Senate Weekly Beat: Proposed Room Draw Changes & ASCMC Reforms
ASCMC’s second Senate meeting of the spring semester began at 8:30 PM on Monday, January 30. After an opening introduction from President Pro-Tempore Thomas Schalke '18, two funding requests were presented. The first was from the Dismantling Cisheteropatriarchy Committee (DCHP), which requested $100 for two events on February 9: lunch and dinner discussions with Andrew Ahn, the director of the movie Spa Night. The second funding request was from the Indigenous Pacific Islanders, who requested $500 for two events: a 5C book talk on February 3 with Katherine Irwin and a community workshop on February 4 with Wayde Hoapili Lee, a non-profit director. Both requests were funded in full.
Dormitory Affairs Chair Daniel Ludlam ’18 and Campus Improvement Committee Chair Connor Bloom ’19 from the Residential Life Committee led a discussion surveying support for possible housing reforms. Ludlam and Bloom took straw polls from the senators about five issues: ending retention of pods, ending half-open double draws (ending room drawing into a double as a single person), extending the RA buddy draw system to Mid and South Quads, making the first floor of Marks gender-inclusive, and the block housing pilot program (a test run of block housing in Claremont and Fawcett Halls). Straw polls came out in favor of each of the reforms.
After this polling, Director of the Athenaeum Priya Junnar spoke to the Senate. She introduced herself and discussed ways to increase Athenaeum visibility among students. Junnar talked about a new infographic about the Athenaeum registration and cancellation process and attire. She also shared information about an underused feature of the Athenaeum: clubs are entitled to bring a speaker to the Ath for one club dinner per semester.
Next, Francois Ries ’18 reported on the Curriculum Committee. He said that the committee is currently deciding what this year’s metric should be for determining curriculum success. The committee is also reviewing whether the sequence program should continue after finding that very few students follow sequences other than CS, Leadership, or Finance. The committee is also discussing diversity course mapping and trying to determine what portion of each class is dedicated to an issue of diversity.
Schalke brought up proposed ASCMC reforms. He discussed having the Dormitory Affairs Chair vote on the Executive Board and having two senators each sit on the Elections and Budget Committees. He discussed election committee reforms that would expand the committee’s power to handle all elections and appointments except presidential advisors, dorm presidents, and senate secretary. He discussed a Diversity & Inclusion reform that would replace the current representatives with five at-large members who would be selected by the Elections Committee. He discussed a new system for the CFO that would add a Treasurer position. The Treasurer would have no separate duties but rather work to help the CFO. Stipend changes were discussed, with the stipend for CFO increasing from $500 to $1000 per semester and the Treasurer’s stipend set at $800 per semester.
The Director of Student Security and Event Commissioner positions were changed from stipend to hourly wage payment. Overall, the changes lead to a $200 increase in total budget allocation for stipends. The Senate Powers were also changed to allow for the appointment of two senators to Elections Committee and two advisor senators to Budget Committee. Additionally, a change was made that allows Senate to remove officers or staff through two three-fourths majority votes at subsequent meetings.
After a silent Open Forum, Senate was adjourned at 10:11 PM.