Written by Si Wen Shen
Edited by Anson Yeh
Academic Integrity Task Force
Academic Integrity among students have become an increasing concern during this online semester as finals approach. As it has been noted that many students don’t read the Academic Integrity Pledge before signing it, the Academic Integrity Task Force has decided to launch a student-led campaign, where students will be able to voluntarily handwrite a short version of the pledge. Congress members propose a few ideas to discourage students from cheating, such as making videos to inform them of the consequences and severity of cheating, or mini Instagram quizzes about the Pledge. The goal is to promote a culture of ethics, not to threaten students with their career.
The war between Armenia and Azerbaijan reached a cease-fire on November 10th. Now, there is a refugee crisis and a global increase of hate crimes against Armenians. Congress is aware of having students of Turkish origins at Marianopolis and does not wish to antagonize anyone, but this is now beyond taking sides of a war. This is a humanitarian crisis. A fundraiser for refugees will be organized next semester, and the Cultural Affairs and Social Justice Committees will be making awareness posts on this matter.
Winter break is approaching, but with the COVID restrictions still in place, there isn’t much to do over the break. Netflix seems like one of the best options, but not everyone has Netflix, so members of Congress are considering a new plan to make Netflix available for more students. Congress can pay 5$ for each Netflix account, and the rest of the fee will be split between 4 students who will share the account over the winter break. This plan makes the transactions a bit complicated, but it’s still feasible. Decisions will depend on how interested students will be.
Congress is considering getting a Zoom Pro account for more Congress activities, such as movie streams and conferences. The account could also be lent out to clubs for their activities. There will need to be more research on the pricing and benefits of paid accounts on Zoom, but Trudy states that there is already a Zoom Pro account available for clubs to use. Club execs can reach out to Trudy to ask for permission.
Yu Zheng has planned to have a Discord server for MSU. There is already a group on Teams made for students to interact, but many feel that Teams is much more associated with school rather than casual conversation. While Discord will be much less school-related, Congress is concerned that their activities are being split up on too many platforms, so adding a Discord server may become excessive. Final decisions remain to be discussed.
Volunteers & Scarves Knitting
Allison has gathered volunteers to knit scarves and requests 100$ to buy the yarn and the needles as well as to mail these materials to the volunteers. Emmanuel suspects that 100$ may be an underestimation of the budget needed, but that will be discussed further at a later time between the two of them.
Due to MWR’s Congress Weekly issue on the Congress meeting of November 6th, there have been some misunderstandings between MSU, Congress, and the Office of the Academic Dean. These issues have since been resolved. Hereinafter, MWR will work closely with Thomas and Laurence to assure the accuracy of Congress Weekly and prevent such misunderstandings from happening again.
Congress would like to remind our students that every meeting’s Minutes (summary) are available to the student body upon request.
Christmas is fast approaching and Congress is looking into possible activities that could interest students.
One proposal has been to organize a card-making session on campus. The Student Lounge seems to be available, but Congress will have to ask Wayne, as well as make sure that Covid restrictions are respected.
There was also discussion regarding a possible gift exchange this year. The first proposal is to create a Google Doc form, where participants can list their address but not their names and subsequently be assigned an address to which they will mail the gift. A few members have raised concerns towards the issue of privacy, but if this idea goes through, then Congress will have records of whose address was shared with who, making it quite easy to track down the one responsible if there are any problems.
Another method proposed was to have every participant come on campus one day, one after the other, to drop off the gift and pick up the gift dropped off by the previous person. In this case, the concern would be whether students are willing or even able to come to school for the gift exchange.
The last proposal was that, instead of a gift exchange, it would be an exchange of kind and uplifting messages. Instead of an address, participants would be assigned an email address. Once again, this will depend hugely on the interest of the student body.