Student Senate voted on changes to the Theme House funding process, prepared questions for President Teresa Amott and discussed concerns over freshmen’s drinking habits at their meeting last Thursday in Wilson House.
New club approved
Senate’s Finance Committee brought before Student Senate representatives from Vietnamese Club, a new student organization seeking official approval from Student Senate.
The club’s representatives stated the club was being established in response to the growing number of Vietnamese students on campus, and out of a desire authentically present Vietnamese culture. They also stated that 21 students had attended the first meeting held by the club.
Senate voted to approve the club as a new student cultural organization on campus.
Campus Life chair on housing selection
Campus Life Chair Carly Rieger, sophomore, addressed the assembly on the potential changes to the housing selection process she has been discussing with Director of Campus Life Eleanor Kahn.
Rieger stated the hope was to make changes that would make the process less confusing and proceed more efficiently. The plan in the works for this year is to not have the lottery numbers of students applying for housing together be averaged, as they were last year. Instead of being averaged, a group’s number will automatically be pulled down to the lowest number held by a student in the group.
Rieger explained that the advantage of this is it would allow roommates to be added on an ongoing basis during the house process. Rieger also stated that campus life is interested in receiving feedback from sophomores and juniors who have gone through the housing process already.
Senate voted to not have a discussion on housing selection during that week’s meeting, but supported the suggestion by Rieger of at some point bringing in Kahn to discuss housing selection with senate.
Freshmen drinking concerns
During the First-Year Report, concerns over the drinking habits of this year’s freshmen class were discussed, with multiple senators attesting to it being worse than in past years and a potential health risk.
The discussion over how to respond to the concern included discussing it with RAs, improving the education programs currently in place and having both freshmen and upperclassmen take leadership roles in encouraging more responsible behavior.
Rieger noted that she had already been charged in the past with looking into the drinking issue and has discussed how to address it with Kahn. It was also suggested that Health and Wellness Chair Teslin Penoyer, senior, be involved in addressing it.
Amott to appear at senate
Amott will be present at the Nov. 7 meeting of Student Senate in the Trustee’s Room of Alumni Hall to discuss finance issues with the assembly and respond to a letter from Senate which raised concerns over finances.
Senators discussed which questions they would direct to Amott upon her appearance. Senators’ concerns included the deficit, rising tuition and the strategic plan staff is in the process of developing.
Theme Houses funding changes
Senate voted on a proposed change for the Theme House funds requests process The existing process for Theme House is that their requests go through the Senate Finance Committee before being voted on by the whole assembly.
Senate’s Exec brought forward the motion to have requests from Theme Houses go through the Senate Campus Life Committee instead of Finance. Rieger explained the reason for the change as being the belief that the Campus Life Committee better understood the theme houses’ goals, as the theme house approval process go through the Campus Life Committee.
Senate voted to approve the change, which will go into effect next term. Rieger also noted that changing how Theme Houses are funded was also being looked at, so that in the future, houses will not have to submit funds requests for every event they hold.
However, she and Treasurer Andrew Liput, junior, emphasized that the only current change is what committee the requests go through before being voted on by Student Senate.
The next Student Senate meeting will be held on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Alumni Hall Trustee’s Room.