On Sun., March 27, the Haverford student body gathered for the Spring 2022 session of Plenary. Though last semester’s meeting was the first synchronous and in-person Plenary since the beginning of the pandemic, the virtual option remained open to students this semester. Students were able to attend either in person, in the Douglas B. Gardner ‘83 Integrated Athletic Center (GIAC), or through a Zoom meeting moderated by Students’ Council.
Plenary is the biannual meeting of Haverford’s student body, at which resolutions are presented, debated, and finally voted upon. Any resolution passed is carried out by the Students’ Council.
With nearly 500 students on Zoom, and hundreds more in the GIAC, quorum, or the presence of two-thirds of Haverford’s current student body, was reached quickly within a half hour of the projected 2 p.m. start time. Plenary began with an opening speech, “State of the Ford,” by Student Council Co-Presidents Amolina Bhat ‘23 and Sam Aronson ‘22. Afterwards, they presented the agenda and the rules of order for the session, and both were passed, beginning the time for resolutions.
The first resolution, “Addition of an Officer of Accessibility and Disability Inclusion to Students’ Council,” was presented by the leadership of the club Disability Advocacy for Students at Haverford (DASH). The resolution proposed a new position to be added to the Students’ Council that advocated for students with disabilities. This role would primarily serve as a communicator for disabled students on campus to ensure their voices were heard by administration, in order to help make the campus more inclusive and accessible. After a brief discussion of the resolution, it was passed, having received a simple majority of favorable votes.
The second resolution was titled “Abolition of Campus Safety,” and was presented by Naren Roy ‘23 and Luka Austin ‘24, members of Bi-Co Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), which had incubated the resolution. The resolution proposed the reallocation of funds that would be used to expand campus safety towards other services, which would reduce Campus Safety’s involvement around campus. The resolution suggested expanding Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), increasing the number of on-call medical and mental health professionals, and increasing funding for Facilities Management with the reallocated funds. This resolution fostered discussion among the student body, leading to an extended Q&A period, and the passage of two friendly amendments to the bill. (A friendly amendment is supported by the authors of the resolution, and an unfriendly amendment is one that is not supported by the resolution’s author but has garnered 75 signatures.) After a pro-con debate and much discussion, however, the resolution did not pass the student body’s vote, not reaching the required one-half threshold.
The third and final resolution discussed was presented by the Joint Student-Administration Alcohol Policy Panel (JSAAPP) co-heads, Lara Deuber ‘23 and Augustus Helson ‘23. Entitled “Reimagined Alcohol Policy With JSAAPP Responsibilities (RAP-WJR),” this resolution sought to revise the alcohol policy, which was re-ratified at the fall 2021 session of Plenary, and narrow its focus to the use of alcohol on campus. In addition to a Q&A session, an unfriendly amendment was passed, which sought to promote accountability for and vigilance against all sexual misconduct on campus, with an emphasis on situations where alcohol is present. After debate, the resolution was passed, with two-thirds of the student body having voted yes.
Plenary concluded with initiating the annual process of ratification of the Honor Code, the rule which governs academic and social conduct at Haverford. The ratification process takes place over the course of the week following Plenary; students will have from Wed., March 30, at 5 p.m. to Fri., April 1, at 5 p.m., to vote to ratify the Honor Code. Quorum must be reached within this time frame in order to avoid a Special Plenary session if the Honor Code is not ratified. After an explanation of this process, the student body successfully voted to begin the process of ratifying the Honor Code.
Upon ending this vote around 5:30 p.m., Plenary concluded. To celebrate the lively and spirited session, waffle food trucks were available for all participants in the South Lot.