In the Senate 1/26

January 31, 2020

The Senate passed a resolution proposed by Executive Senator Scott Halper ’20 which moved the selection of committee chairs to after the conclusion of the election cycle. Halper said the intention was to allow newly elected senators to become committee chairs. The resolution was voted on by affirmation and passed unanimously.

Vice President Kendal Chapman ’22 announced that since no one had run to be Senator for the Ziv/Ridgewood Quad, or Senator for the Class of 2021, those seats would become community senator seats, for which anyone could run in a future election.

The Senate considered but did not vote on a resolution which would define a quorum as more than 50 percent of the voting body present. Chapman said the intention was to avoid repeating a past incident when the Senate was mistaken about the result of one of its votes. Several senators objected, raising concerns about the threshold being too low. The Senate ultimately decided to discuss the amendment further in committee and return to it at their next meeting.

The final resolution the Senate considered was a Senate Money Resolution (SMR) which would provide funding for snacks for Senate meetings. Chapman said the intention of this was to increase public attendance at Senate meetings. Some senators raised concerns about whether the bill, which allocates just under $50, would provide enough snacks for the Senate for the semester. Chapman responded to this criticism by saying that this was a snack, not a meal, and that snacks would be rationed so that they would not run out. There was some debate about whether the selections of assorted chocolates could be replaced with M&Ms, however this was decided against for price reasons. Concerns about airborne nut allergies lead to the chocolates, some of which had nuts in them, being replaced with Hershey’s Kisses. The resolution was voted for acclamation, and passed unanimously, though Senator for the Foster Mods Quad Trevor Filseth ’20 was out of the room at the time.

Halper acknowledged that he remains in charge of the Rules Committee, despite saying that he would step down from that position during his campaign for Executive Senator. He said he would retain the position until someone else replaced him.

The Senate discussed a proposal which Chapman said had already been approved by the Department of Student Life and the Dean’s Office which would enter students into a raffle to win $50 each week if they registered their parties. According to Chapman, this was a policy which had existed in the past, but which is not currently in operation. The stated intention was to make sure parties are registered. Several senators raised the possibility that this money could be used to fund the purchase of alcohol, and suggested that it be ensured that this does not happen. The possibility of the university compensating students after the party when presented with a receipt was raised, so as to avoid the money being directly used on alcohol.

Chapman said that she was in talks with the Executive Board about getting additional calendar days off, including the Lunar New Year.

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