This week’s Student Senate meeting marked the second meeting for the eight newly elected Senators. The meeting started off with an announcement from Senate Advisor Carl Stiles encouraging older Senators who are currently transitioning out of leadership positions to speak about it with their respective committees in order to prepare their transition materials.
Next in the meeting came the reports of the standing committees. The Student Organization Committee Chair Johnson reported a successful last meeting with the club presidents.
Following that was the report from the Academic Affairs Committee. Chair Peckham began with words of encouragement to the Senate.
“I know this is really kind of the hardest part of the semester,” Peckham said. “So I just wanted to say I believe in you guys.”
She followed it up with a promotion for the Academics Committee and urged any member of the Senate to ask her about the committee. Their meetings were on Thursdays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., however, they will be choosing a new meeting time for next semester. The committee is looking to appoint an interim mental health liaison who can meet with the Counseling Center. The position must be held by a member of the Academic Affairs Committee.
Next was the report from the External Affairs Committee. Chair Hoover reported that there was not much to report for External Affairs but did note that there would be a bill going on the floor at next week’s meeting. He noted that anyone looking to work on the External Affairs Committee should reach out directly to him or other members of the Committee.
Director Bose reminded Senators who are part of a club or who are on the e-board of a club to get any event papers into the accounting office in advance.
“The accounting office is very overwhelmed right now with questions and paperwork and everything,” Bose said.
He mentions that many clubs are having to have their events turned down because they did not get their paperwork in far enough in advance.
The Student Organizations Committee sponsored a new bill that called for the revision of the Student Senate Model Organization Constitution. Chair Johnson spoke about the bill and how when clubs first apply, there are many terms and agreements that they must first accept before being able to become clubs. Many clubs forget about this, and once they have been clubs for a long time, forget that there are certain ways that they have to go about things. He proposed that there should be a formal model designed by the Senate that outlines what the constitutions for each club should generally look like.
“When all clubs have the same questions about the same things, now there’s going to be an answer to it,” he said.
Chair Johnson asked the Senate to read the model constitution and reach out to him with any issues or corrections that they would like to change or rework. The bill will be voted on at the next Senate meeting.
Stiles mentioned that the Rhode Island Secretary of State asked for assistance in getting college students registered to vote. He has reached out to the External and Campus Affairs Chairs to see what they can do.
“It helps with a variety of federal funding issues that support not only the students in general but also the University,” Stiles said.
Speaker Chadronet finished off the meeting with a presentation for new members of the Senate. The presentation went over the rules of the General Assembly meetings, the agenda, different parts of legislation, germaneness and ended off with some pieces of advice for the new Senators.
The next Student Senate meeting will take place on Dec. 6.