Last week’s SA meeting (Oct. 21) included clarification of rumored plans for removal of the Palestinian flag from Hirst Lounge, a moderated caucus and two unmoderated caucuses on the Tibet/China dispute, additions to committees, and plans for committee meetings. Here are our highlights:
Senator senior Remsha Rafiq addressed the debate that arose on campus in response to the recent release of a list of flags to be hung in Hirst Lounge, not including the Palestinian flag. According to Rafiq, this was because flag protocol had changed, and only UN-recognized member states were to be represented. While Palestine is recognized by the UN, it is not a member state, which caused confusion when organizing the list. The situation has been resolved, and the flag will remain in Hirst Lounge.
SA hosted a moderated caucus on the fallout of the Tibet event and Starbucks incident. Several people came to voice complaints about administration and SA leadership’s handling of the conflict with an email sent to students that morning which did not name or give details about the conflict itself. Tibetan students and others asked for an apology, and an acknowledgment of the harm that Tibetan students have undergone as a result of this dispute, from senate. Senators clarified that they were not responsible for the email, and that SA leadership, including SA President senior Jamal Holtz, and UR administrators wrote and approved the email.
The motion to appoint sophomore Cez Garcia, Sports Editor for the Campus Times, Thayalan Kundralan, and Farah Halaweh as student accountants for the Appropriations Committee was passed.
Student Life Committee
The motion to appoint first-year Ruben Pascual-Gomez as a legislative advisor on the Student Life Committee was passed.
Campus Services Committee
The motion to appoint first-year Michelle Shuai as deputy chair of the Campus Services Committee was passed.
The motion to approve the Senate minutes from Oct. 7 2019 was passed.
The motion to amend the motion to approve Senate minutes in order to make notes on senators’ attendance in the minutes more accessible to students was passed. Now, instead of being marked in code (“D” for “excused absence,”) attendance will be marked in more straightforward phrases (simply “excused absence”.
Reporting sexual misconduct
Senator senior Tayfun Sahin said he met with Heather York of the Center for Student Conflict Management to discuss ways of reporting sexual misconduct. He said he will soon send out a more specific email to select parties.
Course books in library
Senator senior Aya Abdelrahman is working on a project to reserve more books in Rush Rhees for courses. She said that because some professors don’t send book lists to the libraries, there’s a lack of available books, and she is concerned that students may not be aware that there are course books available for them. She has asked for a survey to be sent out to students asking whether they feel that there are enough course books in the library and whether they were previously aware that the library has course books. The Academic Committee will be working with Senator Abdul on this project.
The Society for Knitting and Sewing Students, the Medieval Studies Council, and the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Council have all been derecognized.
Administration and Review Committee
Administration and Review Committee meetings are now available for anyone to attend. They are held every other Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. in Genesee 325.
Student Life Committee
The meeting minutes for the Student Life Committee are now available to the public. They can be found here.
DPS Advisory Board
The first meeting of the Department of Public Safety Advisory Board is scheduled for Nov. 6.
Correction (11/5/19): An earlier version of this article mistakenly said that Heather York works for the Title IX office. In fact, she works for the Center for Student Conflict Management.