New Senate holds first meeting, appointments

GRAND MARSHAL KEVIN DAI ’14 ADDRESSES the Student Senate for the first time. The meeting began with a lengthy recess to allow new members of the Senate to learn parliamentary procedure.

On Monday, the 43rd Student Senate met for the first time to appoint cabinet positions and committee chairs, and to discuss its plans for its term.

Newly-elected Grand Marshal Kevin Dai ’14 began the meeting by calling for an hour-long recess—essentially a break from the normal parliamentary procedure—to go over his agenda in a less formal way. After a round of introductions, Dai started by stating his overall vision for the term: “To revitalize the face of student government, have a meaningful impact on students, and to earn the respect and trust of both the student body and administration.” He outlined three main goals to accomplish this: running more focused and efficient Senate meetings, encouraging discussion and debate from all perspectives, and developing strategies to reach currently uninvolved students. Also during the recess, more experienced senators Paul O’Neil ’14 and Chuck Carletta ’14 spent a few minutes going over Robert’s Rules of Order, the formal rules by which Senate holds its meetings. (Senators take turns speaking while waiting on a queue; amendments to motions operate on a stack with the latest version voted on first.)

The Senate then discussed upcoming items for the next few meetings. Dai hopes to vote on the proposed Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities changes next meeting. He also mentioned choosing a tenured professor to appoint to the Faculty Senate and readdressing the minimum GPA requirements discussed by the previous Senate.

After resuming the official meeting, the Senate appointed cabinet positions and committee chairs. All motions passed nearly unanimously. For cabinet, Carletta is the new vice chair (passed 16-0-0); Stef FeKula ’14 is secretary (passed 16-0-0); Greg Niguidula ’13 is treasurer (passed 13-0-2); Kenley Cheung ’13 is chief information officer (passed 14-0-1); and O’Neil is parliamentarian (passed 15-0-0). In addition, two committee chairs were appointed: Tina Gilland ’15 is communications chair (passed 14-0-1) and Russell Brown ’14 is finance, facilities, and advancement chair (passed 14-0-1). All senators are required to either chair one committee or be a member of at least two.

The Senate will meet again next week at 6 pm in the Shellnut Gallery to approve Union Executive Board representative appointments and discuss the changes to the RPI Student Handbook. The meeting is open to all students.