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: 3/6/17

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

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