This meeting started off with reports from the committees of the Senate. Joe Venusto ‘17 from the Facilities & Services Committee discussed looking into increased seating in the Darrin Communications Center on the third floor, and also into the placement of water bottle fillers around campus. The Hospitality Services and Advisory Committee discussed walk-throughs of the dining facilities on campus in order to make meal plan recommendations for the next academic year by the end of October. Victoria Tong ’16, chair of the Rules and Elections Committee told the Senate that information sessions for freshmen election candidates have begun, along with the official start of campaigns as of September 22. All interested candidates must attend one of the sessions before they begin to campaign, and all interested freshmen are encouraged to attend a session sooner rather than later. Paul Illori ’17 told the Senate that the Student Life Committee is in the initial stages of deciding which of their projects are actually feasible to cover for the upcoming academic year.
Senator James Whelan ’17 from the Interfraternity Council, discussed the end of rush and the signing of bids on Friday, September 25 on the third floor of the Rensselaer Union. Senator Victoria Phan ’18, representing the Panhellenic Association, informed the Senate that sorority formal recruitment ended on Sunday. Phan also told the Senate about an upcoming carnival event hosted by Delta Kappa Epsilon and Alpha Omega Epsilon on October 17.
Grand Marshal Marcus Flowers ’16 then brought a motion before the Senate to appoint Andrew Sudano ’17 as chairman of the joint Union Activity Fee Task Force with the Executive Board. Ilori told the Senate that this motion was a formality, as they had forgotten to appoint Sudano as the chairman during the meeting last week. Thomas Alappat ’17 agreed by pointing out that Sudano was the founder of this committee, and he believed it would be unwise to appoint someone else to the chair of the new UAR Task Force. Graduate senator Jen Church brought up concerns that the Senate might not have the authority under the current set of bylaws to appoint the chair of this new task force. Flowers pointed out that the Senate did have the authority to do so, as the UAR Task Force is an ad-hoc committee that will be dissolved once the UAR is released early next year. Furthermore, Flowers told the Senate that he trusts the recommendation of President of the Union Nick Dvorak ’16 in his appointment of Sudano as chairman of the UAR Task Force. The motion appointing Sudano passed 7-2-5.
The meeting ended with more discussion of the Summer Arch program. Administration has begun to provide Flowers with information about the meeting times of their committees and that there will be student representation on all of them. At the same time, Flowers expressed concern that each committee wanted to meet with him one-on-one before telling him the meeting times. With news of the Summer Arch program being available for several weeks now, Flowers explained that the initial rage has died down, and reminded students that changes are actually going to go into effect in a few years. Flowers informed the Senate that the program is not fully planned by the Institute, and that now is the time for students to get involved, both inside and outside of the Senate. According to Flowers, the Senate cannot take on these changes by itself, and it should consult as many different students as possible in order to get the best idea of what the students of RPI want the Summer Arch program to be.