Minutes of the SCU Student Senate Meeting January 16th, 2020
Senate Chair: David Warne
Pro Tempore: Cat Bick
Parliamentarian: Eduardo Ruano
First Year Senators: 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, Duncan McDonnell, Ifeanyi Ifediba, Obasi Lewis, Mika Philip, Melanie Sam
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate Chair David Warne called the January 16th, 2020 meeting of the Santa Clara University Student Senate to order at 7:00pm in the Williman Room in the Benson Memorial Center.
Senate Chair David Warne invited Senior Senator Vidya Pingali to recite the invocation.
2. ROLL CALL
Pro-Tempore Cat Bick took roll at 7:00pm. A quorum was present.
3. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Senate Chair David Warne: If there are no issues, the minutes stand approved as distributed.
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. Junior Senator Kyle Andrews moved to approve the agenda and At-Large Senator Emi Bellwood seconded the motion.
5. SPECIAL ORDERS OF BUSINESS
Guest Speaker: Terri Peretti
Senate Chair David Warne invited Terri Peretti – Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences to the front of the room to speak in front of the Student Senate. Her presentation is summarized succinctly below:
Thank you for inviting me here. It is an honor to share with you what is going on in the college of Arts and Sciences. I’ll tell you about myself and provide some highlights. I am the Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences. I received my undergraduate degree in political science at Kansas. I have served in some administrative leadership roles such as Department Chair, Associate Dean, and Acting Dean. I have a book coming out that is focused on courts and elections law.
What is most important to know about is what is happening in the College of Arts and Sciences? We have a new president. We are also searching for some university leaders, like a new Provost. The Provost sets the budgetary priorities with the President. We are going to have one very soon. That person will help us select a new Dean of Arts and Sciences. Finalists will come to campus early March. We have 27 departments and programs in the arts and sciences. The three finalists for the Provost search will meet with student leaders for an hour. There is an open forum as well for each candidate. Also finance student Chase Larscheid is on the search committee. There will be a lunch on the second day of each candidate visit with the selected students and the candidate. I also just heard that we have to recommend some students so let me know if you have some ideas.
The college has a number of strategic priorities. We are committed to hiring excellent and diverse faculty who can enhance the college’s reputation and national visibility. I want to ensure that students have smart, talented, dedicated faculty who will be here for decades.
There are several exciting initiatives to highlight. The REAL program gives students funding for around 160 students in 23 departments. I am working this year on expanding these opportunities in the public sector. We also want to expand these internships geographically. I also want to mention the De Novo fellowship program which is another way we are expanding student leadership beyond the classroom. It awards scholarships to underrepresented STEM students.
Senate Chair David Warne thanked Terri Peretti for her presentation and opened the floor for any questions.
Senior Senator Vidya Pingali: I guess as this year is our presidential election and it might create divisiveness and as ASG members it is our role to make sure no one feels unsafe. So I guess as a Poli Sci academic, how should the administration and student leaders deal with these issues?
Terri Peretti: I hope that we can craft forums and opportunities for us to debate in a civil way. We don’t have to follow the lead of media personnel or politicians and say horrific thing about each other. I think faculty administrators and students can do a lot better. In the past democracy was about having a shared factual base and disagreeing on policy. I think we have a lot of work to do and universities are exactly the place. And we should plan some events where we get to practice that. I think we have to be careful too about what kind of speakers we bring. Should the purpose to be provocative or enlighten and engage?
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: So, some of the topics that you mentioned in your book are things I’m really interested in. Has the university asked you to speak about that?
Terri Peretti: I would love to do that. So, I am doing final revisions right now. The book is going to be coming out this fall. My guess is this fall there might be an opportunity for me to share what I have learned. But yeah, these are important issues. They are about how we structure democracy itself. And should justice be helping break the rules? That is the dangerous area.
At-Large Senator Melanie Sam: In search of assistant professors, where are you sourcing your candidates from?
Terri Peretti: That is a good question. Before the search happens, departments propose these positions to the Dean’s office. We pick and choose which ones to fill. We try to address departments that have a smaller tenured faculty as well as serve growing programs. Once that is approved, they conduct a national search and it is wide open. We advertise in a number of different outlets. There is more demand than supply right now. The history department had 210 applications for a U.S. history position. We do have internal candidates. I interviewed one today who was an adjunct lecturer applying for a tenured position. It is a rigorous application process. The finalists come for two-day interviews and do a teaching demonstration in front of students and faculty. They do a research presentation for faculty. They meet with all the faculty and administration. At the time that we are making them an offer, other schools probably are too. We have done really well this year. There has been a path for adjunct faculty to go into continuing lecturer roles.
Thank you very much.
6. OLD BUSINESS
Senate Attendance Bylaw Presentation
Parliamentarian Eduardo Ruano: Anyone have any questions?
Senate Chair David Warne: Would you like to highlight what you have revised?
Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: Eduardo and I met last week to take into consideration some of your thoughts and feedback. Some of the main ones are that we allowed two absences for any reason, you just have to notify us through the form. We cut down the time to 8 hours instead of 40 hours just so it is consistent. A lot of you guys had excused and unexcused absence questions. It is not my job to say what is excused and unexcused, it is just absences. We want to be respectful to you guys. And then we made some changes to the proxy part of it. You can choose to have a proxy but if you are missing a senate and you want a proxy, you are going to put that in the form you are filling out eight hours ahead of time. Then we are aware of who is attending our senators. So, if you are a class senator, you can choose someone who has the same academic standing year as you. If you are At-Large, it can be any class. So, after a second absence, you will be subjected to a disciplinary meeting with us to talk about why you are missing. Another change is that life happens and if you have to miss a third for any reason, that needs to be privately communicated to the Senate chair. It is to make sure you are fulfilling responsibilities.
Parliamentarian Eduardo Ruano: The whole eight hours thing was done because 48 hours, anything can happen in 48 hours. But at the same time, we don’t want you guys to tell us 30 minutes before Senate. We want to keep a formality to it and make sure we have enough senators present. The whole proxy grammar in the bylaw is just making it clearer. Zach, we got your comments and a lot of that we took from the grammatical aspects and content-wise. So, this is basically what we come up with.
Senate Chair David Warne: Any questions or comments?
Senior Senator Vidya Pingali: I think I’m confused by the third absence and then a point is talking about a second absence?
Emily Yekikian: It is the third absence. You get to miss two and when you miss a third, then you have to let people know.
Parliamentarian Eduardo Ruano: You might have more absences after, we don’t want to limit it.
Senior Senator Vidya Pingali: There might be a better way to word it, it’s confusing. Can we switch them around?
Emily Yekikian: Yes, we can switch them around.
First-Year Senator Theo Lassen: Wait so, it says you are allowed two absences. So, you get two and then you’re fine?
Emily Yekikian: Yes, you get two and we realize you might have to miss more if something happens. So, if you have a third absence, communicate with us correctly.
Parliamentarian Eduardo Ruano: We added this caveat in conjunction with what we are talking about now. We just want to be kept in the loop.
Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: It is not a punishment type thing.
Parliamentarian Eduardo Ruano: We just want to know.
First-Year Abby Alvarez: If you are subject to disciplinary action, does it say what it is?
Emily Yekikian: Yes, it details it in the bylaws/ in that bylaw it says if you have an attendance infraction. Basically, your meet with me and David.
Sophomore Senator Carmen Ocazionez: Where can we access that form?
Emily Yekikian: That form is going to be decided on by Senate Exec and distributed to you by them.
Parliamentarian Eduardo Ruano: It will be emailed to you within the next couple of days.
Senate Chair David Warne: Straw poll, who is ready to vote on this? Zach, what more would you like to know?
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: For the eight hours, it should say at least eight hours.
Senate Chair David Warne: Anyone else not ready to vote? Ok, then I’m comfortable moving on with this. Last call, additional comments. Can I get a motion to vote? Senior Senator Cam Bick moved to vote, and Junior Senator Kyle Andrews seconded the motion. Ok, we are going to do a voice vote. In the question of adopting the senate attendance bylaw and making it a part of the Senate bylaw, all in favor say aye, all opposed say no. Ok, in the opinion of the Senate Chair, the motion passes.
Senate Chair David Warne: I am going to try to be better at when I say you’re next, I write your names down. I am also making a special effort to see people who are sitting in the wings.
Office Hour Bylaw Presentation
Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: Not too many changes were made to this one. Honestly, I know this had a lot of conversation, I just want to reiterate that office hours are already a part of the job description of the senator. It is great if ASG tables because we want to talk about our projects with our constituents. But also, office hours in the form of tabling checks both of those things off. Some people wondered if we have some events we are tabling for, that doesn’t count. But if you are able to table for the Hyundai Challenge during those hours. So, if you have a project, you can table for that project and then that tabling is your office hour.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: Is that what changed?
Emily Yekikian: Well that was just a concern.
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: So, I talked to my committee about this and a clause that I think we would like to see changed is that the Senate Chair can change this, and have it approved. My freshman year we had tabling and it didn’t work at all. But for SAC we would greatly benefit by my members going to RSOs. It is a better way to outreach to constituents.
Emily Yekikian: We can take that into consideration. We tried to make going to clubs the Senate’s office hours and it hasn’t been successful. If tabling in the past hasn’t been successful, neither has clubs.
Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez: In response to what Kyle was saying, the way you framed it last time, you made it so that it was a get to know your senators. But I think those members on SAC would lose out.
Senior Senator Vidya Pingali: So, I think last week it seemed like we were stationed in Benson and people were coming to us. But for the Hyundai Challenge that is like outside the library, how will that replace tabling?
Emily Yekikian: I think that the Hyundai Challenge is a unique example. In general, tabling in Benson you would have access to a lot of the student body and that would be a good thing.
Senior Senator Vidya Pingali: So last year we had Bronco Fridays and we had a table outside Benson. Is that the case?
Emily Yekikian: So, the tabling is more for getting the attention of the students walking by. We all know what tabling looks like. So, you’re connecting with the student body and getting your office hours done. And this is all of ASG too, not just for senators. That way, you guys can connect with people in different branches.
Sophomore Senator Carmen Ocazionez: Are you saying ASG projects like the Hyundai Challenge would not count?
Emily Yekikian:I am going to say no. But I think that is a unique situation. If that comes up again, maybe we can make an exception.
Junior Senator Amber Wang: Ok, I am a little confused because last week you said that the Hyundai Challenge wouldn’t count towards your office hours but after what you just said now, I understand. So, if Allie was tabling to promote Java with Jesuits, would that count?
Emily Yekikian: Yes, that would.
Junior Senator Amber Wang: Also, last year Comm committee was largely in charge of tabling. So, when I became committee head, we scraped the idea of tabling because no one would come over. The turnout wasn’t that great so is there an agenda or project to make sure people will come up?
Emily Yekikian: I mean I can’t guarantee that people will stop.
Junior Senator Amber Wang: So how is this different from previous years?
Emily Yekikian: The main foundation for this bylaw is having an enforced way to ensure that people in ASG are fulfilling their office hours requirement. We thought tabling would be the best solution. Not everyone in ASG is going to go to an RSO. Think beyond Senate, this is for all of ASG. There have been multiple attempts of how to do office hours and there has been a failed attempt on all. This seems like the most easily enforceable way.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: So, I was going to mention if this is an effort to streamline our bylaws. It has appeared to me that it has changed every year. So, maybe it shouldn’t be enumerated in this way. Maybe we say two hours to be determined by the Senate Chair. I think that would be more effective because we could change it more easily. And then I was wondering about the coffee date idea. If we are not asking them to come talk to us, then how would we get them to approach?
Emily Yekikian: It is not a coffee date. I think we are overthinking the idea of tabling. But the idea is that you are standing there as a member of ASG to be there as your constituents walk by. I can’t guarantee you will get a lot of interest but sometimes you will get people who are interested.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: I do think it is good for visibility on campus. I was wondering whether a potential other thing we could do is maybe guide our attendance. Because if