Senate Meeting Minutes :: 4.26.18 :: Week 4
Minutes of the SCU Student Senate Meeting April 26, 2018
Senate Chair Aly Motzel
Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal
First Year Senators:
Payton Dizney Swanson
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate Chair Aly Motzel called the April 26th, 2018 meeting of the Santa Clara University Student Senate to order at 7:00 pm in the Williman Room of Benson.
Senate Chair Aly Motzel asked a member to read the invocation. Senior Senator Rory Pannkuk recited the invocation.
2. ROLL CALL
Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal took roll at 7:06 pm.
3. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
Senate Chair Aly Motzel asked the Senate to consider the agenda for the current meeting. She requested questions and comments related to the agenda. Hearing none, she asked for a motion to approve the agenda. The agenda was approved by At-Large Senator Kayla Williams and seconded by Senior Senator Angelica Fuentes.
4. APPROVAL OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES
Senate Chair Aly Motzel asked the Senate to consider the previous week’s Meeting Minutes and requested questions and comments related to the minutes. Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa requested that the Pro-Tempore fix the instances where he wrote that she was a First Year Senator. Senate Chair Aly Motzel asked Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal to make the correction. Hearing no more concerns, she asked for a motion to approve the Minutes. The motion was made by First Year Senator Sahill Sagar and seconded by First Year Senator Mai Sinada.
5. SPECIAL ORDERS OF BUSINESS
Senate Speaker: Melissa Brotherton
The President of the Staff Senate Melissa Brotherton gave a presentation on how the Staff Senate functions and on the new developments within the Staff Senate. Her presentation is summarized below.
The Staff Senate consults and makes recommendations on all University initiatives that pertain to staff
There are 45 senators and 7 on the executive team
1150 total staff
We 3 committees
We have liaisons to the University Coordinating Committee, the University Budget Council, the Technology Advisory Committee, Staff Affairs Office, the Dining Services Office, and the Parking and Transportation Office
Priorities for this year:
More collaborations with campus groups
Increasing our senator participation
Restructure the executive team
Create better transitional materials from year to year
We have put out a monthly newsletter on the Senate goings-on
Increased senator participation
Instituted a senator spotlight at our monthly meetings
Developed stronger relationships with faculty senate council, ASG, and staff affairs
Supported the Sustaining Excellence Initiatives and the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative
Provided feedback on the amendment to alcohol policy
Ran a faculty survey
New automated election process
Proposed a Staff Housing Task force
Proposed equitable staff representation on the University Budget Council with that of faculty
Proposed Mid-Year Financial Update
Proposed a shift to a president and president elect to ease transitions
Approved and beginning to implement
Participated and Hosted Events
Annual Staff Faire, Brown Bag lunch, volunteer day at Forge Garden, ran a few 5ks, and many others
Updates to our bylaws for clarity
New administration position for staff senate
Making a staff senate handbook
Senate Chair Aly Motzel thanked Melissa Brotherton for her presentation and asked if there were any questions for her.
First Year Senator Mai Sinada: What is the staff senate doing to support minority staff members?
Answer: Our working group is working on Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives and their implementation.
First Year Senator Robbie Nunes: What are you asking for regarding the mid year financial review?
Answer: This will give us an update before the year ends so that we can help in finding budget solutions before they become a problem.
First Year Senator Ciara Moezidis: How are senators elected?
Answer: Departments nominate them and then the department votes. It is a two year term.
Sophomore Senator Duncan McDonell: What are your thoughts on the unionization?
Answer: I don't personally have an opinion. There's a lot up in the air how that will affect the campus.
Junior Senator Alex Perlman: Has intellectual property come up?
Parliamentarian Confirmation and Swear-In
Senate Chair Aly Motzel thanked Melissa Brotherton again for her presentation and then invited the candidate for Parliamentarian, Kayla Williams, to the floor. She then introduced her and asked if the Senate had any questions for her.
Sophomore Senator David Warne: What will you change?
Answer: I want to have more accountability and catalogue attendance to all meetings. I also want to pursue my own projects.
First Year Senator Sahill Sagar: How do you plan to have office hours work?
Answer: Start planning and reserving tables early on.
Sophomore Senator Duncan McDonell: Do you think that office hours are valuable?
Answer: Yes, the students have elected the Senators and they deserve to be able to speak to you and hold you accountable.
Senate Chair Aly Motzel: Any other thoughts, concerns, or questions?
Junior Senator Victoria Linares: I support her.
Senate Chair Aly Motzel, hearing no more questions, asked for a motion to vote. The motion to vote was given by Junior Senator Victoria Linares and seconded by Sophomore Senator Duncan McDonell. Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal took roll and Kayla Williams was approved as the new Parliamentarian.
6. EXECUTIVE BRANCH UPDATES
Public Relations VP Maggie Hurlbut: We are working with Victoria Juarez to create new Educated Partier t-shirts and we are working on other collaborations with CommDev. We only have a few weeks left, please nominate your fellow senators for Senator Spotlight!
Community Development VP Elena Radding: Ro Khana represents our district in Congress and he is on the House Budget Committee which is one of the most important and powerful committees. Dates to know: Ro Khanna on Tuesday 5/1, 6-7 PM, Bronco Brawl on Thursday 5/10, and John Farnsworth’s Last Lecture on 5/9.
Finance VP Ben Rhoades: I am working on doing the yearly budget with Jack Herstam. For the 2019 Fiscal Year we have a Proposed Budget Set: Chief Justice pushed from Tier 5 to Tier 4, Bronco News Chair pushed from Tier 2 to Tier 1, and $3,540 moved from Operating Budget to Clubs. We will give a more detailed presentation in the next two weeks. Office hours are on Wednesday from 11:45-1:00 and on Friday from 11:45-2:00.
Chief Justice Rachel Brooke Herzog: If you want to change your position descriptions, please let me know. We will have two students rights’ newsletters, one for on-campus and one for off-campus.
Vice President Sam Perez: Projects: Sexual Assault Awareness video with PRxDigital, Contraception Distribution Policy, Can’t Thread a Moving Needle follow up, Broncomobile, Bias Incident Tracker, and Peer Health Education. Dates to know: 5/16 at 5:00 PM is the Transition Ceremony at Mission Church and on 5/23 at 7:30 pm is the ASG Banquet.
President Jack Herstam: I am working with Aly on giving feedback for UPC Student Affairs. Jeanne wants to continue conversations regarding Greek culture. Dates to know: Bill Clinton is speaking at the SAP Center coming up on April 28th.
7. COMMITTEE UPDATES
COMM - We have made progress on putting together a Senior Appreciation Event and we will have it on the 16th or 18th of May. We plan to hand out t-shirts for seniors to sign. Committee Member’s Projects: Junior Senator Victoria Linares: Working with Rachel in creating van/ride sharing for student safety. At-Large Senator Kayla Williams: Letters to future leaders are due before next week’s Senate meeting to hand out during transition senate. At-Large Senator Annie Martin: Working with the Wellness Center and PR in filming new Step Up video; please reach out to her if you would like to help. At-Large Senator Rahaima Choudhry: Helping SSA plan an event happening this quarter. Also planning Spirituality Day with Campus Ministry. Dates to know: Senior appreciation day on Wednesday 5/16 or Friday 5/18.
CUIC - Committee Member’s Projects: Senior Senator Mayron Mulugeta: Working on a promotional video for baseball with CommDev and creating an alternative event to the MCC Lip-Sync Battle. First Year Senator Ciara Moezidis: Working on “Earth Week” VTA Competition with Residence Halls and working with Peer Health Educators on Bronco Positivity event. Mental Health Awareness month is in May and I met with Daniel Aguilar to plan on who we can collaborate with to get out the Bronco Positivity Posters out in May. Please reach out to me if you can help me with graphic design and putting the posters together. Senior Senator Thayne Kollmorgen: Working on clarifying the Studnet Handbook regulations on noise amplification. At-Large Senator Bjorn Thyrring: Working on drafting a proposal to give to administration to get QPR training for all first years. First Year Senator Robbie Nunes: Working on getting a commuter lounge resolution going. Dates to know: None.
FOC - Please share the survey for the photo printer. Committee Member’s Projects: Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa: Working on getting backpack hangers for the library and is collaborating with CommDev to do a meet that candidates for county supervisor that will have Chick-fil-a. Junior Senator Alex Perlman: The hammock poles will be put in on the Swig Lawn. Meeting with administration to plan the pilot program for Nap Pods and to begin the implementation of the double-business major. First Year Senator Kyle Andrews: Working to get a photo printer for the students. Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal: Working on a new student involvement survey with Tedd Vanadilok and on a Contingent Faculty Union Resolution. At-Large Senator Kristin Godfrey: Working on a resolution to increase professor diversity with Rahaima Choudhry. Junior Senator Rachel Wiggins: Working on a safe ride home program with Campus Safety. Also working with At-Large Senator Payton Dizney Swanson to plan a faculty appreciation event. Reach out to either of them if you would like to help or have faculty to invite. Sophomore Senator Avery James: Working on creating a way to beautify the construction fences on campus with art or informational posters and has now been approved by administration. Reach out to her if you have any ideas or would like to help.
SAC - We are working on RSO reform with Sam Kibbish to streamline the RSO approval process and the maintenance of RSO program. One more RSO will present next week.
8. NEW BUSINESS
RSO Status Voting
Sophomore Senator David Warne: I reached out to the clubs with your questions. In regards to adding yearly voting to Tap Club’s constitution, they will add that. SAC did not have concerns about any of the clubs. We are voting on Tap, CHAARG, MENA, Active Minds, FEAT, and Period.
Senate Chair Aly Motzel: Does anyone have any concerns?
First Year Senator Sahill Sagar: Regarding the middle eastern club, are they trying to join the MCC?
First Year Senator Mai Sinada: They did say they are, but they do have to be an RSO for a year first.
Senate Chair Aly Motzel, hearing no more questions or concerns, asked for a motion to white ballot. The motion to white ballot was given by Junior Senator Alex Perlman and seconded by First Year Senator Mai Sinada. Senate Chair Aly Motzel then asked for a motion to vote. The motion to vote was given by Senior Senator Amy Monzon and seconded by First Year Senator Mai Sinada. Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal took roll and the Tap Club, CHAARG, Active Minds, FEAT, and Period were given RSO status.
VTA Resolution Voting
Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa and First Year Senator Ciara Moezidis read the resolution. (The resolution is attached).
Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa: any concerns about diction or content?
Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal: Could we take out the tuition part?
Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa: This is the only way that the university will support this measure. This shows the university that the students want this program.
First Year Senator Sahill Sagar: Those that I have talked to have expressed that they do not want to use the public transportation.
Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa: I do understand that. Right now there is not a culture on campus to show students that public transportation is easy and cheap and that we have not marketed it to the students.
First Year Senator Sahill Sagar: I see it as a problem that there isn't a culture of using it and that there still isn't a desire to change.
Manager of the Office of Parking and Transportation Laura Ceja: At UCLA, bus usage increased by 52 percent in the first year after buying a bus pass for all students. Traffic congestion in that area reduced by 20 percent.
Manager of the Office of Parking and Transportation Laura Ceja then read a letter written and signed by Campus Safety and the Transportation Office in support of the Resolution.
Junior Senator Rory Pannkuk: We are supposed to be the voice of the student body. I have seen too much opposition to the tuition increase.
Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa: It is an investment in the university and it will save students money. I tried to get the money from the Housing Office and use an opt-in contract with VTA, but it can't be done. Students pay more than thirteen dollars to use their cars and uber. There is a net benefit.
Manager of the Office of Parking and Transportation Laura Ceja: We have students who come to us asking about the VTA pass and we have to turn them away.
Junior Senator Rory Pannkuk: I see that as disbursing the cost to those who will not use what they are being charged for.
CommDev Chair Elena Radding: What if we looked into a way for ASG to directly fund VTA passes for those who want them.
Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa: That does help students, but it doesn’t address the sustainability aspect. It also does not help change the culture on campus.
First Year Senator Ciara Moezidis: Funding individual passes may not be financially viable. Helen and I have made the point that it is only 4 dollars per month.
At-Large Senator Annie Martin: I have heard backlash to adding the cost to tuition from upperclassmen. They would support an opt-in program or a test on just the incoming class.
Sophomore Senator David Warne: I have heard that those who won’t use VTA feel that they shouldn’t have to pay for others to use it. If ASG was going to subsidize student’s VTA passes, it would be a huge burden. It also sets a bad precedent to let students foot the cost for this and it could happen again.
Senior Senator Thayne Kollmorgen: I would second David Warne’s point.
Sophomore Senator Duncan McDonell: I’ve talked to about 25 people and asked them the same way that the survey asked them. I got an overwhelmingly negative response about adding the cost to tuition.
At-Large Senator Rahaima Choudhry: Right now we pay a 200 dollar enhancement fee per quarter, and maybe this could be a part of that enhancement fee.
Senior Senator Amy Monzon: Does the school support this resolution?
Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa: Yes.
Senior Senator Amy Monzon: There isn't a culture and students will not accept this measure right now. UCLA is somewhat different in density. I think that we should only implement this for incoming students to set a precedent for the future.
Manager of the Office of Parking and Transportation Laura Ceja: In response to the cost, VTA currently charges $880 for the year. Our subsidy is huge and will help students use it.
Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa: If we could do it the way Amy said, we would, but this is an all in or all out contract. We need to deal with the parking and congestion problem. This is about the sustainable principle and doing our part to help create a better community.
First Year Senator Kyle Andrews: I’ve asked constituents. They complained that buses are slow and that there isn't much to do in the area anyways. I have also heard that they carpool.
Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa: Having a car on campus is still more expensive and the buses are not that slow and they have wifi. We do have a problem with marketing, but this resolution addresses that.
First Year Senator Kyle Andrews: I spoke to locals who still feel it is not worth it because it is not as convenient.
Parliamentarian Kayla Williams: We should remember that we supported measure B and that came with a tax increase. We should also hold the university accountable for net neutrality.
At-Large Senator Rahaima Choudhry: Even those who have cars should use public transportation.
Vice President Sam Perez: I agree with Amy’s comment about culture, but I think that we should pass this to help change the culture.
Prospective Student: USF does have this system and at the beginning of the year they have guided bus trips to teach new students how to use the system.
SCU Student A: I think that there is a big disconnect between the San Jose community and the Santa Clara community and that this resolution would help to change that.
SCU Student B: I think that this would help to join the greater San Jose community. It will help change the culture of this school and our bubble mentality.
Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa: The VTA is also willing to work with us to add bus routes and more buses for popular destinations.
SCU Senior Student C: The jesuit value of solidarity is part of our school and the need exists here. The buses are slow because of the congestion.
First Year Senator Kyle Andrews: I know that the first years do carpool. By not allowing freshman to have cars on campus we have to find alternatives and we still choose not to use VTA.
Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa: There is really an issue of education and people don’t understand how helpful public transportation was easier.
Chief Justice Rachel Brooke Herzog: The O’connor Standard reads that we as ASG members have a duty to be sustainable and use modes of transport other than personal vehicles
Senior Senator Mayron Mulugeta: I spoke to seniors who were in favor. The culture change has to start somewhere. A lot of people do not have the option to uber or to drive.
Sophomore Senator Duncan McDonell: I don’t have a car and I have carpooled with friends.
At-Large Senator Annie Martin: I think we should have a reassessment soon so we can see if the passes are having an impact on congestion and on the students.
Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa: It is quarterly contract and we have a five year minimum to reassess and remove it.
First Year Senator Sahill Sagar: There are hidden fees that are charged to us in our tuition. Can you ask this to be put into the $200 enhancement fee. I would second David Warne’s point about setting a bad precedent.
Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa: I can ask about that, but we need the resolution to move forward.
First Year Senator Robbie Nunes: I heard some support and some backlash. I think that changing the reassessment to be sooner would help.
Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa: I will change it to two years
Junior Senator Alex Perlman: I want you guys to think about the culture change and that incoming students will use this service when they are told about it and it is free. Helen’s survey awas a large sampling and I support this.
Sophomore Senator David Warne: I think that we are a privileged school and that to add a fee is hurting the students.
Senior Senator Amy Monzon: I don’t think anyone is against the proposal for any reason except the tuition cost. Can we compromise on that point?
Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa: I don't see the university doing that. We are already running a deficit. Still, I have changed the bylaw to read that the university will help to cover the cost of the VTA pass.
Senate Chair Aly Motzel then took a straw poll on whether the Senate was ready to vote. The Senate said that they were ready.
Senate Chair Aly Motzel, hearing no more questions, asked for a motion to vote. The motion to vote was given by At-Large Senator Rahaima Choudhry and seconded by Sophomore Senator Duncan McDonell. Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal took roll and the resolution passed.
Regional Measure 3 Resolution
Senate Chair Aly Motzel: The majority of you said that you don’t want to vote on a resolution in support of Measure 3. I would like to have a discussion about why that is.
Sophomore Senator Duncan McDonell: I personally don't care about this resolution and I think that the student body doesn't care.
Senior Senator Mayron Mulugeta: I didn't think that we are qualified to speak for the people of the Bay Area and put a fiscal burden on them
Sophomore Senator David Warne: I didn’t see enough evidence that the changes will help ease the congestion.
Senior Senator Thayne Kollmorgen: I think that they are biased towards to the tech companies who do not have our interests in mind.
First Year Senator Sahill Sagar: I would second David Warne’s point.
Senate Chair Aly Motzel: Why did we support the Measure B and not this.
Junior Senator Alex Perlman: I don't see a difference, but I think that our views are different this year.
Senior Senator Mayron Mulugeta: We were also better able to speak for the Santa Clara community, not the whole Bay Area.
Senate Chair Aly Motzel thanked the Senate for their discussion.
Adjunct Faculty Resolution Presentation
Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal, SCAPP Member Emma Stinson, Junior Senator Alex Perlman, and Sophomore Senator Helen Kassa read the resolution (attached).
Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal: The non-tenure track faculty at SCU have decided to unionize. Currently anyone who isn't on the tenure-track does not have a say in their department and 60% of the faculty are not tenure-track. Additionally, at the end of their contracts, which vary from one quarter to three years, they have to go through an entire national application process to be rehired. Although that seems like an accountability measure, it means professors are putting their time into finding other jobs, not into their classes. There are 934 faculty at the university and 41% are tenured and 29% are quarterly adjunct.
Emma Stinson: It isn’t great that some professors have to commute hours to get here because they can’t afford housing near the school.
Sophomore Senator Ciara Moezidis: In comparison to other schools, what are the tenured percentages of other schools?
Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal: This is a nationwide problem. Universities pay less to have more adjunct professors.
President Jack Herstam: Unions are really good for individuals when they are established because it advocates on a group of individuals. Unions don’t guarantee a pay increase. When a union is created that doesn't mean that everyone will join it.
Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal: The prospect of a union strike is obviously not good, but at other universities, strikes are not the norm. The difference between this union and others is that it will be organized by SCU faculty, but Jack is right about bargaining with the university.
Emma Stinson: This vote is supporting their right to unionize. This vote is just saying “we support our professors.”
Sophomore Senator Duncan McDonell: Is the reason other colleges are not having strikes because they haven't gotten a pay raise?
Sophomore Senator David Warne: Can we hear from Dennis Jacobs and hear about the cons?
Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal: Potentially. Aly and I actually met with him and he sent in an email. I will reach out to him.
First Year Senator Sahil Sagar: What departments have more professors in tenure?
Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal: The humanities have slightly more, but the school average of 60 percent is fairly consistent.
Chief Justice Rachel Brooke Herzog: How often are professors senior lecturers?
Emma Stinson: I talked to one of the organizers and their main goal is to provide a pathway from senior lecturer to tenured.
Vice President Sam Perez: Would the tuition be increased?
Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal: There would be a tuition hike. The profs are what make this university the university. We would definitely want to find other ways to cut out tuition.
Sam Perez:there is an economic disparity within the students
Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal: There is currently a system creating issues with tenure and that way it would create the binary between adjunct and tenure and nothing in between
Emma Stinson: We can look at other colleges where they have unionized so we can look at how they implemented it in their tuition.
Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal: Thank you for your comments and questions. We will follow up on them next week and we will have members of the organizing committee speak and answer questions as well.
9. OLD BUSINESS
Senate Chair Aly Motzel: There is no an open At-Large Senate position for Diversity and Inclusion. Please apply if you are interested and let people know.
First Year Senator Sahill Sagar: I ended up getting a sponsor and if anyone is interested in painting chairs, reach out to me if you would like to.
Senate Chair Aly Motzel asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Adjournment was approved by At-Large Senator Rahaima Choudhry and seconded by Junior Senator Alex Perlman. Senate Chair Aly Motzel called the April 26th, 2018 meeting of the Santa Clara University Senate to a close at 9:15 PM.
12. ROLL CALL
Pro-Tempore Sam McNeal took roll at 9:20 PM.