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 all of us came to a couple events that we hold then more people come. I think that could also be a way.
President Sahil Sagar: So, I guess to give you a little perspective. The idea of having this is to have a formal way of saying ASG has opportunities for the student body to connect with ASG and vice versa. And this is the way we have to set it up right now. But you’re right it has changed every year. So, it is up to you guys how you want to go about it. But as of right now, we don’t have any office hours and in all of our bylaws that is a requirement. So, we need a formal, structured way to go about this.
Sophomore Senator Justin Chan: I just want to say that I don’t think tabling is bad. In the past years maybe, tabling hasn’t been as effective as we want it to be, but I think that is because maybe senators haven’t been trying. We need to start trying. If we look at other CSOs like Into the Wild, they table week in, week out. They want to show their faces and show themselves on campus. They are a wildlife group; we are representatives on campus. It doesn’t make sense for them to be tabling and for us not to be. And SCAAP for instance, they have a four-hour requirement of four hours in the office. I think tabling might be more fun than that. As for what Kyle was mentioning, going to RSOs aren’t necessarily office hours but committee hours. But I do agree with what Amber said about implementation. If there are not necessarily things to table at but if this were to get passed, it would need to be clearer.
Emily Yekikian: In the bylaw it does say that the dates and times will be set per quarter. It will stay that same date and time each quarter and we will try to make sure it works for the majority of the group. So, they aren’t shifting every day, they will be set and scheduled, and you will sign up.
First-Year Senator Ariel Perlman: On top of what everyone has been saying I think there should be a way we should be interacting with our students. But they need to reach me, and I would love to approach them, and I don’t know if tabling is the best way, but I definitely want a way to represent our students.
Associate Justice Semi Williams: I think we are trying to make changes with this. If this isn’t working, then I implore all of you to make suggestions, but this is the best way right now. It isn’t about brainstorming right now. If it doesn’t work, then we can go back to the drawing board, but right now it is a yes or no.
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: So, something that I propose, I have been hearing a lot of suggestions. I propose we all go back and brainstorm a new bylaw that has more representation of all of our ideas. Then we can all agree.
At-Large Senator Emi Bellwood: Just bouncing off that, if ASG is moving anyway from Locatelli to the Career Center, tabling and office hours would have to change regardless. I think if we brainstorm something that is more cohesive, it will probably have more of a lifespan.
Emily Yekikian: I understand that in the upcoming academic year the office will be moved. But realistically, think about how often people visit, you don’t get a lot of foot traffic like Campus Ministry, for example. That might possibly change but if you’re basing the idea of your office hour being in the ASG office, you can’t guarantee people will go into the office.
Senior Senator Erik Echeona: As far as brainstorming another bylaw, good point but this bylaw has been on the table for a week. If you want to change the language of it, that is something you should have talked about with Emily. As far as our office moving, that is six months we would go without updating the bylaw. Obviously, our Judicial Branch knows what they’re doing.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: So personally, I would say no to this because it is so specific. I just don’t want this to be the bylaw in the bylaws so we could change it each quarter. That would be a way to formalize what we are doing. The other thing about campus ministry, I think that is why it would be important to have people in the office to invite people in.
Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: I just want to move on with this. I don’t think it is that deep. Going off Justin’s point about having office hours, I think you guys need to be careful about this whole office hours thing and comparing it to SCAAP. They are paid for that so just be aware of making those comparisons. I don’t think this is the best option, but I think it is a starting point. And if this is great then pass it, if not, conversation over.
At-Large Senator Mika Philip: Allie said what I was thinking perfectly. Also, just because we are saying no to this bylaw doesn’t mean we are saying no to tabling at all.
Parliamentarian Eduardo Ruano: So, there is no point in going to constituents and then coming back. I think we should toil through this so we have something set in stone that we could use for the next five years.
Senate Chair David Warne: It sounds like we are not ready to vote on this. Who is ready? Never mind. Ok, so here are some of my thoughts from your comments. There seems to be a faction that wants more specificity and a faction that wants more generality. And it seems also like I sent the revised part in my email; did anyone read them and reach out to Emily? Ok, so she deserves that. She does a lot of hard work and this is very easy to be a critic in the moment. I want everyone to be aware of that. So, for those reasons I am going to ask you Emily what you want to do.
Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: Email me your alternative suggestions and we will vote on this again next Thursday. If you don’t email me, this is what you will be voting on.
President Sahil Sagar: Ok, so this is the exact same thing we are voting on last week. So, adding a student, specifically the ASG Student Body President to the committee. So, the change I made is from one student specifically, the student body president as you all recommend, I do. I brought that change to them and they said yes that’s what we wanted.
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: So, I think for example if the Student Body President can’t go, I think it should say ASG President or their proxy. Does this group have to vote on a student representative?
Sahil Sagar: Right now, I am considered a guest at the meetings. But they want to make it formal. Your question about the proxy, my proxy would be Charlie. It is just ingrained in the Student Body President position. But we can put it in there.
Senate Chair David Warne: Ok, is this all this is?
Sahil Sagar: This is it.
Senate Chair David Warne: On the question of approving the text you see on the screen with the addition of or their proxy after Student Body President, all in favor say aye, all opposed say no. Sorry, can I get a motion to vote? Senior Senator Erik Echeona moved to vote, and Junior Senator Kyle Andrews seconded the motion.
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: Are we recommending this?
Sahil Sagar: So, the UCC is a larger part of the governance process at Santa Clara, so approving the student part is just one process. It has to go through faculty senate, Provost Office, President’s Office. This doesn’t mean it is officially going to happen.
Senate Chair David Warne: So, this is us showing our approval. So, in the question of approving the proposed amendments on the screen say aye, all opposed say no. The motion carries.
7. EXECUTIVE UPDATES
Cecilia Fan for Public Relations
Taren Kramer for Community Development
Nick Neihaus for Finance
Emily Yekikian for Judicial
Sahil Sagar for Vice President
Sahil Sagar for President
8. COMMITTEE UPDATES
Amber Wang for SEC
Ok, so everyone is still working on their projects. Snaps to Allie for Java with Jesuits. Emi and Meg have a project coming up.
Emi Bellwood: So, I am putting on a Diversity and Inclusion in Silicon Valley job panel. I am bringing in speakers and it is the following Tuesday, the 28th in the CMR. There will be pizza. I am going to be sending out a form with question ideas.
Meg Wu: Ok, so for the ASG buddy mixer, thank you for everyone who filled out the form. It will be February 21st which is a Friday from 3 to 4:30pm. As long as you and your buddy coordinate when you guys are going to be there. This will count for office hours so that is another incentive to come.
Erik Echeona for CUIC
Ifeanyi Ifediba: Winter quarter Diversity Forum with Father O’Brien on January 27th from 6-8pm. There are going to be questions like getting more counselors on CAPS, and adjunct professors.
Abby Alvarez: There is a labor rights event sometime week four.
Vidya Pingali for FOC
So, we are working on three main projects. First, we are trying to find the root cause for the residence hall extensions. It gets expensive for people who fly out so we are wondering if there can be exceptions made for international students. We are also looking into the library public times/enforcement. Finally, CAPS.
Sahil Sagar: I have an update on that. Apparently, they are in the process of hiring someone and they keep saying they are searching. To our knowledge, they have four open slots and are interviewing one this week and two next week.
Melanie Sam: So, I actually talked to my resident director about the residence hall issues. When the residence halls are open is when students are on duty. So that is why they have kept it that way.
Finally, the money from the Hyundai Challenge is mostly going to water bottle filling stations and the rest of the money is going towards solar panels. This is because the administration submitted proposals and students were not able to have any input.
Kyle Andrews for SAC
9. ROUND TABLE REMARKS
Senate Chair David Warne: Senate and ASG kind of market themselves as a leadership incubator. But we don’t have a lot of follow through on that. I want to begin some follow through on that. If you are taking on a project, I want to assign you a mentor of someone who is familiar with that event. It would still be your project, but you could go to them for advice. It is important to reflect also on what you did right and what you did wrong. After that event you will sit down with your mentor and go over it. I’m not going to force this on anyone but if you are interested, hit me up and we can find somebody who can help you out. Secondly, as you all know Christian Phillips resigned and we have an open position. We can look for a new At-Large Senator for Academic Improvement or we can open it up to a new constituency. I did academic improvement because I feel that we have let academics fall by the wayside. I didn’t do sustainability because in the bylaws it discusses everyone being sustainable and I didn’t want to put that much responsibility on one person. So, I want to do a straw poll. Who wants me to keep looking for academic improvement?
Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez: I have been thinking since we have LGTBQ+ and Diversity, we should have one for students with disabilities.
Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: I don’t have a specific senator, but I was wondering why we are keeping it so limited. I think we should gauge the interest among students.
Senate Chair David Warne: That’s fair, on the application I sent out, it did say pitch me your ideas.
Sophomore Senator Luke Paulson: I think going off Raul, it is good if we leave it open because someone could have a great idea.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: Can we have all three on said survey?
Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: All four then? Because of disability?
Senate Chair David Warne: Ok, I can do that. I have two people interested. Tell your friends. One more thing. We are going to turn the announcement section onto roundtable remarks. We have been spending a lot of time on the bylaws, but we also want to help each other with forward looking projects. I want to make updates shorter and have a time for people to talk about their projects and problems so we can help each other as a group. So, if you are stuck or want some other opinion you can voice that here. Allie has been pestering me to make a google drive for senate, so stuff is easy to find. That is, it.
Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: What is the update with the Junior Senator position?
David Warne: I am interviewing.
At-Large Senator Melanie Sam: I know a lot of people have been interested in building a relationship with MCC. We are having our night market next week. You should totally stop by and chat with them.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: Java with the Jesuits seemed fine, but I think from the side of students and us that that kind of lacked. I was wondering what could be done in the future to make us feel more open to go to each other’s events.
At-Large Senator Ifeanyi Ifediba: The time for that was tough.
Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez: I think we should have a google sheet about that.
Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: I have two very important points about that. Cecilia has a calendar for events so if you check it you would know. I think time is an issue, but I think it’s more of a culture issue and it is about supporting each other. It is not always on them or on time, but it is about showing up for each other and being the support, we need.
First-Year Senator Ariel Perlman: I just think we are lacking in communication.
Senate Chair David Warne asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Senior Senator Erik Echeona moved to adjourn the meeting and Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez seconded the motion. The motion carried by voice vote. Senate Chair David Warne called the January 16th, 2020 meeting of the Santa Clara University Student Senate to a close at 8:25pm.
11. ROLL CALL
Pro-Tempore Cat Bick took roll at 8:25pm.