Student Senate 9/4: A New Academic Year & Procedural Changes

By Ella Prieto, Managing and News Editor 

On Monday, Student Senate had its first meeting of the 2023-2024 school year. The meeting covered procedural changes for Senate members, the restructuring between the roles of the President and Vice President of the Student Senate, and a newsletter being piloted. 


Officer Reports

President Drew Lemon ’24 welcomed senators and club representatives back to begin the meeting.

“I wanted to extend a special welcome to all of our senators who are here today. Congratulations on your seat! You were elected by your class and that’s a really big milestone, something to really be proud of, and we are so glad to have each and every one of you here,” said Lemon.

He then touched on some of the changes to the Senate this year, most notably the Vice President handling the functions and workings of the meeting while the President handles student concerns and serves as the face of the organization. 

Lemon highlighted his hope to create a Student Senate Newsletter that would list the positive things the Senate accomplishes, events on campus, and birthdays. This Newsletter would be written and edited by the Executive Board and be published weekly on the day of Senate meetings. 

Vice President Geoffrey Meadville ’25 then addressed the body.

“Welcome back! This is going to be an exciting year,” said Meadville. “I’m really excited to be working with you guys. I know that there have been some changes, I know that there may be some thoughts on those changes. Let’s try it and see how it goes.”

The changes mentioned by Meadville include a dress attire for senators to be business casual, a no laptop policy, assigned seating, and a stricter adherence to Robert’s Rules. 

Next, Treasurer Alfredo Roman Jordan ’26 spoke on the state of the budget last year, where the Student Senate spent $87,665. He then projected a graph showing trends in spending.

Secretary Grace Nelson ’26 then spoke on her excitement to be back and her plan to utilize the Student Senate Instagram more, which will include senator highlights in the form of takeovers that will be posted on Monday for Senate meetings. 

Parliamentarian Michael Woods ’25 explained how he will be certifying first-year Student Senate elections that will open on Monday night and then close later in the week. He also informed that committee chair applications will be opened next week. 

The last executive board member to give a report was Inclusion Officer Abby Ruggiero. She told the audience that the Inclusion Committee will take place in CUB 230 from 4-5 p.m. each Thursday and the first thing the Committee will work on is an implicit bias overview.

Student Senate Advisor and Director of the Office of Student Activities and Greek Life (OSAGL) Jon Allen then spoke, welcoming students back and notified club representatives that the Activities Fair would be on Sept. 13 and that OSAGL assigned club leaders modules through Engage Gettysburg that need to be completed. 

Finally, Associate Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students Jeff Foster spoke of his hope to be in Senate meetings as much as possible throughout the year. 


Committee Reports

Due to committees not meeting yet, the reports consisted of the times set for certain committees. This included the Inclusion Committee, the Rules and Administration Committee meeting on Thursdays at 3 p.m. in CUB 206, and the Budget Management Committee meeting on Fridays at 3 p.m.


Club Reports and Announcements

There were no club reports or announcements.


Student Concerns 

The first student concern was the internet on campus being very unreliable. Lemon assured that he would reach out to the Information Technology offices to report back next week.

Roman-Jordan voiced concern over the rising COVID-19 cases on campus. Foster answered that the protocol online should be followed for any student who tests positive.  

Roman-Jordan also answered club representatives that budgets should be sent in two weeks before the event occurs.

Senator Jack Murphy ’24 raised concerns over the quality of chicken during Chicken Finger Friday not being as high. He was answered by Roman Jordan that Executive Director of Auxiliary Services Mike Bishop will be a guest at a future senate meeting where questions about dining can be asked. Meadville also answered that the chicken was changed to Tyson nuggets to increase uniformity. 

Senator Alex Rosado ’24 asked why Campus Safety is enacting a policy where after three room lockouts a student will be charged $25. Foster answered that this was due to a small number of students having numerous lockouts, which takes away from Campus Safety’s ability to do other aspects of their job. Additionally, a financial claim can be made if a student cannot pay the fee. 


Budget Requests

There were no budget requests.


New Business 

During the new business section, senators raised concerns over the new dress code, especially their fears of seeming out of touch with the student body. Meadville answered that the dress code is still in a trial period, but that he believes the dress code shows that the members take the Student Senate seriously and respect it. 

There was also debate over how the elections for the Affinity Group Leaders would occur, with Woods encouraging members to attend the Rules and Administration Committee for more discussion.

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Author: Ella Prieto

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