MUSC Student Government Association
Meeting Minutes – January 9, 2013
Speaker: Dr. Darlene Shaw – Associate Provost for Education and Student Life
Happy new year everybody! I hope your semester is starting off well. I have a couple things I would like to inform you about and ask you to get the word out to students. First, I want to talk about the formal student complaint policies. We have a long tradition at MUSC of getting student feedback. If you have any complaint about anything, we hope that you and your fellow students will take that to the specific director and get your issue resolved in an informal way. However, if we are not able to address a concern to the student’s satisfaction, a more formal mechanism to address complaints needs to be in place. The first policy lays out for the complaint mechanism for the individual colleges.
This policy states that students have a set of rights to report a complaint. There will be no retaliation against a student that makes a complaint, there will be a specific group for each college that looks at student complaints, and there must be an appeal process available for students if they are not satisfied with the outcome. The purpose of this policy is to provide students with an open, fair, and accessible process which encourages the prompt resolution of complaints. All college Deans have taken a look at this policy and should already be up on the website for each college. A second policy has been set in place that provides a mechanism for addressing formal written complaints for university wide services, such as parking management, counseling and psychological services, student programs, library services, wellness center, student health, enrollment management, etc. If you have a concern, first we would like you to take that issue to that specific area and figure out a way to address the concern. If it is not successful and not resolved to your satisfaction, this policy lays out what you can do. There is a form that is included in the papers I gave you that can be filled out and submitted to me. A four person committee, including Dr. Burnham, will look into the situation and arrive at a decision. If you are unsatisfied, you can appeal the decision. Please continue to use informal mechanisms to resolve issues, but if you are not satisfied with the result, this is a formal mechanism you can use. We have had only one formal written complaint in the past four years that I have been the Associate Provost for Education and Student Life. This is not a common thing. Nothing has prompted us to have these policies in place. We looked at the policies that accredited institutions should have in place and decided to make a formal procedure for filing complaints. All of this information is on the web. Please make sure your fellow students are aware of these new policies.
Andrea Vella-Camilleri: What about people who have withdrawn or applied to MUSC but not yet matriculated?
Dr. Shaw: SACS is an umbrella accrediting body that requires that we have a mechanism for withdrawn students, students applying to MUSC, as well as family members of MUSC students to file complaints. This policy applies to them as well.
I would also like to get some guidance from you all about some information that the college deans have brought to my attention. I need your feedback about addressing the issue of psychostimulant medication for whom those medications are not prescribed, such as Ritalin and Adderall. There is concern that these activities occur in the library and during exam weak. MUSC wellness surveys from the past couple of years show that 3-5% of students use some type of illicit substances. Most students think of marijuana, cocaine, etc. as illicit substances, so we are not sure what students are reporting here. We also realize that these data are usually underreported. In 2008 and 2010, students were asked if they were concerned about a fellow student’s drug use. This number has been consistent at 15%. This may be a more accurate reflection of the level of concern on campus. When students were asked whether they have ever taken prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them, we had 11% of students say yes. Majority of the endorsed drugs were psychostimulant medication. I don’t think we are unusual in this issue as a medical school, but we are concerned about the wellbeing of our students. I would like to throw it open to you all to help me understand the situation. How can we help students get the help they need without getting them into jeopardy legally and health wise?
Philip Sobolesky: MUSC has strict guidelines on prescribing the psychostimulant drugs. I know we can go to an outside doctor, but student health insurance doesn’t cover much of this. Have you thought about making it more lenient to obtain these drugs at MUSC through patient diagnosis?
Dr. Shaw: We have a conservative approach to prescribing ADHD medication. I think that is certainly true. However, we have licensed professionals making these assessments and diagnoses. If you don’t meet criteria, then it is not appropriate for these drugs to be prescribed as a study aid. We do our best to appropriately diagnose and prescribe. We are aware that we are more careful than the rest of the community, but we believe that we are doing the right thing. Additionally, people’s medical licenses are on the line.
Omici Uwagbai: At USC they have group therapy for undergraduates and graduates to allow for students in various programs to get together and express concerns.
Dr. Shaw: We are open to group therapy. We have had group therapy sessions for several issues including relationships, communication, etc. However, we have never been successful. We are such a small campus, and I think students are concerned that confidentiality would be lost and they are just not comfortable. Our most successful group therapy was a group of students who had needle and blood phobia. We treated them in a group setting and had tremendous success. Are you as students concerned about this issue? Some students say other students are getting an unfair advantage because they are using these prescription drugs inappropriately.
Sara Garrett: Did you break down this data by college? Is it more prevalent in COM rather than CGS, for example? It might help to target the problem and/or the reaction to the issue if we know where the problem is.
Dr. Shaw: I think we keep these surveys anonymous as confidentiality.
Ashekia Pinckney: COM is drug tested and if you have drugs in your system, you must have a prescription that is presented to the dean.
Dr. Shaw: I think all MUSC students are drug-screened.
Several students: No.
Cody Chiuzan: If students are being tested anyway, why not have random testing during exams or before and after exams? If you are caught, have some extreme measure taken. This is an environment of competition and achievement. It is hard to monitor these issues. If you have students that were caught and punished, it might have an impact on other students to see an example made.
Dr. Shaw: Over the years, some random drug testing has been done.
Holly Berry: Random drug-testing is very expensive. Overall, I think there need to be more behavioral studies on this issue. There are people who take these psychostimulants and don’t know why. I think we need to focus on that issue.
Dr. Shaw: I suspect that the most prevalent reason is because they view it as performance enhancing. We have a couple educational sessions in the spring that are designed to educate students about this issue. What degree do they actually enhance academic performance?
Andrea Vella-Camilleri: How was this brought to light? By the deans?
Dr. Shaw: Students have been reporting concerns to deans due to the illegality and unfair advantage of these drugs.
Neal Patel: Do we have an official end of the semester and official start of exams? Sometimes people think we don’t have enough time to study for exams so they take a shortcut. In undergrad, we had library days that gave students chances to study. It would provide more time so people don’t take the shortcut. (ADD medication)
Dr. Shaw: The academic calendar is very idiosyncratic to different programs. We have been putting up posters during exam period to inform people that you can go to jail for this. It’s not a pretty picture. I think you’re right, the curriculum is very intense and everyone is achievement oriented. I agree that the environment does make it more likely for students to feel the need to do it. Do you have any other issues to mention?
Stephen Thompson: We don’t like the new Moodle. It is hard to find things on. It will take some time to get used to I guess. In COM, they say they are working out some kinks, but it’s not much of an upgrade in general.
Dr. Shaw: Thanks for letting me know. I will follow up on it.
PRESIDENT: Brandon Hagan
Reading of the November 28th minutes: Approved
Hospital District Smoking Ban: Yesterday the city council approved an outdoor city smoking ban for the hospital district that will go into effect on March 1st. Fines will be given to those who fail to comply. Advocates of the smoking ban are looking to MUSC students involved by providing a MUSC student paid job to educate other students, employees, and patients on the smoking ban.
Cody Chiuzan: A student job? I have doubts about this. If public safety has problems enforcing that, then can students get the job done?
Dr. Shaw: We are not actually enforcing, just reminding.
Omici Uwagbai: Who are taking fines?
Shaw: Only public safety.
Ashekia: I don’t feel comfortable telling people to stop smoking. I think public safety will be better.
Dr. Burnham: Since we were the lead of getting the policy to the forefront, what are some ways that SGA could be involved and what recommendations you can make to help enforce the policy? We just need suggestions.
Holly Berry: For the first few months, we might need people to inform others about the ban since MUSC is such a high traffic area. Someone may be needed just to educate.
Igor Alvarez: I think we need to provide a place for them to go. Outside of students and employees, families crying need a place to go. I don’t think there is anywhere close. In order to enforce it, I think there needs to be an area.
Dr. Shaw: We do provide Nicorette gum and public safety is aware of that.
Ashekia Pinckney: When patients are admitted to the hospital, they receive paperwork informing them that this is a teaching hospital. We could add another form saying that this is a smoke free campus and there will be a $25 fine for those who do not comply.
Andrea Vella-Camilleri: I came from a similar situation at my undergraduate university and we had huge bright lines painted on the ground that said, “Now entering a smoke free campus.” A celebration of a smoke free campus could be a good idea too.
Dr. Shaw: That was actually thought about, but the fear was that smokers would see that as in your face.
Andrea Vella-Camilleri: Can we combine the smoke-free celebration with a festival we already hold on campus?
Layne Madden: I second having a smoking zone.
Stephen Thompson: The worst part is the trash.
Dr. Shaw: They are actually working with the city to put some receptacles right outside the zone. This includes Calhoun Street and Cannon Park.
Craig Kutz: It is within our right as students to tell smokers that this is a smoke free campus. We can use posters and flyers to inform them.
Dr. Shaw: We are all empowered to all let people nicely know that. That’s a great idea.
Walt Tollison: Do we want to hand out fliers to smokers who we pass?
Kevin Smuniewski: This is a new idea we just wanted to get your feedback. We don’t want to put you all at risk. This year we have cards with the maps of the zone that we will hand out.
Omici Uwagbai: Can we add that to the big MUSC maps?
Philip Sobolesky: Once you fined, is it going to show up on a police record? Or is it just a slap on the wrist where you don’t really have to pay it?
Kevin Smuniewski: The Charleston livability court will handle those who do not pay their fines. There is also an added court cost of $56 to fight the ticket. The point is not to write citations. Public safety will try everything not to write a ticket.
Dr. Shaw: Thank you for having me.
Introduction of New Members:
Regina Brown – 1st year COM
Welcome to the family. Hope you enjoy the rest of the semester with us.
Mr. MUSC Pageant – Igor Alvarez: This is a university wide event that the PA program started a while back. It’s a male beauty pageant. We’re looking for one brave volunteer from each college to participate. There is a swimwear round, formal wear, and talent round. It’s a great way to raise funds for a local high school downtown. Still, need CGS and COM representation. We need a total of $1225 for the event. Dues from PA students and PA fundraising will contribute $612.50. We are asking for $612.50 from SGA. The event will be held on February 22nd at Footlight theater downtown. Tickets are $10.
Regina Brown: Is it one guy from each class or each college?
Igor Alvarez: One per each college. If we did one participant per class, we would have 50 contestants and we don’t have time for that.
James Atkison: Is there a rule for asking for money twice in a row? Would you be able to sustain this event in the future?
Igor Alvarez: We voted initially to not ask for funds, but we ended up needing the funds. We are trying to implement some ways to keep this event sustainable, such as keeping a portion of the funds to rollover to next year.
Stephen Thompson: Why Footlight Theatre?
Igor Alvarez: Others were expensive and were not very negotiable. The theatre was the cheapest at $750.
Layne Madden: Did you consider Baruch?
Igor Alvarez: I don’t know. We asked a lot of places. Footlight was the cheapest.
Kevin Smuniewski: Baruch was not big enough 3 years ago.
Brandon Hagan: We will vote at the next meeting.
Humanitas Submissions: Humanitas is MUSC’s arts and literature publication. Submissions are due January 13th. I will send out the address for the submission to Kayla to send out to you all.
Kevin Smuniewski: We saved ~$10000 from our budget. Just about every category we are under budget.
Stephen Thompson: When did we vote on giving ONE funds for a movie screen?
Brandon Hagan: The executive council can award any allocations request under $1000. We awarded $300 to One chapter at MUSC, a new organization that started last year that needed some help.
James Atkison: Isn’t the remaining $1200 rolling over to spring?
Brandon Hagan: Yes it rolls over into allocations for the spring.
Cason Hund: Now the allocation fund will be $3200 for the spring semester.
Spring 2013 1st read: Reps were given 3 minutes to look over the spring 2013 budget.
Kevin Smuniewski: There is quite a discrepancy but mostly because of the winetasting which was moved to the fall semester. The Oyster roast is budgeted higher because of the new policies at the bus shed that requires cooking outside of the shed. We had to use a new caterer because the past caterer who cut us a very good deal was not comfortable with this new rule. These new guys do the low country oyster roast at Boone Hall so they should be good but they were more expensive. Intramurals are a little more because indoor soccer is an official intramural sport this year. We also have a new cultural event, Night at the Halsey gallery. Other than that, nothing is too different.
Cane Hoffman: What is going to be cut from Alhambra?
Kevin Smuniewski: That is up to Danny’s committee. The price will be increased. Giveaways will be cut. Koozies may be cut.
Danny Vo: Will it be a big deal to increase prices?
James Atkison: I would rather have koozies than a cup.
Philip Sobolesky: Do allocations roll from spring into fall?
Dr. Burnham: No it doesn’t, but it will rollover to something.
Cason Hund: It would probably be surplus for where we need it.
Stephen Thompson: Is the money for Relay for life for us or sponsoring?
Kevin Smuniewski: That is for the SGA team.
Reps (2) to clean up after meeting: Jill Hubbuch and Andrea Vella-Camilleri
Student Welfare Committee meeting
PROGRAMS VICE PRESIDENT: Danny Vo
Improv Comedy Night @ Theatre 99: Thursday, January 24th, reception begins at 7pm and Showtime begins at 8pm. Please arrive before show time as the doors will close at 8pm! Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for non-students. You can purchase 2 tickets per student ID. The ticket cost includes one drink ticket. Free appetizers and a cash bar will also be provided. Worker sign-up s will be sent out on Friday.
Night at Halsey Gallery: February 1st; this event is like Art Walk, but at one gallery on Calhoun and St. Philip St at CofC’s campus. Wine and light appetizers will be provided.
Kevin Smuniewski: The artist is Lesley Dill. This is very interesting stuff and 3D stuff.
Andrea Vella-Camilleri: Are people are required to show MUSC IDs?
Nadia Mariutto: It’s never a bad idea to have it. You definitely need your driver’s license if you plan on drinking wine. This event is open to MUSC employees, students and guests.
Danny Vo: There is not going to be a lot of food so it will be nice for happy hour. Don’t come expecting dinner. There will be 4 worker spots available.
ACADEMIC VICE PRESIDENT: Cason Hund
University Honor Council Fall and Summer Semester Report:
Stephen Thompson: Have you talked to the library about chairs in the lobby? There are always tables but not enough chairs. The chairs from the eating area are vanishing.
Cason Hund: I will let them know. The library updates are still undergoing. Hopefully they will be done soon. Carrels and lockers signups are going on.
Sumeen Maur: Last year, we met with the Art Institute for art in the library. Do you know when that will be up?
Cason Hund: They are still working on finishing the library before art work goes in. I’ll ask and let you know.
SERVICE VICE PRESIDENT: Caroline Hoover
- MLK Day of Service – Saturday, February 9th, 10am – 2pm
- Low Country Food Bank (MUSC Horseshoe Food Collection) – Tuesday, January 12th, 11am – 1pm
- American Red Cross Blood Drive Challenge – Thursday, February 14th, 11am – 4pm
COMMUNICATIONS VICE PRESIDENT: Kayla Hill
Communications Committee Meeting
Intramurals: Kevin Smuniewski
College and Organizational Reports
MUSC Gives Back – Liz Sheridan: MLK Day of Service planning meeting is on Monday, January 14th at 12pm in BSB 100. Limited box lunches will be available. This is an interdisciplinary activity. At least 2 disciplines must come together.
Student Programs – Dr. Burnham: Thank you for your service and attendance. We really appreciate your diligence and attentiveness. Do not partake in alcoholic beverages as you are working your worker spot.
Martin Luther King Jr. Student Essay Contest: MSAB and the Office of Student Diversity are now accepting student submissions for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Essay Contest. The deadline for submission is this Friday, January 11th at 5pm and must be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winning essay will be featured during the annual Dr. King Day program on Friday, January 18th at 12pm. The essays are usually received during the Christmas holiday. There are cash prizes given to the winners. Share this information with your peers and colleges. There are currently no submissions. If we have 3 submissions, we will have 3 winners with cash prizes.
Earl B. Higgins Achievement in Diversity Awards Nominations: The MUSC’s Office of Student Diversity is seeking nominations for the Earl B. Higgins Achievement in Diversity Awards and Student Leadership in Diversity Award. Electronic submissions are recommended and the deadline for submission is Friday, February 1st at 5pm. We get a lot of nominees for that and already have a lot. Please send those reminders back out.
Also, I cannot do recommendations in a day so please give me a week notice. Especially if you are need something in regard to your unique leadership abilities.
Nancy lemon: Please see me if you are a new rep after the meeting to get your binder.
Dr. Burnham: We are currently looking for 3 work study students in the Student Programs Office. Hours are flexible hours and you can study in the office. Liz needs someone for MUSC Gives Back. A lot of work is in the evenings and you have to be work study eligible.
University wide committees – Brandon: The Dental Boards patient screening clinic is looking for certain types of cavities for students to practice on. Come to dental clinic and get some X-rays and we will see if they can use you for the boards. Everything is free and I believe patients will get some compensation.
Philip Sobolesky: What kind of X-rays?
Brandon Hagan: Bite wings
Cody Chiuzan: What kind of dental work?
Brandon Hagan: Cavities. Fillings usually cost $100 so this is a really good deal. It is open to everyone in the community including students.
Cason Hund: Medium to Small fillings only. The clinic starts next Monday, January 14th from 5pm-7pm until Thursday, March 28th at the dental clinics. The clinic will be closed on holidays including Valentine’s Day, MLK day, and spring break.
International Student Association
Multicultural Student Advisory Board
Nursing – Jake Schubert: New CON students are starting orientation next week
Pharmacy – Anthony DeClue: Kappa Psi pharmacy fraternity is holding a pancake breakfast on Monday, January 14th at the MUSC horseshoe from 7am-10am. Cost is $5 or 5 can goods. All proceeds go to the Low Country Food Bank.