Campus / News / Student Senate / October 19, 2011

Senate condemns caf theft

Student Senate approved a resolution to condemn stealing food from the Hard Knox Café and the Oak Room, consequently allowing students to bring bags into these areas again. With $160,000 in the restricted fund, Senate voted to create an ad hoc committee to figure out how to distribute the funds.

Senate President senior Gordan Barratt met with Dean of Students Debbie Southern, Associate Dean of Students Craig Southern, Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services Tom Axtell and Director of Dining Services Helmut Mayer about a “caf theft resolution.” The original can be viewed here: http://departments.knox.edu/studentsenate/Agendas/2011-2012/Oct13.html.

Barratt said if Senate passed the resolution to condemn theft of items from the cafeteria, the rule barring bags from the Hard Knox Café and Oak Room will be overturned. Dining Services Chair Kaitlyn Duling said that she was in favor of the resolution and it was a good compromise.

Senate debated whether to amend the last line, “That theft is a serious conduct violation which can and should be prosecuted,” as “prosecuted” sounded too legalistic. In the resolution, as punishment, if Dining Services workers catch people stealing, they will call Campus Safety. Clarifying the magnitude of theft that warrants having Campus Safety called, it will be up to the Dining Services workers’ judgment and will depend on what is taken. Senate amended the wording “can and should be prosecuted” to “may result to school sanction.”

In the debate whether to pass the resolution after that amendment, post-baccalaureate representative Tim Schmeling, ’11, pointed out the lines involving theft being against the Honor Code, saying the Honor Code has nothing to do with it because food theft has nothing to do with academics.

Barratt said that while theft is not an Honor Code violation, the Honor Code is an expectation of how students should behave and that the resolution mentions the spirit of the Honor Code.

Interim Treasurer Maxwell Galloway-Carson read off the Honor Code to Senate and motioned to amend the resolution to remove the first two lines “just as a point of correctness.” Schmeling seconded the motion, questioning whether the Honor Board co-chairs were consulted about the resolution. The motion did not pass and the first two whereas clauses remained. The “caf theft resolution” passed as worded, overturning the rule of not allowing bags into the caf.

With the college experiencing six years in a row of over-enrollment and unspent club and organization budgets rolling over, the restricted fund was $159,964 as of Oct. 13. Senate experienced a similar situation last year, with $150,000 in the last restricted fund. Last year, a special committee called SMURF (Special Meeting for Use of Restricted Fund) was created to spend the money and put much of the money toward Taylor Student Lounge, including buying the naming rights.

Senate had the option to create an ad hoc committee to deal with the restricted fund or to leave it to finance committee. Senate voted to create an ad hoc committee.

Sustainability Chair Max Pothoff talked about having UV stickers put on windows of the Sharvey G. Umbeck Science and Mathematics Center so birds will not die from smashing into them, as well as drying racks as an alternative to dryers.

Duling said a fried food combo platter, with individual and group sizes, was approved, and the committee will try to find an alternative to styrofoam plates in the Gizmo.

Resident Quality of Life (ResQual) Chair Ellen Jackson spoke about the new expectations for theme houses, requiring them to complete nine events a year by having them do at least two per term instead of three per term. They are also now required to report to the committee every three weeks.

Tech chair Johnathan Ebbers began a discussion about the move from Zimbra to Gmail. He said Google will transfer data from Zimbra and teach how to use the applications at no cost. In the discussion, students were advocating for the change from Zimbra to Gmail.

Chair Galloway-Carson said Cultural Events committee approved a request to co-sponsor the Rootabaga Jazz Festival.

On the consent agenda, a new club called Fire Pit was approved. Fire Pit would work to improve school spirit during sporting events. $400 was granted to Model United Nations for a trip to Boston for a conference, $140 was given to Gaming Information Network (GiN), $452.52 was given to able to attend a ABCC Conference, Ed Studies Club was not given any money for an event that was mainly a food event. The discretionary fund was currently $40,826 and the restricted fund was $159,964 as of Oct. 13.

Student Senate meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Round Room of the Ford Center for the Fine Arts. Finance Committee meets every Monday at 9 p.m. in the Senate Office near the Taylor Student Lounge.

Sheena Leano


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