SMU Student Senate Releases COVID-19 Update

The Southern Methodist University (SMU) Student Senate released their COVID-19 response in a campus-wide email Tuesday morning. The email from Austin Hickle, the vice president of the Student Senate, provided an update on which policies the Student Senate has pursued to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, including additional funding and a COVID-19 contingency plan.

According to the email, the 107th Student Senate helped to secure $15,000 of extra funding for The Shop. Located in the back of Fondren Library’s blue section, The Shop was originally created to help serve those in the SMU community who experience food insecurity. It is a particularly important resource, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senate believes the $15,000 will help ensure SMU students do not go hungry during this time of need.

In addition to the funding, the Senate also helped to create a “Provost Student Advisory Board and an SMU PD Student Advisory Board in an effort to increase and maintain transparency between the student body and administration.”

Finally, Molly Patrick, the president of the Student Senate, and Jack Lucas, the speaker of the Senate, crafted a resolution to provide a COVID-19 contingency plan. The resolution asks for a) student representation in the event SMU starts to move online, b) allowing students to go to the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center for testing before dorms close, and c) having an application process for students who need to stay in the dorms.

Patrick expressed her appreciation for “the administration’s formal response and commitment to addressing student issues”.