10/03 SGA Meeting

Attendance

19/24 members in attendance

Absent: Caroline Black ’20 (excused), Henry Meza Flores ’21 (excused), David Choi ’21 (excused), Heidi Meyer ’22 (unexcused), Alex Aiello ’21 (unexcused)

Agenda

  1. SSAFER Notification System
  2. Police Chief Interviews
  3. Latin Honors and Faculty Meeting
  4. Swearing in First-Year Senators
  5. Election Update and Bylaws Proposal
  6. Sustainability and Transportation Update

Takeaways

  • Campus Police Chief Todd Sigler attended this week’s SGA meeting to go over the details of last Wednesday’s SSAFER notification. According to Sigler, the initial call to an officer came from an on-campus employee who was working outside when they heard “five distinct sounds like gunshots [coming] from the Hurt Hub.” This officer then notified their supervisor, and this supervisor brought the report to Sigler’s attention. Sigler then had to decide whether or not to send out a SSAFER notification in advance of investigating the report; ultimately, taking into account the recent history of assault weapons, he elected to use the SSAFER notification system. Sigler noted that the message sent out was “too inaccurate” for the scenario, but in favor of speed, the SSAFER system has a set of pre-scripted warning messages which can be sent out as soon as a report comes in. At the time of Monday’s report, there was no pre-scripted message to warn students and faculty of reported sounds of gunfire. Sigler and his team are currently in the process of writing more scenarios, and he takes “full responsibility” for sending out a message which was inaccurate in describing the situation. 
  • Sigler also mentioned that “certain things have come to light” after the notification went out on Monday. Most notably, aside from a generally appropriate response from students, employees, and faculty, some faculty ignored the message. Responding to a SSAFER notification with indifference, Sigler said, is “entirely unacceptable.” 
  • Following the talk, there was a question and answer session between the senators and Sigler. One senator asked what the protocol is for students, faculty, or employees if they find themselves outside when they receive a SSAFER notification. Sigler said that while he usually advocates that one should find a safer, more secure location, everybody has to use their personal judgement in their particular situation—this could mean putting distance between yourself and the threat, rather than going for the nearest building. 
  • A short presentation was given by a senator, concerning the search for a new police chief in preparation for Sigler’s retirement from the position next year. Interviews were conducted with three candidates this past week. 
  • In Thursday’s faculty meeting, SGA senators expressed their view that it is unacceptable for faculty members, in the event of extreme emergency situations, to continue with class as if there were no indication of a threat. President Carol Quillen echoed this sentiment. The fact that Davidson professors are underpaid—when compared with peer institutions—was also discussed at this meeting. 
  • SGA senators relayed that the Education Policy Committee had settled on a percentage-based system for Latin Honors at Davidson, using the proportion 20%, 10%, and 2%.
  • The first-year senators Wren Healy ’23, Sophia Eldridge ’23, Quincey Weary ’23, Christine Ahn ’23, and Elly Hensley ’23, and first-year class president Skylar McVicar ’23 were sworn in. 
  • The election update, bylaws proposal, and the sustainability and transportation update were moved to next week’s meeting.

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