Monthly Archives: January 2012

Minutes 26/1/12


  • Minutes taken by Ethan
  • Start by making an agenda, what we want to do, announcements
  • Report Backs
  • Archives?
  • Organizing going to the city as a group
  • Event this Saturday,
  • Managing SLC occupy stuff online, splitting into working groups
  • Publication
  • Becoming an official club
  • Food co-op
  • Going through agenda items one by one as schedule
  • Recap of last semester

Recap of last semester

  • organized a teach in, held in heimbold. First big event, 100 people. Faculty participation
  • Sarah Lawrence occupy social networks, WordPress, twitter, blog, etc. spread awareness
  • Follow up event–facilitation workshop, then chatted about things to do next semester

Last meeting

  • Weekly meeting time
  • Official/unofficial club
  • What do we want more of?
  • Some questions were answered, but some are still open
  • Suggestion about working occupy wall street into conference work
    • Hard to coordinate–spread work about occupy through projects and etc


  • Rob–started working with general committee through vanguard (publication platform)–pedagogue form for college. Help project voice on institution. Vanguard weekly meetings Monday 900 in McCracken meeting room. Sets of meetings, working with class president to coordinate with campus events. Trying to get faculty to participate in event. 
  • Shay–this Saturday there will be an event, occupy river town. How occupation relates to life of people. Organized by concerned families of westfhester, school groups. They would like to be more involved. Could open up dialogue with them. Could figure out getting a van.
    • Occupy town square this Saturday in Washington square park
    • We could take a van for that
    • Non Facebook–make a google group through our school emails. May not work, wil be looked into
  • Publication
  • Sunday at 630, meeting about starting a food co-op, in the McCracken meeting room


  • Proposal for making a publication. Group working toward making this publication
  • People who are interested can meet up
  • Trying to get money for our OWN publication or occupy issue in ONE other publication?
  • Talk about what is going on that people are pissed about — for people who aren’t Internet friendly
  • Discuss what’s on our minds, could go on agenda.
  • Would love to open up that conversation ^
  • Do we want to make a pub? We have a lot of resources, but there are a LOT of publications, we could use those to our own advantage. Special occupy section
  • Working groups, form them. Organizational structure
  • Needs to be a working group, save time in meetings


  • Problems with keeping it a horizontally organized movement and turning it into an official club. So keep it a club or keep it an informal group?
  • Pros and cons
    • Informal group, doesn’t make much of a difference
    • Formal group, gets funding, but needs a chair and co-chair etc.
  • Clubs, do resources become more available–probably. More access to vans and etc. — someone should look into this
  • Do we want funding and access to club space–this is the question
  • Although, it’s pretty easy to go to senate and request money
  • Could go either way. It comes down to access to club space. Do we need it? I mean, we are here
  • Finance group

Working groups

  • Rough draft list of groups we need, how will we split off?
  • Throw out ideas and post them online
  • What is our mission? Foster a mission to occupy city, spread awareness, etc.
  • “SLC students and faculty that are involved with the occupy movement” — mission statement
  • Working groups let us decide how we can be more involved
  • Find a place to discuss occupy and come up with ideas. Find an arena.
  • A place where we can discuss what is happening at SLC
  • Collaborate w/people Ipin the city
  • Occupy movement is too democratic for a mission statement
  • Support system for whatever we want to do.
  • Benefit of it is that people are working n smaller issues.
  • Working groups meet separately, weekly or whatever and break out into clusters
  • The more we split up the more we can lose people
  • Inability to be working with other groups at the same time
  • Working groups meet and have shorter break outs
  • Put out needs, others put out resources
  • Biweekly thing, push for attendence, big group; individual work group meetings; weekly groups as a large groups — vote. Biweekly meetings wins.
  • Brainstorm about ideas for working groups
  • Working group that is about plugging into occupy in the city
  • Financial work group
  • Separate direct action group
  • Publication work group
  • Twitter account, “what’s happening now” account. Workgroup
  • Round table discussion group about occupy workgroup
  • Make a doodle for next meeting
  • Time suggestions? Next week same time unless something changes, as a backup


-Archives: Should we be doing anything other than taking minutes to document our meetings? Pictures, journals, etc.

-Easton will look into forming a non-facebook group that will work for people (google groups may be an issue for some slc emails)

-Easton is forming a childcare collective. Email him for more info/to be involved.

-It is our general understanding that we do not need to form an official club. We will not benefit financially any more so from senate if were official vs. unofficial.

-March 1st!! Lets talk about action etc. in our working groups.


1 Finance, 2 Events/Direct Action on Campus, 3 Involvement in NYC, 4 Campus Labor Group, 5 Internet/ Communication, 6 Publications, 7 Direct Action, 8 Conference Projects/ Incorporation w/studies, 9 Occupy Art, 10 Student Connection w/other Schools, 11 Outreach on Camps, 12 Roundtable Discussions

*brainstorm and downsize for next week so we’re nt all split in a million directions.


Facilitation Workshop Notes

[ Hi Folks – These are the notes I (Kat) took during the facilitation workshop we had before winter break. They formatted themselves a little funny but I’m not sure how to edit them. Please let me know if they need clarifying ]


“What is consensus & How does it work?”
An informal facilitation workshop with Stephan Fink and Jillian Quinn Buckley of Occupy Wall Street



  • got in two groups, gave us the question: what would make you feel more comfortable in this space? to get accustomed to process
  • reviewed hand signals: spirit fingers, block
  • in facilitation – during review, she asked to hear from female-bodied folks since people who had spoken were both men

Ground Rules

  • active listening/internalizing
  • step up/step back: if you’re speaking a lot, sometimes step back and vise versa
  • be aware of voice volume
  • be aware of time limits
  • be present
  • progressive stack: folks with hands raised – people who are typically marginalized get listed first on stack if hands raised at same time. Same for folks who speak a lot.
  • look at needs behind what someone is saying, rather than comparing opinion: be empathetic, constructive
  • respect the space: self-facilitate, don’t put “baggage” on others
    • She went through and did temp check on items
      • brief discussion of gender powers on campus vs. general society
      • clarification of computer use


  • way of taking notes
  • Pizza example
  • like bubble graph
  • way of thinking “expansively” since our brains don’t really work linearly
  • in facilitation, he asks to hear last one from someone who hasn’t spoken yet

Consensus Explanation

    • applause in sign language is spirit fingers up – means I’m In Agreement
      • nuances of hand signals
  • finger pointing up – Point Of Information
    • info that changes the dialogue
    • used if person speaking is basing what they’re saying on wrong info
    • is a FACT that is a FACT to everyone
    • IMMEDIATELY gets attention, jumps folks on stack
  • “C” shape is clarifying question
    • recognizing that there’s something ambiguous about what person is saying that needs clarification
    • IMMEDIATELY gets attention, jumps folks on stack
  • Hands in shape of up triangle
    • Point of Process
    • gets folks on track – brings us to the agenda point we’re at
    • used often if we’re on Questions and some begins to rant instead of ask question
    • Should be directed at facilitator – NOT at person who is off process
  • Wagging fingers back and forth away from body
    • used to ask facilitator for permission to do the back and forth, get permission first
    • calls folks out for individual conversation if inappropriate, if convo doesn’t pertain to everyone
    • solution: ‘come talk with me afterward’
    • similar to point of process, actually, use point of process instead
  • Block
    • forearms crossed across chest
    • means: I have moral ethical safety concern that’s so big and I’ve tried raising this in other forms and I feel like I’ve been left behind in this and if this goes on, I’m leaving
    • overused at OWS a lot
    • this is – “this is totally racist” and unacceptable NOT “I don’t agree”
    • ask, is this something that’s going to completely halt our movement? if so, then it’s appropriate
    • Discussion of Process: THIS PROCESS IS NOT VOTING
      • should take vibes on agenda
      • Fake Proposal: We should all wear green shirts from now on!!!
  1. Facilitator says, Now for the Proposal: Proposer person has floor, explains reasons for proposal
  2. Fac says, great. Questions? Open Stack:
  • take names, people talk individually and are answered individually
  • close stack if lots of repetitions
  1. Fac opens Concerns. Open Stack:
  • don’t have clarifying questions, but have concerns like, I hate Green
  1. Fac opens Friendly Amendments
  • “I think we should actually wear pink shirts”
  • make additions to proposal
  • Proposer can decide to take it or not take it
  • up to proposer to accept amendment: if someone has issue with amendment, can block it and then address that.
  1. Temp Check:
  • Proposer restates proposal with amendments accepted, doesn’t say ones not accepted
  • if not good reception, offer for them to table it
  • offer to meet with folks separately to have clarifying conversation so we can agree on something: a break-out group is suited for people who really care about the issue
  1. Ask for Blocks
  • No blocks? – CONSENSUS!!!!!!!!!!
  • Blocks: each gets to voice why
  • OWS does 9/10 – if ten percent are against, not doing it
  1. Stand Asides:
  • middle spirit fingers, or they stand aside
  • means: I’m not into it, not a moral concern though, but I understand its important to you so that’s okay
    • **OWS is using 9/10ths more often now, which is not cool
    • ROLES
  1. Facilitator
  • front of room, mirror back to the group what they’re seeing.
  • responsible for moving process forward,
  • do not give opinions or twinkle
  • keep folks accountable
  1. Stack Keeper
  • see people for stack
  • write name down
  1. Fac Greeter
  • help folks understand the process, explain why off process or what’s going on
  1. Vibes
  • calls group out for vibes, offers solutions to equalize vibes
  • spirit vegetables are one, dances, give inspirational speeches,
  1. Time
  • make signs, raise them
  • 1 min, 30 sec, times up
  • “We love you, Time is Up”

Roleplay Activity

  • We Leanred: use discretion regarding facilitator’s participation


  • To focus folks:
    • clap once if you can hear me, repeated until silent
    • Mic Check
      • not to be used if 2 people are arguing,
      • After usin Point of Process without avail, use instead clap once if you can hear me to bring back to silence so folks aren’t comfortable yelling anymore
      • Projecting
      • Redirecting folks if arguing –
      • “I’m hearing”
        • be active listeners, reflecting back what’s said in the room.
        • I’m hearing this concern, is it common?
        • Okay, you’re obviously uncomfortable with this person, so let’s get a mediator but move it out of the larger space
        • Provide outlet: Soap Box after GA or before
        • Building a culture
          • accountability to their actions
          • Facs should be cheerleader role, get people hyped – get people invested
            • take a moment to celebrate consensus
            • be supportive, but not personally involved
            • keep group vibes in mind
  • part of the process is breaking process when it needs to happen, taking group’s thoughts into consideration: ex. should we try to get consensus about this proposal, or postpone it for smaller meetings?
  • If folks are fighting and screaming, its your responsibility to settle it. BUT if they aren’t listening to your mediation, use the HAND SYMBOL of hands over head in shape of house: “Bring it home” “respect the house” – says to folks having side convos to be quiet, so fac can address fighting parties by saying, “I’m not moving forward until this is over”
  • Breakout Groups
    • who’s interested in specific thing? meet afterward
    • Bottom Lining
      • I’ll bottom line buying the tents
        • person responsible for finding tents at good prices, bringing back to group for consensus, logistically get to park
        • coordinator to get those things to happen