Hello, RPI. There are many things to discuss this week. At the Student Senate meeting, the Senate approved the Judicial Board Selection Committee’s nominations to the Judicial Board. Congratulations to Sophia Dantoin ’14, Spencer Pilcher ’15, Zachary Minster ’16, and Christopher Notarnicola ’15 for being selected to serve. As a brief reminder, the Judicial Board is comprised of seven students and has “jurisdiction in alleged violations of the grounds for disciplinary action by students or groups, and in civil cases between students/groups.” The Judicial Board can also rule whether an action is constitutional or not if a case is brought to them. This power is rarely used and is mostly relevant in student government affairs.
In addition to the Judicial Board, the Senate approved my two appointments to the Review Board. Congratulations to Graduate Student Michael Caiola and Lisa DeCrescente ’15 for being approved to serve on the board. Very few know about the Review Board so I thought it would be prudent to mention exactly what this group does. The Review Board is the highest court of appeal before the President of the Institute. The Board is composed of 5 members. These five members consist of one administrator appointed by Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, two faculty members appointed by the chairperson of the Faculty Council, and two students appointed by the Grand Marshal.
At the next Senate meeting, there will be an open forum on the topic of Greek representation on the Student Senate. This is a topic that I have written about previously and will finally be talked about in great detail at the meeting. The meeting itself will be from 6–8 pm on February 24. Currently, I am looking for a larger location so that our guests are not cramped in the space the Senate has now. When it is finalized the location of the meeting will be sent out via Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and advertised in the Rensselaer Union. Here is a brief recap of the current situation and what both sides will be looking at in the discussion.
Right now, there are two Greek senators on the Senate. One is from the Interfraternity Council and the other is from the Panhellenic Council. One opinion is that Greek senators should not have voting rights on the Senate because they represent the particular interests of a specific student population outside of class year. The opposing opinion believes the Greeks should maintain their current voting status based on the many contributions and influences the Greek community has in the RPI community. This argument combined with the fact that Greek life has had voting representation in some form or another on the Senate for a long time also makes for a compelling argument.
After the open forum, the Senate will be voting on changes to the Union Constitution on March 3. The representation of Greek senators will potentially be one of those changes. If the Senate chooses to pass the motion that is not the end of the debate. If the Senate approves the changes to the Union Constitution, it is then voted on by the entire student body in the upcoming Grand Marshal Week elections. As the weeks progress, I will go into more detail about the upcoming election and the voting process for the Union Constitution if the Senate approves it. If anyone has any questions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.