SENATE REPORT

Ad-hoc committee releases safety survey results

A safety ad-hoc committee conducted a student survey about safety on campus and presented their findings in Senate this week. The group polled 360 students over 26 days on winter hazards, lighting, signage and the guest policy. The survey showed that 53 percent of students surveyed reported that ice and snow on walkways on campus made them feel unsafe and 100 percent of students requested more salting or sanding during the winter. Additionally, 100 percent of students indicated concern about a lack of lighting on certain paths on campus, particularly the pathway on east side leading to the Ville, the pathways near Paramecium Pond and Munger Hall and the paths leading up to the new dorms. Also, many students reported that they were unaware of the exact details of the guest policy, including some self-identified members of residential life. Students voiced concern about unaccompanied guests during on campus events such as Remix or Block Party, as well as abuse of the “Wellesley Only” bathroom policy and the three-day limit on guest stays.

Budget Advisory Committee to release decisions on tuition, Campus Renewal and operating expenses

Michelle Ahn ’15, a student representative from the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC), presented the committee’s decisions in Senate this Monday. The College will increase tuition by more than inflation in coming years, as it has in the last three years. The operating budget is strained by Campus Renewal and the Committee focused on trade-offs and spending cuts to accommodate the extra cost of Campus Renewal. In the coming years, professors and faculty will see a decrease in the average wage increase. Notably, the committee decided to reduce the scope of Wellesley 2025 or Campus Renewal in order to cut costs. The anticipated cost of the Campus Renewal was previously $60.8 million; it has now been reduced to $60 million. It is yet undecided which projects will be changed to reduce the cost of Campus Renewal by $800,000. The committee also discussed taking funds out of the endowment, which currently earns dividends for the college, in order to fund the operating budget. Ahn said it was unlikely that any funds would come out of the endowment because doing so would cost the College the interest it earns on their investments. Instead, the College is more likely to borrow money if budget cuts are not sufficient to balance the budget. Dean DeMeis spoke about the $800,000 the College borrowed in order to fund the first Campus Renewal projects and the current $2 million deficit which the College will pay back over time. The BAC will release a full summary of its decisions to the student body soon.

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