West Fire Pit Clarification Meeting 4/24/08
Minutes: Dmitri Skjorshammer
End: 7:53 PM
Goal: Clarify issues regarding West Fire Pit and Accusations
Present: Zach Rubin, Sam Gordon, Kenny Quinn, Aurora Pribram Jones, David Gross, Marielle Wardell, Gena Urowsky, Donna Phu, Kai Mayeda, Atwood, Marc Davidson (East President), Patrick Foley (President), Lindsay Wray, Matthew Lawson (East Proctor), Oksana Sergeeva (DB Chair)
Rubin: First issue: we don’t want ASHMC fund our fire pit because we cannot guarantee that the fire pit will last 9 years. So the future presidents might be blamed for that. For the second issue: the issue has come down to us defending ourselves.
Jones: The west culture has been shunned by administration. The West culture does not want West Fire Pit to be funded by a community that doesn’t understand West.
Quinn: today here we are to open communication. We feel like people have made judgment and instead of coming and talking to us, they went beyond us.
Foley: is there someone who thinks we should still fund the Fire Pit. We can take it off the vote.
Jones: we don’t want the school paying for the pit but we can take it from Maintenance.
Wardell: motion to revoke Fire Pit Funding.
Foley: before we talk about if Zach misrepresented the story about the pit, we need to talk about other things. It’s easy to misinterpret things and be offended but we should all be open at this meeting. Here are some events that people have different feelings about: 1. first destruction of fire pit: either the tree or some westie destroyed it. 2. Someone rolled a tire into the pit. 3. Transformation of the pit into rubble. Give a clear explanation:
Rubin: 1st destruction: happened during the 1st fire. Cracks develop during first fire. We went to talk to FM. Tom Schaffer came over, said it was bad, Quinn asked if they should stop. He said keep going and he will get back to us. However, he never got back.
Jones: Schaffer said that they didn’t have enough funding to fix it.
2. Christmas tree: After we burned it, we heard a shattering of concrete. What happened was that it expanded and shattered. Rubin found out last week that some one might have thrown something in it. I talked to Noda about that one hole.
2. Tire rolling: freshman had set up a ramp from second floor to the fire pit.
Quinn (intervenes): the freshmen build a throne on pallets and they were told to take it down. They used the tractor tire to break it. As a result, the tire rolled into the pit.
Rubin: I want to make note that the west dorm presidents do not approve of the events. I did tell people that what they did was stupid. I told those involved to put it back.
Lawson: was that before or after the meeting at which I asked you about the tire.
Quinn: it was before.
3. Rubin: the pit was dangerous. They decided to destroy it. Rubin did not stop them because the pit was dangerous anyway. Sam went to ASHMC and came back writing the email that “do not destroy the fire pit”. Rubin came back and saw that email. Notice the chronological events. As a joke, Rubin sent out a joke email that was not intended to be serious.
Foley: I want to be sure to separate that are presidents misrepresented West and that West does stupid things.
Phu: When the tire fell, what I saw was that the fire pit shattered.
Rubin: I was standing at a different angle from you.
Phu: the freshmen rolled the tire 3 times but I didn’t see you from stopping them.
Rubin: I did not pursue them. Only when I saw them, I asked them to stop.
Jones: who should have stopped them?
Phu: I don’t think it was my place to ask them. I think they would have listened to someone in the west dorm.
Rubin: you must understand that the way I fuss people to stop is different
Jones: the idea is that authority in west is different from everywhere else
Quinn: I understand APJ. We cannot go and say “stop doing it”.
Mayeda: I had no problems in people listening to me.
Foley: we moved from the question if presidents misrepresented the fire pit.
Phu: I want to say something. At the meeting, you did not present yourself correctly. I did not want you on the spot and I believed you.
Rubin: I am sorry but I believe that you should have put me on the spot.
Wardell: I disagree. It wasn’t Donna’s responsibility to put you on the spot. The reason she didn’t put you on the spot might be because of Dean’s presence. Shouldn’t there be consequences for not fulfilling promises? Rubin: the consequence is that west is w/o fire pit.
Wray: I think the way west fire pit funding was presented and the way different things (such as different chat lists) appeared made me send out an email requesting the fire pit funding to be recalled.
Foley: here is an idea. We give funding for fire pit but every resident signs a paper that can take them to DB case.
Quinn: you have to realize that it is a culture. I think some people come to Mudd because of the unique culture of West.
Foley: I just want to make sure that ASHMC does something before police come.
Donna: the broken glass can hurt people.
Rubin: if you look at last year and now, you will see a big difference. There is a lot less glass now. We can’t enforce to remove all glass, though.
Kai: Quinn, you say that glass is wanted in courtyard. But I am not sure that that’s what wanted.
Quinn: West really
Kai: I want to point out that you might represent a small group that likes glass, but you may not be representing West as a whole.
Quinn: many people come but they leave cause they don’t give a shit.
Kai: that why we have to stand up for them. People who don’t feel like West should be dirtier feel like they will be persecuted by other westies.
Wardell: I feel like West have a difficult position to talk between administration. I feel like in ASHmc, what has happened is that you, West, use the culture as an excuse. It’s hard to respond to that in any rational way. I feel like in being defensive about that, you kind of attack us. I am pointing out from an outside perspective
Wray: filling on that, I want to say that you are an enigmatic community, but in terms of ASHMC and getting things done, we want you to be outspoken.
Quinn: I read the minutes and I’ve noticed that every time West representatives were not there, you thought West Fire Pit funding was a bad idea. I feel you are intimidated by us. But I want to say that I will have a reasonable conversation with anyone who comes to talk to me.
Foley: I don’t think misrepresentation of the pit was intentional deception. I feel like there is a lot different opinions of West culture. This meeting however has already fulfilled its idea (disban idea of West Fire Pit)
Quinn: I feel like we are seen as liers and that is bad going into next year’s ASHMC
Foley: I want you to be clear about things that you raise up.
David Gross: I think Quinn’s concern is valid. If there is any conception that West are liers, and next year’s ASHMC will believe in that conception, then we are in trouble. The only way that ASHMC can go (to avoid such developments) is to have people want to go to ASHMC.
Urowsky: I got the idea that West was fixing the pit (idea gotten from ASHMC). However, when I heard you were rolling tires into fire pit, I felt that I was being lied to. That made me angry.
Sergeeva: I feel like the dismissive quality that nothing had happened with the pit even though people knew that the tractor tire had fallen
Foley: I want everybody to go to their dorm and tell about all that we have talked about. I want to thank everybody for coming.