Minutes from the September 20th Student Senate Meeting

Order of Business for SMU Student Senate
September 20, 2011

I. Call to Order

3:32 pm

II. Moment of Silence

III. Roll Call

Austin Prentice present
Alex Ehmke present
Martha Pool present
Ted Belden present
Alex Morgan present
Alex Mace present
Clint Adcox present
Scott Anderson present
William Badarak present
Greg Barro present
Nick Bertasi present
Jack Dawson present
Parminder Deo present
Joseph Esau present
Roza Essaw present
Monnica Finnegan present
Tanner Flyckt present
Rachel Fox present
Juan Jose Garcia present
Christian Genco present
Alexis Goldberg absent
Tyler Harris present
Kian Hervey present
Tiffany Hoffman present
Upama Kadel present
Sarah Kazmi present
Devin Kerns present
Hanna Kim present
Jaimmy Koroma present
Brad Krocheski present
Katherine Ladner present
Caroline Langley present
J.D. Mahaffey present
Jaywin Malhi present
Sam Mansfield present
Sam Martinez present
Anthony McAuliffe present
James Miers present
Michael Mitchell present
Lucy Needham absent
William O’Connor present
Katie O’Neil present
An Phan present
Steven Robson present
Jason Sansone present
Christoph Schmidt present
Laura Schur excused
Cameron Skreden present
Savannah Stephens present
Ramon Trespalacios present
Jeff Whelan present
Jacob Watts present
Jingjing Yang present
Shanitah Young present

IV. Approval of Agenda

Agenda was approved

V. Approval of Minutes

Secretary Pool motioned to change: “IM clickers are too expensive” in Senator Genco’s speaker’s podium report to “an IR clicker system would be a one-time cost of about $600”
Motion passed

Minutes were approved with the above correction included

VI. Speaker’s Podium

Roza Essaw – Senate Procedures

Student Senate must follow the rules in the Constitution and governing by-laws
Membership committee also needs to be following policies
Current actions have been unfair – Senate must be consistent
Senate should revoke the nomination of Christoph Schmidt to Cox Senator
It makes a difference to the voters who they elect
This type of Senate activity should not be undercover
Wishes to state for the record that she is against this nomination/appointment
There was not even a vote taken in Senate to approve the nomination

Question from Senator Esau: What would you like to be done?
Answer: it should be fixed; the appointment should be undone
Follow-up from Senator Esau: are you aware that impeachment proceedings can be raised against the executive officers who allowed and abetted this breach of policy?

Comment from Senator Young: I agree with Senator Essaw; this slipped by many of the Senators who are only in their first year in Senate and did not fully understand what was going on

Question from Senator Hoffman: does it matter that there was a vacancy, or do all the procedures listed in the by-laws still apply just the same as in other elections?
Answer: there is never an appointment by the membership committee without a confirming vote from the Senate regarding Senators, regardless of the specific appointment.

Question from Chair Fox: how does this compare to the precedent that you [Senator Essaw] set by appointing runners-up in the general elections last year?

Point of Information from Executive Director Jones: all appointments to fill vacancies must be approved by senate chamber as a whole, no matter whether they happen in the summer, fall, or spring.

Senator Essaw: Senate is breaking rules in every aspect; this must stop immediately.

Question from Senator Hoffman: are you aware that only one person (Lucy Needham) ran for Simmons senator, even though there are three seats available – Laura Schur and Tiffany Hoffman were selected and appointed over the summer?
Answer: just because mistakes were made then, the ones made today are not automatically justified or excused.

Point of Personal Privilege from Executive Director Jones: once the summer term is completed, the process of appointing people to fill vacancies is over – from then on, the regular appointment process is necessary to fill any vacancies within the chamber.
Currently, there is no process in the by-laws that applies to this situation now (how to make up the difference once a mistake has been made)
The way that this would likely happen would be that Senator Schmidt resign from his former Dedman I position, apply to the Cox vacancy in the regular application process, be nominated by the membership committee, and be confirmed by a vote from the Senate chamber (the usual process)
Appointing runners-up and others to fill vacancies at the executive committee’s discretion happens only after the election process during the same academic semester of the election
Now that it is no longer the same academic semester as the Spring 2011 election, everything must happen through the membership committee, with the approval of the entire senate chamber
The only rules we have currently in place are for the election process itself
The vacancies created by the elections of executive officers are filled only during the same academic year that those vacancies were created

Question from Chair Badarak: is there any rule in the bylaws that the executive committee cannot make such appointments?
Answer: there is no specific rule that they cannot per se, but what has happened directly contradicted the policies in the membership committee by-laws as well as all known precedents

Roza Essaw – Opportunity to help in the fight to end poverty

Join together with other concerned students and pressure global leaders to initiate change
7 pm in the Service House tonight
If you are interested, please email ressaw@smu.edu
The short notice is because this opportunity just became available

VII. Officer Reports
President Prentice
• Membership committee issues
– Exec committee will talk about vacancies from 1:30 to 2:00 pm next Monday
– If you want to come and speak, email the SBOs and show up to the meeting
• Rally House Meeting
– Sportswear store
– Store is having an SMU push – wants to sell spirit gear
– Will keep store open late on the Thursday before the UCF game – event will be exclusive to SMU students
– 20% of proceeds will go back to the Senate Endowment fund
– Working on a Facebook event
• Brad Cheves
• Ring Ceremony
– Students who have completed over 60 credit hours can order ring
– Will be given ring during ceremony
– The most recent ceremony is the 7th time that this event has been held
• Carl Junior’s Night
– Will be held on the Wednesday after fall break
– Owner wants to bring truck – give away food by the flag pole
• Fall Fondren Event
– Open house
– Library has spent thousands of dollars in improvements over the summer
– There will be door prizes, and lots of other goodies
– Flyer will be emailed out today
• TCU – pregame meeting
– Band, cheer, Dr. White, etc. visited TCU this week
– TCU cancelled all student tailgating for this year
– Stadium is still under construction
– Do not expect any parking to be available – the only available parking lots are miles away from the stadium (shuttle buses will run to the stadium)
– No more street parking
– Any SMU student who gets written up for an AV or other infraction will have information transferred to SMU PD as well
– Student Code of Conduct still applies
– Tickets are limited, confined to a lotto system – turn in request by Friday

Point of information from Senator Martinez: pertinent by-laws to elections and filling vacancies are contained in Article 4, Sections 1-5 of the Student Body Constitution

Vice President Ehmke
• Liaison Program
– Most of the chamber did not get the email sent out on Tuesday
– President Prentice emailed them out
– Swaps will be finalized today
– Email list of the appropriate contacts for each organization will be released as soon as all the swaps have been made
– Please let him know as soon as possible if you wish to trade with another senator
Secretary Pool
• Senator of the Month
– Please send in nominations for Senator of the Month for September
– Due September 30, will be announced on October 4
• Bush Library
– Talked with director of the Bush Center about having a private tour of the facilities and/or archives for Senate
– Likely be held some Monday or Tuesday night in October
– Will announce details when they are solidified
• MOM Meetings
– Mandated for all campus organizations by the state of Texas
– Required to remain chartered
– The last one is tonight at 5:00 in the HTSC Theater
– Make sure that any organization that you are in contact with meets the required quota of four exec members and one advisor in attendance at the meetings
• Binders
– Inserts are upstairs in the Senate office mailboxes
– Binders are on the couch in the Senate office
– Make your own if you do not already have one
– Chairs have red, senators have blue
• Code Change Calendar
– Change proposals begin next week
– Let’s take the code changes seriously and make significant improvements this year
• Senate Pictures
– For the Rotunda Yearbook
– Will be taken at 4:30 on the steps of Hughes-Trigg Student Center
– Thank you for dressing nicely
– Senate will recess long enough to take the picture, and then resume
• Absences/Office Hours
– Senate is doing much better, with a few exceptions
– Keep up the good work
– Grad students need not hold office hours in the Senate office as long as they email the secretary every week with a record of their alternative hours in their respective schools
Speaker Belden
• No Submission
Parliamentarian Morgan
• By-Laws
– Senator Esau and Parliamentarian Morgan will be writing legislation
– If you want to join them, meet at 10:00 am on Friday in the Senate office
Chief of Staff Mace
• Freshman Committee Assignments
• By-law revision
– Chairs are going through by-law revision this week
– If you have any changes to make, let the chairs know
– Changes due this Friday
• General members
– Huge influx of general members this year
– Trying to situate them all on committees
• Legislation
– Senate has been reasonable with crossing T’s/dotting I’s – internal affairs
– We still need to do our job of representing constituents
– There has been only one piece of legislation in past three weeks, but even that piece of legislation was clean-up within Senate
– Will be brainstorming legislation ideas upstairs after Senate; come do an office hour and join in the discussion
Executive Director Jones
• University Leadership Conference
– Will be held off campus February 4-5, 2012
– Hotel-style conference
– Student Senate is sponsoring the conference
– There will be programs for every type and stage of leader
– Veteran student leaders can help with the panels
– Additional workshops for those who are interested in applying for the Board of Trustees, Senate, etc.
– Let JJ know if you are interested

VIII. Committee Reports
Organizations (Chair Goldberg)
• New Business
o No Submission
• Old Business
o Secular Humanists, Probationary Status (4-0-0)

• Committee’s recommendation was tabled until next week because Chair Goldberg was absent
Student Concerns (Chair Malhi)
• Fall 2011 “Pound the Pavement” Survey
– Requirements for Senators (mandatory minimum of 30 surveys each)
o pick up packets
o Have printed about 1500 surveys
o Survey will be reprinted in the Daily Campus
– Deadline is Tuesday, September 27th at 3:30 pm
o Giving them to chair Malhi at the next senate meeting is the most ideal thing to do
o Or, you can staple them, put your name on the first page, and return them to the mailbox in the Senate office
– Consequences/Rewards
o Tardy for failing to return minimum of 30
o Reward: for every additional 30 returned, one free office hour
– Make sure IDs are written clearly on the survey
– People should only fill out one survey each
Membership (Chair Ladner)
• General Members Update
– Committee is in the final processing of the general member applications
– Have received about 80 applications so far
• Vacancy Applications will be available Thursday, September 22nd (all applicants will go through the interview process)
• Wishes to clarify a few things regarding Senator Essaw’s remarks: Speaker Belden’s position in Cox was filled over the summer; that new person had dropped out
• Asked President Prentice appoint a few people to vacancies and did not think that it was the end of the world
Scholarship (Chair Trespalacios)
• Fall Scholarship Applications
– Applications are online
– Due date: October 7th
– Promotional Posters – please post around campus in your respective schools
– Will be advertised in the Daily Campus
– Will check to see whether part time students are allowed to apply or not
Endowment (Chair Badarak)
• No Submission
Communications (Chair Mansfield)
• No Submission
Diversity (Chair Hervey)
• New Committee Members
• Alternate Meeting Time (Thursdays 3:30p)
• Diversity Initiatives
– Working on a Survey, Minority Caucus, etc.
– Give united front to minority groups – not good to be polarized and fractured
– Raise awareness that minorities are a significant presence on campus
• New Business
– College Democrats
o Funded $380.00/$380.00
o Vote: 11-1-0
o Plan to use funds to attend a conference that is mandatory for them to stay an active chapter
– Mock Trial
o Funded $8,550.00/$20,850.00
o Vote: 10-1-1
o Original request was more than $30,000 (before being adjusted for standards)
o Organization failed to attend the mandatory budget meetings last year
o Did not receive a budget because of neglected attendance
o Senate did not have enough money to fund them in full and still fund other organizations that have gone through the proper channels
– Student Filmmakers Association
o Funded $450.00/$1,100.00
o Vote: 11-1-0
o Had misused some funds last year
o Are granting funds on a trial basis this semester
o Funds are for the hosting of their yearly film
– Sailing Team
o Funded $960.00/$1,890.00
o Vote: 12-0-0
o Had no semester budget because of failed attendance at mandatory budget meetings last semester
o Hosting regatta on SMU campus (White Rock Lake)
– Only have about $10,000 total left to allocate for semester
– Office hours
o Really need help in comptroller’s office scanning documents
o Hopes to work with exec to get office hours deal similar to Chair Malhi’s
o In the meantime, please help
• Old Business
– Watermark College $2,750/$3,500
– SPARC $1,339
– LEAD $0/$80
– Graduate Women’s Organization $0/$50
– Graduate Student Council/Computer Science $400/$400

• Committee’s recommendation approved

VIII. New Business
• No Submission
IX. Old Business
• No Submission
X. Senatorial Forum
XI. Announcements

Work on legislation with Chief of Staff Mace in the Senate office – directly after the meeting
Extra surveys in the Senate office – take as many as you can
Surveys are also uploaded on Blackboard/emailed to Senators
Promote Senate Scholarships – great icebreaker
Senate training will be held in office directly after the meeting

XI. Adjournment

4:48 pm

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