Minutes of the SCU Student Senate Meeting November 29th, 2018
Parliamentarian Ricky Matthews
Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri
First Year Senators:
Senate Chair Alex Perlman
1. CALL TO ORDER
Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri called the November 29th, 2018 meeting of the Santa Clara
University Student Senate to order at 7:00 pm in the Benson Parlors B&C.
Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri invited Senior Senator Kayla Williams to recite the invocation.
2. ROLL CALL
Sophomore Senator Ciara Moezidis took roll at 7:02 pm.
3. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri 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 Senior Senator
Rachel Wiggins and seconded by At-large Senator Eduardo Ruano.
4. APPROVAL OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES
Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri asked the Senate to consider the previous meeting minutes and
requested questions and comments related to the minutes. Hearing none, she asked for a
motion to approve the minutes. The minutes were approved by At-Large Senator Raul
Orellana and seconded by First-year Senator Allie Bare .
5.SPECIAL ORDER OF BUSINESS
Pro-Tempore asked Diego Madrea, Proxy for First-year Senator Hiwad Haider , to introduce
himself to the Senate.
Guest Speaker: Fr. Michael Engh - President of Santa Clara University.
What do you hope the Presidential Search Committee is looking for in candidates?
- I hope they the best candidate who is committed to the values of SCU.
- The process is handled entirely by trustees. 2 faculty members were nominated by the
search committee - Ruth Davis and Katie Murphy. It was suggested to add Lisa
- The University is run by Jesuits and is hoping that they can choose the best-qualified
Jesuit to fill the position.
What is your true opinion about the university's finances and are they getting better?
- I sit on the investment committee and the finance committee which manages
endowment which is about $940 Million.
- When people donate to the University and specify where they would like their money to
be applied, we must do as they wish.
- $540 Million endowment in 10 years
- $1 Million for scholarships for low income and first generation students
- $250,000 towards Cristo Rey high schools
- Goal is to maintain our bond rating
- High housing rates in this area make it difficult to get the best faculty and staff.
How is the STEM project doing?
- Biggest building the university has built. (270,000 square feet)
- It is a very expensive project and we are still raising money.
- The design work is underway for the final finished design.
- December 12th faculty will be moved to the old law school.
What is the one lesson that student leadership has taught you while being president?
- Look at and understand both sides of the issue.
- Current issues of tenured Faculty.
■ They want to form a union differently from how unions have been set up
in the past. That system has been in place for 80 years. Currently the part
time faculty want to have a special arrangement for themselves and so I
have had to look at the different issue itself.
- You have to talk to people from both sides before you make a decision.
Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri thanked Fr. Engh and opened the floor up to questions.
Junior Senator Vidya Pingali : What are some the grievances that you personally related to on
the campus climate Survey?
Fr.Engh: The purpose of the survey was to understand what needed to be worked on and there
is a planning action council that will e meeting to address some of the issues. The issue of
diversity and how we treat others is important. Many students did not feel safe sharing their
views because they felt attacked. I was concerned with the issue of sexual harassment and
assault and how we can educate students to better the culture. In terms of LGBT I was
concerned with the students that wanted to drop out. I was not surprised by the number of
faculty and staff that considered leaving because that is similar to other schools. But for those
who want to leave, it is important to understand why.
Junior Senator Vidya Pingali : Have you ever felt that you did not have a sense of belonging?
Fr.Engh: As a Jesuit I was excluded from scholarship opportunities for my grad program.
Junior Senator Mika Philip : People have been asking if there was a loan taken out for the STEM
Fr.Engh: All of the construction is through a loan. To build that building we need cash right
now. So we do take out loans to cover the payment of the pledges that people make. So, for
example, we built Dowd and were given a plot of land to help pay for that building. We have
done it for all of our buildings. It is about 50 million dollars. The building is going to cost $275
million. The cost of the building for Dowd went up by $8million because I waited to get all the
funds, so I did not want to wait for the STEM building
Senior Senator Eoin Lyons : What do you see as your proudest accomplishment of your ten
Fr. Engh: Proudest accomplishment is seeing the high graduation rate and one of the highest
retention rate. It is great to see students graduate. It is great to see us moving that way as a
Senior Senator Rachel Wiggins : What do you hope to be your legacy as you leave this role?
Fr.Engh: Raising money for diverse students to be able to go here was my goal here and we
are well on our way for that. My mom was the first in her family to go to college and I was the
second. So I have a concern for first-generation students going to college and I want to make
the university stronger.
First-year Senator Allie Bare : What do you hope to do when you retire?
Fr. Engh: Going to take a sabbatical and take care of my aging parents in LA. I will look for a job
in higher education as I have been in higher education for 30 years.
Fr. Engh: About the organizational chart, there is a COO who coordinates athletics, admissions
and financial aid, legal counsel, human resources and a lot of other territory there.
Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri thanked Fr. Engh for his presentation.
6. OLD BUSINESS
RSO Budget Request Bylaw
Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri invited Junior Senator David Warne to the present a bylaw
proposal. She asked Junior Senator David Warne to explain the proposal, she then opened the
floor to questions.
At-large Senator Sophia Smith : Can you explain the bylaw more?
Junior Senator David Warne : Many RSO were submitting discretionary funding requests of
$999 to avoid presenting to Senate.
Junior Senator Vidya Pingali : Will the RSO have to present to SAC, not Senate.
Junior Senator David Warne : Yes that is correct.
Sophomore Senator Sahil Sagar : Will there be a meeting with SAC or a formal Presentation.
Junior Senator David Warne : Formal Presentation.
Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri asked for a motion to vote. Sophomore Senator Kyle Andrews
motioned to vote and Senior Senator Eoin Lyons seconded the motion. Sophomore Senator
Ciara Moezidis took roll and the bylaw passed.
Bylaw to Remove SAC Minutes
Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri asked Junior Senator David Warne to explain the bylaw to
relive the Parliamentarian of taking Minutes during SAC meetings. Pro-Tempore Mary
Balestreri opened the floor to questions. Hearing none, she then asked for a motion to vote.
Senior Senator Rachel Wiggins motioned to vote and was seconded my Sophomore Senator
Robbie Nunes . Sophomore Senator Ciara Moezidis took roll and the bylaw passed.
7. NEW BUSINESS
Benson Worker Resolution
Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri asked Senior Senator Rachel Wiggins , Senior Senator Eoin
Lyons and the director of SCAAP Sarah Locklin to present the Benson Workers Resolution.
Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri opened the floor for questions.
Junior Senator Mika Philip : Can you expand on the Unsafe working conditions?
Sarah: There are a variety of things such as harassment that has gone through the union. As
students, we believe we should be seeing these claims through. We think that you should be
entitled to feel safe and secure.
Junior Senator Mika Philip : So in regards to the union contract what specifically do you want to
change in the contract or what do you want to be fixed?
Sarah: This is a new contract, so since June until now they have been negotiating with Bon
Appetit. They want to include a lot of the things from the old contract. They were really happy
with their old contract.
Junior Senator David Warne : Having said that why does it say “lack of” if we are just trying to
maintain the same contract?
Sarah: Right now there is a lot of limbo because of the Benson renovations. For example, there
are a lot of understaffing because of the new stations which messes with the ratio.
First-year Senator Kate Padrnos : What is your goal for a response from SCU?
Sarah: Short term, we want them to support and acknowledge the Benson workers and fix the
temporary issues with the remodel focusing on this contract. Long term we would like them to
take more to heart about the working conditions, I don’t think it is very controversial but as
students, I am hoping that whatever working conditions wherever it is are safe, fair and
Junior Senator David Warne : The action is very general, but the first clause suggests a lot of
things. One of the things students have complained about is how Benson has gotten more
expensive. Has that been taken into account?
Sarah: We sat down with Robin Reynolds and asked her how this would affect the students.
This would come out of Bon Appetite as far as wages go. Rising food has just been a continued
concern, not a new concern. We have asked them to give them a concrete answer and they did
not but it really comes down to the economy itself, especially with locally produced, healthy
and organic foods. I don't think it's something we will see an end to.
Hearing no further questions from the Senate, Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri opened the floor
to the audience for questions.
Student in audience: Something really important is that Bon Appetit can do whatever they
want with the workers and the university does not have to legally do anything. Bon Appetit
waives living wage, and they are paid less than living wages and SCU allows that. If we are
talking about Jesuit values then why is it the way it is now.
Hearing no further questions from the audience, Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri gave the
Senate one last opportunity to ask questions.
Junior Senator Mika Philip : Who do you really hope will say this is what you need to do?
Senior Senator Eoin Lyons : This goes into acknowledgment. We want SCU to be involved in
the conversation. These members are apart of the community. Like the resolution says it's
about having a seat at the table with Auxiliary services
Senior Senator Rachel Wiggins : It is to show that students do support and they should have a
voice in this situation.
Seeing that there were more questions, Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri called for a motion to
extend discussion time by five minutes. Sophomore Senator Nicholas Niehaus motioned to
extend the time. The motion was seconded by First-year senator Allie Bare .
Sophomore Senator Nicholas Niehaus: How concrete is this contract?
Sarah: The university and Bon Appetit has signed a contract for 10 more years but this is
between the workers and Bon Appetit.
Junior Senator David Warne: If this is an issue between them then why is SCU getting involved
Sarah: This is the house. This is our campus. We cannot say that we are not apart of what is
going down just this year. We would like SCU to take pride in our Jesuit values to give them the
treatment they should be receiving. Seeing SCU back the workers is what we want to see and
long-term see them take more responsibility.
Hearing no further questions, Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri called for a motion to vote.
Senior Senator Kayla Williams motioned to vote and the vote was seconded by At-large
Senator Edward Ruano . Sophomore Senator Ciara Moezidis took roll and the Resolution
Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri thanked Senior Senator Rachel Wiggins , Senior Senator Eoin
Lyons and the director of SCAAP Sarah Locklin for their presentation.
Resolution in support of a new sexual assault advocacy position
Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri called up President Sam Perez and Senior Senator Rachel
Wiggins to present the Sexual Assault advocacy program. She asked them to explain the
Resolution to the Senate. Pro-Tempore Mary Balestrer i then opened the floor to questions.
Sophomore Senator Sahil Sagar : Do they have an idea of who will get the position?
President Sam Perez : No
Junior Senator Avery James : Could we see the position description after this?
President Sam Perez : Yes we could definitely do that
First-year Senator Allie Bare : Do you know why Jeanne wants us involved?
Senior Senator Rachel Wiggins : Having a paper trail that students support goes a long way
Hearing no Further questions, Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri called for a motion to vote.
Sophomore Senator Kyle Andrews motioned to vote. The motion was seconded by At-Large
Senator Raul Orellana . Sophomore Senator Ciara Moezidis took roll and the resolution
- Basketball game on Friday. Athletics is providing us with a suite and appetizers.
- Fill out the Senate Feedback survey
- Nickname of the Week
- Senator of the Week: Junior Senator Vidya Pingali
- Due to the weather, if you did not fulfill tabling this quarter, you will not be penalized.
Pro-Tempore Mary Balestreri Called for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Senior Senator
Kayla Williams motioned to adjourn the meeting and Junior Senator Vidya Pingali seconded
10. ROLL CALL
Sophomore Senator Ciara Moezidis took roll.