WAC Minutes February 8 Jun 27, 2010 17:45:43 GMT -5
Post by Erica Chan on Jun 27, 2010 17:45:43 GMT -5
Women’s Affairs Collective Minutes
Meeting 02/2010, held on Monday, February 8th 2010 in the Women’s Room
Meeting opened at 11.12am
#1 Attendance and confirmation of agenda
Women’s Officer: Erica Chan (chair) (proxy for Christine Smoley)
Women’s Officer: Emily Kate Cowan (minutes) (Women’s Officer vote-holder)
Committee Member: Ada Castle
Committee Member: Friyana Billimoria
Committee Member: Christine Smoley (Erica Chan as proxy)
There were no observers/general collective members in attendance.
Committee Member: Karena Singh
Committee Member: Shirin Sethna
The agenda was confirmed, with minor alterations.
#2 Self Defence quotes
Emily Kate explains her quote-collecting process – she asked four self defence providers– including the two which had been recommended (Adori Kearn of Guardian Defence and Catherine Schnell from the Aiki Centre) – for quotes covering 20-25 people for 45
minute to 1 hour self defence workshops, and invited them each to provide a brief statement about their approach to teaching self defence to women for the collective to refer to.
Erica Chan mentions that earlier this morning she calculated the possibility of having 3 sessions with Catherine Schnell and 1 with Adori from Guardian Defence would cost $1000 and give us 4 sessions for the year.
Our projects line item budget is $2060.
Another option is 3 sessions with Catherine Schnell in semester 1, then in semester 2 having 1 session with Adori Kearn of Guardian Defence 1 and session with Amelia Zarb of Art of Defence Australia.
Friyana expresses that, although Guardian may be good, she couldn’t justify spending more than twice as much than we otherwise would spend on Catherine Schnell unless Guardian Defence were twice as awesome.
Ada asks if the difference between excellent and amazing is $825.
After discussion it is decided that a good option would be to have 2 sessions with Catherine Schnell and 1 session with Amelia Zarb in semester one, and then in semester 2 to have 1 further session with Catherine Schnell and 1 further session with Amelia Zarb.
It is calculated that this would cost $980.
Emily Kate suggests that as semester one week two is MSA Women’s Week, we could have a self defence session as a part of Thursdays in Black.
Ada talks about women having to take initiative for their own defence. She suggests lecture bashes to talk about women’s safety as a collective social responsibility.
Erica suggests we use White Ribbon Ambassadors. She talks about some problems people have with White Ribbon and their campaign.
Emily Kate mentions that one good thing about the White Ribbon campaign is that its target audience is really men, and the men who are disrespectful of women are, sadly, more likely to listen to other men (hopefully this includes White Ribbon ambassadors) than they would to us women when it comes to issues such as this.
Ada mentions that steps from all directions are good.
Emily Kate mentions there used to be campus groups such as AWOL, and Ada adds GASP.
Friyana askes if all self defence workshops have to be on Thursdays, and there is immediate consensus that scheduling defence at different times and days is a good idea.
Ada suggests for semester one weeks 4 and 6, as week 6 is after the break.
Friyana suggests their may be lots of midsems immediately after mid-semester break.
There is consensus to change this to Thursday of week 2, and then on different days in week 4 and week 7.
For semester two, Emily Kate suggests week 2 for one of the self defence workshops.
Ada suggests Week 4 for the other. Emily Kate asks about spacing them out a little and having the second semester two self defence workshop in week 5 – and then realises that this is Queer Week.
There are suggestions of collaboration, but it is agreed that self defence for women is different to self defence for men – so best to keep it as a Women’s Department activity.
3 MOTION: That this WAC authorise the expenditure of up to $1000.00 for self defence workshops, with a view to having Catherine Schnell twice in semester one (weeks 2 and 4) and once in semester two (week 2) and Amelia Zarb once in semester one (week 7) and once in semester two (weeks 4 or 5) subject to their availability.
Moved: Emily Kate
Votes for: unanimous (4).
Votes against: 0
Given the crazy way in which moving, seconding and voting occurs after we had already more or less reached a consensus decision some time ago, there is joking and general banter.
Friyana asks the MSA Orange if he has any objections.
Erica jokingly exclaims that he’s a sexist orange if he does.
#3 Quotes for Belly Dancing classes
Erica explains we are looking at having three bellydancing sessions, and begins a comparison of approaches offered by different providers, as well as their quoted costs.
Goddess Bellydance specialises in self esteem and positive image workshops, their class would include discussion on belly dance origins, warm up, dance moves are taught to build up a simple dance choreography, cool down. Goddess Bellydance stresses you they
celebrate diversity – all professional teachers range from size 6 to 22. The demography of past students includes approx 10% (possibly more) who have had a mental illness, around 5% who were pregnant, as well as having been taught as an uplifting activity for victims
of various trauma including sexual abuse.
Maria Sangiorgi – Dancingisis is a Dance Movement Therapist who has worked with women with eating disorders. Maria wants to run these sessions for no less than 1.5-2hrs.The is general agreement that this may be problematic, given students may find it
difficult to attend anything more than 1 hour between classes.
Zabelle is another provider, she provides props for classes with a focus on positive atmosphere.
Ozlem – Mind Body Dance wrote that belly dancing classes focusing on self esteem are what she’s most passionate about. A 1 hour class would include 30 minutes of belly dancing workshop, 15 minutes of group activity where groups create their own choreography and 15 minutes body image talk in which she shares her personal story of
recovering from bulimia.
Adrea Markis – Underbellydance describes the art form as is a playful, joyous and at times sensuous style of dance that suits all ages, shapes and sizes. As a means of improving health and wellbeing, belly dance provides low impact yet energetic exercise,
enhances self image and, above all else, is great fun.
Friyaya asks if it is just a straight class. It is confirmed that the quote includes no workshops specific to eating disorders, etc.
Emily Kate notes that she loves the name ‘Underbellydance’.
Erica talks of Dr Roxane Bourghen’s long list of credentials, including teaching at university. Dr Boughen has also included a referee from Monash University, Dr Alexa Kambouropoulos. She has a doctorate in Middle Eastern Dance from RMIT and was a former President of the Organisation for Middle Eastern Dance in Australia
There is a degree of awe at the idea of a doctorate in belly dancing.
Emily Kate suggests that with credentials in belly dance as impressive as this, she would be an absolutely fantastic speaker, but is concerned that possibly for introductory belly dance classes with students who have no experience and just want to try something fun
and new she may be a little academic. Emily Kate is keen to have her speak in 2010.
Kizmet’s approach is to “try and get the students to laugh and express their inner "woman" or inner "goddess" if they prefer. The classes are fun and light-hearted while we teach them the art of oriental dance. We do not encourage sexual but try and focus on
There is general approval.
Rags Gothique teach an alternative/goth style of belly dance.
There is general concern that 90 minute lessons are the shortest being offered – a similar situation to the quote from Maria Sangiorgi.
Erica and Emily Kate are both concerned about the length and wonder will people come to a full 90 minute class.
Emily Kate mentions that she likes that this will show the diversity within belly dancing, as it is a bit alternative and in contrast to the more aerobic/energetic as well as traditional/Egyptian options. She cites a her bias as a ‘member’ and fan of the aethetics pf the Goth sub-culture.
Friyana worries about spiritual overtones.
Ada agrees heavily Christian people might not feel comfortable about the overtones – ‘Priestess’ and ‘Goddess’ classes – but expresses that if we explain and market it properly, this shouldn’t be problematic.
We watch a YouTube clip on the Raqs Gothique website and are generally in support of the moves.
Ada worries that it’s expensive, it’s 90 minutes long and pagan overtones could be problematic.
We look at websites of all the various providers.
Friyana worries about the price of Maria Sangiorgi.
We look at Kizmet. Emily Kate mentions that she is all for Egyptian style belly dancing.
We look at Underbellydance – Andrea Markis’ website.
Ada and Friyana both express preferences for Goddess, Ozlem and Kizmet.
Ada feels Ozlem would be a powerful experience.
Erica mentions Ozlem provides props.
Ada asks how many classes we want.
Friyana is pro Ozlem in terms of body image, and Erica mentions she’d like to have Ozlem take a class for International No Diet Day.
Emily Kate mentions that at the moment the minutes reflect perfect balance in speaking time.
Emily Kate suggests we have two classes with Kizmet due to the affordability of what she has quoted, then Ozlem for International No Diet Day, plus one more class with Goddess.
Friyana talks about women learning belly dance and using it to ease the process of childbirth.
Emily Kate is enthusiastic about this and adds that pole dancing won’t help in childbirth.
Erica says there’s no issue if you’re pole dancing for yourself, but worries that a lot of women are not.
Friyana cites the breadth of history of belly dance art form, speaking of it’s social functions in various cultures.
Ada calculates 1 class with Goddess, 1 class with Ozlem plus 2 classes with Kizmet would cost $526.
There is general consensus that this would be a good choice.
Erica comments that under her figures for the Projects budget, at that price we could afford to do 5 belly dancing classes, three with Kizmet and one each with Goddess and Ozlem. She had loosely budgeted $600 from the Projects line item for belly dancing classes.
Ada worries that if we have as many as 5 classes they may not all be completely attended.
It is agreed we can do 4, and if we decide later that we want a 5th class, we know we have the money to do so.
Erica suggests this could mean more money for cupcakes. Emily Kate approves!
Publicity of belly dancing classes and self defence workshops within the Women’s Room is discussed and it is agreed one of the Top Girls posters has the prime position – under the clock. It is decided that we don’t need to have two Top Girls posters in the room and that we can use that space for Women’s Department event advertising.
MOTION: That this WAC approves the spending of up to $600 on belly dancing classes, with a view to having one class with Ozlem for International No Diet Day, having one class with Kizmet in semester one week two (Women’s Week), preferably on International Women’s Day, and then in semester two having another class with Kizmet
as well as one class with Goddess.
Votes for: unanimous (4).
Votes against: 0
Emily Kate comments that our minutes and pre-vote conversations so far suggest we can handle consensus decision making.
Friyana and Ada are happy for Erica to schedule times for belly dancing classes, suggesting she bring it to WAC for further discussion if need be.
Emily Kate mentions that she is happy to see some provider diversity for both self defence and belly dancing.
There are more jokes about the MSA Orange.
#4 Orientation Week
As aside from the Women’s Officers, there are only two Committee Members physically present, Erica suggests signing up to the Women’s O Week Roster at our own convenience. She suggests a WAC before O Week might be easier time to discuss this.
Friyana expresses an interest in helping with a Women’s Room Tour.
Ada mentions she’s doing a few things for O week, including MEG.
Friyana mentions she’s happy to help out on Monday.
Emily Kate mentions she’s in a similar situation to Ada – she has to sell MSA cards and wants to help out her Greens club – but that she will be on campus throughout O Week.
Erica virtually sells an MSA card mid-meeting and there are laughs.
Friyana urges Erica to use a chair, quote ‘chairs are for sitting!’
There is a knock at the door, and it proves to be a brief distraction.
Erica explains that ribbons aren’t going to be enough to make the bags stand out from the general MSA bags.
Friyana mentions dying 300 bags will take a lot of time and her nails have just gotten back to normal after two working bees.
Ada suggests we find a solution to save time and nails.
Emily Kate suggests we rescind the motion for ribbons.
There are jokes about having a stencil below the words ‘have you pledged’ which virtually hijacks the TOES slogan.
Fabric pens, sponges and paint are discussed, as well as using paint from the Women’s Room art supplies cupboard.
Ada asks what to write.
Erica suggest writing “Monash Women’s Department”.
Ada has neat shorthand for gender studies – the female sign – which we could use, eg
[FEMALE SIGN]+“DEPT” as a stencil.
Emily Kate suggest an inappropriate (?) use of food – the potato stamp!
Erica asks if it will be cheap, and Ada and Emily Kate confirm it will be.
Ada describes the process, Emily Kate chimes in “and we’ve got soooo many knives!” – there is laughter. [It is a Department joke that somehow the Women’s kitchenette has a surplus of knives and noticeably less other cutlery, particularly teaspoons.]
Erica mentions her boyfriend has new shiny knives – which could be of use for making stamps.
Ada suggests they may be too new and shiny.
Friyana asks if there will be shelter at the O Week stall.
Emily Kate says no.
Ada askes if Emily Kate can bring her parasol. Emily Kate says yes.
Ada suggests a red velvet tablecloth.
Friyana says any fabric will do.
Uses of Survival Centre stuff as tablecloth and the possibility of spruiking the Survival Centre at the Women’s stall is entertained.
Conversation turns to the painting of cupboards doors in the Women’s Room kitchenette. Emily Kate says the most important thing is to paint the draws so people don’t walk in, reads the graffiti and think “The safer sex draw is empty? Oh, damn!”
Ada asks if the pun was intended. There is laughter. Emily Kate clarifies that it was not. WAC are amused.
Friyana asks what the official hours are for O Week and Emily Kate confirms the hours are 11am-3pm.
Final decision: there will be potato stamps created to make the O Week bags, with [women’s sigh]+dept.
Ada suggests a pumpkin rather than potatoes for size.
Emily Kate notices her laptop battery is about to die and grabs pen and paper before continuing to minute the meeting.
Erica suggests up to $15 for craft items, with a view to pumpkins and fabric pens. There is general agreement.
MOTION: That this WAC rescinds the motion passed last meeting to spend up to $15 on ribbon for O Week bags.
Moved: Emily Kate.
Votes for: unanimous (4).
Votes against: 0.
MOTION: That this WAC authorises the spending of up to $15 for craft items for decorating O Week bags with a view to purchasing root vegetables and fabric pens.
Votes for: unanimous (4).
Votes against: 0.
#5 First Week Women's Welcome
Erica details ideas for our week 1 welcome to the MSA Women’s Department: playing music by female artists in the Women’s Room, with various documents relating to feminism as discussion starters,
Erica plans to personally bake vegan goods (biscuits, cupcakes).
Emily Kate will also make cupcakes.
Ada suggests an 11am-1pm event, as a lunch, as well as having a sandwich board near the stairs to guide students to the room and also to advertise the event – there is one in the Activist Space.
There is discussion as to whether or not ‘lunch’ necessitates sandwiches, with the general agreement that it does not – students may bring their own lunch, then be treated to sweets!
Emily Kate suggests leaflets to women arriving on buses in the morning to advertise the welcome event.
#6 International Women's Day and Women's Week - Week Two
Emily Kate points out that belly dancing and self defence during this week have already been discussed, and clarifies that there will be belly dancing on International Women’s Day and a self defence workshop on the Thursday.
Emily Kate mentioned she is looking into having a speaker for International Women’s Day, such as a speaker from Amnesty International or Mahboba’s promise.
Ada suggest an Australian Indigenous speaker, to give an Indigenous point of view.
Emily Kate likes this idea.
Emily Kate adds that on Wednesday of week two there will also be our first Women’s Music Appreciation Group [WMAG] and a special Women’s Reading and Discussion Group on Tuesday.
Ada suggests having a Queer Discussion Group and explains that Melbourne Uni have “Girl Talk”.
Erica asks which day Ada would be free to host this event on.
Ada asks if there is any day lacking an event.
Emily Kate says there is Friday, but notes that Friday is fairly dead on campus, and does not want to push an event such as Queer Time to the end of the week when full participation is less likely to occur.
Ada suggests Tuesday 10.30-11.30 for a “Girl Talk” Female Queer Awareness Discussion Group.
Emily Kate agrees this would be an excellent time, if Ada feels this is
suitable for her as well.
Ada says she will talk to the women from Melbourne Uni to find out more about how they go about “Girl Talk”, and would appreciate any help.
Erica suggests using a theme to guide the discussion.
#7 Standing Orders
Emily Kate asks to postpone this item until next WAC, given that we only have four Collective members physically present. There is consensus agreement.
#8 Other Business
Emily Kate notes that she and Erica will be attending some Host Scheme camps to promote the Department and spend time speaking with first year students.
The Annex was painted on Thursday during a WAC working bee with a mauve-magenta Nippon paint called ‘velvet’.
Erica suggests on each wall a picture depicting a phase of the lunar cycle.
Emily Kate explains that the Annex was formerly painted graphically as an ode to menstruation. She notes that whilst she has no problem with the concept in general terms, her concern is that this made many women feel uncomfortable, and that for some women using the annex for rest during menstrual pain, the blotchy red paint allusion to
menstruation that used to be on the walls may be the last thing they would want to see!
She suggested that a lunar cycle, whilst maintaining a celebration of the menstrual cycle, would also be a calmer image for women seeking the annex as a place of refuge (particularly during episodes of painful menstruation) and hopefully won’t be offensive to those women who were uncomfortable with the way in which the walls were formerly
Emily Kate mentions microwavable wheat heat bags and their fundraising potential.
Ada mentions Womb Awareness Week.
Emily Kate is exciting and wonders if we could get a speaker.
Ada says Womb Awareness Week is this week.
-- HAPPY WOMB AWARENESS WEEK! --
Friyana speaks about an interview with Eve Ensler (author, The Vagina Monologues), and the gross bias and inappropriate questioning by the interviewer.
Ada asks what issue which the interviewer had.
Emily Kate suggests Friyana post a link to this interview on the Online Forum, as well as using it for a Women’s Reading and Discussion Group.
Discussion turns to having a WAC next week.
Friyana is at Caulfield on Wednesday and Thursday.
Emily Kate will be at Host Scheme camp(s) on Tuesday and/or Thursday.
Emily Kate suggests Monday, February 15th for a meeting, with a working bee to follow, focusing on painting the kitchenette drawers (and possible the cupboard doors also) as well as stencilling the O Week bags.
Ada says she will be at various other things on campus, but will be able to pop in for the meeting.
It is decided that the next WAC shall be held at 11am on the 15th of February in the Women’s Room, and a working bee shall follow for those who would like to help with painting and stencilling.
Ada jumps on to the computer to sign up to the Online Forum… huzzah!!
Erica explains she’d like a moderator for each individual forum on the MWD/CCWN online forum. The role of a moderator is to keep posting, post a thread welcome and keep discussion alive. Erica lists all forums and asks WAC to consider which they want to
Friyana asks to look after “Things To Share”.
Ada asks to look after “Safe Sex”.
Ada asks to also have a thread on female queer issues. Some names for this new forum are discussed, Erica suggesting “Sapphism” and Ada suggesting “Not Quite Straight”.
Ada comments on the sillyness of the ProBoards ads.
Emily Kate mentions that at $12 a month, we could have the Forum ad-free, thus the possibility exists if the Forum is successful, and we could ask for $144 a year from Central.
Ada suggests the “Safe Sex” forum be changed to “Safer Sex”.
Erica will do this.
Ada comments that she likes the colours of the Forum.
Emily Kate says she thinks Erica has done an amazing job on the set up.
Erica mentions that the staff policy should be read, and mentions we’ll have a ‘tutorial’ on ProBoards sometime soon. Erica begins explaining sticky and it is decided that the time has come to close the meeting.
Meeting closed at 12.51pm