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

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

Task force reports findings

At Tuesday’s student senate meeting, the senate membership task force presented their final report regarding the representation structure of the organization.

The task force examined four other models aside from the current model including a slate model that would allow every student to vote for the entire slate of senators, a residence model based on representation by where students reside, a council model made up of students from every student organization and a class model allowing students to vote according to their classification.

According to the task force’s final report, after weighing four alternative representational models, the current representation was “the easiest classification system for elections” and “the best representation model for SMU.”

Another issue at hand in the task force’s objective was to determine whether or not special interest seats were the best way to ensure equal representation. Currently, there are four special interest seats: an African-American seat, a Hispanic-American seat, an international seat and an Asian-American seat. Additionally, only a student of the same race or culture can vote for their representative in the special interest seat.

According to the report, the main complaint about such seats is that they could allow for double representation by senators because “students represented by special interest seats are also otherwise represented by school senators.

However, the task force concluded that “these populations are not always naturally represented by the SMU student senate,” and therefore, the student senate must take action to “ensure that they will have a voice.”

Student senator Lyndsey Hummert, who was a member of the task force and presented the findings, said that the task force’s “goal was to ensure that every SMU student got represented in the senate.”

They came to their decisions by interviewing student organizations such as the Association of Black Students and Asian Council. Also, they examined procedures at SMU’s benchmark schools including Tulane and Vanderbilt.

Student senate Vice President Liz Healy believes the special interest seats are necessary so that “the senate body can most naturally represent the student body.”

After the task force’s report, student senate President Chip Hiemenz appointed David Mingus and Laurence Hesser as senators to represent the Theology School. The members of the senate confirmed both Mingus and Hesser. Mingus was then sworn in. Hesser was absent from the meeting and will be sworn in at a later date.

During Healy’s report, she urged senators to resume their office hours immediately, as only seven senators started office hours in the spring semester to date.

At the start of the meeting, speakers took the floor for individual reports.

Mahnaz Rahman, a member of Asian Council, reported the organizations results from raising money for tsunami victims. Asian Council collected money on the Hughes-Trigg West Bridge for two days and held a relief night. The organization collected a total of $1,757.20. The profits will be donated to C.A.R.E.

Next, Segi Latinwo, a member of the Association of Black Students, reported on the organization’s current drive to raise money to sponsor a trip to the Big XII Conference where the organization plans to hold a workshop on racial stereotypes.

Senator Jaclyn Durr next encouraged fellow senators to spread the word about Orientation Leader applications, AARO applications and Student Foundation applications which are due Friday.

The last speaker to take the podium, Hummert, announced her resignation, effective in two weeks. She cited her class schedule and other leadership positions as reason to step down. Hummert also noted that she wanted to give other interested students an opportunity to get involved.

Next week the student senate will vote on whether to approve a bill to fund the Asian American Leadership Conference with $5,250 to bring MTV VJ and News correspondent Su Chin Pak to speak at the organization’s conference.

The student senate will also vote on whether or not to encourage SMU department heads to begin purchasing recycled-content office paper.

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