Editor’s Note: “Senate Summary” is a new feature in which our writers will let you know what happens at each Students’ Association (SA) Senate meeting. Entries will be posted weekly, unless Senate does not meet.

Meeting date: 1/23/17

By David Schildkraut, News Editor

Top take

  • Two Senate seats are set to be left vacant after the resignation of sophomore Nicholas Pierce, junior Natalie Ziegler, and senior George Mendez.
    • One of the slots was filled by junior Cindy Molina, but she was the only eligible candidate from the spring elections.
    • Senators and ACJC Chief Justice Alec Girten discussed four plans for how to fill the vacancies: using a senator selection committee (which no longer exists), holding a special election in the next few weeks, pulling a candidate from the fall freshman election (the two highest-vote-getting candidates, Anthony Pericolo and Eugene Nichols III), or leaving the seats vacant.
    • Senate voted to leave them vacant, pending a review of the SA Bylaws.

Other bits

  • French Organization at the University of Rochester was given preliminary status.
  • Magnum Opus Rochester Entrepreneurs appealed a decision to not be granted preliminary status.
  • Student Organization Conduct Sanction Process will have a live testing model soon.
  • Campus Services created a new checklist for student organizations to make events accessible.
  • Pierce resigned from the Senate’s SA Constitution committee.
  • Starting 1/30: Project proposals and updates

Next meeting

  • Jan. 30 in Wilson Commons’ Gowen Room at 8 p.m.

Correction (1/24/17): An earlier version of this summary erroneously said CARE had requested a student support network be created. The statement has been removed.

Justin Trombly March 9, 20172:26 pm

Meeting Date: 3/6/17

By David Schildkraut, News Editor

Top take

  • Provost and Dean of the Faculty of ASE Peter Lennie, Dean of the College Richard Feldman, and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jonathan Burdick gave a presentation to the Students’ Association (SA) Senate on the reasons behind this year’s tuition increase. In the presentation, Lennie explained that annual tuition increases are normal, and that this year’s increase was primarily driven by inflation, paying for campus construction projects, and replacing the four-decade-old UR system used for tasks like course registration and degree planning.

  • Following the presentation, Senate had a discussion on its next steps regarding the increase, during which it considered whether to send a statement to the student body.

  • Sen. Stephens was concerned that students don’t get full value of room and board, but that we don’t have a good way to give feedback to Residential Life

  • Sen. Ollarvez suggested that a presentation on tuition increases happen every year, but that members of the student body would be invited to attend.

  • Sen. Pak compared RAs to journals by saying that they exist because our peer institutions have them, but are not used or effective.

  • Deputy Speaker of the Senate Marco Ramos suggested that it would be in the best interest of students to instead have materials released to the student body, as opposed to a presentation given by the administration. Sen. Foti agreed, and Foti suggested writing a resolution to the administration on the issue.

  • Deputy Chair of the Campus Services Committee and Campus Times Editorial Board member Alexandria Brown expressed concerns about the amount of transparency on the increases, saying that the information was not broken down clearly enough, though it could be explained well. She added that the distribution of the information is too limited, and that she felt that the administration was attempting to put the responsibility of disseminating the information on SA.

  • SA Vice President Lance Floto countered, saying that there is a wide range of how detailed the information can be. He asked how much information is “enough.”

  • Senate agreed that it would work over break to draft legislation requesting that the administration distribute detailed information to students on tuition increases.

Other bits:

  • Mira Bodek resigned from Senate.

  • The Academics Committee is benchmarking the number of/proportion of female professors in natural science and engineering departments at other peer research universities.

  • The Campus Services Committee is making a survey for its multilingual maps initiative.

  • On March 30, Campus Services will be hosting a “human library” featuring specific students and faculty members with disabilities. The goal is to get a perspective of how people with disabilities live day to day.

  • On March 31, Campus Services will be holding a Button Walk to check accessibility of buildings around campus.

  • The Elections and Rules Committee is working on finalizing the process of speaker and deputy speaker selections.

  • Planning is moving forward on spring elections, with dates for interest meetings and the elections being finalized.

  • The Constitution Task Force did not meet on Friday, as it did not have quorum. Elections and Rules Committee Chair Jake Braniecki noted they were unsure if a rewrite can be completed for spring elections and that the situation was being reassessed.

  • SA announced that there will be a town hall meeting on the constitution rewrite in the Gowen Room on Tuesday from 6-7 p.m.

  • Student Life is continuing to work on its UR A Star Award project, which aims to recognize UR facilities, dining services, and transportation workers.

  • The Student Life Committee is continuing its work on the International Student Involvement Project, which aims to collect data on how to get international students more involved at UR.

  • $1,264 was released to UR Photography for equipment.

  • SAAC met with the Club Sports Caucus Thursday for feedback on its reorganization of the club sports program. SAAC will be taking feedback into account over the coming weeks.

  • SAAC updated its PPMs.

  • ACJC is holding non-mandatory information sessions for interested candidates on Mar. 20 & 21 in the O’Brien conference room.

  • ACJC selection sign ups are now available.

  • The Joint Auditing Task Force was dissolved. Its purpose was to do data collection on student organizations and save money where possible.

  • Email SA President Vito Martino before break if you have a question for a member of the Board of Trustees.

  • The 5K Challenge implementation and Welliora Campaign are moving forward.

  • Senate approved minutes for these meetings: Oct. 31; Nov. 7; Nov. 14; Nov. 21; Nov. 28; Dec. 5; Dec. 12; Jan. 30.

  • Mira Bodek appointed as a legislative adviser for the Academic Affairs Committee.

  • SA removed from the table the new senator succession bill—approved as a bylaw change.

  • SA revoked its recognition of Food Recovery Network. The organization requested to the Community Service Network that such action would be taken, citing low membership and interest.

Next meeting

  • Monday, March 20 in the Gowen Room

Justin Trombly February 28, 20176:32 pm

Meeting Date: 2/27/17

By David Schildkraut, News Editor

Top take

  • Senate narrowly voted against a motion (5–6–5) to dissolve the Constitution Task Force (CTF) following a contentious debate that broached issues of transparency, CTF composition, and progress of the Students’ Association (SA) Constitution rewrite.

  • Debate was spurred by a letter written and read by Senator Joseph Stephens, motioning “to dissolve the [CTF] and further commit its members to submit a comprehensive report on its proceedings such that the next Senate can benefit from what work has been accomplished in the committee.” Stephens questioned how transparent the task force has been, argued that it has overstepped its mission by seeking to reorganize the entire structure of the government, and said its makeup was too inexperienced and had too many appointed, not elected, members. Stephens called for SA to focus not on a constitution rewrite but instead on finishing out the year strong. Stephens said that Senate has passed four times as less resolutions, statements, bills, and reports, and expressed concerns about whether CTF would be able to produce a viable document for the upcoming spring elections. Stephens threatened to campaign and vote against a new constitution.

  • Other senators took the opportunity to question the transparency of CTF’s process.

  • Senator Johansen noted that there have been lapses in communication, with emails to Elections and Rules Committee Chair Jake Braniecki going unanswered. Senator Gil expressed concerns that the first time structure was discussed was this past Friday. Braniecki noted that Friday was the first day structure discussed in CTF meetings, but that requests for structure proposals had been sent out to SA in the prior weeks.

  • Senator Rabenold called on the CTF to provide a full picture of what is going on with the rewrite and felt that four weeks was not enough time for “things to be done right,” noting specifically that spring break was not going to result in any progress on the document. Rabenold agreed with Stephens that the CTF should provide a report enabling SA to continue rewriting and complete the new constitution in the next few years.

  • Senator Ollarvez noted that the first time he had seen any mention of the constitution rewrite to a non-SA audience was in an article in the Campus Times.

  • Several senators noted that public events and outreach proposed—forms, polls, town halls, and public forums—had not been brought up at all

  • Senator Pachter felt the progress made should be kept, but that the student body needs to be involved and have a say in the document.

  • Several senators and other SA members offered opposing opinions and ideas on that: Senator Matthews repeatedly expressed the feeling that students don’t care about what SA does and therefore there is no need to have them involved in the rewrite process. Senator Awayda contested the discussion on a lack of transparency, explaining that he feels that the “CTF updates are full of information.” Senator Foti called emails “shady” and called for all aspects of the rewrite to occur in a “public forum.” Foti additionally suggested that Senate wait a week to see how the process advances before voting to strike down CTF. Senator James expressed concerns that what the CTF is doing is being misrepresented and that the concerns being brought up were amounting to an attack on the work the CTF had done up to that point.

  • SAAC Chair Nicholas Mavrelis criticized Senate for waiting so long to bring up concerns.

  • SA Vice President Lance Floto suggested that the rewrite be a two-year process that is carried over to next year’s SA Government. Floto added that people on CTF should remain, but there a reorganization of the CTF also needs to be considered.

  • Braniecki explained to Senate that he was meeting with SA advisers this week to reassess the situation and determine if it is still possible to create a viable constitution for spring elections.

  • Senate charged CTF with holding a public forum on the constitution rewrite within two weeks (Vote: 8–2–4).

Other bits

  • New Organization Proposal forms must be submitted on CCC by noon on March 1.

  • The Academics committee is writing a survey on health, nutrition, and fitness education at UR, which is expected to go live this week.

  • UR Cooking Club was granted preliminary status. The club existed formerly and is being revived by students.

  • Administration and Review Committee (ARC) analysts are looking at the criteria for group recognition and at creating a final recognition form, which would codify questions ARC asks when deciding whether it should grant an organization final recognition.

  • ARC has started a project to sponsor a bill relating to shared resources between SA Government and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs. The final result is expected to mirror that of the relationship between SA and special interest housing.

  • ARC is working with Wilson Commons Student Activities (WCSA) to work out logistics for distribution of the Disability Checklist.

  • ARC leadership will be reviewing and approving all SOAR (Student Organization Annual Review) feedback and grades, after graders do a final review of the organization they are responsible for. Graders will be submitting a list of organizations they recommend for further review. The recommendations will include a rationale explaining the need for further review.

  • The Campus Services Committee will be meeting with Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jonathan Burdick on Wednesday to discuss an initiative to create multilingual maps, campus tours, and orientation and convocation materials.

  • Riverview Intersection IMPACT Petition: Campus Services Committee is planning to look into situation. SA President Vito Martino noted that he discussed issue at last week’s Rochester City Council meeting. Martino expects the City Council to discuss the situation more this week

  • The Campus Services Committee has moved its meeting time from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

  • The Elections and Rules Committee has been working on policy relating to steering and succession.

  • Constitution Task Force has been working on the constitution rewrite. At Monday’s CTF meeting, consensus was reached that ARC and SAAC should sit under the SA Senate. CTF planning to hold an extended session this week to discuss the structure of SA Government more.

  • The Student Life Committee is working on the “UR A Star” Award.

  • Student Life is sending emails relating to the International Student Involvement project.

  • $425 was released to ROC Players for advertising.

  • $1,000 was released to WRUR for equipment.

  • SAAC is working with Athletics, Intramurals Program, Club Sports Council, club sports student organizations, and ARC to reorganize club sports program.

  • Students can now apply to be an ACJC justice. Students can sign up for an interview time online.

  • Impact Week is Mar. 6-10. SA is considering moving it to the fall semester.

  • 5K Challenge Update: Facilities is “on board” with the implementation of Pads and Tampons Initiative. SA is developing a data collection plan for the program. Floto estimates implementation to begin either the week of March 27 or April 3.

  • Headspace Initiative: CARE supportive of the initiative. Attempting to partner with UHS on the initiative.

  • $30,000 released to Drama house to revamp its lighting system.

  • Up to $45,000 released to the Student Programming Board from reserves for D-Day.

  • SA and WCSA are looking into the creation of a closet and sink in the painted tunnel.

  • Floto expects the Welliora Campaign to be implemented for spring semester the week of April 17 or April 24.

  • Interpres Yearbook had its recognition revoked by SA, effective at the end of the current academic year. ARC explained that Interpres had reached out to ARC and said this would be the last year of the organization. Interpres Yearbook has been on probation since spring 2016 semester.

  • The Pact: A Personal Mentoring Program was granted SA recognition. The Pact is a community service network group that provides students at nearby Wilson High School with professional, personal, and academic support.

  • Alexandria Brown, who is a member of the Campus Times Editorial Board, was appointed as Deputy Chair of Campus Services.

  • Rita Pecoraro was appointed to sit on the Campus Services Committee

  • Simon Budker was appointed as an Executive Aide for Public Relations.

  • SA approved legislation titled “Resolution on Maintaining Open and Regular Communication with the student body” that pertains specifically to Academics committee and mirrors a bill passed recently by Student Life Committee

  • Senate passed a bill to “Demand Transparency on Tuition Increases” in response to the recent email from UR on next year’s rates for tuition and room and board.

  • Senate tabled a bill regarding senator succession. A Bylaws revision is being considered that would extend the length of time prior to the end of the academic year that requires that a new senator fill a vacancy on the Senate. Period extended from five weeks to 10 weeks.

Next meeting

  • Monday, March 6 in the Gowen Room

Justin Trombly February 26, 201710:09 pm

Meeting Date: 2/20/17

By David Schildkraut, News Editor

Top take

  • SA Senate finished in record time: the meeting lasted only 30 minutes.

Other bits

  • The Academics Committee is adapting the Student Life Bill to be more transparent.

  • Academics is benchmarking peer institutions for classes on nutrition/fitness and success.

  • Academics is brainstorming ideas for programs and events to educate students about proper nutrition and how to stay healthy.

  • UR eSports was granted preliminary status.

  • SOAR grading is almost complete. Feedback letters are set to go out next week.

  • The Campus Services Committee is meeting with Dean Burdick on multilingual maps and campus tours.

  • The Elections and Rules Committee is reviewing appeals and steering process.

  • The Constitution Task Force had a long session tentatively scheduled from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Friday, where it planned to discuss the structure of the SA Constitution.

  • The Student Life Committee is continuing to work on staff recognition awards.

  • Student Life is aiding RSA in events.

  • $271 was released to MSAB for a conference.

  • ACJC selections are coming up, and it is looking for three new people.

  • IT is building a survey on Wi-Fi.

  • The SA website has been revamped.

  • SA Vice President Lance Floto and Chief of Staff Linda Shackles are working on the 5K Challenge.

  • A City Council meeting was scheduled for Tuesday about the Riverview driveway.

  • Former Senator Rebecca Mooney and Senator Gabriella Lipschitz were appointed as student organization analysts on ARC.

  • Annemarie Kearns, Onur Bagoren, and Corey Change were appointed as student accountants for SAAC.

  • Former SA President Grant Dever reached out to Senate to encourage calling members of the NYS Assembly and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office to pass legislation for ridesharing in upstate N.Y. Senate is considering passing a resolution in support of such legislation. SA President Vito Martino encouraged calling state assembly members. The issue will be further discussed by SA.

  • Senator Gil is attempting to bring a program to UR that will send students to Yale to learn about international relations, especially relations between the United States and the EU.

  • Senator Bodek said she will be writing an op-ed to the Campus Times in response to an article discussing reactions to this year’s 5K Challenge.

Next meeting

  • Monday, February 27, at 8:00 p.m. in the Gowen Room

Justin Trombly February 15, 20173:08 pm

Meeting Date: 2/13/17

By Sam Passanisi, Senior Staff

Top take

  • Speaker of the Senate Lindsay Wrobel met with senior Stephen Wegman over the past week, and an ultimatum was issued.

  • Wegman and other students spoke to the SA Senate on Jan. 30 requesting fraternities, sororities, a cappella groups, and club sports be sanctioned and stripped of SA support due to an alleged violation of Article V of the SA Constitution.

  • Wegman said he plans to appeal to the All-Campus Judicial Council unless an answer is received from ARC Chair Alex Guerrero by Feb. 20.

  • Senators divided over whether an appeal would be justified.

  • Wrobel quoted Wegman as saying that he would “look the other way” regarding the matter if SA were to drop its review of the club sports and a capella groups named on Jan. 30.

  • Guerrero explained that he is working with SA adviser Anne-Marie Algier and Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs John DiSarro to assess SA’s connection to Greek life.

  • Senate expressed interest in creating a survey for the student body on this issue.

Other bits

  • SA Senate discussed a response to Campus Times article “5K Challenge raises questions of missteps.”

  • Senators divided on degree of response—some wanted a general Senate response while others wanted no written response to be made.

  • Senate agreed that senators are free to write a response to the article individually.

  • Senate leadership will meet with the finalists quoted by Campus Times in the article.

  • SA Vice President Lance Floto is working on the implementation of the 5K Challenge winner, the Pads and Tampons Initiative.

  • SA President Vito Martino will be trying to get voting power on the UR Board of Trustees.

  • The Presidential Diversity Council held its first meeting on Monday, Feb. 13 to discuss implicit bias training.

  • SA is compiling a list of female science and engineering professors.

  • ARC reminds students that all new organization proposals must be submitted by noon on Mar. 1.

  • Rochester Rhythmic Voices granted SA recognition.

  • SA Senator Dan Matthews looking into fixing up unused Spurrier Hall space for student storage.

  • Mili Garcia appointed as Associate Director for Community Engagement.

  • Julie Woodward appointed Legislative Adviser to Academic Affairs Committee.

  • Resolution for “Maintaining open and regular communication with the student body” passed.

    • Charges SA Senate to have more events to communicate with students.

    Next meeting

    • Monday, February 20, at 8:00 p.m. in the Gowen Room

    Justin Trombly February 8, 20173:30 pm

    Meeting date: 2/6/17

    By David Schildkraut and Amanda Marquez, News Editors

    Top take

    • Magnus Opus Rochester Entrepreneurs (MORE) appealed the Administration and Review Committee (ARC) decision to not grant preliminary status to the full SA Senate.

    • This followed the dismissal of the appeal as announced at last week’s SA Meeting.

    • MORE argued that its operations were different than those of Meliora Launchpad, a startup club on campus, the Simon School and the Anes Center for Entrepreneurship. MORE also argued that ARC overstepped its authority as outlined in SA documents, including the ARC Policy and Procedure Manual.

    • ARC argued that MORE violated the uniqueness principle that was part of the criteria for consideration of granting a new student organization preliminary status.

    • Senate had three options: overturn the ARC decision and grant MORE preliminary status, uphold the ARC decision to not grant preliminary status, or send the appeal back to ARC for additional review, which could have included an exception for a violation of a principle.

    • Senate voted 12–2–2 to uphold the ARC decision to not grant MORE preliminary status.

    Other bits

    • UR Hellenic Dancers granted SA Recognition. The group is not restricted to performance; also plans to promote Greek culture on campus.

    • Resolution for “An Addition of an Accessibility Checklist as a Guide When Registering Events” passed.

    • Approved “Senate Statement addressing Student Concerns of Potentially Noncompliant SA Organizations.”

    • Senator Leif Johansen appointed to ARC.

    • Former Senator Rebecca Mooney appointed to Campus Services Committee.

    • Former Senator Jordan Smith appointed to Campus Services Committee.

    • Senator Josh Pachter appointed to Student Life Committee.

    • Senator Cindy Molina appointed to Student Life Committee.

    • Senator Dan Pak appointed to Campus Services Committee.

    • Kanupriya Agarwal appointed Student Organization Analyst for ARC.

    Next meeting

    • Monday, February 13, at 8:00 p.m. in the Gowen Room

      (Correction 2/22/17: This post incorrectly titled Rebecca Mooney and Jordan Smith as senators. They are former senators.

    Justin Trombly January 31, 201712:06 am

    Meeting date: 1/30/17

    By David Schildkraut, News Editor

    Top take

    • A group of students brought up concerns of gender and sex discrimination in 55 student organizations, including fraternities, sororities, a cappella groups, and club sports teams.

    • Senators, committee chairs, SA President Vito Martino, SA Vice President Lance Floto, and ACJC Chief Justice Alec Girten discussed five courses of action: sending the concerns to ARC for review, requesting ACJC to review concerns via an appeal, drafting a statement in support of protesters’ concerns, creating a group of senators to review the constitutions of the organizations in question, and sending the concerns to the SA President for executive action.

    • Senate voted to create a small group of senators to review constitutions, draft a statement in support of the concerns brought up at the meeting, and organize a meeting between the protesters and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs (FSA).

    • Senators conducting review are Kamel Awayda, Leif Johansen, Zoë James, Joey Stephens, and Joshua Pachter

    Other bits

    • Magnum Opus Rochester Entrepreneurs had its appeal dismissed by ARC.

    • Preliminary status of Table Talks tabled.

    • UC Actuarial Club given preliminary status.

    • Student Life drafting petition to City of Rochester to remove “Indian Town” sign located near the Genesee.

    • UofR Stars and Stripes initiative started.

    • Would provide recognition of facilities, dining services, and transportation services workers.

  • Executive branch has created the “Senator Projects Fund” that allocates $2,000 for senators to work on personal SA-related projects.

  • Past SA Vice President Melissa Holloway and current Executive Director of Student Life Nicholas Contento organizing nobannowall

  • Welliora Campaign set to return in April.

  • Senator Leif Johansen appointed to replace Nicholas Pierce on the Constitution Task Force.

  • Chief Justice Alec Girten resigned from the Constitution Task Force.

  • Justice Christian Keenan appointed to fill Chief Justice Girten’s spot on the Constitution Task Force.

  • SA President Vito Martino appointed Deputy Speaker Marco Ramos to the Constitution Task Force.

  • Next meeting

    • Feb. 6 in Wilson Commons’ Gowen Room at 8 p.m.

    Tagged: SA SA Senate


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