Forum selection tabled
As some senators dressed up in their Halloween attire, Student Senate voted not to hear debate on a resolution supporting “a more representative Forum series.”
Senator Jeff Baldovin, a co-author of the resolution, motioned that it be sent to commission for further inspection. Instead, the Senate voted to table the resolution indefinitely, meaning it is unlikely to see future debate.
“We don’t want to cut its funding,” said Senator Tom Burton, a co-author. “Whoever funds it has oversight.”
The resolution called for the Forum committee to “remember intellectual diversity in its selection process for speakers” and that all students, regardless of their political affiliation, pay student segregated fees that help fund The Forum series.
“It’s fair to assume that the Student Senate is very liberal and left-side leaning, and I want to know … what would their response be if there were 25 conservatives in this room?” Senator Andrew Nicolai, a co-author, said after the meeting. “The student body’s voice is not being heard.”
The 21 senators voting for the motion to table the resolution said it was not Senate’s place to tell any organization how to run itself.
Earlier in the year, Senate voted to table a resolution concerning The Flip Side’s ties with the
Progressive Media Network, saying it was irrelevant to Student Senate.
“This is far too close to micromanaging,” Senator Erika Dinkel-Smith said. “If you want to change it, then join the (Forum) committee.”
Senator and secretary Tom Klug extended the argument even further.
“If this goes through, I’m writing a resolution to regulate The Spectator, because we fund them too,” he said.
The Senate also voted down a bill that would have changed its bylaws and added resolutions to current rules regarding bills sent to committees or commissions.
With several Senate meetings exceeding the four-hour mark this semester, Senator Jacob Boer authored the bill in hope of making Senate more efficient by working out problems with resolutions in commissions.
In the current bylaws, the chair of the meeting can send bills to commissions. Senate can overrule the chair by a two-thirds majority vote and debate the bill that night.
Resolutions are not mentioned, but Student Senate President Aaron Olson often has sent resolutions to commissions. Boer wanted to make that practice clearly part of the bylaws.
“If you’re going to vote no against making the body more effective . I’m just astounded,” he said.
Senator Ray French said it would be setting a bad precedent to take what the current administration does and apply it to future Senate sessions.
“It really should just be up to each administration on how they want to do things,” French said, “instead of saying, ‘well, this is what this administration wants to do, so let’s just do it forever.’ “