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Student Senate Proceedings: March 17-24

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Photo credit: Dustin Keeslar

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Written by: Communicator StaffMarch 26, 2014

Meeting March 17

With 16 senators present, the first meeting in the senate’s new location began with two additions to the agenda and the approval of the minutes.

The first order of business was a presidential veto to SR 27, an amendment to the senate rules and procedures. The amendment would have restricted voting in matters of conflict of interest as well as defined it as membership within an organization requesting funds. Additionally, it gave speakers for vetoed bills five minutes for rebuttal while maintaining the student president’s three minutes for explanation.

The student president disagreed with both of these things (as well as the wording of another section) because he felt the first was unfair to the more involved senators and the second violated due process. An amendment was proposed to the resolution to change the wording, despite the fact that a veto was being voted upon, resulting in a tie vote and therefore failing. After confusion about the process of reworking the resolution and the consequences (and procedure) for a veto, the veto was not overturned in a vote of 6 to 10.

The second item on the agenda was also a veto, this time for a travel request. The Military Science and Leadership club had previously asked for $4964.61 to attend several events. One of them was a training the student president believed to be necessary for completion of the ROTC program after contacting a program official. The veto came because the senate can’t fund any event or trip necessary for the completion of a program or course. However, the spokesperson for the club produced paperwork listing the requirements to complete the program and the training was not on it. After weighing the worth of paperwork over an e-mail from a source attempting a quick answer, the veto was narrowly overturned 11 to 5.

The third and final item discussed was an individual travel request by Lisa Irvin to the World Congress of Music Therapy. The World Congress of Music Therapy, occurring once every three years, would take place in Vienna and Crèmes of Austria from July 7 to July 13. Irvin’s research was chosen blindly to stand beside that of experts around the world, and she requested $2818.14 for airfare, transportation, lodging and registration. However, she would be spending three days in Vienna completely out of pocket after the event. Some senators latched on to this as “vacation” despite the fact it in no way affected the bill’s total.

It was pointed out that because the trip took place in the next fiscal year, it could only be funded if the senate took an extraordinary measure to commit money to it now instead of letting the budget from next year handle it. An amendment was nonetheless suggested to reduce the airfare by half because of the “vacation” aspect, but failed 6 to 10. A motion was made to table the bill, but received no second. The bill failed 3 to 13.

At this point, no new business was handled although an argument was held about the second veto. A senator with a conflict of interest had voted, and without his vote no one was sure of procedure for correcting the vote. The winning party did not ask for a re-vote, so the veto remained overridden. Quorum was lost after this argument.

Meeting March 24

The meeting began with 14 senators present and a bill for the Communicator being moved to the top of the agenda. With $13,663.21 left in the budget, the meeting proceeded with hand-voting due to issues with the clickers.

The Communicator put forth its own bill for $1000 to take 10 Indianapolis to attend Indiana Collegiate Press Association Convention on April 5. The money would cover transportation and one night at a hotel. At the convention, 12 students from the IPFW Communicator will be recognized for achievement. Communicator staff will also be attending several breakout sessions and workshops while in Indianapolis. A motion was made to table the bill, but received no second. The bill passed 13 to 1.

Next, the senate approved minutes from a meeting in last April.

The next bill came from a student wishing to attend the 2014 Cannes Film Festival for American Pavillion. The bill asked only for $1393 to cover airfare, as the student had raised $2000 on their own. The bill passed by unanimous consent.

Next on the agenda was an individual travel request from Elizabeth Phillips to attend a conference for the Association for Psychological Science. She asked for $1267.59 to cover airfare to San Francisco and three nights in a hotel. This amount was lower than the initial request, so the senate amended it down appropriately. The bill passed in a vote of 14 to 0.

A nomination was proposed for the new chair of the Student Affairs Committee. Warren Reed was nominated by Vice President of Legislation Donald Archey and approved by unanimous consent.

Tyler Davis came forward with a travel request to attend the 24th Annual SEALS Conference in Yangon, Myanmar. The trip would be for one week, and cost $2550 for airfare and lodging. The conference will show Davis the work that linguists are involved with and introduce him to experts in the field. The bill passed unanimously.

The local Students in Free Enterprise asked for funds to attend their national conference. There, they would compete with other organizations by reviewing their entrepreneurial activities for the year. Their request for $819.80 passed 12 votes to 0.

The next bill was an event funding request from the Newman Catholic Fellowship to host a bowling event at the Wayne Recreation Center. The organization wanted $720 to cover admission and snacks for up to 60 students with the expectation that more would attend. The event is meant to help students and organizations of different faiths to communicate freely. The bill passed 12 to 0.

Elizabeth Goebel came forward asking for $4800 to send 24 students to the Midwest Psychological Association conference in Chicago. This amount would cover travel, lodging and registration fees. However, it was amended to remove the registration fees in a vote of 9 to 3. Another amendment cut the transportation funds as well. The amended bill passed unanimously at a new total of $3720.

Quorum was lost, but before it happened a motion was made to suspend quorum for the remainder of the meeting.

The last item on the agenda was a travel request for three students to travel to Zambia in Africa to volunteer and assist in fitting hearing aids. They asked for funds to cover airfare, transportation, insurance, lodgings and vaccinations. Their bill was for $2802, but only $2192.82 remained in the senate’s funds. An amendment was made to reduce the bill to that amount and passed by unanimous consent. The meeting adjourned afterwards.

Story by: Sean Godfroy