Minutes of the SCU Student Senate Meeting November 21st, 2019
Senate Chair: David Warne
Pro Tempore: Cat Bick
Parliamentarian: Eduardo Ruano
First Year Senators: Christina Abudayeh, Cole Brunelli, Theo Lassen, Ariel Perlman, Meg Wu
Sophomore Senators: Abby Alvarez, Justin Chan, Carmen Ocazionez, Raul Orellana, Luke Paulson
Junior Senators: Kyle Andrews, Zachary Meade, Amber Wang, Juliana Moner Teter
Senior Senators: Cam Bick, Erik Echeona Vidya Pingali
At-Large Senators: Allie Bare, Emi Bellwood, Ifeanyi Ifediba, Mika Philip, Christian Phillips, Melanie Sam
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate Chair David Warne called the November 21st, 2019 meeting of the Santa Clara University Student Senate to order at 7:00pm in the Wiegand Room in Vari Hall.
Senate Chair David Warne invited Sophomore Senator Luke Paulson to recite the invocation.
2. ROLL CALL
Pro-Tempore Cat Bick took roll at 7:00pm.
3. APPROVAL OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES
Senate Chair David Warne asked the Senate to consider the previous meeting’s minutes and requested questions and comments related to the minutes. Hearing none, he asked for a motion to approve the minutes. Senior Senator Vidya Pingali motioned to approve the minutes and At-Large Senator Ifeanyi Ifediba seconded the motion.
4. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
Senate Chair David Warne asked the Senate to consider the agenda for the current meeting. He requested questions and comments related to the agenda. Hearing none, he asked for a motion to approve the agenda. At-Large Senator Mika Philip motioned to approve the agenda and Senior Senator Cam Bick seconded the motion.
5. SPECIAL ORDERS OF BUSINESS
Guest Speaker: Michael Crowley
Senate Chair David Warne invited Michael Crowley – Vice President for Finance and Administration to the front of the room to speak in front of the Student Senate. His presentation is summarized succinctly below:
I’ll give you a little but about my background. I was asked to talk a little bit about the organization. Then, I’ll open it up for questions. I’ve been at the University for two years now. I went undergraduate in accounting then spent three years at PwC and got my CPA. I was doing foreign currency sorts of things. I went to MBA school at Duke, graduated from there and came back to the business. We ended up breaking it into three parts and selling it off. I stayed on with the architectural group.
Then I transitioned from manufacturing into athletics. I was promoted to president for 18 years at my other company when this opportunity presented itself. I also relaunched the San Jose Earthquakes for a number of years. I am happy to be here at Santa Clara. I really believe in the mission. I look over auxiliary services, operations, investment office, risk management and human resources. I am happy to answer any questions.
Senate Chair David Warne thanked Michael Crowley for his presentation and opened the floor for any questions.
Senior Senator Cam Bick: Can you explain the difference between capital spending and operation expenses?
Michael Crowley: Operational expenses relates to anything that extends the housing life or needs to be fixed.
At-Large Senator Ifeanyi Ifediba: Are you involved in the building of the athletic center? I wanted to know if the school has any other big projects.
Michael Crowley: The center was on the books when I came to the University, it was just to see if we could secure the funding. We had raised a sufficient amount to endow the building. The design was two-fold. One, it was to provide two additional gyms for basketball, volleyball, all the weight equipment plus the rehab and medical services in that building. The other piece is that it should serve many purposes. One of those gyms will be available to the campus community at certain times. But I don’t think there is anything on the track for a while.
Senate Chair David Warne: In real numbers, how do the size of these compare?
Michael Crowley: They are about the same size. We operate on a razor thin budget; you want to reinvest but you have to keep tuition and financial aid at a reasonable level. So, I think last year we had an operating surplus of 2.2 million.
At-Large Senator Mika Philip: Can I ask what the light blue section is?
Michael Crowley: Debt service.
Senate Chair David Warne: What is the tiny sliver?
Michael Crowley: That is our contingency. Razor thin. Then there is other income, and then the orange slice is gifts, so that is philanthropy and throughout the University various schools will raise gifts that are expendable in a given year. Some of the gifts are restrictive. Maybe to a particular school or major.
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: I know the University would like to build faculty housing. Has the funding been secured?
Michael Crowley: No, that has to stand on its own. It has to have no impact on the operating budget for the University. So, the cost of that project, the reserves for maintenance and etc. has to come from the debt structure. We are in the public comment phase and working through design right now. Once you get through design, we will get costing. We won’t go forward unless we secure financing. I’d like to keep it off on its own, maybe set up an LLC.
Sophomore Senator Justin Chan: In addition to the athletic center, what is next?
Michael Crowley: I hope we are done for a while. This is unprecedented. Starting with Dowd, it has been the largest expansion on this campus. I am hoping that with the completing of Sobrato and the Athletic Excellence Center, then we are done for a while.
6. OLD BUSINESS
Standing Rules Ad Hoc Committee
Senate Chair David Warne: We talked about this at length last Senate. Straw poll, who is ready to vote? Ok, cool, let’s vote. Zach, are you cool with that? Any additional questions?
Senior Senator Vidya Pingali: What is the first specific thing that you plan to do?
Zachary Meade: I have a whole list. The first thing that we would do is run through what Roberts Rules and parliamentary procedure is and narrow it down into what would be applicable. Then we would create a survey which would ask questions about how formal they want debates to be. Would you like to preserve any traditions of the Senate? Asking questions that would be more informative as to what standing rules would look like.
Senate Chair David Warne: We are going to try for a voice vote on this. All in favor of establishing the Ad Hoc Committee? The ayes have it. As Senate Chair, I’d like to nominate Zachary Meade to the committee. I understand there are four others who are interested.
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: Yes, Abby, Ariel, Allie, and you, David. So, are those people still interested? Ok, cool. In Senate, we only need to establish a chair, then we can do everything else offline.
Pursuant to Section 2 of the Resolution Establishing the Ad Hoc Committee on Standing
Rules and Orders, the Chair announces the appointment of the following members of
the Senate to the Ad Hoc Committee on Standing Rules and Orders:
Zachary Meade, Chair
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: So, Women in Physics, 40% for travel. Ballet Folklorico, we recommend giving 72%. Chinese Student Association, 45.91%. SCU Own It, we recommend giving 53.22%.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: Can we talk about Ballet Folklorico?
Kyle Andrews: We are recommending providing funding for just two of their outfits.
At-Large Senator Mika Philip: Why were the supplies and other low for CSA?
Kyle Andrews: I believe there were prizes.
First-Year Senator Meg Wu: Can you explain the rationale behind Women in Physics?
Kyle Andrews: I don’t remember off the top of my head. Usually because they have asked for more or they can do something cheaper.
Senate Chair David Warne: That is the most you can give for travel. Any more questions? Ok, can I get a motion to vote.
Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana gave to motion to vote and Sophomore Senator Justin Chan seconded it.
Senate Chair David Warne: Ok, voice vote. All in favor of approving SAC’s recommendations for the four clubs we looked at. The ayes have it.
Confirmation of the Senator At-Large for LGBTQ+ Inclusion
Senate Chair David Warne invited the candidate to the front of the room to introduce herself and state why she is interested in the position?
Elena Middlemass: I am Elena. I am from Burlingame. Earlier in the year, I ran for First-Year Senator and did not get it. I am still very interested in being involved and contributing to the SCU community in any way.
First-Year Senator Theo Lassen: How do you personally feel about LGBTQ+ inclusion on campus What are your plans to further the inclusion?
Elena Middlemass: I have noticed a lot of clubs focused on it. I think that if I were to get this position I would work with those clubs and get them money or bring them together. Overall, I just want to grow the community and make sure everyone feels represented. I think that some things I want to focus on as the head of this position is looking at what people in the LGBTQ+ community feel like they are missing out on. I want to see what events they want planned, what initiatives they want to see. I know that as of now, SCU has about 30 unisex bathrooms. Maybe make a policy that every building made has to have more bathrooms. I know for transgender students, getting their name changed is difficult. I want to ensure easier methods to do that.
Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: What knowledge do you have about the issues that affect LGBTQ+ members?
Elena Middlemass: Because I am not a member, I only have second-hand knowledge. That is why I would like to talk with them and build relationships with them. I only see it from a second-hand point of view. I am hoping to build those relationships and advocate for them.
Senate Chair David Warne: I understand that you corresponded with Raul about projects that he did last year.
Elena Middlemass: Yes, I’d like to carry that torch. Raul had one of the biggest events last year and it shows how big the community is and that they want to be heard.
Senior Senator Vidya Pingali: Since you said you are not part of the community; do you have some apprehensions about interacting with those in the community?
Elena Middlemass: Yes, I think that coming from the Bay Area, a very inclusive and liberal area, I have always been in an environment where it was accepted. I hope to bring that to SCU. I hope to make sure they feel represented. I think the fact that I am straight will allow me to bridge the gap. A lot of people feel that they might not be able to go to events because they are not part of the community, but I will try to make sure it is a more cohesive society and bring the people who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community with the rest of campus.
At-Large Senator Melanie Sam: How do you currently serve as an ally?
Elena Middlemass: Good question. Right now, I serve as an ally mostly on a very basic level. I have a lot of friends and family who are LGBTQ+ and see the struggles that they have confronted. Learning and growing from them allows me to take away what they have and see what I can do to help their day to day life.
Senate Chair David Warne, hearing no more questions, asked the candidate to leave the room. Following her departure, he asked the Senate for questions, comments, or concerns regarding the candidate.
Senior Senator Mika Philip: Can I ask if anyone else applied for the position?
David Warne: No, no one else applied.
Junior Senator Amber Wang: Raul, you said you touched base with her. What is your personal verdict on how she will carry out the role?
Raul Orellana: I guess it puts me in a difficult position. I think she has the potential to represent the community, but my biggest concern is that she is not a member of the community. There wasn’t anyone before in this role and I thought it was difficult to paint a picture of what it would look like. I reached out to different groups. Many clubs felt it was easier to work with me because I was in the community. It is difficult to navigate that if not part of the community. I am still struggling with confirming her.
Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez: I think it is important that the person in this position represents the community effectively. I think we would get pushback if we confirm her. It might look like we would be putting someone in the position who just didn’t win the election. I don’t think this is the right thing to do.
Parliamentarian Eduardo Ruano: What were some things that you took from the interview that make you think she would be a good senator?
David Warne: I have visited the ROC when there are people in it and asked if they had any ideas or if they were interested in the position. They directed me to Joanna Thompson, director of the MCC. She didn’t have any ideas. I followed up with her and