A regular meeting of the King’s Council was held at 7:33 p.m. on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 in the Founder’s Room at The King’s College, the Student Body President being in the chair and the Director of Communications acting as secretary. The chair read Jeremiah 29:11 as a devotional. The minutes were approved as distributed.
The Student Body President reported that President D’Souza was willing to hold a town hall meeting to answer questions about his roles as college administrator and public intellectual, and that questions would most likely be collected from students in advance. Date and time were to be determined. Moving to a discussion on the performance of the Council, she praised the Members for their service to their Houses, and reminded the society that the purpose of debate time is for thoughts and concerns to be aired, in which Robert’s Rules should not intimidate. She noted that the Council was taking on a managerial role, whereas it ought to be a place for leadership, and urged the Members to envision their Council role as a crucial part of their House role, or else bring up for reexamination the place of representation. But above all she desired that the society maintain and inspire enthusiasm, and that it find its direction and pursue it intentionally, thoroughly, and well. She announced her intention to bring a committee-of-the-whole motion at the following meeting for the purpose of discussing this topic more thoroughly.
The Director of Finance reported that the Council had received an additional $5,000.00 from the College, clarifying that it was a routine installment, as the society’s entire budget is not granted at one time. The society had spent $22,789.30, with $60,528.23 remaining.
The Director of Communications reported that President D’Souza was willing to give the society an update over lunch about institutional strategy and development, and ascertained the best day of the week by a brief poll.
The Director of Student Organizations reported that the committee on the organizations council would be meeting that week, with an update to follow.
The Director of Student Events reported a homecoming expenditure of $2,495.85, which was significantly under budget. She announced upcoming events, including Saturday in the City and the October Mid-Month Movie, and Fall Concert, set for October 29th at Calvary Church in Gramercy at 8 p.m., for $7.00 per ticket. Calvary Church parishioners would be invited.
The chair moved to recess for five minutes.
The society recessed at 8:10.
The society reconvened at 8:15.
The chair moved by unanimous consent to allow Sean Horan to speak about sports. Mr. Horan, having run from the subway, updated the society as follows:
- Men’s soccer ranked 24th in its league in its first season, earning a spot in the Region 1 championships set for the upcoming week. Coach: Luke Smith.
- Women’s soccer would play Hofstra College on Saturday at 8 p.m. on Long Island.
- The cross-country team would run at Van Cortlandt Park on Sunday.
- Men’s basketball would start training the following week. Coach Gian-Paul Gonzales was doubling their training time as ministry to inner-city youth. The previous weekend the team had participated in a dribbling relay through all five boroughs.
- An interest meeting for women’s volleyball was scheduled for that Friday.
- Women’s basketball would start soon with Shawn Best coaching. They would play small, academically rigorous schools like King’s, but avoid state schools.
- After one year of club sports structure, King’s would join the Hudson Valley Men’s and Women’s Collegiate Associations, matching TKC with other small schools short on sports facilities, including Cooper Union and Yeshiva, though they also have NCAA D3 programs. Other schools from Queens and Westchester also participate. The league includes baseball, softball, and tennis, into which Mr. Horan hopes to expand, along with Ray Davison’s new fencing team.
- Spectator turnout had been good at the Princeton game two weeks before.
- TKC gear had been delayed because of branding concerns, but should be available the following week.
In new business, Elizabeth moved to request that the Interregnum Committee not include the Crime & Punishment quiz as part of the Interregnum Competition. Several Houses had not known the quiz was part of the competition, and she explained that she wished not to penalize their ignorance brought on by a communication snafu. In debate, Lewis clarified that competitive quiz grading was an innovation. Ten Boom noted that Student Development had been unaware, but the Director of Communications and the Member from Elizabeth clarified that Interregnum competitions fall under the sole discretion of the planning committee. Truth and Bonhoeffer said Mr. Wesley had informed the Council verbally and by paper handout that the quiz would be graded competitively, in addition to the original summer email. Truth believed requesting that the rankings be thrown out would harm the Council’s credibility. Thatcher’s primary concern was that even though it was exec teams’ responsibility to know and to communicate the details of the quiz, communication had been fuzzy and three tenths of the student body had gone in without knowing it was a competition. She stressed that she meant no criticism toward the Interregnum Committee.
Lewis compared the motion to the Council’s early discussion on the administration of the Great Race, and echoed the concern about the Council’s reputation in getting involved with competitions ex post facto. Thatcher noted that she had to approach Mr. Wesley for clarification about quiz policy, and anyway the results hadn’t been published yet, whereas the Great Race was better understood and the standings were known by the time the Council met to discuss them. Truth suggested that student efforts were more important than rewards distributed for determining the motion’s fairness.
On the specific nature of the breakdown, Bonhoeffer noted that the summer email announced the intention to grade the quiz as a competition, but Mr. Wesley’s presentation to the Council made that determination less certain. Lewis, Elizabeth, Barton, and Reagan were uninformed, but several Houses were never confused because of the initial email. Lewis had felt the confusion but believed the responsibility of communication fell on the Houses to distribute information, especially when it’s been published several times. He believed it would be more unfair to penalize students who did prepare competitively.
Reagan raised a point of information that his House had just been informed of its standing.
Elizabeth, not being aware of any results, asserted an absence of mixed motives about this question. She wanted the Committee to reconsider for the sake of several students who hadn’t known their circumstances, and had no wish to criticize or undermine the Committee’s work. Lewis asked whether such a motion would not also open the door for the Committee to reconsider the validity of the success and efforts of Houses that did well, and whether everyone did not receive the same initial information. Elizabeth granted these facts, but maintained that the knowledge was fuzzy and many students went in without competition motivation. Several questions revealed that Elizabeth’s misunderstanding had occurred within the exec team. Thatcher asked whether the knowledge that standings had gone public (via Reagan’s liaison) affected Elizabeth’s desire to pass the motion, but Elizabeth still considered herself ignorant. (Barton preferred “unbiased.”)
Reagan said if he voted for the motion, he would do so because of the lateness of the reading announcement and the difficulty of completing it in time. Anthony said the motion should have been brought before testing began, and expressed discomfort with taking action after the fact. QE1: what bothers you about timing? Retrospective action on a competition is always sticky. The Director of Student Orgs clarified that the Council had no actual power and could only recommend. Churchill said it wouldn’t be fair to address the Committee if the breakdown had occurred on exec teams. Elizabeth believed responsibility for the breakdown was less important than the fact that a breakdown happened. Barton was inclined to represent her House’s frustration in spite of her personal views on the subject, but agreed that the publication of the standings changed the situation.
Churchill hoped Interregnum had more of a purpose to the students than its point values. He urged the Council to show consideration to the Committee since the quiz policy was new, and not penalize students who worked hard in view of the competition.
Reagan moved to extend the meeting by ten minutes. The motion was adopted 9-1, with Lewis in dissent.
Anthony moved to amend the motion by substitution so that it reads, “I move to request that the Interregnum Committee weight the Crime & Punishment quiz at 5% of the overall Interregnum Competition.” This measure would serve a compromise and penalize no one. Lewis asked whether it would hurt either party of students, competitive or uncompetitive, to diminish the weighting, and was answered in the negative.
Anthony moved to extend the meeting by 15 minutes. The motion was adopted unanimously.
Thatcher asked if the Council ought to recommend a way to reallocate the extra five percentage points, and Reagan if Anthony was worried about leaving it to the Committee. To both Anthony said no. Thatcher was concerned about changing the relative weights of the Interregnum competitions, but the Director of Communications pointed out that the main motion would alter them by 10%. Thatcher said the 10% alteration was either fair or not, so the main motion’s effect was less bothersome, stating that the proposed amendment was unclear in terms of achieving a level playing field or making a meaningful statement about what was fair. Reagan thought the five percent downgrade was negligible. Churchill pointed out that professors sometimes grade on a curve, and favored the amendment’s strategy of compromise. Lewis repeated that post-competition meddling made for poor credibility, and favored voting the motion down for consistency’s sake.
The motion to amend was tied with Elizabeth, Anthony, Barton, Ten Boom, and Churchill in favor, and Bonhoeffer, Truth, Lewis, Reagan, and Thatcher opposed. The chair voted nay, and the motion to amend failed.
The main motion returned to the table, and Reagan? moved to extend the meeting by ten minutes. The motion failed, over the ayes of Elizabeth, Barton, and Reagan.
Elizabeth asked if Reagan would consider abstaining from the vote since Reagan’s standings were known. Reagan declined to abstain for his House’s sake.
The main motion was defeated 7-2, with QE1 and Barton in dissent.
The society adjourned at 9:55 p.m.
Order of Business: Regular Meeting, October 20, 2010 7:30 p.m.
Approval of Minutes
- Student Body President
- Ray East: update on spiritual life
- I move to enter committee of the whole for thirty minutes to discuss the vision of the King’s Council for 2010-2011.
- Director of Finance
- Director of Communications
- Director of Student Organizations
- Orgs Council committee update
- Director of Student Events