Bylaws amended, SGCC roles outlined

On Monday, November 27, the Student Senate covered changes to policies, progress on updating shuttle routes and stops, and the potential for adding an online component to the Advising & Learning Assistance Center’s tutoring services.

The night began with the only substantial piece of business on the agenda: a motion tabled from the previous week regarding an amendment to Article IX, Section 8 of The Bylaws of the Rensselaer Union Student Senate.

This section outlines the Student Government Communications Committee, which is a standing committee of the Senate and the Executive Board that is “responsible for promoting the initiatives and activities of the Student Senate, Executive Board, Undergraduate Council, Graduate Council, and Judicial Board.”

The amendment in the motion, which passed with a vote of 20-0-0 after multiple amendments to the original amendment itself, replaced the entire section.

Most of the changes were for consistency and clarification, but a major point of discussion in the meeting revolved around content changes to Subsection G and how they related to the role of the SGCC chairperson. There were changes made to that subsection that gave responsibility to “correspond with the SGCC chairperson” to members of other student government bodies and committees, which ultimately passed.

The full, approved motion can be viewed at

The Senate then moved on to the grand marshal report, in which Justin Etzine ’18 announced that meeting times will change next semester and that the Senate survey will likely be going out later in the week. Parliamentarian Jennie Miller ’19 also stepped down, so applications for the position are currently open. Stefanie Warner ’18 is currently serving as the interim parliamentarian, but Etzine is looking to appoint someone to the position by the end of the semester.

During committee reports, Student Life Committee Chairperson Hannah Merrow ’18 announced the Board of Trustee’s “new, reconvened Student Life Committee meeting” that she and Etzine will be attending on Friday. She was open to taking any questions from the Senate into consideration.

Facilities and Services Committee Chairperson Nancy Bush ’19 shared that Project Lead Lily Wang ’20 met with people from the Parking and Transportation Office about changing shuttle routes and adding new stops. The routes would still include the stop near the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, but it would be on the West Campus Shuttle route instead. According to Bush, the changes will likely be tested over winter break and would hopefully make the routes more even.

Academic Affairs Committee Chairperson Risheel Gabbireddy ’18 said that he met with the director of ALAC, and there has been a positive response to the online drop-in tutoring. It would include a system that worked alongside ALAC, in which tutors would “be online in an approved platform to answer quick questions.” It may be piloted next semester. Gabbireddy also shared that all of the deans have responded back positively about an “all-RPI research symposium,” and that he has to start meeting with them to figure out the details.  

During peer body and officer reports, the Graduate Council expressed that it has a vacant graduate senator position that it’s trying to fill.

Greek Senator Sean Ferracioli ’18 said that the Interfraternity Council elected an executive board that will be transitioning into its positions this weekend.

There were no special orders or new business, and the meeting adjourned at 8:38 pm. The Student Senate will meet next week at 8 pm in the Shelnutt Gallery.