Chinese Student Association Responds to CoronaVirus
As the world reacts to the deadliest outbreak in Chinese history, the Chinese Student Association (CSA) reminds us of our humanity, focusing the story of the coronavirus back onto the lives that have been taken. In their remarks at the Feb. 10 Senate meeting, CSA noted that the majority of observers overlooked that the outbreak began during Chinese New Year, a time for celebrating culture, and emphasized that racism towards China has always existed in the West, with roots in the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, and has recently increased due to the virus. While there have been just 12 reported cases in the United States, the statement noted that many people within the Wellesley community have been affected. To help with aid for much needed medical supplies, financial donations are being collected. These can be given by residence halls during HoCo meetings, as well as by individuals, by reaching out to the CSA.
Our Curiosities About Wellesley’s Budget Have Been Answered
Professor of Environmental Studies Alden Griffith presented about how the college balances the budget on behalf of the Budget Advisory Committee. The budget is funded through tuition costs, donations, and the endowment which currently stands at $2.2 billion dollars. Although this money has restrictions on how much can be used in a given year and what it can be used for, an example being that the majority of the endowment is used to fund financial aid packages, its main purpose is to accrue interest for future use. Recently, a new tax was placed on higher-ed institutions with endowments over a certain amount, of which Wellesley fell under, which Griffith estimated will require the school to pay over $2 million in the coming year.
Within the past decade, the college has had difficulty accumulating surplus as during this time the average expense of the college exceeded its revenue. Consequently, the school was unable to invest adequately in buildings and infrastructure which is one of the reasons why Wellesley faces problems with this today. However, Griffith announced that the school would be taking on campus renewal plan, which he estimated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars, that would include finishing remodeling of the science center, renovations of residence halls, and updating the central utility plant. Additionally, he added that one of the key issues the school is currently working to address is a more sustainable way of heating the college.
Another Year at the Seven Sisters Conference
The Seven Sisters Conference was hosted by Vassar College this year took place this past weekend. 6 of the colleges were in attendance, leaving out Smith who had their own conference going on. During a debrief to Senate, all members of college government, reported shock among the other schools over the inclusivity of Wellesley’s Senate, the large number of senators, open-meeting policy, and minutes being sent out to the entire student body all of which are not the case at most of the schools. Additionally, student attendees noticed that across the board student governments are struggling with retention at meetings. Representative of Bates Hall Joni Lee ’23 was most struck by a textbook library that Barnard College, a private women’s college in New York City, created in order to make textbooks and other class resources available to low income and first-generation students at no cost.