This semester of Student Senate meetings is winding down. This week marks the last regularly scheduled session on Thursday, but Student Body President Greg Larson announced that Senate will meet in a Strategic Meeting session on Wednesday at 7 p.m. on Pomerantz Stage.
“It’s a much more high traffic area,” Larson said. “Hopefully there will be dialogue between us and guests.”
Larson said the meeting will not be formally advertised, but said he hopes that students will still attend.
“There are no posters in place, but hopefully our social media will get some traction.”
Last Thursday’s session began with a presentation on the Board of Student Communication’s budget from Sen. Sean Walsh and Sen. Stephen Slade. All organizations funded by the BSC — Drake Broadcasting System, The Times-Delphic, Periphery, Drake University Independent Newspaper and Drake Magazine — were all currently on or under budget.
The Board of Student Communications Funding Bylaw Amendment was served previous notice and will be voted on before the semester ends.
The BSC currently receives 27 percent of the annual Student Activity Fee, but the amendment would shift BSC funding to a set dollar amount.
Christians United for Israel passed with enough votes to become an official student organization, but not without discussion from senators.
Sen. Kayleigh Koester felt it was OK for the group to advocate an issue but found the group’s stated purpose to be contradictory.
“The motion in itself is unclear,” Koester said. “If you are a group that advocates an issue, you are not an organization that is seeking to promote a fair and balanced framework.”
Sen. Carly Kinzler disagreed and said that it is possible for a group to advocate an issue while still sharing both sides.
“I don’t think we have the right to change what their organization stands for,” Kinzler said.
The Diversity Interest Senator Committee Bylaw Amendment, which has been discussed several times throughout the semester, also passed with enough senator support, but not all were in favor.
Currently, Diversity Interest Senators are included in Student Services, Campus Advancement and Student Fees Allocation committees. They said they felt that their time could be better spent reaching out to students rather than serving on these committees.
Koester said that she didn’t believe it was fair to take away responsibilities from the Diversity Interest Senators from the bylaws without adding some. Sen. Sam Pritchard disagreed.
“I don’t think that there is any time to my knowledge that the Diversity Interest Senators have brought about a diversity interest concern to the Student Services Committee or Campus Advancement Committee,” Pritchard said. “So on paper we might remove responsibilities, but those are not responsibilities that are practiced currently.”
Sen. Dana Hansen also expressed concerned that the need for Diversity Interest Senators on the committees might return in the future.
“There is a reason why they were put on the committee in the first place,” Hansen said. “I’m just nervous about taking them off because down the road in four or five years and that voice is needed again, what is going to happen?”
Diversity Interest Sen. Tanaya Thomas served previous notice on a proposed addition to the Diversity Interest Senator job description:
“To promote awareness and education surrounding issues of inclusivity, including diversity in all forms, equal opportunity, social justice, gender inequality and non-discrimination by working with campus organizations, students and staff.”