Masked students on bleachers in the basketball arena hold up white papers to signal their votes.

In-Person Plenary Returns with Fall 2021 Session

The student body convened to vote on policy at the first in-person plenary event since the pandemic began.

On Sunday, October 24, the Haverford student body convened for the first synchronous, in-person plenary session since Spring 2020, before the pandemic. Students were given the option to attend either in-person in the Douglas B. Gardner ‘83 Integrated Athletic Center (GIAC), or through Zoom links provided by the Students’ Council.

Plenary is the twice-yearly meeting at which all students may present and vote on resolutions as a method of self-governance. Resolutions passed by the students are acted on by the Students’ Council in order to pursue meaningful change. In order for plenary to begin, two-thirds of the student body must be in attendance to reach quorum. 

This year, with hundreds of students both in the GIAC and on Zoom, quorum was quickly reached within 15 minutes of beginning at 2 p.m. Plenary then began with a land acknowledgement written by Community Outreach Multicultural Liaisons (COMLs) Maria Reyes Pacheco ‘24, Aissatou Seck ‘24, Jorge Paz Reyes ‘24, and El Bartsch ‘24. The acknowledgement not only recognized that Haverford College occupies land that had been cultivated by Lenni Lenape people for over 10,000 years, but also all the work that BIPOC students have done for the campus, including by leading the strikes of 2020 and 1972. 

Following a ratification of the rules of order, the first resolution, Students’ Council Reform of Executive Action Methods (SCREAM), was presented by Nicholas Lasinsky ‘23, Sam Aronson ‘22, and Caroline Gihlstorf ‘23. This resolution sought to update aspects of the Students’ Constitution that were either redundant or outdated, such as the closing of all Haverford computer clusters on semi-annual Plenary Sundays. After the resolution’s presentation, it was voted upon and passed with a two-thirds majority.

Next, Lara Deuber ‘23 and Augustus Helson ‘23, co-heads of the Joint Student-Administration Alcohol Policy Panel (JSAAPP), presented the newest version of Haverford’s Alcohol Policy. The Alcohol Policy is revised and re-ratified at each fall plenary to ensure that it stays up to date with the current state of campus and the student body. After debate, the policy was ratified by a two-thirds majority. 

Having passed all the resolutions, Fall 2021 Plenary concluded, not even an hour after quorum was reached.To celebrate the plenary’s quick success, attendees were treated to food from a Waffle Cart food truck provided by Students’ Council.