Minutes of the SCU Student Senate Meeting April 30th, 2020
Senate Chair David Warne
Pro-Tempore Cat Bick
Parliamentarian Eduardo Ruano
Juliana Monela Teter
1. CALL TO ORDER
Senate Chair David Warne called the April 30th, 2020 meeting of the Santa Clara University Student Senate to order at 6:00pm, digitally, over Zoom.
Senate Chair David Warne recited the invocation.
2. ROLL CALL
Pro-Tempore Cat Bick took roll digitally at 6:00pm. A quorum was present.
3. APPROVAL OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES
Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana moved to approve the previous minutes and First-Year Senator Meg Wu seconded the motion.
The motion carried by voice vote.
4. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews moved to approve the agenda and First-Year Senator Meg Wu seconded the motion.
The motion carried by voice vote.
5. OLD BUSINESS
New RSO Voting
Senate Chair David Warne: We are going to have a discussion on the math and computer science club. Please raise your hands in the chat and I will call on you one-by one.
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: It seems to me that they sufficiently distinguish themselves from the other STEM RSOs that already exist. But it seems that it is more general, so I would vote yes for this one.
First-Year Senator Meg Wu: Being a math and CS major, I am involved in a lot of those STEM clubs and I’m actually going to disagree with Zach. I think there is a lot of overlap. A lot of the events they talked about planning seem like events from those other clubs.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: My personal experience attending some of the Math and CS society meetings in the past is that it has been centered around the department itself. To me, that is what the distinction is. It is a way of socializing outside the classroom but inherently connected to the professors.
At-Large Senator Melanie Sam: I think Meg and Allie bring great points. I am not a math or computer science major and students who are have mentioned that this would allow them to meet students in their major. I believe that having the math and computer science RSO actually would be beneficial.
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: I just want to clarify the criteria again. That there are no conflicting clubs and they have enough members to meet.
Senate Chair David Warne: Can I see a show of hands on who is not ready to vote? Ok, we will move onto voting. So, we are going to do a show of hands vote. Can I get a motion to vote?
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews moved to approve the Math and Computer Science RSO. Junior Senator Amber Wang seconded the motion.
Senate Chair David Warne: All in favor? All Opposed? On the question of approving math and computer science as an RSO, all in favor please raise your hand.
The motion carries.
Resolution on Expansion of Resources of the Cowell Center
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: I really love that someone mentioned in the chat that May is mental health awareness month. There weren’t many changes from last week, a couple reformatting things but the substance is the same. I don’t know if anyone had any questions about it but for now I think it is a good resolution. The notion we are recommending is that Cowell be able to have masters in psychology students work with Cowell. I talked to the Dean of the Psychology masters program about it. She certainly is working towards the same goals and passing this resolution would support what is already working. What is different is that I included a line here that says recognizing the financial strain of the covid pandemic, just making sure that this resolution is aware of the situation but still expresses support.
Senate Chair David Warne: Show of hands, who is not ready to vote? Ok, can I hear a motion to vote.
Senior Senator Nicole Jacobus moved to approve the Resolution on Expansion of Resources of the Cowell Center and Senior Senator Erik Echeona seconded the motion.
Senate Chair David Warne: On the question of approving this Resolution for expressing support for the Expansion of Resources of the Cowell Center, please raise your hands.
The motion carries. The resolution passes.
6. NEW BUSINESS
RSO Structure Changes
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: So, I hope everyone has had a chance to look over this document. We are hoping to bring this to a vote. THere are some changes in yellow. The biggest changes were making sure that SAC will fund off-campus events. All of these in yellow are ebylaws that already exist. We did add reasons why a budget could be rejected. The other changes are that we upped the amount of spending per event and some things around sustainability. Also, with apparel it must be cruelty-free. Food, just defining what food is. We made some other rules. We also have a rule of funding only transportation in the United States.
Junior Senator Ann Codiga: Two things, this is separate from the approval about changing the timeline for when RSOS are approved?
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: The bottom half, these are all redos of the discretionary funding. But that will be part of it.
Junior Senator Ann Codiga: So, if we approve the discretionary and funding changes? We are also approving the timeline changes.
Senior Senator Nicole Jacobus: Under the food category, it says MCC clubs need to refer to the exclusivity detail. I know some people might get full-out catering so would that include that. Also, what happens if you do reject their budget plan?
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: So, for your first question. That is already in effect, it is mainly for cultural shows that allow for the MCC clubs to make their own food or not use the university food. Regarding the rejection, we already do that now. We will ask the RSO to re-submit it. Or if it is completely late then we just dismiss it.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: I was wondering about advertising and wondering if the paper programs are still allowed?
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: Other members can elaborate too, I think we were thinking it would also fall under advertising.
At-Large Senator Mika Philip: I think we said we were no longer funding it.
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: I think it says under advertising that we wouldn’t.
Sophomore Senator Carmen Ocazionez: The only physical thing we are printing is stickers.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: To me, programs are important. But I understand that.
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: If the majority of the Senate likes that then we can change it.
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: I think one of the things that is flexible is under supplies and others, programs aren’t being used the same way as fliers. So I think in the future it is possible that programs fit in the description of supplies and others.
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: The RSOs too can still have programs, this is just things we pay for.
Senate Chair David Warne: Are there any additional comments?
Senior Senator Nicole Jacobus: I know that you have a lot of the deadlines being Friday 5pm and I was just wondering if week one is too complicated of a time? Would that make a difference to make it Monday morning of week two?
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: We could. The reason why we have that is mainly because we understand that RSOs will hold events week one of fall quarter and we just try to give money out before they spend it. Also, week two is really busy because we are planning out the budgets for winter and spring quarter. We want to do it that way to allow SAC some freedom to breathe and the forms will be up during the summer so they would have time to plan.
Senate Chair David Warne: Kyle, can you give us an update on the timeline of when we will be voting on this?
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: Today, hopefully.
Senate Chair David Warne: Knowing that, are there any final comments on what SAC has worked on all year. Show of hands, who is not ready to vote? Can I get a motion to vote?
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: I just have one question. I don’t know if it has to be two separate votes?
Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: I think either or is fine depending on what Kyle feels most comfortable with.
Junior Senator Ann Codiga: I’m still confused. So, there is the RSO structure and then discretionary funding. We are not covering tonight what we talked about approving RSOs only a certain quarter?
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: That is included in this. To go off that, I think there is a really good benefit of grouping them all together because it will give RSOs the chance to get the ground running.
Senate Chair David Warne: First thing we are going to consider are the new bylaws on RSO structure changes. Can I get a motion to vote?
Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana moved to approve the RSO Structure Changes Bylaw and At-Large Senator Emi Bellwood seconded the motion.
Senate Chair David Warne: On the question of approving these new bylaws that you see on the screen, all in favor please raise your hand in the participants tab. It is a supermajority but because it is such a big deal, I think I would be more comfortable if some people spoke as to why they didn’t vote for it.
First-Year Senator Theo Lassen: I just don’t know about grouping them all together and having RSOs wait to be an RSO until the spring.
Senate Chair David Warne: Well, we have a supermajority. It sounds like we just have a lack of sureness.
The motion carries.
Senate Chair David Warne: We will move onto the discretionary funding. Can I get a motion to vote?
At-Large Senator Melanie Sam moved to approve the Discretionary Funding Bylaw and First-Year Senator Theo Lassen seconded the motion.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: I was wondering how are we planning on communicating these changes to RSOs
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: I am going to reach out to them personally about all of these changes and see if we can do a mandatory meeting. Also, there will be pamphlets and it will be very out in the open.
Senate Chair David Warne: Can I get a motion to vote?
At-Large Senator Mika Philip moved to approve the Discretionary Funding Bylaw and At-Large Senator Obasi Lewis seconded the motion.
Senate Chair David Warne: All in favor please raise your hands. Ok, we have 20/24. That is a supermajority so it passes. Congratulations SAC. When we started this we were streaming but now it keeps quitting and failing. Let’s move onto the social media standard bylaw.
The motion carries.
Social Media Standard Bylaw
Senior Senator Helen Kassa: David, if you don’t mind I wanted to share a quick presentation. After discussing the content, Emily and I wanted to give you guys the chance to change the name. It will be a preventive measure. This is not a social media monitoring police. We don’t want to create a culture where members are afraid to follow each other. The goals come down to four things. It is us recognizing our ethos and influence as leaders. It is protecting the identity/public image of our organization, etc. Also, Emily if you want to touch on anything, I wrote this in conjunction with judicial. I am assuming everyone read the standard, does anyone have any comments? The preamble prefaces what the standard is, it talks about the four goals. One of the main points is ASG’s student leadership and realizing that you are a student leader who has a responsibility to uphold a certain image. We defined social media based on the Merriam Webster definition. I also added in that it is illegal in the state of California to mandate that student leaders make their social media accounts public. Like I said we will discuss the name part after.
Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: So, Helen presented us with this idea of adding something to the bylaws that directly referred to social media usage and setting an expectation for appropriate social media usage by ASG members. She provided us her ideas and intent for this bylaw and then this standard. Judicial and I worked off of this information to write up this standard. It went through quite a few draft processes and my branch debated it a lot. There are some things I want to point out specifically. My branch will go back and make edits if you guys don’t agree with anything. Under the social media definition, there is the anonymous social media application, this is something I want people to think about whether or not this should be included. The bylaw as a whole recommends responsible social media usage which could extend towards anonymous social media applications. And then, point three, refrain from posting photos displaying alcohol consumption while wearing ASG apparel. I think it makes sense, not a major thing whether we keep it but my branch and I don’t think this is necessary. We think it is common sense not to post a photo like this. But there are members of ASG who are 21 and might post a photo in a more formal setting. If anyone has other questions?
Senior Senator Helen Kassa: Those are the two main things we went back and forth on and wanted the Senate to choose. For the herd part, I wanted to keep it in there and a few other senators wanted it too. I personally am not super attached to it so it comes down to what you as the Senate want to choose. I personally wanted the alcoholic consumption part there. As Emily said although it is common sense, people still could post it. I think it is open-ended and this is just for inappropriate settings. It is just there to make you take double-think whether it is appropriate.
Junior Senator Ann Codiga: So I really like this and think it is a great idea. My only concern is that this is about people's personal instagram pages. I think this would be a great thing to apply to ASG accounts and have better standards set for anything that has ASG on it. And while all these points are really important and should be emphasized at retreat, I don’t know if it is ASG’s place to tell people to look responsible on social media.
Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: To your first point of concern, there is a sentence in the preamble that says this does apply to ASG social media accounts. To your second point, I totally understand that concern. We talked a lot about this, from Helen’s point of view and the way we wrote it. It would be more of a learning process and throughout the years at ASG you would become more mindful of your social media presence. This is hopefully ensuring mutual accountability.
Senior Senator Helen Kassa: Also, this is a part of student development. How you carry yourself on social media is a valuable thing after college. It is also supposed to be preventative.
Senate Chair David Warne: In the future, we are going to go through all the questions.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: I have a comment first. I think the anonymous application is a good inclusion because it lets people know that this is more of a standard. My question is where in the bylaws this fits in? Is this an appendix? Where will it go?
Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: It is a standard so it will go in the first three or four appendices.
At-Large Senator Anika Kingsley: Just adding onto Allie’s support for anonymity. But I just wanted to point out that everything on social media can get tracked.
Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: So, Anika kind of brought it up. If you guys have noticed, I have been attacked on social media and I have been working with legal to see who has been posting these things. There is an email attached and wanted to say that even though I have had social media scandals of my own, I definitely feel like if this was in place we could have prevented those. I am behind this because of the amount of discrinimation and hate I have experienced these last few weeks.
Sophomore Senator Justin Chan: My question is that this is enforceable. If someone reports this, is it just up to judicial to decide if it is an infraction?
Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: Judicial only intervenes if something is brought to our attention. It is a case by case situation. We would follow other bylaws along with this one. It does include harassment so it is up to the interpretation of judicial to decide what happens.
Sophomore Senator Luke Paulson: First, I just wanted to thank Helen, I think you did a great job. I just wanted to say the posting with the alcohol part, I think maybe we should consider adding if you are 21 and older, then it is ok. There is a factor of common sense of what condition you are in in the picture but we are all college students and if it looks relatively professional then there shouldn’t be anything wrong with that.
Sophomore Senator Christina Abudayeh: I get how it will ultimately be up to judicial to handle infractions. But I was wondering how you will handle oversight?
Senior Senator Helen Kassa: THere won’t be oversight.
Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: It is not intended for us to be policing people’s social media, it is just with the goal of reminding people to be responsible.
Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez: From what I hear, it is not supposed to be for policing, but if it is in the bylaws then it can be reported and then judicial would have to be a decision. So I think it will be used for policing. I think we could use it for retreats and things but not in the bylaws.
Senior Senator Helen Kassa: So i think there is some confusion between a standard and a bylaw. A standard is an expectation. A bylaw is more procedural. Do you see the difference? A standard does do what you are suggesting.
Senior Senator Erik Echeona: I totally get the difference between a standard and a bylaw and I understand how we might perceive this as a neutral standard but I just think it is kind of a slippery slope. To kind of chime in on Abby’s statement, I do think that there is an inevitability of that. I also think this standard is addressed in the Solomon Code of Ethics.
Senate Chair David Warne: Please reach out to Helen or judicial with your concerns.
VP Position Description Change Bylaw
Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: I will briefly explain this one. Basically, when working on developing the standard, we realized that there are certain governing aspects to our text that people should be aware of. The best way to get people familiar with those things is through organization-wide retreats. So, we added an expectation for the VP description with regards to presenting ASG’s principles.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: Point two mentioned that this is for quarterly retreats. I was wondering whether it was the hope of this tradition to review standards at every retreat?
Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: I would rather leave that up to the discretion of the VP to decide.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: To me, it seems that it is expressly stated that it should be presented every quarter. I would maybe say once per year or something like that.
At-Large Senator Obasi Lewis: Just a quick thing, Ifeanyi and I worked on a similar bylaw in regards to retreats and we were working on a different document. It is around diversity training so I think it would be prudent to wait on this.
Senior Senator Helen Kassa: What they were writing is exactly what we are doing. They are writing about Diversity and Inclusion training and safe space training.
Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: Basically, Helen, my branch, and I did not come to a consensus as to whether her last name should be attached to this bylaw. We thought it should be up to Senate. My branch noted that adding the name doesn’t serve a function other than attaching credit.
Senior Senator Helen Kassa: I wanted to yield speaking on this to Tedd because it was his idea and suggestion.
Tedd Vanadilok: I think if this is being written as a standard, it makes sense to follow the precedent with the O’Connor standard. If this is being submitted and approved, it would be a standard as well. It is really more following suit or precedent.
Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: I was just going to say, I am in full support of calling it the Kassa standard. I think giving it the name of the person gives it proper credit and because this doesn’t exist then I have had to go through different channels.
CARES Act Facts
Vice President Charlie Douille: So, this is going to be about the CARES act. You should have gotten a document shared with you that has the big facts but I have condensed it. The University has been allocated 3.5 mil. There is a fund for educational stabilization and 46% of this fund is allocated for higher education. So, this higher education emergency relief fund is broken up into three sections, the largest of which is for students. Some grants for students for cost of attendance include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care. Some additional information about the CARES act is that the institution must use the funds as described. The institution may use the funds received to cover any cost associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to COVID. The CARES Act states that a local educational agency who received funds shall to the greatest extent practicable continue to pay its employees. Because the first payment is supposed to be towards students, we have assumed that the 1.7 mil would be broken up as follows on the screen. We wanted to share this all with you so you will be better informed and more available to hold the university accountable. The University is working to come up with how to allocate funding.
Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez: When it says 1.1 mil to pell grant, does that mean directly taking money off their bill?
Vice President Charlie Douille: I do not have the answer for you for that question. These specific questions may be better suited to Jeannie or someone working closer on it.
Junior Senator Ann Codiga: How are students going to get this money?
Vice President Charlie Douille: The act specified that the Secretary of Education would allote the money through the normal means of transfer of funds. But I don’t know how it would go directly to students.
Senior Senator Nicole Jacobus: I was just wondering, SCU originally put out a statement and said they would use half for the needs of the SCU community and half for the students hit harder. This seems different from what they told Mercury News. So I’m just wondering what this means. Also does this apply to seniors?
Vice President Charlie Douille: I think it would be intended for students impacted by the coronavirus. We are still enrolled so I would assume that it would be available for seniors as well. I can’t comment on the statement the university made, I just know the act is written in a way that lays out how they must use it.
Sophomore Senator Justin Chan: So before the meeting started, Jeannie mentioned something about a website. Do you know anything about that?
Vice President Charlie Douille: I think you should await further information.
Junior Senator Zachary Meade: So I know that the congressional research service has already published something about this, I am going to find that and hopefully be more informed about it next time.
Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez: So, these numbers are based on the 1.7 mil we have already received. Are the percentages going to be applied to the total amount?
Vice President Charlie Douille: Yes.
7. COMMITTEE UPDATES
Vidya Pingali for FOC:
●So, Cole and I have been trying to work on healthier options in Benson.
First-Year Senator Ariel Perlman: What I said in the group chat about May being mental health awareness.
Amber Wang for SEC:
●So, SEC is working on the ‘how to get through the quarantine’ guide. Meg’s edition came out last week in Cecelia’s email. Next week will be Theo’s turn. Emi and Duncan will talk about their projects.
At-Large Senator Emi Bellwood: I met with the career center yesterday and they are trying to increase student engagement. They are doing an instagram question video and are putting a question page on social media. Next week we are also doing a LinkedIn live session next Thursday at 10am.
At-Large Senator Duncan McDonnell: I am working on a project because the summit got cancelled. We are going to be putting a video out with a bunch of different members of the greek community.
Senior Senator Erik Echeona:
●I don’t think CUIC has any updates this week.
Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez: I am currently working with Dr. Korsmeyer who runs the REAL program around figuring out if it is considered mission critical.
Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: I just wanted to thank everyone for their votes tonight, SAC has put a lot of work into that. We are trying to meet with old MCC leadership and new.
8. Exec Updates
Vice President Charlie Douille: Elections have concluded, you should see the results in Cecelia’s email. We are going to talk to some additions to the bylaw due to some social media things that came up this year.
Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: Not much from me other than judicial is working on a project to create a resource guide for undergrad students with the law school.
VP Public Relations Cecelia Fan: Bronco Friday is coming back. I will be posting CIara and Ann’s photos first. We will kick out the campaign starting with them. Melanie and I are also working on a pet page for the instagram and a cookbook for SCU students.
VP Community Development Tarren Kramer: So the First-Year newsletter was sent out next week geared towards things to do at home. We are also doing Monday study tips. We are also reaching out to off campus students to talk about relationships with the different neighbors.
9. ROUND TABLE REMARKS
Senate Chair David Warne: Congratulations to all of you who won their elections and to those who didn’t win as well.
At-Large Senator Obasi Lewis: So, Ifeanyi and I are working on a project that will hopefully carry on until next year about carrying on diversity training for students. We are in the initial stage. If you are interested, reach out.
First-Year Senator Ariel Perlman: I forgot to mention, they also want to highlight how ASG is supporting mental health. If you guys have ideas, let me know.
At-Large Senator Mika Philip: When is our last senate meeting?
Senate Chair David Warne: I believe it is week eight, our transition week. We will have two more Senates together and then have the transition senate.
Nicole: For our week seven meeting, can we do a theme? Like tequila and Senate? For the youth, you can have sprite.
Senate Chair David Warne: I can’t name it tequila and senate. I also can’t tell what you are drinking over zoom. Just keep it professional. We can do something fun.
At-Large Senator Allie Bare: How about we play scribble or something like that?
Senate Chair David Warne: We can definitely build in some fun time. Hit me up with your ideas. I heard your vote on the groupme and from here on out, exec updates will be in the emails. If there are no more comments, then we are adjourned.
Senate Chair David Warne asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana moved to adjourn the meeting and First-Year Senator Cole Brunelli seconded the motion. The motion carried by voice vote. Senate Chair David Warne called the April 30th meeting of the Santa Clara University Student Senate to a close at 7:30pm.