At the last senate meeting of the year Senators had a short meeting before celebrating the year with a banquet and awards ceremony. Before concluding the year in Senate there were a few presentations given. This included hearing from SOC on their financials compared to last year, the Quarry, Mess, and KSTO about their proposed budgets, and the President-elect and Vice President-elect on the projected SGA budget next year. Senators also reviewed and passed a DCC bylaws/policy manual proposal. Finally Senators gave updates on their subcommittees throughout the year and recommendations for the subcommittees next year.
This week Senate started out discussing the movement on campus from the weekend prior, lead by The Collective for Change on The Hill. Senate discussed the statement that was given in support of the movement and ultimately voted in favor of support for this statement. Discussion also took place about steps Senate could take – particularly in regards to sustained dialogue moderator training. Senate ended the meeting by passing many bylaws, policy manual, and constitutional proposals. These includes changes to senate rules, voting, grammatical changes, etc.
Senate heard from Northfield mayor Rhonda Pownell who gave an update on the state of the city and informed senate of various projects happening around Northfield. Next students Don Williams, Krysta Wentzel, and Juan Romo attended to meeting for a conversation about campus climate regarding race relations. Senate discussed steps we can take to effect change and support all students on this campus (this is an ongoing conversation). Finally senate worked on a number of proposals that included the Pause Capital Improvements Fun, the International Senator & Multicultural Senator Bylaws, and Hall Counselor bylaws to name a few.
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.
Link to the minutes from President Anderson Addressing Senate. Note that these minutes are were previously separated, but are now public.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.