Committees review progress, plans at end of term meeting

Wednesday, April 6 was the last meeting of the 46th Student Senate. While their term of office is not over until new senators are elected, the Senate does not have any further planned meetings. At this meeting, the Senate spent time reviewing what the committees completed this past year, and what plans they have for the future.

Chris Hoskins ’16 presented for the Communications Committee. While Hoskins has been the chairman for the latter half of the semester, he presented a strong focus on social media outreach on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. His committee also worked on rebranding Student Government logos, including creating an overarching logo and reworking ones for the Senate, the Executive Board, the Judicial Board, and the Graduate and Undergraduate Class Councils.

Graduate student Spencer Scott presented for the Academic Affairs Committee. Their focus this year was on their fellowship project and benchmarking the assistance students receive when applying for external fellowships. AAC also worked on cataloging undergraduate research at Rensselaer, making it easier for undergraduate students to find professors to work with.

Graduate student Jen Church presented on the Union Annual Report Committee. Church noted that, this year, the committee added more letters to the document, including a brief history of the Union Annual Report, and created three versions; a complete version, a condensed version, and a pamphlet for distribution.

Facilities and Services Committee projects were presented by Michael Han ’16. This year’s project was installing water bottle filling stations. Through the sale of water bottles and a weR Gold program, the committee now has enough funding to install filling stations in popular student locations.

Student Life Committee Vice- Chairman Harrison Leinweber ’18 presented on behalf of Paul Ilori ’17. SLC’s largest project was revamping how residence hall access works for students. Continuing from last year, the committee benchmarked and worked to create a proposal presented to Vice… President for Administration Claude Rounds. The committee also worked on changes to the inclement weather policy, started to search for new storage space for Orchestra instruments, and took charge of the Preferred Names Petition.

The Web Technologies Group report was presented by Justin Etzine ’18. Most notable was their new and improved elections website, featuring candidate profiles and a more robust infrastructure. The group also worked on a self-guided tour app for the campus and improved the appearance of Flagship Docs.

Lastly, Samantha Notley ’18 presented for the Community Relations Committee. While this committee was created late in the term, Notley worked with Acting Dean of Students Cary Dresher and the Troy Business Improvement District to outline goals. With preliminary plans established, the committee plans to continue outreach with the community and other local colleges.

Moving to unfinished business, the Senate needed to discuss the motion related to the Preserve the Union petition, signed by more than 400 students. There were a number of senators who wanted prompt action to be taken on the issues, while others wanted to gather the data from the Grand Marshal Week referendums before making a decisive choice.

After CJ Markum ’16 said that he was very uncomfortable passing a motion without hearing the voice of his constituents, a motion was passed 17-3-3 tabling discussion of the issue until the second meeting of the 47th Senate.

Matthew Beaudoin ’19 was appointed as E-Board representative in a 23-0-0 vote to take the spot vacated by Greg Bartell ’17. Beaudoin has managed clubs and attended meetings of the E-Board throughout the year, but has not been a voting member.

The Senate meeting was then closed to the public for discussion of internal politics.