Senate Meeting Minutes :: 02.27.20 :: Week 7

Minutes of the SCU Student Senate Meeting February 27th, 2020

Members Present:

Senate Chair David Warne

Pro-Tempore Cat Bick

Parliamentarian Eduardo Ruano

First-Year Senators:

Christina Abudayeh

Cole Brunelli

Theo Lassen

Ariel Perlman

Megan Wu

Sophomore Senators:

Abby Alvarez

Justin Chan

Carmen Ocazionez

Raul Orellana

Luke Paulson

Junior Senators:

Kyle Andrews

Zachary Meade

Juliana Monela Teter

Amber Wang

Senior Senators:

Helen Kassa

Vidya Pingali

At-Large Senators:

Ifeanyi Ifediba

Duncan McDonnell

Mika Philip

Melanie Sam

Obasi Lewis

Members Absent:

Ann Codiga

Cam Bick

Erik Echeona

Nicole Jacobus

Allie Bare

Emi Bellwood


Senate Chair David Warne called the February 27th, 2020 meeting of the Santa Clara University Student Senate to order at 7:01pm in the Willman Room in the Benson Memorial Center

Senate Chair David Warne invited First-Year Senator Cole Brunelli to recite the invocation.


Pro-Tempore Cat Bick took roll at 7:01pm. A quorum was not present.


+$1000 Request Review and Voting

Junior Senator : We have to go through like twelve of these. We are offering 20% for Barkada, 9.6% for Ballet Folklorico, 5% for ISA, 20% for KSA, 20% for Intandesh, 20% for JSA, 20% for Igwe, 10% for New Life on Campus, 20% for LatinX, 20% for Hawaii Club, 15% for Hipnotik, 25% for MENA, 20% for Igwe retreat, 20% for VSA, 10% for Beach and Surf Club.

Senate Chair David Warne opened up the floor for any questions regarding the recommendations.

At-Large Senator : For the MENA slide, is this for their culture show?

Junior Senator : What SAC had to do this week, we decided that all established culture shows have a given 20% that we are giving. All new culture shows we are giving 25%. The others that are more miscellaneous, 10%, and the retreats 10%. The percentages we can’t change.

Sophomore Senator : I’m assuming this is based on the amount of money we have for sure. Are we going to give more when that other money comes in?

Junior Senator : Going into this we had $13,000 to give out. WE figured in $10,000 more. I reached out to Tedd and we have $30,000 more to use. With that total, that is the amount we have for the year. We have spent $14,000 on this set of +$1000s.

Sophomore Senator : So we have $43,000 for the rest of the quarter?

Junior Senator : Academic year. $10,000 of that will be given away through ASG funds.

Junior Senator : For some of these clubs, 20% of these funds will do well but other clubs like BroncoHacks who you gave 5%, that is a completely free event and I’m worried that they can’t have the event anymore. Do they have the opportunity to request more money later?

Junior Senator : No, We try to be as fair as possible. I try to have all the club balances totaled too. We figure this is the most fair way to do this. The reason why this year the budget is how it is, we have had many more requests. The amount of money that has been asked and the frequency has increased. We have given similar to SAC last year but there are more requests.

Senior Senator : I guess I did have a similar question. What problems will this cause with our relationships with RSOs? Do you foresee any problems?

Junior Senator : So, first of all, when clubs request funds they should never request their full amount. This should not come as a surprise. It is a reimbursement system. I think the clubs with the larger balances will understand and we will make it clear to them.

Senior Senator : One, do we have to give money to everybody or can we say no?

Junior Senator : We can.

Senior Senator : Why don’t we do that to balance the scales? Because there are clubs who have great generational value.

Junior Senator : That is something that we took into consideration.

Senior Senator : Is there any way for SAC or another group within ASG to help them with their fundraising strategies?

Junior Senator : The goal beyond this year will never be a problem again with the new structure. This is a problem right now and this is the best approach to deal with it.

Senate Chair David Warne: The purpose of this conversation is not to be an audit about SAC’s process. Does anyone have questions specific to the clubs on the screen?

Sophomore Senator : Does a yes vote mean we agree to that specific amount?

Senate Chair David Warne: A yes vote means that we go with their recommendation. I wasn’t critiquing people’s comments, I just want us to move on.

Junior Senator : I know how much of a shock this is but we don’t have any flexibility. We have tried to be as fair as possible. So yes it is small but we can’t change these numbers.

Junior Senator : I understand, but going off what Helen said, the concern would be our relationship with RSOs and how that would affect it. How can we show that we still want to help them? Maybe now we can ask what else we can do?

Junior Senator : We are going to be completely transparent. With that too, there is a possible other fund that clubs can ask for. That is something we will point to.

At-Large Senator : A few things, for one, some of the numbers seem bad but you can ask us what our reasoning was. For example, the Hackathon, if you ask us why, then we can tell you. One, most of the members are not SCU affiliates. A big chunk is prize money which we can’t fund. A lot of times we can’t fund is because they ask for it incorrectly.

Junior Senator : A lot of these requests for culture shows is Mayer Theater and we can’t change any of that.

Junior Senator : I just want to point out that while everyone is giving great feedback, I think the issue is that we just don’t have enough money. SAC already did this in the most fair manner. If we are going to continue talking about next steps, we can do this at the next Town Hall.

Finance VP Nick Neihaus: So, first of all, I agree with Amber’s point. Second, I guess to alleviate concerns, the finance branch has already started talking about holding an event about how to fundraise for clubs.

Sophomore Senator moved to end debate and At-Large Senator seconded the motion.

Parliamentarian Eduardo Ruano: Did you reach out to all these clubs before they presented?

Junior Senator : We did not. We have been a lot harder on NOLs and preparing. We just didn’t expect the amount of requests and we have a lot of new requests.

Parliamentarian Eduardo Ruano: I think in keeping transparency, it is important to us to maintain a level of respect to the student body. I was talking to people from MENA and I don’t think it is respectful for us to be keeping these kinds of secrets.

Junior Senator : We will be notifying them.

Sophomore Senator moved to end the debate and Junior Senator seconded the motion.

Senate Chair David Warne: Who is comfortable with white balloting. Ok, so Annika will abstain. Carmen also can’t vote on LSU, so we will white ballot all clubs but LSU. So, can I get a motion to white ballot all clubs but LSU?

Sophomore Senator moved to vote and Junior Senator seconded the motion. The motion carries.

Senate Chair David Warne: All in favor, all opposed. Ok, let’s see if we can do a voice vote. On the question of approving the white ballot and going forward with SAC’s recommendation of all clubs but LSU. All in favor, all opposed. Ok, in the opinion of the chair, the motion carries.

At-Large Senator moved to vote on LSU and At-Large Senator seconded the motion.

Senate Chair David Warne: On the question of going forward with SAC’s recommendation funding, all in favor, all opposed? In the opinion of the chair, the motion carries. So, SAC all approved. Send emails.


Campus Safety App Presentation

Senior Senator : I’ve been meeting with campus safety because they have been developing an app to help student safety. They want me to show it to you so we can be the first to use it and then show other people. Did you guys all download the app I sent in the groupme? Search for SCU mobile in the app store. It’s the one that says Santa Clara University mobile. Once you download that, if you open it and then one of the choices is SCU apps. And then if you clock on that then just download RAVE guardian. So, the point of the app is to increase safety with students and mainly do an anonymous approach to doing campus safety because a lot of people might not feel comfortable calling. This originated with a lot of incidents in the library and there was an article written last year. A lot of harassment ad stalking in the library since its open really late. Also, someone got arrested a couple of weeks ago in the libary. As you can see, they have call campus safety and if you press on community contacts it has some numbers. The main thing is when you press submit tip there is an anonymous thing. This is the feature they are trying to use the most. If you are unsafe in the library and don’t want to call someone, you just text them. There is also an option to send your location for a brief period of time. If you want to even test it out, then you can even type out test so they know it’s not serious. The other main feature is the ‘your safety timer’. That is something they want to try so you can walk alone in the night. You can share your location with campus safety or even with friends on it. If you are walking late at night somewhere, you can set a timer for five minutes and campus safety knows your location and after five minutes or when you get there then you press stop timer. There’s definitely issues but they wanted me to tell you guys that this app exists.

Senate Chair David Warne: Question is, is this already live for the main population of the school?

Senior Senator : Yes.

Senate Chair David Warne: Ok, so our job is to spread it.

Senior Senator : Yes, just make sure to type ‘test’ if you are testing it.

First-Year Senator : Do you have direct instructions on how to log in?

Senior Senator : Maybe I will meet with them again and answer all of these questions.

Senate Chair David Warne: We are going to cut this discussion off there.

Transit Project

Senior Senator : I started my first year and did a campus survey and this is an example of the questions. Do you use the VTA or light rail service? And then I asked if they would be willing to pay $13 a quarter to have unlimited transportation for places like Santana Row, etc. 67% said yes. Many other universities and companies subsidize the cost of public transportation as an incentive for students or employees to take public transportation. This is not a debate of whether students want this because 17% of the student body participated, which is really high. We presented to the SCU university budget council and they said ok we will be willing to implement this if you can get pilot information and data. So, these are the financial breakdowns of how it has changed. In terms of education and getting student to want to take the bus, we got the impression that people think it is confusing and complicated for people who aren’t from here. Our solution was creating an app called Bronco Student Hub. We competed at the Hackathon and placed which was exciting. This is as of now a mockup of how the app would look. I know one concern is because this kind of looks like the Santa Clara app. If you click off campus events or food, you see a list of all kinds of stuff and then filters for different things. It will have student suggestions and things and then give you walking or public transportation options. We are going to have running tally of how much money you saved from not using uber, etc. It is going to be giving us information on your year and then where you check in and what bus you took. That is what is going to justify for the university whether they want to increase tuition. I am looking for what makes it better, what is hurting the app. Our target audience is incoming first years and we are going to be introducing this at orientation.

Junior Senator : You mentioned the other schools that do this, are you giving out clipper cards?

Senior Senator : Right now, this is a pilot program and there is no way right now for them to tell us if it is a student using the clipper card or not. Our plan right now to have customized Santa Clara clipper cards.

Junior Senator : We had this program at Foothill and I think another thing is that you should really implement the fact that clipper cards can be used on Bart and Caltrain.

Senior Senator : This is phase one of it, we are going to be consolidating Caltrain and how to get everywhere. Right now, you have to zoom in on the Caltrain schedule. In our future phases we are going to allow people to upload money directly we just aren’t there yet. But I got Jeanne to approve funding for getting a clipper card machine in Benson.

Junior Senator : You should see how long it could go after you graduate. I think a problem with Foothill is that people couldn’t use them when you’re done. It is a clipper card.

Senior Senator : We aren’t there yet because we haven’t signed the contract. The fact that there is 32% of the population that doesn’t want it is a lot but there is 67% that does.

Sophomore Senator : Quick question, they money that they are saving, what is that being compared to?

Senior Senator : I am not a comp sci person but what I gauged would be tapping into the Uber and Lyft API and then getting that calculation. Right now, it is not subsidized.

Sophomore Senator : I was going to say since Uber and Lyft’s prices fluctuate.

Senior Senator : Also, these are badges and we are going to be doing monetary prizes to encourage students to take it more often.

At-Large Senator : On UX thing is to add the bus schedule and where to leave.

Senior Senator : Yes, that stuff is over there. No one really wants to look at a time when everything is coming. Then, you are not bogged down with unnecessary information.

Senior Senator : I think it is really cool but you said you have to manually enter where you went each time. How will it know if you went there? I feel like people could play the system.

Senior Senator : That is something I didn’t consider.

Senior Senator : Or if a clipper card could connect.

Senior Senator : We can’t do that just yet.

Senior Senator : Who is going to sponsor prizes and stuff?

Senior Senator : I have talked to the Office of Student Life and the Office of Sustainability.

President Sahil Sagar: Vidya Stole one of my questions. This is sick. Just to give you background, Helen presented this two years ago and it has come a long way. I would recommend before funding the external badges and stuff, try to just get a minimum revival of the app consolidated. Obviously the clipper card is important. Will this be a pilot for one year? Who will be working on it?

Senior Senator : I have a team of people working on it with me. Also, hopefully it will become a senior design project.

President Sahil Sagar: For the funding part, will it only be one quarter?

Senior Senator : No, it is ongoing. The only expensive part I see is the server aspect.

President Sahil Sagar: For the $13 increase, what is that looking like?

Senior Senator : What this is, is collecting data to justify it. If a lot of students are using it, then the university will want to use it.

Junior Senator : I just had a question on the increase. To be really transparent about how that money might be used. Would it only apply to buses within Santa Clara county?

Senior Senator : I don’t think it would work in San Francisco. This is mostly for local, like going downtown, etc.

At-Large Senator : I was talking to Mike Crowley about this and he said it is going to get approved but the no voices were super loud about it. What plans do you have for them?

Senior Senator : Numbers speak louder than critics. My answer was getting numbers to end that discussion.


Senior Senator : Can we present our Town Hall really fast? We have it printed. We are going to go over it really fast. Basically, it is going to be a one-hour town hall in this room during senate. It is going to start off with a quick introduction and what this Town Hall hopes to achieve. Then we will have Tedd speak briefly about ASG and its vision. Then we will move into the exec panel. We will do a brief intro of what their role is. I think most people just think of the president and then Senate. We gave most time for Sahil and David because most people associate them with student government. Then we have a moderated 15-minute panel with Exec. Questions will be accumulated prior. We will also the opportunity for those who attend to write down questions during the event.

Senate Chair David Warne: One thing, we have Janice next week for a speaker at 7pm.

Senior Senator : That was not communicated to us.

Junior Senator : Because we do have a speaker, I propose we move this to spring quarter. It is really later notice. Then we can make sure we don’t have a speaker and can allocate the full time for this event.

Sophomore Senator : I can understand that you might not have known about the agenda, but we brought this up two or three weeks ago. We did talk about week nine with David.

Senate Chair David Warne: Have you advertised this yet?

Senior Senator : Yes, it was in the email.

Sophomore Senator : We can change the date.

Senior Senator : Tedd did recommend to do it this quarter.

Sophomore Senator : If we want more RSOs to attend, we should push it to next quarter.

Senate Chair David Warne: Are you guys comfortable with that? It is short notice for us but also more importantly our constituents. This is great work and you will definitely be glad you have done this if we move it to week one or two next quarter.

Senior Senator : But then we would have to start marketing next quarter. I guess we could then. You would just have to tell us when.

Senate Chair David Warne: We don’t have a lot of speakers and a bunch of white space. So, if you are ok with moving it?

Sophomore Senator : I think that is actually a better idea because I agree that some RSOs have reached out but most people don’t know yet because we have been busy or focused on this. We could just move it to maybe week three or four so we have enough time to market it.

Community Development VP Tarren Kramer: I think if you guys also correspond it to elections, it would be a good intro to ASG.

Sophomore Senator : I don’t think that vote should have been a voice vote for the funding. It was so quick that I wasn’t sure what I was voting for.

Senate Chair David Warne: The voice vote was as reliable as it was for a roll call.

Sophomore Senator : For the white ballot, I thought we were voting on whether or not we were voting on the white ballot.

Senate Chair David Warne: No, you got this one wrong. Noted, thanks for the comments.

Sophomore Senator : I have a question about that too. Kyle said we can’t do this any other way but is that true? I understand that there was a five percent increase but maybe it is completely different?

Junior Senator : This is the most fair, unbiased way to do this. We took so many factors into consideration.

President Sahil Sagar: I think the question is like explaining how you allocated it and the rationale.

Sophomore Senator : I think he did explain it but I think it is kind of an equity vs. equality thing.

Junior Senator : We have more than 20% for culture shows that have existed more than one year. With that and newer shows, they are newer so we should give them more. Retreats, we figured out everything with the least priority.

At-Large Senator : One other thing to add is that it is not fair to other clubs since it is a reimbursement system. It would not be fair to take money away from other clubs.

Sophomore Senator : So, Erik, Vidya and I are supposed to meet next week with administration about the Hyundai Challenge. If you have any concerns or problems with it, just forward that to us. We have to prepare for this meeting because they are going to come hard for us.

Senior Senator : Yes, we don’t agree with how they are choosing to spend the money and transparency issues. They implied that they froze a project because they read the article that me and Raul were quoted in. So, basically the whole project was frozen.

Sophomore Senator : I wish that we had worked together with the MCC and told them about our budgetary restraints because that would have been more equitable.


Senate Chair David Warne asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. At-Large Senator Ifeanyi Ifediba moved to adjourn the meeting and Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana seconded the motion. The motion carried by voice vote. Senate Chair David Warne called the February 27th, 2020 meeting of the Santa Clara University Student Senate to a close at 8:20pm.

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