Student Senate

Senate urges creation of new interfaith space

The 50th Student Senate saw multiple visitors in its second meeting, including Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President Travis T. Apgar, members of the Interfraternity Council, Public Relations Chair of the Muslim Student Association Samad Farooqui ’19, and five Judicial Board appointees.

A motion was read to the Senate resolving to “commend the efforts of the Muslim Student Association in ensuring that their members and other members of religious groups have a safe place to pray” as well as urge administration to repurpose rooms in either the Folsom Library or one of the central academic buildings on campus to serve that function. This motion stemmed from the visit of MSA Public Relations Chair Samad Farooqui ’19, in which he spoke to the Senate about the need for an interfaith prayer space on the academic side of campus. Johns expressed support by calling it “an important motion for a few reasons: first, because it shows support for a lot of the communities here on campus, but also because it enables us to have future conversations about these kinds of topics.” After amendments for clarity, the motion passed unanimously.

In an email sent on March 27, various changes to the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy were announced to students. Apgar presented these changes to the Senate, and fielded questions from attendees of the meeting. Discussion was cut off at 9 pm, one hour after the meeting began, due to a prior commitment that Apgar had.

[Read more about Apgar’s presentation and the Q&A here.]

Interfraternity Council Senator Peter Gramenides ’19 gave a presentation of the results of a recent survey hosted by the IFC and Panhellenic Council. After this presentation, a motion was read to “strongly recommend immediate consideration of residential clusters in Greek residential facilities during Arch.” The motion also expressed support for collaboration between the IFC, Panhellenic Council, and Student Government, support IFC and Panhellenic involvement in the implementation of deferred recruitment. Additionally, it included recognizing the value of Greek life at Rensselaer and working to endorse their continual existence, and “endorse and recognize the results and findings from the Greek Life Open Forum Questionnaire by the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council.”  After discussion, the motion was amended to strike the latter clause referencing the survey results previously presented on. The resolution passed 13-0-1.

[Read more about this motion and the discussion on it here.]

Multiple Judicial Board appointments were made, including Adam Rabinowitz ’19 as Judicial Board Chairperson. He was supported by Student Life Committee Chairperson Bryan Johns ’20, who said “his credentials are immaculate and I have no doubt about his experience.” Regular member appointments included Alex Ford ’21, Lucas Davis ’20, and graduate student Welby Huynh. Graduate student Nathan James was appointed as an alternate member.

The Student Senate holds open meetings in the Shelnutt Gallery in the Union every Monday at 8 pm.