By Garrett Adams, Staff Writer
Student Senate’s last meeting of the semester on Monday, Dec. 2 was highlighted by a return to the proposal for new amendment that would no longer require club representatives to attend weekly Senate meetings.
The amendment is a proposal championed by Student Senate President Patrick McKenna ’20, who discussed the rationale for his plan in an interview earlier this semester with “On Target,” The Gettysburgian‘s podcast.
The proposal was introduced two weeks ago and was debated before being tabled at the Nov. 25 meeting. During the discussion, some students were resistant to the proposal and felt that it would exclude certain members of campus, while others were supportive of making Senate optional and allowing Affinity Group leaders the responsibility to report back to clubs within their respective divisions.
At the Nov. 25 meeting, a student motioned to end the debate and a voice vote was held to determine if the amendment should be tabled, with 13 affirmative votes and four in opposition.
Senate moved directly back into debate on the previously tabled amendment at this last meeting of the semester.
Melanie Pangol ’21 commented that most of the Senators who had voted against the amendment were people of color.
“How can you expect the Affinity Group leaders to do everything?” she asked.
Many other senators shared Pangol’s views and worried that a single Affinity Group leader would not be able accurately and effectively represent a number of underlying clubs, especially those centered around race and identity.
The new process in electing affinity group leaders would involve the assembly of club presidents within each affinity group to nominate and vote for a new group leader from among their clubs.
Many other senators believed that this new process would limit the responsibilities of all students on campus.
“We’re all required to be well-informed students on campus not just stay in our own bubbles,” said Randy Feeley ’21. “With the passing of this amendment it could create a domino effect that can be harmful.”
Some sought other solutions to what they considered to be a larger issue of Senate leadership.
“The issue is that the exec board needs to be reconstructed,” said Alma Contreras ’22. “This comes from years and years of problems with leadership.”
Diversity Committee Chair Alexandros Economou ’22 suggested a way to make Senate members more involved in club activities: “The first thing we should be doing is making voting members go to at least 5 Senate-funded events,” he said.
The amendment was tabled to be workshopped and revisited when Senate convenes next semester.