In the Round Room of the Ford Center for Fine Arts last Thursday, the Knox College Student Senate met for its weekly general meeting. The possible change of the status of the Queer & Ally House (commonly referred to as Q&A) from Special Interest Housing to a permanent house on campus dominated the night’s proceedings.
“There is a need to have a safe space on campus…. I think there should be permanent status,” Sustainability Chairman and sophomore Firas Basim Suqi said.
One of the core components of the Q&A House’s mission is to provide a 24-hour safe space on campus. While primarily geared to members of the lesbian, gay, bi, queer, trans and ally community, members of the house are open and supportive of any student that chooses to visit the house no matter their situation.
Harkening back to Senate’s approval of permanent status to the Asian Cultural House less than a year ago, some senators expressed a concern over granting permanency to more houses now and in the future.
“My concern is that if this continues—there’s a good idea, and we give them a house—there will be no theme housing,” Communications Chair and senior Chris Bugajski said.
This point led the senate as a whole to question what part the senate body played in the status of houses approved in the past, such as Casa Latina or Eco House. Senator and senior Max Galloway-Carson proposed the idea that if a permanent house was felt to be non-performing or no longer functional on campus its status could be reviewed and even revoked.
Overall, the discussion resulted in the Residential Quality of Life Committee being charged to investigate further the role Senate had in the administration of permanent houses on campus.
In addition, the Dining Services Committee Chair and senior Sam Harrison announced that the Gizmo would now be offering wraps in addition to subs. Treasurer and senior Gordon Barrat stated that with no new funds requests in the past week, Senate was still well below the amount of funding it could give out for student activities.