One of the greatest parts of Bryn Mawr is our self-governance. We have the oldest self government association in the country. I always like to make the distinction between self governance and student governance: self-governance means that apart from major financial decisions, students are really the ones who drive change and initiatives on our campus. All of our club budgets are approved by a student committee. We do not need faculty approval to spend money for our clubs. Even our honor board is a committee of students who decide on a case-by-case basis what the consequences of honor code infractions could be. It gives a tremendous amount of power and agency to the students, giving us the confidence and skills to make change once we graduate from Bryn Mawr as well.
In addition to weekly Self Government Association (SGA) meetings, we host Plenary once a semester where students can propose resolutions to make change on campus. The topics can completely range. Through Plenary, Canaday Library is now open until 2AM, our dining halls started composting, and dorm president elections are now in the spring so they get trained with the DLT in the fall. This year, we are voting on using gender neutral pronouns in our constitution, supporting divestment from fossil fuels, and changing our “recycling representatives” to “green ambassadors.” One third of the student body is required to vote on resolutions, which is what we call quorum (this year it’s 441). Although waiting for quorum is a pain and we all have homework to do, Plenary is an incredible opportunity to make change and have your voice be heard. We’re very lucky to have a space that allows us so much autonomy.
So if you aren’t already at plenary, please come now and help us make quorum! There are raffles and fun music videos and all your friends together at one time. Happy Plenary!
My Plenary haiku:
FInd me for candy
If you are from Denbigh 3rd
In the balcony
(to incentivize my residents to come)