The Student Representative Committee of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University
Bloomington convened its meeting via Zoom at 7:00pm on 9 April 2020.
Members Present: Leigha Amick, Andrew Downs, Zach Finnegan, Paulina Francisco, Elliott
Fus, Caroline Goodwin, Morgan Jankowski, Lauren Jewell, Jeff Ozarczuk, Caleb Posey, Nicha
Stapanukul, Timothy Stephenson, Emily Truell, Paula Wilson
Caroline Goodwin thanked everyone for being present at the meeting and began the meeting by
introducing the members that had not been present at previous meetings. Morgan Jankowski,
Caleb Posey, and Timothy Stephenson were introduced.
2. Co-Chair Business
Caroline gave a summary of a few important points of discussion from the previous three School
of Music Council Meetings. She informed the Student Representative Committee (SRC) that the
Council has been discussing issues regarding COVID-19. More specifically, the issue of tuition
refunds is a campus-level decision; Jacobs does not get to make those decisions. The Council
also has no information yet about whether Fall 2020 classes will be online-only. She also shared
that the council recently voted on an amendment to student organization recital policy, now
allowing up to twenty performers instead of only thirteen. The Council also voted to split the
Opera and Ballet Committee into two separate committees. Nicha Stapanukul added that there
had been a number of votes in Council meetings regarding language changes, but that these
were of little or no consequence to students.
Caroline provided an update about the process of making the SRC official. She said that she and
Nicha had met with the Agenda Committee the week before to work on Council bylaws edits
that would incorporate the SRC. She confirmed that these bylaws edits were now being reviewed
by Dean Lissa May, and that if Dean May approved of them they would be converted into a
comment period document (CPD) for the School of Music Council to vote on. She said she was
unsure whether this process would be completed by the end of the year, but that the SRC would
continue to function as best it could regardless.
Next, Caroline brought up the task of nominating students to serve on the School of Music
Council and be the co-chairs of the SRC next year. She provided a brief description of the duties
of these positions and informed the present members that she and Nicha would be taking
nominations for these positions. Caroline and Nicha would then take any nominations to the
Graduate and Undergraduate offices to be vetted, and then choose the two representatives, one
undergraduate and one graduate, based on availability. This would follow the same procedure
that the Secretary of the Council has used in past years.
When Caroline opened this up for comments, Leigha Amick brought up the idea of having the
SRC also nominate students to serve on other Committees which have designated student
representative positions, such as the PCC. Caroline responded that while there is no formal
language about that in the edits she has proposed, it is likely that those student representatives
for other committees will be chosen from students serving on the SRC. She said she discussed
this with Dr. Sherri Bishop and hoped to discuss this with Dean Lissa May. She said that adding
specific language is an option, but would make the structure of the SRC more complicated.
Leigha responded that she wanted to be clear about the level of student involvement in selective
student representatives on committees. She said that from her understanding, the current PCC
student representatives were voted on by the faculty on the PCC. Andrew Downs then joined
the discussion, adding that faculty nominated student representatives for the PCC. Leigha
reiterated her point about wanting more student representation. Caroline stated that she could
talk to Dean May about adding language about committee representative nominations to the
bylaws. She also floated the idea of having Andrew and Leigha recommend names for next year
to the faculty on the PCC. Andrew and Leigha discussed whether having a PCC representative
be required to be vetted through the SRC was appropriate, and wondered whether a “popularity
contest” might ensue. Paulina Francisco added that she agreed with this concern and that she
thought there should be a way for student representatives on all committees and the council to
meet together. Caroline clarified that in the bylaws edits she has made, student representatives on
all Jacobs committees and the Council will be members of the SRC. Jeff Ozarczuk then asked if
the idea of the SRC was to create an election process for Council representatives and establish
better student representation. Caroline clarified that the Council representatives are as of now
being nominated and not elected, but that could change. She also said that her original vision for
the SRC was as more of a “sounding board” for the Council representatives, but that she is also
concerned with promoting student representation wherever possible. Paula Wilson disused the
option of having members of the SRC mass email the students in their departments to ask about
general interest in serving on the Council. This could be a way to avoid the “popularity contest.”
Caroline supported this idea and invited members who can send out an email to do so.
Caroline moved on to her ideas on how the other members of the SRC will be determined. She
shared that she has written the bylaws in such a way that members will have a minimum one year
term, but are eligible to continue serving until they graduate. She then asked if anyone present
would be interested in continuing to serve next year. Andrew Downs, Paulina Francisco, Morgan
Jankowski, Lauren Jewell, Jeff Ozarczuk, Nicha Stapanukul, and Paula Wilson expressed interest.
Paulina then asked if it was a requirement for Council student representatives to have served on
the SRC. Caroline said that was not the case, and Paulina expressed her concern about the power
dynamics of having the two Council representatives be completely new while there are
longer-standing members on the SRC. Nicha said that new Council reps would have access to
minutes from previous SRC meetings to study. Leigha agreed that Council representatives should
be former SRC members when possible, but said this might work better as a de facto practice
than strict written policy. Caroline then added that next year’s SRC co-chairs would be
responsible for making sure that any empty seats are filled by asking for nominations from
former SRC members and department chairs. Paula Wilson asked when the Council
representatives would have to be picked, and Caroline said she is trying to change this in her
bylaws edits from September 15th to the end of the academic year. Nicha then stated that it
would then not be possible for incoming students to serve on the Council. Andrew said that
incoming students are not usually picked anyway. Caroline said it would be possible to make the
deadline flexible to account for any situations where nominees cannot be chosen until the fall.
3. Jacobs Committee Representative Report
Caroline invited Tim Stephenson to speak about the Administrative Review Committee for Dean
Lissa May, on which he served. Tim said the Committee determined that Dean May would be
reinstated. Tim also shared that Dean May is working on having two counselors, one male and
one female, present in Jacobs. He also affirmed that there is an official Diversity and Equity
position being added to the Jacobs administration. A person has been hired to fill this position
and will share time with the Eskinazi School of Art, Architecture, and Design.
Caroline then invited Andrew and Leigha to speak about the Performance Coordinating
Committee, on which they served. Andrew shared that policy has been changed in order to allow
student organizations to book more time in Jacobs spaces. Andrew also said the PCC has passed
policy cutting back on the time external organizations outside of Jacobs can reserve in Jacobs
spaces. Leigha clarified that these outside organizations could be, for example, symphonies or
opera companies that are holding auditions for festivals or employment. Caroline expressed her
concern about opportunities being taken away from students. Leigha asserted, with Andrew’s
support, that her impression was that the intention of this policy was not to restrict
opportunities, but to create clearer guidelines about how external organizations can reserve
Jacobs spaces in order to prioritize student use of Jacobs spaces.
4. Members’ Business
Caroline opened up the meeting to general discussion and member’s business. Jeff praised the
school’s proactive response to the evolving pandemic situation, especially the excellent
communication, honesty, and transparency.
Nicha asked the body what they think about the current online instruction. Morgan Jankowski
said ballet has been a challenge to learn online, but she is inspired by the way technology is
keeping the art alive. Paulina added that she has read research that suggests online instruction
should be formatted very differently from in-person instruction. She feels that some instructors
are assigning more work even though it takes more time to get through material online than in
person. She feels that she is spending more time on schoolwork than she would if classes were in
person. Caroline agreed. Andrew Downs feels that the major ensembles are not being consistent
about the move to online instruction and how much/what kind of work is assigned. Leigha
agreed with this. Nicha defended instructors by saying they are still learning about and
experimenting with converting classes to an online format.
Emily Truell asked whether there has been any decision made by the administration regarding
whether fall classes will be online. Caroline and Nicha said that Dean Richards reported in the
council meeting that the campus administration is working on several possible scenarios for the
fall, but no decision has been arrived at yet.
Paulina asked whether Dean Richards’s retirement would be affected by the pandemic. Caroline
and Nicha reported that in the last Council meeting, Dean Richards had said he was still planning
to retire at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year, and that talks were ongoing with Provost
Lauren Rovel about finding a replacement. Tim added that this would be a long process, and that
there will be an interim dean next year.
Andrew brought up concerns about how planned recitals are being handled. Andrew felt that the
administration is brushing off the recitals of students who are supposed to graduate this spring.
Andrew felt that the alternatives offered to a specific conducting student were not adequate or
flexible. Jeff added that as a fellow orchestral conductor, he agrees that orchestral conducting
recitals are especially difficult to accommodate in this situation. However, Jeff added that the
administration likely doesn’t have the time or resources to deal with individual cases at this point.
Andrew stated that he knows this to be true but that he feels the administration is not being
considerate of the conducting studios. Jeff added that studio teachers have a say in what can
count for a recital. Caroline joined the conversation to say that the administration has
communicated that students will not be penalized or held back for being unable to complete
recitals. Paulina made the point that some international students are being benefited by the
alternatives to in-person recitals, because they no longer have to travel back to Bloomington.
Caroline asked for final questions and comments, and hearing none, adjourned the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:08 pm.
Written by Caroline Goodwin, Co-Chair of the Student Representative Committee and
Undergraduate Representative on the Jacobs School of Music Council.