Student Senate

Changes to Undergraduate Council Bylaws approved

The Student Senate meeting brought multiple changes to the Undergraduate Council Bylaws, as well as presentations on this year’s Senate survey and Light Walk on October 21.

Undergraduate President Evan Lazaro ’21 gave a presentation on changes to the Undergraduate Council Bylaws. The goal of the changes was to simplify the bylaws by taking out unnecessary and redundant clauses, in addition to removing clauses in bylaws that have not been followed for years.

“It’s about eight pages, it’s too much to expect for the average class council member to read in its entirety; if the bylaws are too long to read, then they are unenforceable and ruins the point of having them,” said Lazaro.

Portions of articles concerning amendments, class council officer positions and duties, and class council committees were removed, and a Supremacy Clause was added to the end of the bylaws. All references to the Undergraduate Council budget were removed, as this exists in a separate document.

After discovering that “good cause” for removal has to be defined in the bylaws, the Senate took a five-minute recess and reconvened with a motion to amend the Undergraduate Council Bylaws which passed 21‒0‒0.

The motion to pass the Undergraduate Council Bylaws changes on the condition that amended changes are passed by the Undergraduate Council was passed 20‒1‒0.

Grand Marshal Meagan Lettko ’20 gave a brief presentation on the changes to the Senate survey. This year the Senate hopes to work with the Institute to generate a list of randomly selected students based on gender, class, school, and ethnicity in order to create a stratified random sampling that is reflective of the entire school.

“In the past we’ve said anybody who goes here can answer this survey and hoped that as many people as possible answer it. This year we're talking about giving everybody a chance to respond to the survey, but also targeting a random sample of students to specifically respond to the survey,” said Lettko.

During committee reports, the Senate fell into a discussion of general safety concerns following the recent police activity on campus, and the general disapproval of the wording of the RPI Alerts sent out.

Lettko relayed that in her meeting with Public Safety administrators, they explained that information about the incident was sensitive, and they could not release it to the public. Senators continued to express discontent with the timeliness and content of the alerts.

Chairman of the Facilities and Services Committee Nick Dybas ’20 gave a presentation on the upcoming Light Walk. The Light Walk is an annual event where senators and Public Safety officers walk pre-planned routes around campus and note needed campus improvements like broken lights or hazards in the road to report to FIXX or the City of Troy.

The event aims to make the community safer, as well as give senators the chance to interact with Public Safety officers. The Senate will participate in the Light Walk in place of their meeting on Monday.