The Scoop on the Monthly SAS BeHeard Forum

The first SAS BeHeard forum of the year took place on Sept. 28. Meeting at the Motley at 9 p.m., SAS co-Treasurers India Mullady (‘11) and Guadalupe de la Cruz (‘11) began by introducing SAS’s funding budget for the 2009-2010 school year. Mullady and de la Cruz reported that SAS’s budget had been cut by 6 percent. The percentage of funding set aside for each club or organization has remained the same, but the number of Scripps Clubs and Organizations has almost doubled since last year. This increase in number of CLORGs has resulted in less funding for each one. In spite of the budget cut, SAS’s focus remains in providing quality programs and events to the 5C community—such as the Sept. 22 “I (Heart) Female Orgasm” event—while also sponsoring fun events that are low-budget. Upcoming events discussed at the forum include the SAS Book Club, to be led by a different professor every month, and the 5C Music Fest, to be held Oct. 24 at CMC.

The discussion at this month’s BeHeard forum focused around community at Scripps and SAS’s theme for this year: “What is a Scripps Student?” SAS president Anna Salem (‘10) mediated discussion on dorm community and better ways to foster a Scripps community. There has been talk of a substance-free dorm and all first-year dorms, as well as the possibility for groups of friends to move in to groups of singles in certain halls. Many students feel that an open-door community should be cultivated starting the first year at Scripps.

Because Scripps is currently in a state of flux with a new president, Salem said that now is a critical time for students to effect change and influence the direction of the school. Beth Olesen (‘10) called for more students to join her on the Strategic Planning Committee and voice student opinions on the direction of the college. A new dorm is in the works, and students have the opportunity to provide input, as well as to influence what kinds of spaces will be available to students, such as a student union or a lounge similar to Harvey Mudd’s Platt Center.

Concerns about feelings of alienation among students who have interests and majors that are not necessarily represented by the Scripps website or magazine were also voiced. About half of the Joint Science students are from Scripps, and there are more math majors in the class of 2010 than French majors. Despite the portrait that official publications paint, Scripps’ identity is not defined by the humanities. Some science majors feel they are celebrated only when it serves the purpose of the College. Maria Luca (’10), a science major, opined that theses due on different days for different majors decreases the sense of community, celebration and accomplishment of a finished thesis as a class.

Next month’s BeHeard forum will take place on Oct. 27 at 9 p.m. at the Motley.