Senate Recap 4/18/17

Senate started out their meeting hearing from Sindy Flemming – the director of CMIE about programming, learning opportunities, and general updates.CMIEs international student counselors and sustained dialogue programs are still going strong and they are also experimenting by adding more programs like the biweekly coffee hours. After Sindy, Senate heard from Greta Fure who gave updates on all things graduation and gradfest. A highlight includes commencement moving to the quad this year. The final speaker at Senate was President David Anderson who gave a general update and responded to questions from senators. This week senate also made a decision on how to spend Capital Improvements money this year by purchasing a new storage unit to house club sports equipment and two new sustainable waste units for campus.

Here is a link to the minutes!

Senate Recap 4/11/17

This week at Senate, members for Information Technology (IT) came to talk about all things technology at St. Olaf. We got an update from them on the DiSCO, wifi on campus, and campus technology. They are always looking for feedback – especially about possible problem spots on personal devices for wifi in order to improve the connection all over campus. After this, the Greater Than Campaign presented their ‘road show’ (giving statistics, talking about ways to help a friend through a crisis, & providing information on campus resources) and what they have been up to this past year. Senate also passed the bylaws version of the SAAB Liaison Proposal and worked on some more proposals to update bylaws and policy manuals to reflect current practices.

Here is a link to the minutes!

Senate Recap 4/4/17

Senate started their meeting by hearing from Pamela McDowell, who gave information on the upcoming room draw and updates about various residence halls. Next, senate heard from three organizations for the Donate a Meal (formally Caf Fast): SOMOS, Advocates for Refugees and Immigrants, and Blue Key Honors Society. After discussion Donate a Meal was awarded to SOMOS. Senate also passed Bylaws for the Board of Student Media and tabled a proposal for a SAAB-Senate Liaison to sit on Senate next school year.

Here is a link to the minutes!

Senate Recap 3/14/17

This week senate started their meeting hearing from students involved in TRIO the importance on campus of programs like SSS (student support services). After being able to ask questions, Senator Lebo reported on the college’s financial status and changes they are looking at making in order to be putting as much money in the endowment as possible and remain sustainable and functioning as a business. Senate discussed a resolution that will be voted on in upcoming weeks concerning student affected by the recent travel ban and other executive orders as well as bylaws changes to our own International and Multicultural senators. Finally, Senate also discussed policies to fulfill vacancies and appointments and tabled a proposal dealing with the Board of Student Media. This proposals manly deals with defining membership for BSM, creating a mission, and to establish operating procedures.

Here is a link to the minutes!

Senate Recap 3/7/16

Last night senate opened with a discussion on campus climate where senators could share input, concerns, and ask questions from their constituents concerning racial tensions, travel bans, etc. Senate is in the works of planning a town hall to address questions and concerns and allow students to anonymously submit questions and is working on drafting a statement to release to the student body. Following this discussion senate looked at a number of proposals updating the bylaws. One of these proposals updates procedure when senate has a vacancy and proposals were tabled to update bylaws and policy manuals for both Student Government Initiatives – It’s On Us and Greater Than.

Here is a link to the minutes!

Senate Recap 2/28/17

This week Senate heard from Pastor Matt & Katie about ways that they are looking to support students of all backgrounds. They love helping out anyway they can and are always available for appointments in their office. Next Senator Awad shared information on the February BORSC report to the regents. BORSC presented on peer to peer resources and the regents were interested to hear about the use of comfort pets, the high demand for counseling services, and all the ways students are helping their peers. Many proposals were passed in order to change SGA bylaws and policy manual to better reflect current practices.

Here is a link to the minutes!

Senate Recap: 12/6/16

This week at Senate we first heard from Randy Clay and from Amanda, a Bon App Fellow! The discussion centered around dinning culture at St. Olaf and what we can do to make it more sustainable. Senate heard from the Pause on an update on their financial system. We also discussed possible changes to the online student directory with Pamela McDowell that could include either removing or making it an opt-in system for dorms and room numbers. Finally, members from SAAB, the Student Athletic Advisory Board, had been meeting with Senate Investigators and Internal Affairs over the fall semester. Last night, Senate got to hear from them on issues of communication and representation of athletes in Student Government.

If you’ve got something you’d like Senate to talk about, let us know!

The meeting’s minutes can be found here.

Senate Recap: 10/11/16

Senate this week started with a discussion surrounding Pause Dances and general safety on campus as is related to alcohol consumption. A concerned Pause Tech worker brought forth the presentation and data to start a conversation on how we as students can work to make pause dances as safe as possible for students attending. Next, senate moved on the pass a number of proposals from the previous week mostly pertaining to the SGA budget for the 2016-2017 school year. Finally, a proposal was brought forth that would encourage the curriculum committee to evaluate the possibility of granting Club Sport athletes a SPM credit. This was tabled for further discussion so that Senators could gather more data and brainstorm ways to address concerns before voting on the proposal.

If you’ve got something you’d like Senate to talk about, let us know!

The meeting’s minutes can be found here.

Senate Recap: April 26th

This past Tuesday (4/26/16), the senate first heard from Senator Andrew Parr (the Curriculum Committee Senator) about the process of how a course proposal becomes a course. Parr emphasized the several, deliberate steps that a course proposal must pass through: from an initial idea, to a written proposal, to a theoretical review by the department chair and/or faculty dean, to approval by the curriculum committee at-large, and ultimately, to the approval of the full faculty. Parr also noted that the attachment of a GE onto a course can make for an especially contentious discussion. Next, the senate approved capital improvements funding for OSA Office Renovations (specifically for a student lounge area) as well as for a tiller for St. Olaf’s STOGrow club! After this, the senate discussed a proposal to remove The Quarry from the Board of Student Media (currently composed of KSTO, The Mess, and The Quarry). This was contentious as, though The Quarry opposes this change, some senators held that it would actually allow The Quarry to expand financially (through SOC funding) and would make them more consistent with the funding situations for other organizations. Other senators claimed that The Quarry is better served as a constituent part of the Board of Student Media given that The Quarry relies on stipends for funding. This proposal will be voted on next Tuesday!

If you’ve got something you’d like Senate to talk about, let us know!

The meeting’s minutes can be found here.

Senate Recap: April 19th

This Tuesday (4/19/16), the senate began the meeting with an update from Greta Fure, who outlined details for the Senior Grad Fest and Commencement activities. For Commencement, one cool activity will be a progressive dinner throughout Buntrock Commons, which each serving station themed on a different decade! Next, the senate heard from Mary Ellen Couture, a representative from USA Today. She discussed features of the Collegiate Readership program, emphasizing its eco-friendly and pay on consumption model. She noted that St. Olaf students have taken the following numbers of newspapers this year:

Star Tribune: 10,865 (85 per day)

New York Times: 10,540 (83 per day)

USA Today: 5,835 (46 per day)

…Next, the senate passed an exciting Bylaws Amendment that will move forward in establishing the new position of Gender and Sexuality Senator! While the senate passed this unanimously, the amendment will be voted on by students as well before being passed through. After this, the senate discussed a letter written to faculty members by members of the Greater Than campaign. The letter will urge faculty members to receive mental health training, so as to better support students living with mental illness. Finally, the senate discussed many bylaws, including one that would mandate senators to help serve on SGA Initiatives (Greater Than and It’s On Us), one that would make SOC more flexible in funding individuals attending conferences, and one that would spend Capital Improvements funds on equipment for StoGrow and on the Office of Student Activities renovation.

If you’ve got something you’d like Senate to talk about, let us know!

The meeting’s minutes can be found here.