Senate Round Up February 23

At its longest meeting yet of this school year, the ASWC senate recognized some clubs, appointed a new KWCW general manager, approved various finance requests, reviewed the Oversight Committee’s investigation of senator James Lavery, amended some bylaws and passed an act.

Gleaning Club, which coordinates with farmers to send students into fields to harvest excess produce that is donated to local food pantries, is now an ASWC-recognized club.  The club hopes to improve Whitman’s connection to Walla Walla and work with the Student Engagement Center (SEC).

ASWC also recognized Adopt-A-Grandparent, Buddy Project, College Coaches, Mentoring, Service Trips and Storytime Project as Service Learning Organizations.  All of these clubs are well-established, ASWC-recognized and part of the SEC.  A Service Learning Organization (SLO) participates in “thoughtfully organized service” and “fosters visible civic responsibility and engagement” according to the Finance definition.  An SLO can also access the Service Learning Fund, which contains $1,300.

The senate appointed Nicole Holoboff as the new KWCW General Manager.

Japanese Cooking Club’s request for $900 for ingredients, Climbing Club’s request for $1,825 for its annual trip to Redrocks, Nevada, and Varsity Nordic’s request for $520 to attend the IMPULSE festival were all approved.  The IMPULSE festival, hosted by University of British Columbia, will take place in Vancouver and includes both performances and workshops.

The Oversight Committee reported the findings from its investigation of James Lavery ’16 for failing to complete club contact forms and missing Town Hall and committee meetings.  Last semester, each senator was assigned 2-3 clubs to contact and assist if needed and then report that he/she completed this task by turning in a form.  The Oversight Committee recommended probation and official censure; after some debate about the exact nature of censure and whether it was appropriate discipline, the sanctions for Lavery were not passed.

ASWC then passed the Pioneer Publishing Act, which established the position of a Publisher to work alongside the Editor-in-Chief of The Pioneer in order to distribute the currently immense workload for the EIC.  The 2014-2015 school year will be a trial period for the Publisher position.  The EIC and Publisher will be paid equally with $1,200/semester.

The senate passed Resolution SRS 14.1, written by Jane Carmody ’14, Kayvon Behroozian ’14, and Arthur Shemitz ’17.  The resolution amends the ASWC bylaws to simplify the referendum process.  Now, the bylaws clearly designate the two forms of referenda available to students.  They define an Act as a “binding document requiring action or allocation of monies by the ASWC Senate” and a Resolution as a “non-binding statement expression the opinion of the student body.”  Resolution SRS 14.1 also changes the thresholds for student proposal of referendums to be put to a school-wide vote.  Now an Act requires signatures from 20% of the student population and a Resolution requires signatures from 10%.  Previously the threshold was 2/3 of the student population.  Finally, the campaigning period prior to an election was reduced from four weeks to two weeks.

Finally, the Petition Act was passed.  This act proposes an online polling and petition system modeled after one implemented at Middlebury College in Vermont and allocates $180 of the 2014-2015 ASWC budget for the Communications Committee to create a similar system at Whitman.