This past Tuesday (3/1/16), the St. Olaf Student Senate discussed a myriad of important issues. First of all, we heard an update from Student Organizations Committee (SOC) Financial Officer, Adithya Balaji, who explained some potential changes being considered for the SOC. Balaji informed us that the SOC currently has around $26,000 remaining in their budget, and they are looking to distribute it to interested student organizations! Next, Senator Bruer initiated a discussion exploring potential solutions to the problem of students leaving backpacks in the hallway by Trollhaugen and the Board Room. These backpacks can present a safety hazard for elderly visitors. While some senators advocated for softly punitive approaches such as confiscating backpacks in this area, others claimed that a passive solution, such as a campus-wide email, would be better. Next, the senate heard from Senator Ismail, who explained a new discussion occurring among faculty/staff surrounding a St. Olaf attendance policy. A few senators believed that attendance is a matter of student responsibility and that policy should be enforced. However, many others were skeptical about an attendance policy with regards to its specific effects on athletes, students with mental illness, and the general relationships between professors and their classes. Finally, the Honor Council proposed several changes to the Honor Council bylaws, and the senate approved these changes. The changes will have to be approved by 2/3 of the student body during the upcoming election.

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

The meeting’s minutes can be found here.