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 she hasn’t given me anybody. There was one person who applied and then when I saw their application, I emailed them, and they ghosted. Of the two people who have shown any kind of interest, Elena has been the most interested. She emphasized her empathy and felt that she could connect with a variety of people. She also talked about how she is looking to learn and connect with Raul and other people for the position. That seemed promising.
First-Year Senator Meg Wu: I have known Elena since I have been at SCU. When she says that she is empathetic, she is one of the most approachable people. I understand the concern, but I think with the guidance of Raul, she is capable.
Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: I think it is also important to remember that it is not my job to carry that emotional weight. I would love to work with her, but it is not in my job description. I think it is something that we all need to be aware of. I would love to work with her, but I’m going through my own stuff right now. It is not our job as marginalized groups to educate.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: I was wondering whether having the position filled would be beneficial in that she is an ally. Maybe having the position filled would still offer benefits for the community. I kind of see the benefit even though it is not ideal.
First-Year Senator Theo Lassen: Personally, as a member of the community, I don’t feel represented in someone who doesn’t identify as that. I would like to see a wider search. I think it would be a better choice to have someone who identifies as LGBTQ+. Also, I think what Abby said about losing the election is important since a lot of marginalized people don’t feel included.
Senate Chair David Warne: Please, send anyone you know my way.
Senior Senator Cam Bick: Obviously it looks better to have someone who represents the community. But ultimately, the role is for someone who will advocate. I think it should be a hard worker and maybe there is someone more qualified, but they are still going to be hearing complaints and concerns. I would rather take someone in her position if she is better suited for the job than someone from the community who isn’t as qualified.
Senior Senator Erik Echeona: I really like what you said. It has been an entire quarter and we have only had one real applicant. We have posted every week, and everybody here has known that position has been open all quarter. WE have been discussing this for weeks on end. Yes, we should shoot to have the targeted community represented directly in Senate, but this should be an exception because we should fill the position. If she isn’t living up to what she is supposed to be doing, then we can reevaluate that.
At-Large Senator Mika Philip: A few things. If someone is a queer person of color in the bay area, it is not very welcoming. In the media, they are not represented. I think people that I have known have had a very different experience than being a straight person. We should choose the right person to represent. I know some people who were thinking of applying. They weren’t comfortable with certain Senators, but they might apply now.
At-Large Senator Ifeanyi Ifediba: I want to say that we put Raul in a very difficult spot. And I feel like we shouldn’t just push someone through who wanted to apply.
Senate Chair David Warne: So, I referenced Raul because he wanted to be involved in the hiring process.
Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: I agree, we have been in contact. But to call me out in Senate on the spot with questions caught me a bit off guard. When I emailed her this will impact how people see you. But in Senate, she never acknowledged how hermorning, one of the things I asked was how do you thinking positionally and identity will impact students approaching her. I know calling me out was needed so I could give my opinion, but it is difficult because I don’t like having to pick sides. I think
she is great, but I don’t think this position is for her.
Junior Senator Juliana Moner Teter: I think representation matters. Erik brought up a good point. If we leave this waiting, then this community will not be represented at all. We are leaving the whole group out. It is not our position to represent each community as class senators, but I would feel bad if we keep the search going on. Is there something that we can do still as Senate to represent them?
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: I don’t think we should confuse the idea that we have a position dedicated to LGBTQ+ students on campus and the representation of LGBTQ+ students on campus. There are queer members of the Senate. I am one of them, I’m gay. But merely the fact that I’m in this position and out is representation of the community. With that being said, my projects aren’t focused on the community, but I feel that I can represent them in Senate. Having a position dedicated to projects is a good thing. I am teeter tottering as well. I think this is the best debate Senate has had this year. But I would advocate for the idea that there are LGBTQ+ students sitting on Senate and we
represent the community already and we should be able to seek out a student who is LGBTQ+ to make the position as functional as possible.
Senior Senator Vidya Pingali: Just to shift, is this position required in the bylaws?
David: It is. But if you search for the whole quarter, then you can institute a different At-Large position.
Senior Senator Vidya Pingali: Can we do that? Find something that she is passionate about?
David Warne: If Senate chooses, I can continue the search into next quarter. I was excited to find someone who seemed interested. She seemed to be a good ally and representative. I brought her here understanding Zach’s point.
Parliamentarian Eduardo Ruano: To Erik’s point, it’s been a quarter and we don’t have a senator. I think that is objectively true. At the same time, we have to consider that we shouldn’t speculate if the senator is going to work out. It is true that we need to have someone in the position, but if they are in the position and not doing their job, then we are only making it worse. That is something we need to consider. I don’t think we should speculate too much.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: It sounds like some senators know people interested. Is it a possibility to push it back to the last Senate of the quarter and then consider confirming her? I know it is unlikely people will come forward but maybe we need more of a search.
Senate Chair David Warne: Ok, good suggestion. We are getting late here. We could take Allie’s suggestion and keep Elena on the hook as a candidate and then also try to field more interviews and applications.
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: I move to postpone the appointment.
Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez: So, if we postpone it, we still get to vote?
Senate Chair David Warne: Yes.
Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: It’s actually for a full year. The position is permanent. Someone doesn’t need to be in the position a full year and then we can get rid of it. Also, this position is emotionally draining, and I had a lot of trouble with the position as someone in the community. I did a lot of things that I thought were good for the community and people came up to me with a lot of issues. I don’t think people not in the community could handle that. Instead of just keeping her on the hook, but I think we should consider leaving the position for the rest of the year to see who fits its and
Senate Chair David Warne: Show of hands, who would like to postpone? Who would like to vote tonight? If we vote tonight, then I would keep the position open into winter quarter and continue the search. Can I get a motion to vote? I’m going to make a motion to vote to see if we are voting tonight. All in favor to vote, say aye, all opposed nay. That will lead into a roll call to vote or not.
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: It would be better for a member to make a motion. I would still make a motion to postpone.
Senate Chair David Warne: Can I get a motion?
Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez gave a motion to vote and Senior Senator Cam Bick seconded the motion.
Senate Chair David Warne: All in favor of voting say aye. We are going to do a roll call of whether we want to vote or not. We are looking for two thirds. Ok, the ayes have it. We are going to vote tonight. We are going to do a roll call vote. The candidate did not meet two-thirds.
7. NEW BUSINESS
Senate Chair David Warne invited representatives from Global Medical Brigades to present their proposal for +$1000 funding to the Senate. Their presentation is succinctly summarized below:
Purpose: provide accessible healthcare to under-resourced communities in Ghana
Cultural immersion and exchange
Share/experience Jesuit values
We are asking for 2,717.63
Senate Chair David Warne invited representatives from National Society of Black Engineers to present their proposal for +$1000 funding to the Senate. Their presentation is succinctly summarized below:
National Convention for members across the U.S.
NSBE mission: increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community
Students gain opportunities and advancement
Total funding request: 3600
Splash Presentation and Discussion
Sophomore Senator Justin Chan: Me and Carlise have been working on this for a long time. Her position is to reach out the high school students around the area. I want to start Santa Clara Splash. Splash is a daylong event where motivated college students teach motivated high school students crash courses on different subjects. From neuroscience, intro to programming, entrepreneurship, etc. This will hopefully happen spring quarter, April 18th, on a Saturday. I want to see if anyone else is interested in working with Splash. We are trying to reach out to different departments like LEAD, SCAAP. The two biggest things we need help with is recruitment of teachers and getting students to come. We need help with logistics as well. Because Splash is for college students to be teaching high school students different subjects, we need to recruit many different academic clubs. If you guys are from around here, let me know. It is around 3000 dollars assuming that we get 1000 students. It is not a free event. People have drawn comparisons to Raza day. The cost will be around $20 per student. Stanford charges $40 for reference. Hopefully, we would get a little profit. Many are wondering why ASG is behind this. No one in SAC runs an RSO so it is kind of hard to understand where they are coming from when they are looking for funding and planning events. Through Splash, we can gain insight into these things. Also, Splash is a cross-functional event and we can communicate with different departments. We hope that Splash will be
self-sufficient and profitable. We can use the profits from Splash to build bridges with other club’s contingent on using the money if you teach classes during Splash. Stanford Splash has a lot of money, they get $40,000 from their student government. They have about 100 chrome books that the club owns and only uses two times per year. It is an insane waste of resources. We can benefit different RSOs through this. A final issue is where Splash will be housed. Would it be its own RSO? Under ASG? Similar to MCC, where ASG is the umbrella org?
Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: I think I like the idea of Splash, but I think my concern is where you said it would be profitable. I think it goes against the mission of what you’re trying to do to help high school students. If it was something profitable, I don’t see where you’re making a profit. It seems like there are more expenses than revenue.
Justin Chan: For the $20 fee, there will be financial aid. If you can pay for it great, but if there is any doubt in their mind, they don’t have to pay, no questions asked. There are expenses and the biggest thing is food. But if 50% pay then it would work out. It works well for many other colleges.
At-Large Senator Melanie Sam: You said this was a two-day event?
Justin Chan: One day.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: How are you going to make it work for students that come to SCU for the program? What is the value?
Justin Chan: So, I went to Columbia Splash. I won’t claim that it changed my life, but it taught me what I didn’t want to do. It gave me a firsthand experience of what college would be like.
At-Large Senator Ifeanyi Ifediba: I did a UCLA program like this. Being on a college campus was super cool.
Sophomore Senator Carmen Ocazionez: What crowd are you trying to reach?
Justin Chan: Everyone from around SCU. I don’t want to make it so that only students who can pay can come. Those of you who are interested, hit me up. We will need a lot of help in running this.
First-Year Senator Christina Abudayeh: I went to Stanford Splash and thought it was a really great experience. They had a lot of students, but it was a really enriching environment.
Senate Chair David Warne: Those of you interested in helping, hit him up.
Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: It is Hyundai Challenge related. I have been in contact with a bunch of people. We have fallen behind, and I recently received funding from different departments. Please come out tonight, we want to hit all the dorms. It goes a long way if I have more people. Last night, Sahil and I hit Swig and we got in the lead. I need different people to help me put up posters all over campus. I also need help picking up prizes. We have cookies and stuff. We are also doing a raffle scavenger hunt. We are trying to increase our scans by tenfold. We are getting gift cards for a raffle. I need at least 20 of you to help out tonight. If you can, please come out.
Senior Senator Vidya Pingali: We have a bunch of food. We also need help in the Villas, off campus. Any big organizations would help. If the school wins, we are promised a huge party.
Senate Chair David Warne asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Adjournment was approved by Junior Senator Kyle Andrews and seconded by Senior Senator Cam Bick. Senate Chair David Warne called the November 21st, 2019 meeting of the Santa Clara University Student Senate to a close at 8:22pm.
10. ROLL CALL
Pro-Tempore Cat Bick took roll at 8:23pm.