Student Senate passes resolutions to clean up in-house issues

The Student Senate passed four resolutions at its regular meeting Tuesday. These resolutions included changing office hours, raising wages for all members, adding a new committee and limiting presidential and vice presidential terms.

Sen. Pernicano presented a resolution to apply term limits for the offices of the student body president and vice president. S. Res. 101-10 limits the president and vice president to a one-year term. It is effective April 1, 2015.

Sen. Ilkhomjon Amanov proposed an amendment to change the one-year limit to a two-year limit. Ten senators objected the amendment, and it was not adopted.

Speaker Kiera Fegan proposed an amendment to change the resolution to include “for which office they are running.” This would enable a vice president to run for president in the next year. The amendment was added to the resolution.

Senator Fatma Jaber supported the resolution.

“I personally have seen a lot of controversy around students who rerun and students who want a change,” she said. “This would give an opportunity to as many students as possible including newcomers.”

Resolution 101-10 was passed 14-4.

“I strongly disagree with this resolution,” Student Body President Desmond Miller said. “Before I consider a veto I want to speak to the students and get an idea of what the student body thinks.”

Sen. William McDonald presented S. Con. Res. 101-01 as a resolution to set the pay of the officers of the Senate. It was presented as the Speaker of the Senate and the Judicial Sergeant shall be compensated at an hourly rate for their attendance at their office hours, Student Senate meetings and Internal Affairs Committee meetings.

“The resolution came about from concern from a number of senators. Speaker Kiera Fegan and Judicial Sergeant David Konarske don’t get paid; this is a way to codify their compensation,” Sen. McDonald said,

Two amendments were presented for the resolution. Senators can bill for a maximum of 10 hours, and the amendment will be in effect as of fall 2015. The amended resolution was passed with a 17-0 vote.

S. Res. 101-09 amends the bylaws to create a new oversight committee. The committee would oversee the spending of the executive office by the Senate to ensure the budgeted money is spent responsibly and to prevent waste.

“Internal Affairs doesn’t go far enough to oversee the president, vice president and executive directors. There is no oversight on how money is being spent,” Sen. Joseph Pernicano said.

The resolution was amended to become effective as of fall 2015. This resolution passed with a 16-2 vote.

Senators recommitted S. Res. 101-11. The resolution would amend the bylaws to compensate senators for their time serving the student body. It will be submitted to the Business and Finance Committee for further evaluation before coming back to the Senate.

S. Res. 101-008 amends Chapter 3.3 of the bylaws to say, “All office hours shall be completed during the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the weekdays when the University is open for business.” The resolution was passed 17-0.

This resolution is designed to allow senators more flexibility in scheduling the minimum amount of office hours required.

Committee heads reported on what their committees have been doing over the last couple of weeks.

Other Business

  • Internal Affairs members signed confidentiality waivers.
  • Business and Finance allocated funds to seven student organizations.
  • Public Affairs worked on plans for two upcoming events, The Weight of Our Words and the Student Debt Loan Project.
  • Academic and Student Affairs prepared for Don’t Blame it on the Alcohol and discussed plans for Club Halle.

Student Senate will have regular committee meetings Tuesday, Feb. 17. The next full senate meeting will be held on Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m.


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