Campus / News / Student Senate / March 4, 2009

Senate amends constitution, reviews orientation procedures

In a Student Senate meeting with Trustee Meeting reports, constitutional amendments, and orientation discussions, President Elaine Wilson started off with an important update on the library hours resolution from last year.

“I met with Dean Breitborde and Jeff Douglas, the head of the library,” President Wilson said, “and last term…we passed a resolution specifically requesting for the library to be open for more hours, and also more broadly, just study space.”

President Wilson mentioned the possibility of Wallace lounge being opened in its current state as a study area, as well as showing the extended library schedule for finals.

* Friday, March 6 — close at 1 a.m.

* Saturday, March 7 — 1 a.m.

* Sunday, March 8 through Friday, March 13 — 2 a.m.

* Saturday, March 14 — 11 p.m.

Next, Assistant Director for Campus Life Jenn Snider came to ask the Senate’s opinion and thoughts on a variety of issues regarding the new student orientation process.

“The Office of Development is looking at re-doing the way that orientation happens,” Snider said. “Right now, we don’t know that there are any major problems with it, but there could be major problems with it. We get great feedback some years and sometimes it’s terrible. We’re doing different focus groups across campus to see what people would change with orientation, what they like, and what they would like to see in it.”

The assembled chamber expressed a wide variety of thoughts and ideas, including having one schedule of mandatory things and then optional other meetings, having upper-classmen on campus, that TKS should have bus times and locations, that there should be an off campus orientation for things you’re interested in, tours of Green Oaks, a suggestion to team up with Target and have a school trip to go buy supplies, and that there should be more events throughout the night for socializing.

Also on the agenda for the night was a report from Senator Chaudhry on the recent Board of Trustees Meeting. Highlights of the meeting included the fact that students led five classes with up to 75 children in each class at the Anhui Normal University in China this past Winter Break, a talk by Penny Gold about Knox in the last 10 years and how its changed, a further report from the Greek Task Force talked about colonies and their next steps, the unsurprising fact that no action was to be taken on in Alumni Hall in the near future and that the football field needs an amenities center.

Of particular importance was the fact that investments had gone down 21.6%, but that the school was in good standing. A presentation was also given to the effect that residence hall sprinkler costs are, with approximately 969 beds that need sprinklers, $2,445,991.

Following that report, an amendment was passed with minimal discussion to the Senate constitution in regards to Senate officer vacancies. The original text read:

Pursuant to Article IV, Section 1-C “All executive officers must be enrolled in classes at Knox college. In case of a vacancy, the Senate Executive Board will appoint an interim officer to be confirmed by a two-thirds majority of the Student Senate. An election for a permanent replacement officer must be held within two weeks of the office becoming vacant.”

Proposed Change: “All elected members of the executive board must be enrolled in classes at Knox College and able to attend the weekly meeting of the general senate at the designated time. In case of a vacancy, the Senate Executive Board will appoint an interim officer or committee chair to be confirmed by a two-thirds majority of the Student Senate. If the vacancy will exceed one academic term, an election for a permanent replacement officer or committee chair must be held within two weeks of the office becoming vacant.”

The chamber passed the final amendment easily, with the vacancy clause further amended to set the vacancy limit at 14 general Senate meetings.

Finally, Senate approved two additional fund requests: $1500 to Students Without Borders for three vans for the spring break trip and $130 to the Chinese Club for a dumpling dinner.

After fund approvals this week, the Student Senate Discretionary Fund had about $14,400 remaining for the year.

Student Senate sessions are held every Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Round Room of CFA.

Andrew Polk

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