The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Senate resolution increases time devoted to student issues

Senate has passed a resolution that will reduce the amount of time it spends debating financial requests and increase the time it devotes to campus and student issues at its regular Tuesday afternoon meetings.

On average, Student Senate spends about one-third of its regular session time explaining, debating and voting on legislation, most of which is financially charged. Under the new procedure, senators must file formal complaints against new legislation for a debate to take place the following week when senators vote on it. In an effort to speed up the process, the finance committee will present its recommendation the day it’s introduced to the chamber. This new procedure gives senators three days to file a complaint, which must have at least two arguments. It will only affect chartered organizations fund and Senate fund. The resolution goes into affect on May 1, 2006.

“This is really going to change what this chamber does,” legislation author Sen. Ben Hatch said, adding that this resolution will allow Senate to spend more time on student issues.

Vice President Taylor Russ said he is looking forward to the opportunities this new resolution will provide Senate.

“Since we’re not going to be sitting around talking about finance all the time, we will be more open to having students come to Senate and hearing their concerns,” Russ said. “That’s the kind of stuff that we need to be addressing.”

Russ said he hopes senatorial forum, an open discussion session at the end of each meeting, will be lengthened and used for this purpose.

During President Liz Healy’s report, she announced that SMU has made progress in its pursuit of an EPA Green Power partnership. In addition, Healy said the faculty-senate academic calendar committee is looking to join fall break with Thanksgiving break, which would give students a full week off from school during the week of Thanksgiving. Healy added that the committee had rejected Provost Robert Blocker’s recommendation to push back the start of the academic year until after Labor Day.

After Healy’s report, Russ prompted an emotional discussion – one that some left questioning Senate’s internal progress this semester.

At several meetings throughout the semester, the tone and interaction among senators has created hostility and hindered the unity, Healy said.

“From the outside we have done incredible things. But how we have gotten there has been abusive. We haven’t embraced each other as friends or peers,” Healy said.

Sen. Claudia Lovelace added.

“I think it’s the backbiting, and it has a lot to do with ego,” she said. “Don’t play high school games in college.”

Chartered Organizations Fund

This week Senate voted on and passed:

– A bill to fund the Senate Diversity Committee $100 for pizza, apple pie and facebook.com ads for its upcoming event called “A Piece of the Pie.”

Next week Senate votes on-

– A bill to fund National Panhellenic Council $1,370 for an annual leadership conference.

Senate Fund

This week Senate voted on and passed

– A resolution to amend the Student Senate policies and procedures.

– A resolution to amend the student by-laws.

– A bill to fund $1,125 for the theatre department’s annual “Fountain Show.” This year’s performance will be “Othello.”

Next week Senate votes on –

– A bill to fund the Department of Multicultural Student Affairs $1,780.00 for its upcoming gala called “A Touch of Class.”

– A resolution demanding the university prioritize academic ventures when making financial commitments.

 

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