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Jumping the gun causes Senate debate

Photo: File photo

Drake Student Senate met last Thursday night in what resulted in a lengthy and tumultuous session.

The first motion brought to the table was the Diversity Interest Senators Committee Appointment Bylaw Amendment that had been initially discussed in the previous session.

The amendment would remove the diversity interest senator positions from the student services, campus advancement and student fees allocation committees and would replace them with students.

“We feel we can better serve the student interest by hearing the student opinions as a whole,” sophomore Diversity Interest Senator Tanaya Thomas said.

The diversity interest senators have sought to listen to student opinions by expanding their “unity roundtables” to include a second open forum version of the event each month.

Some senators felt it was a “rash” decision to amend the bylaws permanently, and others feared that the removal of the position from the committees would mean a lost voice for the diversity interest, especially when it came to funding.

Discussion ensued about whether or not to suspend a decision until the end of the year, until after the diversity interest senators had a chance to gauge the success of “Unity Roundtable: Open Forum.”

Senators voted on the issue 13-9.  Although some initial confusion followed, the motion failed because bylaw amendments require a two-thirds majority to pass.

Failure to pass the amendment created further problems for the upcoming Student Senate committee member/intern appointments motion.

Student Body President Greg Larson and Vice President of Student Life Matt Van Hoeck prematurely anticipated the passing of the Diversity Interest Senators Committee Appointment Bylaw Amendment and appointed students to fill the slots that would have been left empty by diversity interest senators.

“We made a little mistake here by putting the cart before the horse,” Sen. Nate Bleadorn said.

With the diversity interest senator still continuing to sit on the committee, the current committee sizes are in violation of the bylaws. The addition of an extra student to the student fees allocation committee also means an even numbered voting body.

With the room full of committee appointees waiting for their approval, some senators offered suggestions to solve the admitted “mess” they had before them. After lengthy discussions the senators passed a motion to suspend the rules and subsequently the motion to approve the appointments.

“I … regret that we jumped the gun a little bit on placing students on those three committees,” Van Hoeck said. “It was a false belief that the motion to remove those diversity interest senators from those committees would pass.”

Three student organizations received funding at Thursday’s session. The Drake Anime Club was granted $650 for venue rental and publicity costs for an Udokai sports day this fall. The ONE organization for fighting poverty and global disease was granted $930 for costs associated with sending two of its executive members to the FaceAIDS Conference in Palo Alto, Calif. The Drake Women’s Ultimate Club was granted $1,675 for the “No Wisconsequences” tournament in Milwaukee, Wis.

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