Social Responsibility committee
2 October 2012
Present: Terry Bouchuk (chair), Anna Faber, Laurie Hamre, Brian Lindeman, Chris MacDonald-Dennis, Paul Schadewld, Vincent Sieerink and David Wheaton.
Terry Boychuk called the meeting to order and welcomed Chris, Paul and Ruth (in absentia) to the committee. He gave an overview of the SRC guidelines and reviewed the concluded and outstanding business from 2011-12 (Terry served as chaired of the committee last year).
-Agreement was reached that sustainability issues requiring vetting and recommendations for the President could, in most cases, come through the Sustainability Advisory Committee;
-Several faculty and staff brought forth a proposal to review the practices of Viola, an international trash/recycling conglomerate that was being considered for a multi-year contract. The issue was forwarded to an ad hoc committee led by Facilities Management. The committee researched all sides of the issue and the SRC served as a conduit for communication and resolution. This process when possible, could be held up as a model for constituent involvement and resolution – SRC does not need to be in the middle of each case;
-A staff member brought forward a concern on Bon Appetit’s catering food waste policy. Bon Appetit, while not covered by the state’s Good Samaritan law, planned to enter an agreement for donating unused food with the Dorothy Day Homeless Center;
-Members of the student group Adalante brought forward a proposal that Macalester support the Dream Act. The SRC recommended to President Rosenberg that a statement endorsing higher education as a pathway to naturalization for undocumented youth be placed on the SRC webpage. Brian adopted SRC’s statement on May 8th.
-The Economic Justice Task Force of MPIRG proposed Macalester boycott HEI hotels and pull monies and/or refrain from investing in HEI companies. The proposal stemmed from the HERE UNITE-HEI labor dispute. SRC received several presentations and had opportunity for discussion on this issue throughout the 2011-12 year. The required information was not acquired and the SRC held off decision making until the EJTF-MPIRG had a chance to provided additional information. It is expected this proposal (which morphed into an ethical travel policy) will be on SRC’s Fall 2012 agenda.
New submissions, pending business:
-The Student Endowment Responsibility Committee has proposed the SRC consider adding Mac to those who have already petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission in want of a rule requiring corporations to disclose their political activities to shareholders. The SERC wants Mac to sign the petition in an effort to better understand the political activities of the corporate managers and therefore Macalester’s involvement. SERC provided a number of documents as background information for the issue. The proposal will be added to a meeting agenda.
The meeting was adjourned.,