Senate Tackles Changes and Requests

Allie Brennhofer

The second Student Senate meeting of the semester convened Sunday, September 24. It was the first meeting that freshmen senators attended. This was the first meeting covered by The Cable. Some key components old-timers might be familiar with are now gone, such as the Finance Committee and the old Financial Handbook, which were covered at the previous meeting in more detail.

The Finance Committee is no more. Instead, the Financial Vice President Andrew Bailey takes on much of the financial issues and questions Senate has. That includes the unveiling of the new Financial Handbook. For those unaware, every request that Senate receives from clubs or organizations must meet the Handbook’s regulations.

“It [the Handbook] hasn’t been updated since 2014. And a lot has changed since then. So, there are some much needed updates,” FVP Bailey said.

FVP Bailey went on to list some of the changes made to the Handbook, such as requiring club leaders attend an Organizational Review Board meeting (as opposed to the former Roundtable meetings), clubs that request over $500 from Senate must have a treasurer, and getting rid of the Endeavor Fund. The Endeavor Fund used to be $25,000 set aside from the General Fund for students to propose requests to better the school in some way. A former project includes putting in a water bottle filter station in the library.

“So that club leaders really know what they’re doing with their finances and that there is somebody who is looking over those clubs. Because we don’t want clubs to go into debt,” FVP Bailey said, adding onto the new treasurer rule.

Earlier in the meeting, President Jason Chavez proposed a ten-minute colloqui to discuss possible new positions in Senate. They would be a Somers senator, an Apartment senator, and a student athlete senator. The goal of these positions is to open up communication between those three student populations and Senate. The colloqui was to discuss if Senate even needed these positions and, if so, what the positions would look like. The options ranged from full senators with voting rights to more of a liaison position where the students would attend as needed.

President Chavez has already been in contact with ResLife and athletic coordinators. It sounded as if senators were in favor of the Somers and apartment liaisons to be RAs and the student athlete to be from the Student Athlete Advisory Committee or SAAC.

When President Chavez opened the meeting, he greeted the incoming freshmen senators.

“We are the advocates for the student body. So if there are any problems or concerns, it comes to us and then we have the responsibility to advocate on behalf of the student body… Just always keep that in mind. People are going to praise us, congratulate us, and we’re going to get blamed for a lot of things but we cannot let that stop us because we have to keep going and we have to represent the whole student body,” President Chavez said.

Andrea Chartier, from Career Services, spoke at the meeting. She wished to have Senate help spread the word about the new software Handshake, a website students can use to connect with potential employers and internships.

The meeting saw eight financial requests from six clubs, ranging from $50 to $3,740. Each request was granted in its entirety and each request was to Handbook’s standards.

The largest request, $3,740, came from Hockey Club. It’s important to note that there is a difference between Hockey Club and Women’s Club Hockey. Women’s Club Hockey is an established club on campus, as an alternative to the school sport hockey team. The requester, Alex, said he was inspired to create a Hockey Club when he tried to join Women’s Club Hockey and was told he could practice with them but not compete in games, because they were already in a league.

Senate listened to the request before voting on it, ending with a 17-4-5 vote. These numbers mean 17 senators voted yes, 4 voted no, and 5 voted present. The last option is geared towards senators who might have a conflict of interest over the club or the club’s request.

  • Otakus Anon Anime Club
    $1,000 for additional funding for annual Anime Detour trip, as more members joined the club
  • Student Senate
    $400 for the breakfast provided to students during finals week
  • Justice Together
    $50 for fundraising
  • Justice Together
    $156 for club bonding
  • International Club
    $300 for various food costs, prizes, and funding for programs held
  • Latinx Student Union
    $50 for fundraising
  • Latinx Student Union
    $195 for club bonding
  • Men’s Hockey Club
    $3,740 for ice time