College Government President, Ingrid Bell ’24, said that representatives from the Registrar’s office will be visiting next week’s Senate to share reminders for the College community as we head into finals season. President Johnson will be visiting at the last Senate of the semester. Bell welcomes all members of the student body to attend if they have any questions for Johnson.
Assistant Vice President of Facilities Management and Planning, Dave Chakraborty, gave a presentation about the ongoing and future renovations of buildings at the College including residential halls, Clapp Library, and academic buildings. These renovations aim to upgrade heating systems, electricity, increase in disability access, exterior masonry and roofing repairs, and interior improvements in paint, flooring, and lighting.
In 2022, the College started a 10 year process to renovate residential halls across campus. This summer, renovations in Severance Hall and Tower Court West were completed. In the summer of 2024, Tower Court East, Claflin Hall, and Lake House will undergo renovations. Claflin Hall renovations will be completed in the summer of 2025. Renovations in the Quint will begin in the summer of 2026 starting with Pomeroy and Cazenove Hall.
This summer, renovations were done in Founders Hall. Renovations in Green Hall will take place in the summer of 2024. Clapp Library will be closed for renovations during the spring 2024 semester and will reopen in the spring of 2025. Renovations to be made in Clapp include updates to heating, water, electricity, ADA access, fire sprinklers, lighting, and elevators. More classrooms in Clapp will be made during the renovations, as well as a cafe, new furniture, and upgrades to the maker’s space, special collections, and the archives. All library resources and materials will be relocated and available to students online or in the mods during the renovation period.
Construction on a new building for Health Services and the Stone Center will begin in December and will be completed in the spring of 2025. All renovations include updates to facilities and systems that will aid the College’s efforts in becoming carbon neutral by 2040.
Concerns about plumbing issues caused by the rushed finish to the Tower West renovations were raised as Chakraborty spoke about the renovation plans for other residential halls. Chakraborty stated that the 12-week time window to do roughly $10-12 million worth of renovations was the main cause of the plumbing issues since the time crunch did not allow for a proper inspection of the building after renovations took place.
Questions about the possibility of Dower Hall being renovated and reopened as a residence hall were raised. Chakraborty said that Dower will remain closed since the College does not need the rooms in Dower at the moment.
The Office of Sustainability Manager, Jennifer Garvin, gave a presentation on the College’s progress to reaching carbon neutrality by 2040.
The College has reduced conventional electricity use by closing the cogeneration plant, purchasing electricity from the “greener” Massachusetts grid, invested $32 million to improve the central utility plant energy efficiency, and invested another $6 million to reduce electricity usage. As of 2022, 58.6% of grid electricity comes from non-greenhouse gas sources. By 2024, 80% of grid electricity will come from non-greenhouse gas sources.
In terms of reducing natural gas use, major projects to make improvements to chilled water and steam distribution system efficiency have been completed. The College will continue to work on renovating buildings to improve sustainability performance, use “low temperature” heating hot water, install a geothermal well system, and reduce emissions from other smaller sources, such as dining halls.
As of now, the College is ahead of its emission reduction timeline by cutting down on 44% of emissions in 2022 instead of 2036, the year originally projected to reach 44% of reduced emissions. Other major sustainability goals achieved by the College include a reduction in natural gas consumption by 44% since 2018, annual electricity consumption being reduced by 15% since 2018, electricity peak demand being reduced by 26% since 2018, and the Science Center being the first LEED Platinum building on campus.
A group of students met with Dean Horton to begin a conversation about making changes to the demonstration policy. Their main goal is to remove the Honor Code violation within the demonstration policy if a student who wishes to hold a demonstration fails to notify administration 48 hours in advance of the demonstration. The students stated that they are a committee to see if there should be a committee to update the demonstration policy. They encourage more students to come forward and voice their concerns about the current demonstration policy. Chief Justice, Dhanya Srikanth ’24, encourages students to reach out if they have any questions about the Honor Code.
SPEC chair, Charlotte Precourt ’26, gave a reminder that any student can write and pose a ballot initiative. A ballot initiative does not guarantee a change, but it elevates the issue by communicating that a large majority of the student body agrees on an issue.
SPEC presented a Senator Guide 101 and Senator Responsibility Infographic with information on how to speak in Senate, how Senate voting procedures work, what motions are, and how to best function as a Senator. Secretary-Treasurer, Margaret Huai ’26, said Bryn Mawr’s Gender Inclusivity Ballot passed with 84.7% of the student body voting in support of the ballot. The COIL, Mikayla Tansil ’25, said demonstration funds and registration forms will be emailed out this week for utilization. Materials for demonstrations have been ordered and delivered. Srikanth reminds everyone that the Google form from her last email is still open, and anyone who wishes to share their opinions on what should change about the demonstration policy should fill it out. An information session about self-scheduled finals will be coming soon.