Meeting Date: 3/27/17

Top take

  • The Students’ Association (SA) Senate passed a bill for fossil fuel divestment.
  • The bill charges UR with making no new fossil fuel investments, and with making divestments from such companies within five years.
  • The bill also charges the creation of an advisory committee for environmental and social responsibility.
  • The text stemmed in part from an IMPACT petition garnering over 300 signatures opposing UR investment in the fossil fuel industry.
  • The bill gained endorsements from Grassroots, Students for a Democratic Society, and UR Fossil Free, an organization of students who oppose fossil fuel investment that is not an SA-recognized group.

Other bits

  • The Administration and Review Committee (ARC) and Wilson Commons Student Activities sent a joint cease and desist letter to UR Fossil Free due to improper usage of the UR name and logo. Only SA recognized organizations are allowed to use the UR logo, but UR Fossil Free is not an SA-recognized organization.
  • The Academics Committee is finishing up its WISE program.
  • A student visitor is coming in to talk to the Academics Committee this week.
  • SA granted recognition to Meliora LaunchPad.
  • SA granted recognition to UR Actuarial Club.
  • SA granted recognition to Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers
  • The French Culture Club was given a two-week preliminary status extension. It needs to host meetings and make clarifications with ARC.
  • UR Pre-Dental Club was given preliminary recognition by ARC. It aims to provide pre-dental students with resources to be successful in their education.
  • ARC wrote a letter in response to an email from senior Stephen Wegman, who recently warned of an appeal to the All-Campus Judicial Council (ACJC) over concerns of violations of non-discriminatory policy. Wegman and others had previously alleged at an SA meeting that Greek, club sports, and a capella groups were violating policies on sex and gender discrimination. ACJC Chief Justice Alec Girten reported that there was no appeal on file.
  • The Campus Services Committee is hosting its Stories for Accessibility event on March 30 from 5-7 p.m. in Evans Lam Square. With personal stories, individuals will explain the importance of providing proper disability and accessibility resources.
  • Campus Services is holding the Button Walk on March 31 from 4-6 p.m. Volunteers will meet in the Ruth Merrill Center and then survey campus to see where there is a need for greater accessibility and where handicap buttons are not working.
  • Campus Services is in the process of determining what information needs to be translated for its initiative to translate maps, admissions materials, and more into languages other than English. The committee reported having some difficulties with orientation materials. Speaker of the Senate Lindsay Wrobel suggested considering translating the student constitution per a suggestion received at a recent town hall.
  • Campus Services is looking into a student storage space project in Spurrier Gym.
  • The Elections and Rules Committee has updated its Policy and Procedure Manual.
  • Elections dates are now set. Mandatory information sessions for students interested in running for class council and SA Government will be on Friday, March 31, Monday, April 3, and Wednesday, April 5.
  • The SA Presidential Debate will be held on April 12.
  • Spring elections voting will take place from April 17 to April 19.
  • Elections and Rules Committee is working on speaker and deputy speaker selections.
  • The Constitution Task Force (CTF) is expecting “something” to be on table next week for the SA Constitution rewrite.
  • Senators were offered to sit on a specific sub-committee on CTF. Subcommittees will be focusing on different topics, and will be writing parts of the new constitution on their assigned topics.
  • SA is not looking to pass a new constitution during spring elections this semester.
  • Student Life met with Fossil Free UR about the divestment statement.
  • Student Life is continuing with its UR A Star initiative.
  • $7,109 was released to Graphic Arts for new computers in the Graphics Arts Suite.
  • $320 was released to the Chess Club for a tournament.
  • SAAC will be releasing a yet-to-be-determined amount to Vocal Point for car rentals.
  • $3,000 was released to the Filipino American Students’ Association for a comedian.
  • $1,000 was released to the Journal of Undergraduate Research for a new computer.
  • $1,000 was released to the SA legislative branch to replace a 10-year old computer working poorly in legislative office.
  • Budgeting is currently underway.
  • ACJC selections are underway.
  • Madeline Blackburn has been elected as ACJC Chief Justice.
  • Christian Keenan has elected as ACJC Deputy Chief Justice.
  • SA President Vito Martino and SA Vice President Lance Floto were not present at the meeting because they were attending the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Conference in Washington, DC.
  • An email was sent to Dean Lennie regarding SA actions on tuition increase transparency.
  • The 5K Challenge winners and SA met Monday to discuss implementation of the winning proposal to provide free pads and tampons around campus. SA is looking to implement the proposal on April 3 in Rush Rhees Library, Gleason Library, Goergen Hall, the Goergen Athletic Center, Hutchinson Hall, Wilson Commons, and Douglass Commons.
  • Senate passed a bill to work with administration to hold an annual town hall to make students aware of the reasons behind tuition increases.
  • Wrobel announced that the University Council on Sustainability is looking to present to SA.
  • Wrobel met with the new director of iZone today. She suggested sending in suggestions on iZone, and that senators learn more and get involved with the iZone.
  • Freshman senator Leif Johansen requested an update on the iZone before the end of the year.
  • Junior senator Joseph Stephens noted that discussions on the iZone have been going on since he was a freshman.
  • Johansen asked for any update session to be publicized to the student body.

Next meeting

Monday, April 3 in the Gowen Room

Tagged: SA Senate

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