This Sunday’s meeting has a brief summary:

Provost Marty Krauss mentioned possible Gerstenzang Library cuts, according to a report by Adam Ross, Chair of the Provost’s Advisory Committee. Ross recently spoke to Krauss about her goals for the CARS committee. Jenna Rubin, chair of the Dining Services Committee, also spoke, mentioning plans to purchase a 24-hour kosher vending machine.

Directly after President Jason Gray encouraged the Senate to embrace transparency since senators demand the same from the administration, the Senate voted 9-10 in favor of an executive session, which requires all press and non-senator observers to leave the room until the session is over. It was implied that impeachment charges were discussed during this session.

Outside of this private session, new senators were sworn in, the Senate recognized/chartered a few clubs, and individual senators gave their Senate reports for the week. Details after the cut.

1. Committee Chair Reports

Provost Marty Krauss mentioned possible Gerstenzang Library cuts, according to a report by Adam Ross from the Chair of the Provost’s Advisory Committee. Ross recently spoke to Krauss about her goals for the CARS committee.

Krauss claimed the science library might be reorganized to add classrooms to the lower floor while the main floor continues to store books, according to Ross. Ross also said the registrar claims the new science building will alleviate part but not all of the science department’s needed classroom space.

Ross said that the faculty is “very enthusiastic” and willing to put forth solutions for academic restructuring, though lukewarm towards the optional third semester term. Skeptical faculty are concerned with how their breaks from teaching for research will be spaced, according to Ross.

Krauss also said that scholarship sizes will be maintained and that the next incoming midyear pool might be increased to deal with new housing shifts, according to Ross. Increasing the number of midyears might help solve the housing problem if some first years decide to shave off their first semester once the voluntary summer session is put into place.

Ross said that in an effort to encourage transparency, he will increase the Provost’s Advisory Committee ‘s meetings with Krauss to twice a month.

Jenna Rubin, coordinator of the Dining Services Committee, also spoke, mentioning plans to purchase a 24-hour kosher vending machine. Rubin said that the committee aims to improve the dining service website to include information that isn’t easily available to most students, such as reasons for allowing only certain items in meal purchases.

2. Executive Reports

New Director of Community Advocacy Andy Hogan said that he and the Department of Public Safety are looking at opportunities for fire safety outreach, in light of the twelve students who were fined for fire code violations after winter break. Hogan said that he “doesn’t know what’s next”, but wants to hold another fund-raising dinner in the future.

President Jason Gray talked to senators about their constituents’ perception of the budget crisis. Gray, Senator for Massell Quad Nipun Marwaha, and Senators for the Class of 2012 Supreetha Gubbala and Akash Vadalia determined that an outreach program geared toward first-years might help them feel more informed, since many first-years don’t know what to do other than sit and watch.

During his report, Gray also spoke about internal Senate affairs.

“I feel really uneasy in this room for the first time this semester,” Gray began, before revealing that some senators have made impeachment charges against others during recent weeks.

Gray encouraged Senate members to openly discuss internal issues, especially when Senate members demand transparency from the administration.

“Everything should be public,” said Gray. “Be sure [you’re able to] stick by what you’re saying.”

3. Executive Session

Directly after President Jason Gray encouraged the Senate to embrace transparency, the Senate voted 9-10 in favor of an executive session, which requires all press and non-senator observers to leave the room until the session is over. I was unable to record who voted for and against the motion.

4. Other Points of Interest

Senator for Ridgewood Quad Aaron Finegold, Senator for Village Quad Avi Rhodes, and Associate Justice of the Union Judiciary Matthew Kriegsman, all recently elected through special elections last week, were sworn into their respective roles.

Sarah Enan, previously the senator for East Quad, has officially resigned. Dates for a special election are to be determined.

Clubs recognized for this meeting include a Danzan Ryu Jujitsu organization and Project Noor, while Students Organized Against Racism were granted a charter.

The Senate passed Executive Senator Andrew Brooks’ bill to disallow candidates in Union elections from establishing their own mobile voting stations while requiring the elections commission to set up neutral electronic voting locations, which will encourage students to vote.

Senator for Castle Quad Nathan Robinson said the ‘DeisBikes program now owns nine bikes. The program has recently selected two mechanics and plans to open the rental service in late March, according to Senator for Charles River Chenchao Lu.

5. Things you can do

  • Rubin said she has a meeting on Thursday with Dining Services administrators. If you have anything you’d like to ask them, send your questions to either Rubin or your Senator.
  • Attend Thursday’s town hall on academic restructuring in Upper Sherman from 4:30 to 6:30.

I missed the last Senate meeting due to an unfortunate time change. If you’d like to catch up, read last week’s Senate Log for The Justice.

One comment on “Student Senate in a Nutshell”

  1. Alan Royals Says:

    http://thehoot.net/articles/5391