Senate Discusses Future Meeting Structure

Photo by Lizzie Nimetz.

On Wednesday, Nov. 19 the 58th Student Senate met to discuss improvements for future meetings.

The session began with reports on upcoming events on campus. One event announced, Combating Climate Change, is a follow up to the People’s Climate March, to which NYPIRG Program Coordinator Eric Wood said he hopes to see everyone who was on the bus on Sept. 21 to NYC, at this event. The issue of first-year housing possibly being limited to corridor-dorming only was discussed with many disagreements to this on the basis of transgender issues.

“A suite is the only guaranteed gender neutral bathroom a trans student has,” Sen. Adriana Dulmage said. “Even with the option of freshman trans students being an exception of this rule [can be put into suites] the student may be outed by being the only freshman in the suite.”

Senate Chair Carissa Moore and Sen. Paul Brown presented their ideas on what can be changed at meetings in order to advance senate progress. Brown began with the suggestion of changing meetings from weekly to biweekly.

This suggestion was met with a majority of disagreement on the basis of the importance of meetings as they are where discussion takes place. Brown explained that the idea of making meetings bi-weekly will give more time for committees to meet and discuss more committee specific issues to be more prepared for senate meetings, therefore senate meetings running more smoothly and efficiently. However, most of the senators were concerned with the lack of senate meetings equating less progression, overly-extended meetings and confusion to newcomers who have not fully learned how senate works.

“Meetings are where we have discussion to make changes on this campus,” Sen. Zach Grossman said. “Taking away meetings would just take back our progress.”

Full-year seats were then suggested by Moore. This idea was created from the concern of semester seats cutting short the time it takes to form relationships with fellow senators, relationships of which would give senators more time to get to know one another, therefore working together in a more conducive matter. This was also met with some disagreement on the basis of semester-long positions being a productive way for those who do not wish to be on senate for a full year, to have an opportunity to be on senate for at least a semester.

Senate was then concluded as Grossman motioned to move to an executive session in order to have an open, in-depth discussion about senate meeting changes without outside personnel present. This motion is protected under the Conduct of Executive Sessions.

Moore released a statement after the outside personnel were asked to leave.

“Senate is working on itself. We are trying to be better than we were before,”  Moore said.