April 6, 2011

Senate discusses new cameras, officer elections

Although spring term has barely begun, Student Senate is already hard at work, as evidenced by the large amount of presentations, discussions and announcements at last Thursday’s meeting.

Director of Campus Safety John Schlaf proposed installing 19 new fixed security cameras on campus in Seymour Union and Post Hall. Cameras in Seymour would be placed in the mailroom and the new Taylor Student Lounge, as well as on the exterior of the building. There would be four cameras in Post: one by the ATM in Post Lobby and three in the Outpost Convenience Store.

In response to concerns about how and how often cameras are utilized, Schlaf pointed out that cameras are not monitored unless an incident occurs that merits investigation. The cameras have captured several incidents, including one of battery, but have not been used to arrest anyone. Senate ultimately voted in support of installing the new cameras.

Senate also discussed the upcoming elections for new executive board officers. Communications Officer senior Chris Bugajski raised the question of whether Senate officers should be required to be at Knox for the entire academic year. Currently, there is nothing in the Senate constitution prohibiting students who will be off-campus from running.

There was some discussion of whether or not there was a need to alter the process of selecting the new executive board. In the past, a student-wide election has determined Senate officers; it was proposed that Senators instead be chosen from within Senate. Overwhelmingly, however, Senate was in favor of keeping the old method. Applications are available on the newly redesigned Senate website and will be accepted until Friday, April 8.

At the suggestion of senior and Senator Max Galloway-Carson, a straw poll was taken of support for increasing hours at the Counseling Center. The issue of inadequate counseling services has been ongoing, with more and more students seeking counseling without a parallel increase in staffing. Most Senators were in favor of this measure.

It was announced that Knox will be forming an Honor Code Task Force to review the effectiveness of the Code in upholding academic integrity and suggest possible ways to make the Code more applicable to Knox today. Senators were invited to apply for seats on the Task Force.

Dining Services Chair senior Sam Harrison reported that Director of Dining Services Helmut Mayer had found a popcorn machine that will soon be installed in the Gizmo.

Green Fee proposals last week included $419 for additional newspaper racks for The Knox Student and $15,000 for a campus composting system. Both proposals were approved.

Blessings in a Backpack, a new student group dedicated to providing meals for Galesburg children on the weekends, requested club status. As the group had not yet had a meeting, Senate tabled the discussion until they have done so.

Student Senate meetings occur weekly on Thursdays at 7 p.m. in the Round Room of the Ford Center for the Fine Arts and are open to anyone who wishes to attend.

Anna Meier

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