I. Executive Reports
Although President Mellie Mesfin was unable to attend the meeting, Speaker of the House Miles Middleton shared her current plans on working with the Women’s Center for National Women in Sports Day.
Treasurer Andrew Wilson shared that the Student Budget Advisory Committee (SBAC) budgeting cycle is still in progress and that the first allocations may be sent out by March.
Secretary Laura Horton reported on her meeting about the Safer Sex Express initiative and explained that a campus wide survey will be sent out April 1.
Staff Advisor Tim Wilkinson encouraged individuals to complete applications for the Student Trustee position, which are due Feb. 10.
II. New Business
The senators debated and passed three bills and one resolution.
The first bill was related to election campaigning and prohibited the creation of a GroupMe or any other messaging system for the explicit purpose of campaigning. It passed with a strong majority.
As the Senate occasionally has the need to appoint senators to fill vacant positions left by senators studying abroad or taking the semester off for some other reason, the second bill involved the pending confirmation of the seven new senators, which passed with a clear majority.
The third bill pertained to the executive position of treasurer. Previously, there were no restrictions on who could apply or run for the position, but this bill stated that a candidate for the position must have at least one year of experience on SBAC or acquire a three-fourths majority vote of the Elections Committee with the consultation of an advisor in the advisor of SBAC in order to run.
The proponents of the bill argued that SBAC experience was necessary to be able to effectively operate as the treasurer and that the skills needed for the position were gained through SBAC.
There were some concerns, including deterring more individuals from applying for the treasurer position as a result of the experience requirement; nonetheless, the bill also passed.
The resolution that was passed was in regards to a co-sponsorship with Student Union and a couple of other organizations to financially support bringing Carli Lloyd, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in women’s soccer, to campus for a speaker event. The bill requested a $500 financial commitment and it was passed.
III. Committee Reports
To celebrate Major Declaration Week, the Academic Committee had a whiteboard outside the Pit from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday and Friday for students who have recently declared to write their major as a fun way to see the diversity of interests on campus.
The Judiciary Committee discussed how they would like to split the responsibilities of the Campus Life Committee with the Public Relations Committee. The Public Relations Committee reported that the online streaming of Senate meetings on the Student Government Instagram has been successful.
The Physical Planning Committee discussed their plan to investigate the recycling initiatives of the university and to research ways to improve recycling. They also shared that they have emailed Facilities and Campus Services about the lack of hot water in freshman and quad dorms.