and Queer Student Association. She added that it is open to all students and feels that the committee would thrive if more students from diverse backgrounds joined. D&I is also working on events to promote inclusion on campus. For example, they are looking to hold a land acknowledgment under the White Tree of Peace sculpture at Eden Hall for Native American Heritage Month.  
  • How can students actively participate in sustainability initiatives?
    • Redding said that students can contribute to class projects, which focus on sustainability efforts. Rapsky added that students do not need to join student government to help with class projects and with prototyping.


  • Can you address the inconsistency with the Eden Hall shuttles?
    • Speaking as the Chair of the Safety Committee, Redding said that the Safety Committee talked to the administration about addressing inconsistencies. The issue is being worked on.

 

  • Do you believe the work you all have done this year represents Chatham’s core values? If so, in what ways? If not, how would you like to strive to be better?
    • Bobik reminded those in attendance of the University’s four values: sustainability, women’s leadership and gender equity, diversity and inclusion, and community and civic engagement. He acknowledged that CSG has been working to hold the university accountable to maintain these values by holding the Diversity and Inclusion committee, promoting sustainability through class projects, fighting for women’s education, women’s leadership and the Women’s Institute. He added that CSG should fight for Chatham’s history as a historically women’s college and preserve our history by bringing back Pennsy the seal.
    • Adkins acknowledged that Chatham is experiencing a lot of changes right now. He hopes that the diligent individuals in student government are able to align their personal ideals and the university’s ideals to achieve and maintain the University’s values.
    • Stokes concluded that D&I is always looking for more ways to improve and welcomes student feedback.

If students are interested in getting involved with CSG, they can attend an in-person from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursdays in the Conover Room in the Mellon Center. Students can also visit the CSG website to learn more about the organization.

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About the Contributors
Bella White, News Editor
Bella White ‘27 is a first year at Chatham studying Journalism with a minor in Creative Writing. Originally from north of Pittsburgh, Bella decided to come to Chatham to build on her passion for writing. Bella is a contributing writer for the Communiqué, where they primarily focus on news, lifestyle and the Chatham Student Government. In her free time, Bella enjoys conquering their To Be Read list, seeing musicals, learning new languages and taking naps. They can usually be found in a library or a bookstore with a good iced coffee. For inquiries about her work, Bella can be best reached at [email protected] or via Instagram @b.el.la.w.
Emily Brooks, Layout Editor
Emily Brooks ’27 is a Media Arts major with a concentration in Graphic Design. Emily is from Washington, Pennsylvania. She chose Chatham University for the small campus and experience of living in a city. Emily specializes in visuals and graphics for the Communiqué. Outside of the Communiqué, she enjoys creating art, live concerts, thrifting and frequenting coffee shops. Emily can be reached best at [email protected] or via Instagram @emnbrooks.

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