Student Senate in a Nutshell: A Smattering of SMRs

1. Changing Members, New Bylaw

Before Jason Gray’ announced his decision not to run for president next term, he swore newly elected East Quad senator Jenna Rubin ’11 and North Quad senator Alex Norris ’11 into office.

Senator for the Transitional Year Program, Terrence Johnson, is withdrawing from Brandeis University since he has recieved a full scholarship from Clark Atlanta University.

“My leadership skills have grown… it has been a great honor,” said Johnson of his experience in the Senate. Johnson worked with COWGEE, the Social Justice Committee, and DFA. “This is something that will impact my life.”

Giselle Casillas, a prominent member of the Pluralism Alliance, was confirmed as the non-senate chair of the Diversity Committee.

Andrew Brooks introduced a bylaw requiring the Chief of Elections to provide due notification to students for each election, in response to the belated press for the recent emergency election for North and East Quads.

2. Club stuff

The Academic Leadership Alliance was provisionally recognized after a brief debate over whether or not they had a duality of purpose.

The Senate also debated circumstances surrounding a standard procedure for dechartering inactive clubs.  This semester, clubs were added to the dechartering list due to failure to answer Senator for the Class of 2009 Sung Lo Yoon’s e-mail asking why their club did not need funds this semester.

“They didn’t respond to my fucking e-mail,” Yoon said, describing his decision to add the Turkish Student Association and other otherwise active clubs to the list of clubs to be dechartered. “Sorry for swearing, I’m tired.”

Throughout the debate, several senators said clubs can be re-chartered easily. Senator for Castle Quad Nathan Robinson expressed concern that certain clubs, who are active but have not responded to Yoon’s e-mails, will be de-chartered without their imput.

The motions surrounding this vote were indecipherable: Senators couldn’t determine whether they were voting for moving the previous question or actually moving the previous question or suspending the rules to de-charter all clubs at once or blah blah blah. The motion was tabled due to disagreement and, presumably, confusion.

3. SMRs

Four Senate Money Resolutions were significantly discussed this meeting, and three were passed:

A. A SMR granted $141.50 toward 1500 door hangers indented to inform undergraduate students about methods to increase their involvement with the Student Union. This was an Emergency SMR.

B. A SMR granted $205 toward food for a “Meet the Senators ‘DeisBikes Launch Event”. This was an Emergency SMR.

C. A SMR granted $136 toward a lockbox intended to store helmets for the ‘DeisBikes program. Senator for Village Quad Andrew Rhodes’s attempt to add $5 to the SMR failed. This was an Emergency SMR.

D.  Senator for the Class of 2010 Amanda Hecker proposed an SMR which would grant $720 toward a 5K Charity Run co-sponsored by the Student Union, Waltham Group, and the Running Club.  Hecker said each participant will pay two dollars, and the money will go to about three charities. Hecker said Waltham Group needed this money immediately. Several senators expressed their concern with the similarity of the event to the now unconstitutional Ayers/King SMR: Hecker is speaking alone for a club she was involved in before joining Senate, and she attempted to network through clubs and the Union since F-Board did not grant Waltham Group enough money for this event.  The Senate voted against giving the SMR Emergency status, before it was tabled until next meeting. Straw polls taken to measure the future vote were mostly undecided.

4. Reports

Treasurer Max Wallach said the $900 from the Ayers-King SMR is back in the discresionary account.

Director of Community Advocacy Andy Hogan says he’s working on the take your professor to lunch program, which will happen after break. He also said the improved cellphone reception in lower Usdan is “going to happen”, and that “the guy said sometime next week”. Hogan is also planning an outreach for disconnected freshmen in Polaris, to get freshmen’s voices heard.

Senator for the Class of 2012 Akash Vadalia reported that the Midnight Buffet should cost $3308.01.


11 thoughts on “Student Senate in a Nutshell: A Smattering of SMRs”

  1. Its ridiculous to me that the fact that another prominent club is working on the event makes this a deterrent for some Senators in voting for it. That’s what makes this all the more appealing!

  2. Eric, good to know, but it was Amanda who overstated Waltham Group’s involvement. I don’t know anything about Amanda’s history with this project except for the information she gave at the Senate meeting, and this post is just relays what senators say. If I follow up on this SMR in the future, I’ll definitely look into your critique of her statements.

  3. I think the reporting on this meeting dramatically overstates Waltham group’s involvement with the event Amanda is planning. As far as I know, their role was pretty marginal. She approached them a long time ago, but I don’t think anything got off the ground. They certainly didn’t need any money immediately — that may have been a reference to Student Events needing confirmation before listing the 5K in their Bronstein Week advertisting.

    Also, she wasn’t speaking for a club — though she did consider starting a club to organize the event (I was at the Club Support meeting when she attended). It was always a personal project of hers, and I know her intention when running for Senate was to plan it as a Union project.

  4. More importantly… NO MORE TERRENCE?! NO MORE JASON?!

    My interest in the Student Union has significantly dropped. I am on the verge of the “utterly disinterested” level.

  5. I’m going to hope that the Union overlooks the insanity of the UJ decision long enough to vote in favor of the SMR for the 5k Charity Run… though I would really like to know which “about three” charities they plan on supporting. Still, it would take a room full of idiots to withhold money from a charity event.

    I suppose we’ll soon find out what that room is full of.

  6. I wasn’t at the meeting tonight due to personal emergency.

    However, based on what I know about 5k charity run SMR, I plan to vote for it. Two reasons:
    1) It looks like a good event.
    2) The UJ ruling set a BS precedent and the Senate needs to show that it still cares more about the needs of student body rather than objective interpretations of the bylaws.

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