Senate Meeting Minutes :: 05.07.20 :: Week 6

Minutes of the SCU Student Senate Meeting May 7th, 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

Sophomore Senators:

Abby Alvarez

Justin Chan

Carmen Ocazionez

Raul Orellana

Luke Paulson

Junior Senators:

Kyle Andrews

Ann Codiga

Zachary Meade

Juliana Monela Teter

Amber Wang

Senior Senators:

Cam Bick

Erik Echeona

Helen Kassa

Vidya Pingali

Nicole Jacobus

At-Large Senators:

Allie Bare

Emi Bellwood

Ifeanyi Ifediba

Duncan McDonnell

Mika Philip

Anika Kingsley

Melanie Sam

Obasi Lewis

Members Absent:

Megan Wu


Senate Chair David Warne called the May 7th, 2020 meeting of the Santa Clara University Student Senate to order at 6:00pm, digitally, over Zoom.

Senate Chair David Warne recited the invocation.


Pro-Tempore Cat Bick took roll digitally at 6:00pm. A quorum was present.


Senior Senator Helen Kassa moved to approve the previous minutes and Junior Senator Kyle Andrews seconded the motion.


Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: My objection stems from the fact that it was decided last minute and for the interest of time, move Justin’s presentation of Splash to next week.

Senate Chair David Warne: I appreciate your concern but I think we are going to move forward with this one because Justin has a presentation for it and has waited.


Guest Speaker: Joanna Thompson

Senate Chair David Warne invited Joanna Thompson - Director of the OML to speak to the Student Senate. Her presentation is summarized succinctly below:

  • I am Joanna and I am the Director of Multicultural Learning. We just wanted to introduce ourselves in case you are not familiar. Everything you are learning about identity and as a college student, we are trying to plan events and help with that outside the classroom.

  • The reason why we have the multicultural center in there, I am the advisor for the MCC and we can collaborate with them. Our mission statement is that as a part of the Office of Student Life, the Office for Multicultural Learning is committed to promoting social justice, building bridges across diverse communities, and celebrating the differences of students at Santa Clara University. In addition, we advocate for historically underrepresented populations and educate the whole person. This year is our 20th anniversary and we have been able to take a whole year to celebrate this. We have centered around the three C’s: Celebrate, Contemplate, and Commit.

  • As for the Rainbow Resource Center, the mission statement is the same in terms of what we do but it is centered around those of LGBTQQIPAA. It is really just about increasing inclusivity and raising awareness about the LGBTQQIPAA community.

Junior Senator Zachary Meade: Do you have any special plans for next year's programming?

Joanna Thompson: We are in the process of trying to figure it out. It has definitely been a pivot to do things in a virtual setting. Hopefully, if we are in person in the fall, we will continue to do what we are doing.


(Kassa) Social Media Standard Bylaw

Senior Senator Helen Kassa: So, is Emily here? Ok, do you want to go over any of the changes we made?

Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: Not necessarily, we didn’t make any changes to the standard but for the VP expectations, we added what Obasi and Ifeanyi were working on.

Senior Senator Helen Kassa: I really wanted to give you all the opportunity to ask any questions you had regarding it. We really didn’t make many changes to the social media standard.

Senate Chair David Warne: I remember there were some questions about item three and I’m wondering if there is any additional discussion on that?

Senior Senator Helen Kassa: We didn’t get any comments from anyone.

Senate Chair David Warne: That would suggest to me that people are ready to vote on this as is. I think the only thing we didn’t get to discuss is the name.

At-Large Senator Allie Bare: I think that it makes sense to have it as Kassa social media standard.

Tedd Vanadilok: I just wanted to make a comment about the thing I said last week about the O’Connor Standard and Solomon Code. When I made that comment about if you are going to take the name off this standard, you should take the name off the other two, I was being facetious. If you are taking the name off of it, you would have to get permission.

Senior Senator Nicole Jacobus: I think we should keep the name as Kassa, just beKassa. Get it?

Senior Senator Erik Echeona: So I spoke with Helen last week and today a little but about the naming process. Honestly I could go either way. While I understand that this is her idea and worked really hard in crafting this, I think, not to take anything away from Helen, the idea of naming these standards is kind of antiquated. I think just because we set a standard for something then only one person should be credited for the work for it. I think it could be called the Social Media Standard.

At-Large Senator Mika Philip: This is a counterpoint to that. I think it would be really cool if we had a standard named after a girl. This would be our first named after a woman.

Senate Chair David Warne: It's all last names so it's not like we could tell.

At-Large Senator Mika Philip: Well just looking through them.

At-Large Senator Obasi Lewis: I would agree that it should be named after Helen. She put in most of the work if not all of it so I think it would be appropriate to have her name on it.

Junior Senator Amber Wang: Kind of going off Obasi’s point, I agree with what he is saying. I think Helen put a lot of work into this and having it named after Helen’s last name doesn’t take away the fact that other people worked on it.

Sophomore Senator Luke Paulson: I think the main thing it seems like to me is the precedent. Going off what Tedd had said, it seems like there is a precedent for standards and that is how it works, with last names. Obviously we have a lot of senators who have done great work this quarter and we aren’t naming everything, but I think in terms of the process, it seems that if there is a precedent for it, then it should be based on that.

Junior Senator Zachary Meade: I think the name is the most unimportant thing about this document. I think the document achieves its goal. The standard is pretty clear about striving to do these separate points that are not the expectations which is why I would support this.

Senate Chair David Warne: Regarding the name, is there anyone who would vote no on this standard solely because it is called the Kassa Social Media Standard?

Senior Senator Cam Bick: Honestly it is more a gripe with all of the names, I don’t think putting Kassa on it is different than the O’Connor code. I think we should standardize it now. I think we do a lot of other stuff in ASG that doesn’t have our name attached to it.

Senate Chair David Warne: Helen, are you comfortable with pushing this to a vote?

Senior Senator Helen Kassa: Yes. I respect everyone’s stance and think we should vote.

Senior Senator Cam Bick: Are we voting on the whole standard now? If so, I would vote yes.

Senate Chair David Warne: Yes we are.

Junior Senator Zachary Meade: If someone really wants to change it they would have to offer an amendment which would have to be voted on. If we are going to vote on it now, I would prefer not to have parentheses around the name Kassa.

At-Large Senator Allie Bare: I just wanted to ask Helen whether you are ok with your name on the social media standard?

Senior Senator Helen Kassa: Yes, I am ok with it.

Senate Chair David Warne: So, forget the parentheses, it will be the Kassa Social Media Standard and we will vote on it like that. So, we are going to do a show of hands vote in the participants window. All in favor of adopting the Kassa Social Media Standard in the bylaw, please raise your hand.

The motion carries. 21/26.

VP Position Description Change Bylaw

Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: Actually, David, this isn’t the edited version. I think Helen shared with me a separate doc which has the changes we made. So, after we presented this, part of the change Ifeanyi and Obasi mentioned. They stated that part of what they were working on should be added which is a fair addition. I also made a note of Allie’s remark about the ambiguity of when this should happen. We decided that it is best to have it at least addressed in each retreat because we do have turnover and some members may not be there in the fall. And then the yellow is the newest addition which is that the fall retreat must have a safe space training.

Senate Chair David Warne: So, any comments for these changes?

Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: Just because our fall retreat is offsite, have you guys reached out to these organizations making sure they are comfortable coming to our retreat since it is off campus?

At-Large Senator Obasi Lewis: I have not reached out to the RCC or MCC or OML for that matter. But since they are all under the umbrella of the Office of Student Life, I think it would be within their budget but I can reach out.

At-Large Senator Allie Bare: I had a similar concern as Kyle. I don’t want people to forget the trainings or not place as much weight or time, so I feel like the place for the training might not be retreat. As it was, we were pressed for time to complete the team bonding activities. I don’t know if we have a full 10-20 minute discussion for each then I think we might not put as much time and attention to it. I like Kyle’s suggestion of having the trainings on site would be a good way of breaking it up.

Junior Senator Zachary Meade: After hearing that you haven’t reached out to these offices, it seems like it would be a mandatory thing. I am not comfortable voting on something we cannot guarantee at this point. I am very much for putting more structure into the fall retreat because I think it would be useful for the VP to have. Also, a safe space training since we have offices that do those things. But this language is too prescriptive.

Junior Senator Ann Codiga: I am all for this, I think it is super important. One concern is the logistics of getting these organizations to come to us. If anything we should be making it more convenient and go to them. Also, sometimes retreat isn’t until later in the quarter and this is really important and should be earlier on. I think this needs to set the tone for the rest of the year

Senior Senator Helen Kassa: The reason we say retreat is so we have the first years.

Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: Maybe having Senators attend the community facilitator trainings?

Senate Chair David Warne: Any other comments?

At-Large Senator Ifeanyi Ifediba: Are you guys for actually changing it or just replacing it with something on the side? Is the language of the bylaw a problem, or not having the logistics right now or making it so it is separate from the retreat?

Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: I am not against it, I am definitely for it. Just logitistical wise, and planning it out more with the OML would be better so we have a better idea of what we are voting on. I feel uncomfortable voting on this since it isn’t really set in stone.

At-Large Senator Allie Bare: For me, I think we should try to make it so that it can stand the test of time. I wouldn’t want the bylaws to name it so that we can’t have our safe space training if we can’t have it at retreat.

Senior Senator Helen Kassa: What if we had it be the first meeting after retreat?

Junior Senator Kyle Andrews: I think that would be a good fix. But I think also reaching out to these organizations and making sure they want to come.

Senior Senator Helen Kassa: So, one is the permission and two, would you all be comfortable with instead of retreat but that they would be the guest speaker the first meeting after retreat?

Senate Chair David Warne: So one thing I am not necessarily comfortable with as chair. We got a bare bones version of this last week and we were supposed to reach out to them, and it sounds like they have taken our notes and there have been some serious material changes. I don’t know if I am comfortable with a vote.

Senior Senator Helen Kassa: I agree I don’t think there should be a vote, I just wanted to see what people wanted for the changes.

At-Large Senator Mika Philip: One thing I think I understood from talking with Obasi, one reason they settled on retreat is so that all of ASG could participate. I was wondering where in the bylaw it would say this? I think these trainings are very necessary and something should happen if someone misses it.

Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: It is not written now but we can talk to the authors.

At-Large Senator Obasi Lewis: There are multiple safe space trainings per quarter so it would be easy to make that up.

Senior Senator Helen Kassa: Is everyone ok with part a though, having all of our standards being taught? Ok, good.

Junior Senator Zachary Meade: I definitely think that the first part is a good idea and I am surprised it is not already part of our retreat structure. I am still uncomfortable that the language is too prescriptive. I asked Bernill if he could speak as to how this would work? I did want to ask him how that process works.

Bernell Nevil III: Typically whenever we offer safe space training, it is the students that take the lead. Students will either visit the RCC or the MCC and we look at how to facilitate the training. We are here to be flexible and help with the trainings.

At-Large Senator Melanie Sam: I wanted to address if we had to do these trainings during retreat. We usually give 15-20 minutes for guest speakers. How long do these trainings take?

Bernell Nevil III: Typically, safe space trainings take about an hour.

At-Large Senator Allie Bare: I wanted to say maybe we should list the safe spae trainings in the position descriptions?

Senior Senator Helen Kassa: So, you’re saying we add it as an expectation for each role?

At-Large Senator Allie BAre: I’m saying it's a possibility since they occur multiple times each quarter.

Senior Senator Helen Kassa: That is a great idea Allie.

President Sahil Sagarl: Just real quick. The first thing is if we are going to talk about reviewing a bunch of principle things, we should also consider throwing in the charter since it is one of the main guiding documents of ASG. If you guys are tacking on all of these trainings there has to be repercussions and enforcement. Office hours has been very difficult to maintain and enforce. So that is something to think about.

Senate Chair David Warne: Please workshop your ideas and reach out to the bylaw. The Kassa Social Media Standard has passed and we will review the VP position description at a later date.


Splash Ad Hoc Committee

Sophomore Senator Justin Chan: I’m just here to talk about the Splash Ad-Hoc Committee. The reason we want to start an Ad-Hoc Committee is that the project has been my passion project for the last year. Especially since I am going to be the Senate Chair and can’t work on it in the same capacity. The purpose of Splash is to provide education for students by students and bring high school students from around the area. What we have accomplished so far, the team is around 16 people and we received over $4750 of funding. We collaborated with different departments, and had almost 300 students enrolled. The biggest thing to have an Ad-Hoc Committee is to give Splash some sort of legitimacy. It also gives ASG some flexibility of deciding its home. This allows us to spend a year running the event and not thinking about the future. It also gives ASG to utilize Splash as a tool and maximize its impact. It also makes Splash a dedicated line item in ASG’s budget. As for why Splash should be under ASG, the biggest thing is that Splash is a cross-functional event and is supposed to partner with so many different organizations and departments. Also creating and maintaining solid communications channels between anyone who participates. Also, creating a Splash fund to fund RSOs that ASG can’t currently fund. The biggest thing is what does ASG do anyways? I hate that question but having something tangible would help a lot. The committee will consist of 6-9 people selected by the current Splash Team. The next steps after we hold Splash is to decide a permanent location for Splash, whether it is Comm Dev or SCAAP. Any questions or points of contention?

Senate Chair David Warne: Just so you know, Ad-Hoc committees are created by resolution so by the time this is passed we would have to see a resolution.

Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez:I know you mentioned that this is a way so you don’t have to think about the future but I don’t know if that makes sense since you said you wanted to have this every year, but an Ad-hoc Committee is temporary. Also, I know in your campaign for Senate Chair you talked about task forces, have you considered making this a task force?

Sophomore Senator Justin Chan: The reason I wanted to make it an Ad-Hoc Committee is because we haven’t had the first event yet. S,o it would force us to have the event and then decide how to make it permanent. I have considered making this a task force but I don’t want to make it a conflict of interest. I do see where you're coming from and also going back to what David said, I am confused about the whole resolutions thing. Do I need a formal resolution or just detail out?

Senate Chair David Warne: Justin, do you remember the Standing Rules Ad-Hoc Committee? That was created by a resolution.

Sophomore Senator Justin Chan: From my emails with Tedd, I thought that I just had to detail out the committee.

Senate Chair David Warne: In my Senate, I want to do it by resolution because of tradition.

Senior Senator Cam Bick: I’m just not really sure, you cited legitimacy as your main reason for wanting Splash to be an ASG initiative. I’m struggling to see why this would be in ASG. Could you give another reason besides legitimacy?

Sophomore Senator Justin Chan: I think ASG benefits a lot more with Splash being part of ASG instead of its own thing. The only way that we currently interact with all the CSOs and RSOs is that we fund them. There is no solid body that interacts with them and sees things from their points of view and works with them. Hopefully, Splash would be a tool that works with them. Because it is an ASG thing, students couldn’t control it if it was an RSO. By it being an ASG thing, we make sure that it is for the student body.

Junior Senator Zachary Meade: I mean there is a lot to say here. I think when I approached the Ad-Hoc Committee thing, the first thing I thought that is how this should be done. The basic principle for me is that if we attach ASG’s name to it then we should approve it, so by a vote of the Senate. That is how I read how the bylaws work. I don’t see any other provision in the bylaws that allows a committee to be created Ad Hoc without a vote. But I agree with Cam, I think it works better in an outside venue. I don't think it fits in with ASG’s mission, and it is a cool event but I think it should be headed in a more collaborative environment with the university.

Tedd Vandilok: I just wanted to affirm the process. The standing rules committee be an ad-hoc committee, when I was giving Justin guidelines it was just as a starting point. It is really up to you David the proper protocol.

Senate Chair David Warne: I am going to sound off now, I think we would take a loss if Senators would be asked to vote on something that wasn’t fleshed out in the form of a resolution. It is very difficult to vote on a powerpoint. That is not the kind of thing that we vote on and I mentioned to you about a month ago that it had to be a resolution.


Amber Wang for SEC:

  • SEC is still working on the ‘how to get through the quarantine’ guide. So check that out from Cecelia.

Vidya Pingali for FOC:

  • Cole and I have an idea that we want to pitch for an ASG video project.

First-Year Senator Cole Brunelli: We wanted to do something to bring ASG together. There is this tik tok challenge going around. Basically, you put a brush on the camera and you are gross before and hot after and we wanted to do it with cooking. We thought it would be fun to get all of ASG involved. We will send the details and tutorial.

Senior Senator Vidya Pingali: The good thing is that each video is 5-10 seconds long and you don’t have to cook something complicated.

First-Year Senator Ariel Perlman: If you can, sign up for movies for mental health and share it. Also, if you guys are ok with the wellness center spotlighting us on Tuesday.

Kyle Andrews for SAC:

  • So, SAC today met with leadership to talk about funding and working with CSI to develop pamphlets for RSOs to work with CSI.


President Sahil Sagar: I have been working a lot with Jeannie. I sent out the recording of the town hall that went on yesterday. Other than that, we have a couple of events coming up for us. I know Charlie isn’t here to talk about it right now. We normally have an ASG banquet and there will be a zoom session where we go over awards for the senators this upcoming Friday. And then the other thing is we have a transition senate in two weeks. That’s where everything will happen. We really only have two more weeks as ASG members.

Chief Justice Emily Yekikian: I have nothing.

VP Public Relations Cecelia Fan: So, tomorrow is Bronco Friday so if you guys have any pictures of you guys wearing SCU gear make sure to tag me or send them. Pet appreciation is still going on. Take a picture and tag us on instagram. Lastly, the bronco cookbook. You can find the link to share your recipe in the insta bio

Community Development VP Tarren Kramer: Our off campus chairs are sending out a survey to our off campus residents to get feedback. And then we also have our first year newsletters going out next week and our first year chairs are trying to do a speed friending thing. We are also working with PR to do weekly studying tips for staying at home.

VP Finance Nick Neihaus: We have all been very frugal this quarter. Keep it up.

Sophomore Senator Raul Orellana: About the budget for next year because I know Nick is working on that. Are we going to vote on that?

VP Finance Nick Neihaus: There are not going to be any changes so I’m not exactly sure what the process will be but it's not going to change.

Senate Chair David Warne: I spoke to Jeannie and she said because of CO-VID uncertainty, basically budgets are staying the same form this year to next year.

President Sahil Sagar: I think that is across the board for all CSOs.


Senate Chair David Warne: You may have seen that I have forwarded to you the response to our resolutions. They will be visiting us next week as speakers. But I told them that I would compile some premade questions for them beforehand. John Ottoboni is the Chief Operations Officer and I think the Chief Council and Lisa Kloppenberg is the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Any questions you guys have since reading that response?

At-Large Senator Obasi Lewis: I have some comments on behalf of Mika. She wanted clarification on the student wage clarification, they didn’t bring that up they just stated their financial concerns. She thinks they should give us a direct answer to that. Also they sent a different email to us than to the student body. So she thinks there should be a clearer message to the student body.

Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez: It's more of a comment, I think when we prepare these questions we should keep in mind the comments in the town hall meeting. It would be unprofessional if we ask questions they already addressed. I don’t think we want to make it sound like we aren’t paying attention.

At-Large Senator Allie Bare: Abby, I was wondering how else the town hall was shared?

President Sahil Sagar: It hasn’t been shared with any other students, just to us. We can choose how we send it out to the student populations.

Senate Chair David Warne: Why don’t we take the time to watch that, how long is it?

President Sahil Sagar: An hour.

Senate Chair David Warne: Are there minutes?

President Sahil Sagar: If there are, they didn’t send it to me.

Senate Chair David Warne: Why don’t we take the time to watch the video and I’ll send a follow-up email asking for questions?

Sophomore Senator Abby Alvarez: I can give you the two main things. They don’t want to touch the endowment now or the credit and then the other thing is that enrollment is super uncertain and with admitting the freshmen class, they are about 100 students down from where they want to be. The biggest thing is that he doesn’t want to make any financial promises until they know how many students will be enrolled in the fall.

Tedd Vanadilok: The national deadline was May 1, but most universities including SCU are granting extensions.

Junior Senator Zachary Meade: I think it would be wise to compile a list of questions prior to the meeting.

Senate Chair David Warne: I think it would be better to get these via email.

At-Large Senator Allie Bare: David, can you make a document so we can see others questions?

Senate Chair David Warne: Yes. Please get on there by Monday if you can so I can send it to them by Monday.

At-Large Senator Melanie Sam: Earlier this week the JED Committee was able to meet over zoom. Lots of different departments are able to have mental health resources. Good news from Cowell, they were able to hire another worker. That is really exciting and things are looking good for Cowell right now.

Senate Chair David Warne: I think her position is related to outreach.

Bernell Nevil III: It is outreach coordinator.

Junior Senator Zachary Meade: I just wanted to mention an update from the Ad Hoc Committee. We are planning on having our final meeting this week to then recommend a series of amendments and standing rules to the senate. We still have a meeting but I wanted to bring that up and keep it on everyone’s radar.

At-Large Senator Anika Kingsley: I have done four workout wednesdays now with different teams. I have the teams set up for the rest of the quarter. I just wanted feedback if you think they aren’t working.

Senate Chair David Warne: I see one comment from Raul saying you are killing it Anika. I see that Abby agrees. Oh and also way to make the best of it Anika. You started very recently and shortly after, all sports were cancelled.


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 May 7th meeting of the Santa Clara University Student Senate to a close at 7:40pm.

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