Following several grassroots and student-driven efforts, the Student Senate and the Executive Board convened for a special session to discuss a penned letter to the administration.
On Tuesday, March 29, the Senate and E-Board met jointly in Mother’s Wine Emporium at 9 pm, where senators and E-Board representatives discussed the previously-written letter. The meeting was chaired by Grand Marshal Marcus Flowers ’16 and President of the Union Nick Dvorak ’16.
The letter, which had been written collectively by groups of students and alumni through social media, detailed grievances with the Executive Director of Student Activities job posting and listed a number of proposed solutions for the Institute to rectify the situation in the eyes of these students and alumni.
As joint-sessions are not constituted in the Union Constitution, the bodies operated similarly to a committee, using queues to discuss grammar, merits, and content of the letter, while using straw polls to guide the discussions and reach non-binding agreements.
In addition to senators and E-Board representatives, a number of non-student government affiliated students also attended, expressing their varying positions on the letter.
Shortly before 1 am on Wednesday, March 30, the joint-session passed its final straw poll, simulating an overall vote of the letter, which passed. The session closed, and an emergency Senate meeting was called to order by Flowers shortly after. Dvorak and E-Board representatives vacated Mother’s for the Games Room, where they awaited the result of the Senate meeting and held an informal discussion.
The Senate meeting saw a few final comments before the letter went up for vote. A roll call vote was requested, which followed the informal straw polls showing that the majority of senators present were in favor of a roll call. The motion to approve the letter passed 17-6-1. Those who voted in favor were Tommy Alappat ’17, Nancy Bush ’19, Caleb Caraway ’19, Keegan Caraway ’18, Josh D’Amato ’18, Justin Etzine ’18, Alex Fox ’16, Michael Han ’16, Paul Ilori ’17, Jess Krajewski ’16, Bill Mehner ’16, Austin Miller ’17, Samm Notley ’18, Cameron Riley ’19, Steve Sperraza ’18, Will Velarde ’19, and Joe Venusto ’17. Those who voted against were graduate students Mike Caiola, Jen Church, Tim Krentz, Spencer Scott, Benjamin Walcott, and Amanda Youmans. Victoria Phan ’18 abstained from voting.
The E-Board held a closed session in the Games Room once the Senate adjourned. The roll call vote on the motion to approve the same letter was approved by a vote of 11-4-0. Those who voted in favor were Kirk Bittner ’16, Greg Bartell ’17, Jeremy Feldman ’16, Harrison Kang ’17, Chip Kirchner ’17, Erica Lane ’18, Shannon Gillespie McComb ’17, Donna Grace Moletta ’18, Conrad Mossl ’17, Nick Schlatz ’16, and graduate student Nick Thompson. Those who voted against were Alex Benzell ’16, graduate student Jen Church, Matt Rand ’19, and Ines Roman ’16.
Due to the timing of the special meeting, this article is not comprehensive. However, the Senate and E-Board Secretaries, Caraway and Stephanie Kern-Allely ’18, respectively, recorded detailed meeting minutes, which will be publicly accessible once posted. This article will be updated online to include links to these minutes as soon as possible.