With the start of a new year and the soon-to-be convened 101st Student Senate, here are some updates on Senate matters and changes.
In the absence of Senate Treasurer senior Sara Ahmed, who was elected for the position Spring Term, Maxwell Galloway-Carson, ’11, a post-baccalaureate (post-bac) student, was recently confirmed by the Senate executive board to take Ahmed’s place.
According to Senate President senior Gordon Barratt, there were no other candidates for the position, and Galloway-Carson was chosen by Ahmed’s recommendation.
“I know that (Galloway-Carson) has unlimited amounts of initiative and cares very deeply about clubs’ success,” Ahmed said in an emailed statement. “I believe that he will do the best job of upholding my goals while I’m away.”
Per the Senate bylaws, interim executive positions do not vote on the Executive Board.
Electronic voting for the general elections took place this week, with polls open until Wednesday and plans to seat the new Senate Thursday night for the first full meeting of the year, according to Barratt.
Per the new constitution and bylaws written and ratified last year, representation is no longer done by residence halls but by expected year of graduation. So there will be five representatives per class and one post-bac nonvoting member.
“We’ll be able to have a much more representative system than years past,” Barratt said, “because it makes a lot more sense. Seniors have different objectives and things they care about than juniors do, than sophomores do, than freshmen do.”
Barratt said that the Executive Board is considering adding a sixth representative for each class in response to an unusually high number of candidates.
The Special Meeting on the Use of the Restricted Fund (SMURF) was formed last year to find projects that can be funded by Senate’s $150,000 restricted fund, which held about a decade worth of rolled-over activity fee money.
Of the top five priorities determined by SMURF, composting, stocking the Taylor Student Lounge, installing new campus seating and providing classes in the fitness center are underway or complete.
Barratt said it is not looking too good for the Gizmo fireplace, though.
“The Gizmo fireplace appears to be a no-go,” Barratt said. “It appears to be the one project that really couldn’t happen for a number of different infrastructure reasons.”
The new Senate bylaws do not include a provision for the Safety and Services Committee, which has now been rolled into the Residential Quality of Life Committee (ResQual).
As a result, sophomore Paul Brar, who was elected Spring Term to chair the Safety and Services Committee, will co-chair ResQual with senior Ellen Jackson, who was elected to chair that committee, according to Barratt.
“They will work on their own individual projects, but they will have the same committee to help them with it, the same people,” Barratt said.
Later this year, the committee chair elections will not include the Safety and Services chair, according to Barratt.