October 20, 2010

Senate talks committees

The regular weekly meeting of the Student Senate took place on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Round Room in the Ford Center for the Fine Arts, with President Sam Claypool in the chair.

The senate went through the usual attendance, approval of last week’s minutes and committee reports. This was all done quickly and with little change from last week’s updates. Many committees are still making trivial decisions such as when to meet. The main interaction thus far has been in the form of brainstorming. Most committees simply seek to have some idea as to what they’re aiming towards for the rest of the year.

The real hot topic was found in disputes regarding constitutional changes. The Student Senate this year can exhibit certain changes through practice rather than through the constitution, meaning that a change in the constitution simply alters what Student Senate must do in the future. The executive board decided that certain amendments were not necessary and would simply serve to micro-manage future student senates.

The amendment in question would state that “Each faculty committee shall have at least one Student Senate representative.” This issue arose because Student Senate has shrunk in size since the previous year and can no longer appoint the necessary student representatives to faculty-standing committees. Thus this new amendment would also state that should the Knox senate be unable to provide a satisfactory number of senate appointees, “the Senate Executive Board has the power to appoint non-Senators; that is any Knox student, to fill the vacancies in the respective faculty committees.” These changes would be approved by a two-thirds majority of the senate.

Some senators argued that it was necessary to force future senates to tie faculty committees back to senate in some way. That if there was no amendment stating that “at least one” representative be a senator, they would cease to appoint senators and student senate would become desolate.

Others argued that future senators need the same flexibility this senate was granted. The reason that senate was able to appoint non-senators to boards in the first place is because of the constitution’s flexibility.

It has been decided that this year this method will be used to fill remaining seats on the faculty boards. However, it was agreed by the vast majority that a change to the senate constitution is unnecessary. For now this amendment is carried out in practice, but it will not be officially altered in the senate’s constitution.

Non-senate, voting members of faculty committees have been selected by senate’s executive committee and were approved by senate this week.

Amendments were also made to finance guidelines restricting the budget new clubs could request from the senate in their first year. This amendment, previously carried out through practice was approved to become an official constitutional change. New clubs can now request $150 their first two terms of existence and $200 their third term.

Samantha Paul
Samantha Paul is a senior double majoring in creative writing and Spanish. She previously served as both a news reporter and a copy editor for TKS. During the summer of 2012, Sam served as press chair of a literacy brigade in El Salvador. She has also interned with both Bloom Magazine and The Galesburg Register-Mail. At Knox, Sam is an organizational editor for Catch magazine.

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