Short Senate meeting touches on two initiatives

Story by Taylor Kuether

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Monday night’s Student Senate meeting at 6 p.m. in Davies Center’s Dakota Ballroom was a short one, but Vice President Patrick Martin suspects the meetings will be growing longer over the next few months.

“Most nights we’ll go a couple of hours, maybe one out of every four or five (meetings) we’ll go all the way until the building closes, but even if there’s nothing on the agenda, it’s a great opportunity for folks to show up, speak their mind,” Martin said.

Martin said short meetings aren’t unusual at the beginning of the school year, but longer meetings are on the horizon as issues such as Finance Commission spending and Blugold Commitment grant funds appear on the agenda.

“Stop back in about three weeks if you want to be here that late,” Martin said.

Despite the meeting’s brevity, two issues were touched on briefly. Paul Kaldjian, associate professor of geography, gave a short presentation at the beginning of the meeting regarding winterim.

Kaldjian’s goal is to drum up more interest in winterim courses and make utilizing winter break to tackle a few extra credits a more popular idea. The discussion is still in preliminary stages, but Martin said the idea is something Student Senate would be
receptive to.

“At this point it’s still very early in the process,” Martin said, “We were talking about all the challenges, all the specifics still need to be worked out, but especially as we’re just moving into our Blugold Commitment funding processes, it’s just a fantastic opportunity to look at new initiatives like that that could really transform campus.”

Later in the meeting, Student Senate’s Director of Outreach and Inclusivity Jarrel Montgomery updated the senate on the status of the upcoming “Know Your Rights” campaign, a public relations campaign that will make students aware of the resources available to them regarding hate crimes.

“Currently there is on the webpage a bias incident report page, but a lot of students do not understand what that is,” said Montgomery, a junior. “We’re trying to put it out there and make students aware that we are here for you. If someone says something that you’re not comfortable with, we’re here to help you.”

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