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.
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Senate encourages election action

The Student Senate voted on five measures yesterday at their weekly meeting.

The first, an amendment to the student body constitution, was approved 23-3 by the Student Senate. The amendment could raise the community requirement associated with special interest seats. If passed in the general election, any full-time student would be eligible to run for a special interest seat, but only members of the special interest seats’ communities are allowed to vote on their respective community’s seat.

Another amendment proposed was to raise the 2.0-grade requirement to run for Student Senate to a 2.5. After much deliberation and proposed changes to the legislation, the amendment was dropped.

In the third item of business, the Student Senate voted unanimously to provide the Office of the Chaplain $4,600 to fund transportation for the program’s Civil Rights Pilgrimage.

Senate next unanimously approved a resolution urging the establishment of a university-supported debate and forensics team. Earlier, in the year, senate voted to revoke the charter of the debate team and is now taking action to find the appropriate place for another debate team.

Finally, senate voted to consider a bill to fund $950 to the Persian Student Society for a film screening and a speaker on the Persian holiday of Noruz, as read. Senate will review the bill next week as part of old business.

At the beginning of the meeting, various speakers took the floor to bring issues to the senators’ attention.

The first speaker to take the podium, a member of the Asian-American Leadership Council, followed up at the Senate’s request about the deposit required to book Su Chin Pak for the AALEC’s conference. It was reported that the deposit had been made, and in fact, was refundable. The Senate’s question on the refundability of the deposit delayed the vote on the approval of the AALEC’s $5,250 request.

The second speaker, Ben Hatch, urged the Senate to approve the funding for a university-supported debate and forensics team.

Senator Cason Pierce next encouraged his fellow Senate members to volunteer that time at the current Habitat for Humanity build. He also encouraged senators to evaluate taking part in an Alternative Spring Break trip.

Caroline McClaimon followed and asked the Senate to approve the Civil Rights Pilgrimage. The pilgrimage visits various cities instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement. McClaimon also reported that over 25 students had signed up to participate in the trip.

After the open podium time, President Chip Hiemenz gave his report for the week. He first updated the Senate on the continuing provost search. Each week student senators will question one of the four potential candidates. Hiemenz was not thrilled with the senators’ turnout for the previous provost’s visit.

“The thing that disappointed me the most were those who signed up, but didn’t go,” he said.

Hoping to encourage an increased presence from the senators, Hiemenz added, “Student input is something that truly makes an impact in this case.”

Hiemenz next facilitated the filling of six Senate vacancies.- The vacancies existed in the Meadows, Dedman II and First-Year seats. Chrissy McCauley and Toby Adkins were nominated for the Meadows seats; Carrie Ince and Adam Desilva for the Dedman II seats; and Micah Nerio and Brooks Powell for the First-Year seats. Each of the six nominees were approved.

Next, a summary of the Hilltop Watch Committee’s activities was reported by Hiemenz. Currently, according to Hiemenz, the committee is addressing drug use on campus. The committee is conducting focus groups, spearheaded by Vice President of Student Affairs Jim Caswell, “exploring drug abuse on campus.”

After Hiemenz’s reports, Vice President Liz Healy gave hers.

Healy then introduced a new system called “Pony Points” to encourage Senators to get more involved on campus. Senators can accumulate points by “doing office hours, attending Program Council/Student Foundation events or multicultural programs, writing legislation” and other activities that are integral to the Student Senate’s process. Healy set up a point system/competition that will reward the most active senator at the end of the semester.

“It’s just to encourage you to get out there and interact with your constituents,”Healy said, speaking to the Senate body.

Secretary Gabe Travers next announced three vacancies on the Student Senate. Dedman I, Dedman II and the Engineering School all have vacant spots.

Student Senate Director Arlene Manthey urged senators to get the word out about the upcoming senate elections, the upcoming 40th Annual SMU Women’s Symposium, leadership applications and the awards extravaganza.

Next on the senate agenda was the committee reports. The Appropriations Committee sought approval of $250 for Wesley, which was approved by the senate. Also approved was $37.50 for the senate’s Environment Committee to purchase posters and stakes for campus advertising.

The Student Issues Committee then reported on the Pound the Pavement initiative that is currently using surveys to gauge students’ feelings. Each senator is responsible for dispensing 20 surveys to students to fill out.

Following the Student Issues Committee report, the Organizations Committee presented business to acknowledge the SMU Cycling Club.

After this matter, the Membership Committee, like Manthey, encouraged the senate to get the word out on the general elections. Senators were reminded that applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday. Special seats such including Membership Chair, Appropriations Chair, Cox Senator and Comptroller were also discussed.

The comptroller position is the only paid internship Student Senate offers. The position was set up as an internship to give finance or accounting majors an opportunity to get some real world experience.

The Finance Committee next reported on old business of giving the Program Council funding for a new computer and printer. The recommendation of the committee was to allow $1,200 for the new equipment. In new business, the Finance Committee reported that Campus Cleanup requested $21.80 for gloves while picking up trash.

The Executive Committee next reported on the reinstatement of the Chinese Club’s charter. The charter was reinstated, but the club could not go through the budget process due to timing issues.

The committee also appointed a new Scholarship Chair in Pavielle Criss to serve for 2005-2006.

The Diversity Committee reported an initiative to increase minority presence on campus by doing a “student spotlight.”

Next, the Communications Committee updated the senate on its activities of the previous week.

Senate now turns its attention to the upcoming general elections as campaigning begins immediately after the mandatory candidates’ meeting Sunday afternoon.

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