Grand Marshal Paul Ilori ’17 welcomed the Student Senate back from summer and immediately jumped into business with committee reports. While committees have not yet met, the chairmen of each committee outlined their plans for the year.
The first item of business was appointing a secretary. Ilori nominated Sylvia Vo ’17 for the position, but Vo was on co-op last semester and was not able to make any Senate meetings to be appointed. Vo is a member of the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers and has been a secretary for them in the past. The Senate approved the GM’s appointment 17-0-0.
During GM Week last spring, the Faculty Senate meant to have the student body vote on a faculty member to appoint to the Faculty Progression and Tenure Committee. Instead, the Senate took on the responsibility, nominating Professor Langdon Winner.
Winner is the Thomas Phelan Chair of Humanities and Social Sciences and a political theorist for the Department of Science and Technological Studies. His appointment was approved 17-0-0.
The biggest item on the Senate’s agenda was approving the Class of 2020 Freshman Elections Handbook. The Handbook resembles last year’s iteration of the Freshman Elections Handbook, “but better, and we made it for the class of 2020,” said Hannah Rabinowitz ’18.
The Handbook is available at https://poly.rpi.edu/s/fft69.
Justin Etzine ’18 motioned to remove section six, item eight from the handbook, which states: “No posters are allowed in the footbridge sign holders. Posters may be attached to the footbridge fencing.” His reasoning was that removing the item would reduce confusion in the complicated postering rules.
Ilori stated that if the rule changes, it should only change for freshman elections. He worried about the overabundance of postering during GM Week elections.
CJ Markum ’17 argued for keeping the sign holders free of election posters and available to clubs. He wanted to ensure a space where clubs could advertise events and a location where students could find such events without the clutter of campaign posters.
When the motion to change the rule went to vote, it failed 4-9-4.
Thomas Alappat ’17 asked about section five, item two, which stated, “Only passive campaigning is permitted in dining halls and lecture halls/classrooms during class hours.” Alappat felt this rule was ambiguous, wondering if active campaigning was allowed in the dining halls after class hours.
Rabinowitz said that this was not the intention of the rule, but that it could be misinterpreted.
Alappat motioned to change the wording to say, “Only passive campaigning is permitted in dining halls during dining hours and in classrooms during class hours.”
After some discussion, the Senate determined that the rule should be split into two portions, with part A stating, “only passive campaigning is permitted in dining halls during dining hours,” and part B stating, “only passive campaigning is permitted in classrooms during class hours.”
The motion to split the rule was approved 16–0–0 and the motions to approve the individual parts were both approved 16–0–0 . No more changes were motioned, so the Handbook went to vote and was unanimously approved.
With nothing left to discuss for the first meeting of the semester, the Senate concluded its meeting.