Senate Holds Final Meeting of Semester. Quorum Sends Opinion on News Reporting of Senate Back to Committee.

A group photo of the Fall 2018 Student Senate (Photo Mary Frasier/The Gettysburgian)

A group photo of the Fall 2018 Student Senate (Photo Mary Frasier/The Gettysburgian)

By Joseph Maguschak, Staff Writer

Vice President Patrick Custer ’19 began Student Senate’s Monday, December 3 meeting by announcing that Randy Feeley ’21 has been chosen as the Senate Committee on Greek Life’s non-Greek Committee Chair and that Custer himself had been chosen as the Greek Committee Chair.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment

The Senate voted on a constitutional amendment that had been tabled the week prior, making sure the College’s definition of “diversity” is included in the Constitution to prevent any discrepancies regarding the role of the Diversity Committee and other similar bodies. This amendment also states that base budgets must be requested per semester, not per year. The amendment was approved.

The following organizations were allotted money by the Budget Management Committee:

  • Gettysburg African Student Association: $515.00 for its annual potluck
  • Latin American Students’ Association: a reimbursement of $100.00 for the club’s Reggae and Chill event
  • Gettysburg Environmental Concerns Organization: $877.50 to attend the Green Allies Conference.

Senate Opinions

This meeting marked the first time this semester that the Senate Opinions Committee presented one of its statements before the entire Student Senate. Senate Opinions Committee’s published statements must receive a majority vote and will then be considered an official position of the Senate. While these opinions cannot change policy or put concrete rules into place, they have been known to influence the decisions of certain bodies that are addressed in the official opinions.

The first opinion that was discussed dealt with Facilities’ responses to students who reach out to them with a concern or problem. The opinion states that although the student body realizes that some issues cannot be fixed in a timely matter, it requests that Facilities responds promptly with an e-mail addressing that the concern/problem has in fact been brought to the attention of Facilities.

This opinion was met with many differing thoughts. Some say that there is no point in addressing this problem, because Facilities is well-aware of the students’ issues and already does its best to respond to the students’ complaints. Others say that although Facilities has been becoming more efficient, there is still a lot of room for improvement, considering the contract the students have entered with the College, expecting a certain degree of both comfort and safety when it comes to their living spaces. Because of this proposed opinion, James Biesecker a member of Facilities reached out to Senate and offered to discuss this issue further. The passing of this opinion has been tabled until this presentation next semester.

The next opinion dealt with the media outlets on campus, such as The Gettysburgian and Gettysburg News Network. The Senate Opinions Committee requests that those publishing potentially controversial articles about certain students contact said students about their side of the story in order to prevent any avoidable circumstances that could ruin the futures of the students involved. Because of disputes over the wording in the presented opinion, the quorum decided to send this back to the Senate Opinions Committee until further revisions are made.

Student Concerns

A student expressed their concern about the current presidential search. The student wishes that the search would be more transparent and that the students could be more involved in the choosing of the future president. However, the Senate learned that the search is purposely remaining secretive to protect the privacy of the candidates.

Committee Reports

CLAC and the Diversity Committee both met with Jeanne Arnold and plan to work together with her to bridge the gap between different ethnic and racial groups on campus. The committees also plan to take the IDI Cultural Background Test. The Diversity Committee stated that it has also been discussing different ways to accommodate neurodiverse persons on campus.

Syd Quan ’22 assumed the position of co-chair of the Outreach Committee and urged students to follow Student Senate on Twitter and Instagram.

Editor’s Note: A previous headline of this article stated that the opinion was tabled. It was sent back to committee. (-B. Pontz)

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Author: Joe Maguschak

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