Minutes of the SCU Senate Meeting March 5th, 2020
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate Chair David Warne called the March 5th, 2020 meeting of the Santa Clara University Student Senate to order at 7:00pm in the Willman Room in the Benson Memorial Center.
Senate Chair David Warne invited Senior Senator Vidya Pingali to recite the invocation.
2. ROLL CALL
The proxy for the Pro-Tempore took roll at 7:01pm. A quorum was present.
3. APPROVAL OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES
Senate Chair David Warne: Zachary, we didn’t have any discussion of Annika, I move to postpone approval to next Senate.
Junior Senator Zachary Meade moved to postpone approval and Senior Senator Erik Echeona seconded the motion.
Senate Chair David Warne: All in favor, all opposed.
The motion carries.
4. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
At-Large Senator moved to approve the agenda and Senior Senator seconded the motion.
Senate Chair David Warne: All in favor, all opposed.
The motion carries.
5. SPECIAL ORDERS OF BUSINESS
Guest Speaker: Janice DeMonsi
Senate Chair David Warne invited Janice DeMonsi – Director of Recreation to the front of the room to speak in front of the Student Senate. Her presentation is summarized succinctly below:
I have worked on campus for 17 years. We use facilities and programs to improve GPA stress and anxiety. You can be active on your own or with teammates.
There are many program areas – open recreation, facilities, intramurals, club sports, fitness.
For staffing, there are three full-time staff. Two fully funded by the university and one partially funded by the university and revenue. We are posting for a position that will be supported by revenue for the Assistant Director for intramurals and camp hopefully by May 1st. We have 12 student coordinators.
In terms of budget, there is university support for our student wages, $470k and salaries noted. Our operating budget comes out of revenue.
For open recreation, day of giving provided funding for new weights, men’s locker room mats, new camp registration software system.
For intramurals, there are 13 current offerings which changes each quarter based on facility space.
Senate Chair David Warne thanked Janice for her presentation and opened up the floor for any questions.
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: What kind of programming is being planned for the Dick Davey court?
Janice DeMonsi: It is college length, but not also high school length. If it is less than 3 feet short, we move there. If more than 3 feet short, we will not move him. Then we have 2 courts open in Malley. The hope is intramurals, but not sure until we have seen the court.
Janice DeMonsi: For club sports, we have competed against other univerisites for 17 years. We have 416 student athletes with an average cumulative GPA of 3.31. There are games on Bellomy field or in Malley as well as around the Bay Area. The current program is capped due to staff, facility space, and funding.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: When you say capped?
Janice DeMonsi: We are not adding more club sports. There are RSO and non-affiliate sports teams like basketball and men and womens soccer. We don't have the facilities or bandwidth to support them. We are getting an additional 14k for club sports, but not enough to support the 17 nonclub sports. So capped means we are not adding more. If they want to compete, they have to be affiliated.
At-Large Senator Obasi Lewis: What would be the criteria for letting sports in?
Janice DeMonsi: Right now, there is a policy that is related to field space as well. Soccer, for example, with no additional space we would have to say no because we cannot support them. Scheduling wise it would not work with only Bellomy field. For the student body to be the size, we would need 2 Bellomy fields.
Janice DeMonsi: There are free student passes for fitness classes which are supported through donations, with a 105% increase in the first year. The classes are not full, there is space to get your pass and come try. There are two not in Malley center and 33 a week this quarter. The summer camp is our largest revenue source. It is a summer job opportunity, 6 sessions, campers age 6-12 and CIT 13-17 play a variety of sports. All funds go to campus recreation. We have lifeguard recertifications and new swim lessons next year to add to our aquatics programs. We will continue to add full-time staff to be able to add additional programs as well as a Malley center expansion. There is no timeline but the need is there and the university is aware.
First-Year Senator Ariel Perlman: The new studio rooms with no mirrors, will there be a room that students always have access to with no classes?
Janice DeMonsi: It has to do with a strategic planning guide. For every student you need 1 square foot per student for campus recreation. We would monitor use of the rooms, because we want a space for functional fitness that isn’t crowded. We want more rooms.
First-Year Senator Ariel Perlman: Now they have TRX training so it is hard to have a space.
Janice DeMonsi: We would put that somewhere else. We went to San Jose to look at facilities. We also would survey students to see what they would like to have as well. The cardio would also move somewhere else.
6. NEW BUSINESS
Senate Chair David Warne: Review both today and connect with judicial and we will vote next week.
Discretionary Fund Merger
Finance VP Nick Neihaus: We are revising the way we manage discretionary funds. RSOs get $100 for going to training which adds $20k a year. So only $60k a year to allocate. We hope to merge to have a full $90k and they will be requesting that $100 with other requests. This is a way to keep track of ASG funds. The University Finance office is in support as well as Kyle and Arcelia.
Sophomore Senator : Instead of $100 for going to RSO training, this would change it so that they have to go to training to get any money at all and RSO training will not give $100?
Finance VP Nick Neihaus: Yes.
At-Large Senator : How many would be held and will there be more options since 2 people?
Finance VP Nick Neihaus: Usually three per quarter.
Sophomore Senator : Tedd, what was the initial reason for the incentive. Would you think this would be better?
Tedd Vanadilok: It is better for you to decide. It used to be $50 and now it is $100. Other universities will freeze your account unless you go, so you can’t spend at all.
Junior Senator : One of the concerns is that the training is the same thing every time, so to qualifty you would have to go to the training each quarter to get that funding. As soon as the next quarter happens and they don’t go, they can’t get funding. Some RSOs complain that it is too repetitive to go every time.
Tedd Vanadilok: The topics change.
At-Large Senator : Last time I checked it was two members but now it is two officers.
Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: Typically, it is officers. Sometimes exec boards are very small and need to send a delegate.
Finance VP Nick Neihaus: I think Tedd suggests we would show it to RSOs because they may not be happy about it but it might not be the best way going forward because of concerns about equity.
Senior Senator : Just a grammar thing, remove the apostrophe from RSO.
Senior Senator : Since none of us have tangible changes we want to make sure we giving good feedback throughout the week. So, I just want toclarify that we would be voting to pass.
Representatives from Judicial: This relates to the appeal process for behavioral violation. Previously you had to submit a petition, and essentially we would review it which would raise questions of impartiality. Thinking of how to rework it, the only way you can appeal a decision is if it is a behavior violation resulting in expulsion. We want to craft a formal process to review petition to see if it's legitimate.
Senior Senator : With the subcommittee, only three people can submit petitions, so in that case the one who made the committee bestow the committee.
Junior Senator : There might be the necessary element that the one who made the petition to send a delete, if there is not an advocate for why a person believes that.
Representatives from Judicial: Their chance to advocate is the petition itself.
At-Large Senator : The petition is directly highlighting how the student court messed up in the procedure of the bylaw, I wonder if the explanation of the student court should be in writing?
Representatives from Judicial: With the initial writing, and there is an issue where a person is not conducting themself appropriately, we could include that in the comments. The case file will be shared, it wouldn’t be the chief justice advocating for the court.
President Sahil Sagar: The Chief Justice is a non-voting member.
Sophomore Senator : Can you give examples of things that are petitioned for?
Representatives from Judicial: Scenarios of expulsion, they can go into bylaw and say the student court did not follow procedures accurately and prove that we broke the bylaws or overlooked something.
Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez: This is only after someone gets expelled.
Junior Senator : If the analogue is that this is a decision being made on appeal and we go back to appeal and do it again or it gets denied.
Representatives from Judicial: In the past we decided if it went to a retrial, and now this adds another party and seems to be the most fair system.
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: I fear that it may be a little intransparent. There should be someone there to advocate for the petitioner.
Representatives from Judicial: The Chief Justice is only there is answer questions.
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: The same thing would happen in the appeal and question would be asked, if accusations are against the court and having the leader of the court there, they may be more inclined to give a charitable view towards the court.
Representatives from Judicial: We thought about that, but it wouldn’t make sense for her to not be there and it wouldn’t be fair because the chief justice has the experience of the first trial and could answer questions. So it would increase transparency.
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: There shouldn’t be advocacy in this type of meeting. There isn’t a higher body than judicial, it should just be cut and dry.
Representatives from Judicial: And this is related to expulsion, so it would be a very firm reason for our claim.
Senate Chair David Warne: Expulsion from ASG?
Representatives from Judicial: Yes.
7. COMMITTEE UPDATES
Erik Echeona for CUIC
Vidya Pingali for FOC
The Hyundai Challenge went great, we are working on healthier and cheaper options in Benson, art on hammock poles, reducing library hours for the public at night, and join Splash!
Amber Wang for SEC
Next quarter, April 23rd, we are having the LGBTQ+ sex education event and March 31st there is an ASN event on faith, politics, and the 2020 election
Kyle Andrews for SAC
8. ROUND TABLE REMARKS
Senate Chair David Warne: PSA from upper admin, if you email a member of upper admin, please run it by David or the committee chair first. Please be more tactful.
President Sahil Sagar: We are working on Senator spotlights. Coronavirus update: to be more informed about the virus, it is the same as flu so wash your hands, and if you are sick, professors are understanding about not going to class. There should not be large gatherings of people more than 10.
Senate Chair David Warne: The number is 150 people.
Junior Senator : I emailed Phil and took some ideas down for a safe walk. I was thinking it would be Friday and Saturday nights to start. For on and off campus students it may not always be safe, so everyone needs a safe way to get home. It would be its own thing, students would be employed to pick students in need and walk them home to wherever they need to go. That is the eventual goal. It would be from 11-2am. Campus safety does also offer people rides.
At-Large Senator : Will anyone be on probation for students drinking?
Junior Senator : Phil doesn’t think that people need to be busted for drinking, but if someone is unwell and needs help, the safe walkers would be trained.
At-Large Senator : Would they walk them to the door, or would they have access to residences?
Senior Senator : How many would be employed and what would the vicinity be?
Junior Senator : Some students would have to wait a little bit, but the walks would be too long.
Senior Senator : Would they be stationed in campus safety?
Junior Senator : A past issue is that they are in with campus safety and the office is far. So, there would be a couple hubs.
Senior Senator : And the idea of uber for walking. It could tell you where the main walking group is.
At-Large Senator : Will they also be trained to deal with an aggressive or belligerent person?
Junior Senator : There would be some sort of training on what to do, but there would be two people walking them home.
At-Large Senator : Having each of these two people being of different gender would be helpful.
Junior Senator : That is the idea.
Senior Senator : Would they get paid, and where is the budget?
Junior Senator : I am unsure, talk to Jeannie.
President Sahil Sagar: I had a conversation with Molly, and she mentioned doing on on-call system. So, you get paid per trip which means it wouldn’t be that large of a budget.
Senior Senator Nicole Jacobus: An idea for a project, Jimmy Fallon classroom videos with songs included but it is ASG.
VP Finance Nick Neihaus: From Tarren, last lecture is tomorrow in the Finn common room.
Ellie: Also from Tarren, groups involved in the November election. Some ideas: planning to have a school-wide poll for people to anonymously vote for who they want. Would this be acceptable and everyone can be included and don’t have to be identified and which is something that has been isolated. This would be for spring quarter.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: As opposed to nationwide polling?
Ellie: We were all tables from different branches for the midterm election, but sending out emails to people from each state. But it gets very serious and heated and it is a fun outlet.
Senior Senator Vidya Pingali: Are you asking people who they are voting for?
Ellie: To see who in school is voting for who.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: Screens might be too intrusive.
Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez: I think screens are a good idea and could get people to vote.
Ellie: Maybe do it once a week for a surprise.
Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez: Would this be for primary or general?
Senior Senator Vidya Pingali: We had debates between people of different political affiliation and you had to have sources to back it up.
Senior Senator Helen Kassa: That was from the bridge the gap ad hoc committee.
Senior Senator Vidya Pingali: It was effective.
First-Year Cole Brunelli: You can also poll every few weeks.
First-Year Ariel Perlman: A huge part of it should be to educate ourselves because of the gap in ideologies, but I am worried that this could make things worse.
Sophomore Senator Carmen Ocazionez: So, it is not intrusive you could show it in the weekly ASG email.
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: If the focus is education people on the election it requires more practical education more so than polling people.
President Sahil Sagar: We have elections next quarter with info sessions week two.
Senate Chair David Warne asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Junior Senator Zachary Meade moved to adjourn the meeting and At-Large Senator Duncan McDonnell seconded the motion. The motion carried by voice vote. Senate Chair David Warne called the March 5th, 2020 meeting of the Santa Clara University Student Senate to a close at 8:29pm.