Senate Suspends Financial Handbook for Cable Request

Allie Brennhofer

The Cable newspaper asked Student Senate to suspend the Financial Handbook in order to use funds previously allocated for printing costs next semester to instead pay the staff of the paper. This was a one time request in order to keep the newspaper functional until new structure changes can be implemented.

The Cable’s budget was reduced to cover only printing costs when the Student Service Fee Allocation Committee stipulated, according the updated financial handbook, clubs and organizations (excluding Senate) can not request stipends to pay student staff members.

Vice President Monica Boyer read aloud a petition created by the Cable leadership, which asked for support on the claim, “Please sign this petition if you agree that the College of St. Scholastica needs a functioning student news source and that its employees should be fairly compensated for their work.”

Boyer then listed emails sent by Senate to Cable and it was stated that no responses were received.

President Jason Chavez stated that there were numerous meetings held with Vice President of Student Affairs Steve Lyons on how to navigate the situation.

Student Activities Director Jordon Moses spoke to Senate concerning updates to the Cable’s financial structure. Student Activities will take the Cable under their domain next school year, which will remove student pay from student service fee allocations.

“The Cable has been a student group that has relied on sort of semester by semester funding and a lot of question marks. And so I said, with this shift, maybe there’s a home in Student Activities,” Moses said.

He then described the thought process behind the Cable asking to use the allocated money to pay students next semester as an aid in the transition period.

Senate’s coordinating board, consisting of the executives and chairs of Senate, met prior to the Senate meeting and voted on approving this motion.

At the meeting, Senate voted to suspend the financial handbook, which passed 24-2-1. The vote to allow the Cable to reallocate their funding also passed with a 24-2-1 vote.

Senate also revised and approved a statement concerning Senate’s position on making class course evaluations public. There was some debate over the line, “Make most comments on the evaluations public unless offensive and rude comments are made.” Some senators thought this would be tricky to determine what would be offensive. It was changed to, “No comments, personal comments, or names will be taken.” A few minor changes were made, and Senate voted to make the document public with a vote of 27-0-0.

Earlier in the meeting, Allison Champeaux, the director of the Office of International Programs, spoke to Senate about the importance of having international students attend the College of St. Scholastica and the importance of having CSS students study abroad and gain experience in other cultures. She reported that both numbers for international students and CSS students studying abroad are low. This year, there are 78 international students from 38 different countries attending Saint Scholastica, and 180 students studied abroad in the 2017-2018 school year. She also discussed the difficulty many students face in being able to afford to study abroad, which is a barrier for many.

Queer Straight Alliance requested $1,388 to attend the Midwest Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Ally College Conference. This passed with a vote of 23-4-0.

Two other clubs requested money as well, United for Africa and International Club, but both requests were tabled because the events are scheduled for next semester, and Senate felt it was unfair to allocate this semester’s money to events happening next semester.

The General Fund is now at $1,006.33.