“Knocking’s Good”

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In the intended penultimate Senate of the 2015-2016 school year, ASWC focused on transitioning into the upcoming year, continuing to pursue long-term projects, and wrapping up smaller initiatives. President-elect Arthur Shemitz promoted applications for Executive Council positions, and thanked students for their input on the Socially Responsible Investment Framework Working Group’s latest policy draft. Anya Tudisco, on the other hand, plans to bring her Finance Committee’s Final Budget to the last Senate meeting of the semester.  Incumbent Nominations Chair AnnaMarie McCorvie and her committee hired student representatives for governing boards and student committees. In his last weeks as ASWC President, Jack Percival is ready to usher the Executive Council into a new year and meet with the Trustees at their late April meeting.

Senate quickly passed Act SAS16.10, which allows club Budget Managers to serve as ASWC Senators. Finance Chair Tudisco, assuring ASWC members that this change offered no “opportunity for embezzlement,” heralded the Act for providing new avenues for student involvement.

Chief Diversity Officer Kazi Joshua attended Senate to present about the progress of the Whitman College Inclusion Diversity and Equity Council (WIDE), which published a draft of their Strategic Plan. Following the release of the Campus Climate Survey’s results, WIDE will consider the response to three central questions: “(1) Is anything missing? (2) Is anything mistaken? (3) What can we add?” From there, Kazi and WIDE will strive to create a more inclusive campus environment, including expanding options for investigations and installing a campus Ombudsperson.

AnnaMarie McCorvie oversaw the nomination of Christy Carley to the Academic Affairs Committee, where the well-spoken student will exercise her passion for making “bigger picture decisions” and communicating with students. Senate also confirmed Lily Monsey and Hillary Smith as co-editors of campus literary magazine blue moon. Both hope to increase the magazine’s accessibility and inclusivity while continuing its celebration of Whitman’s artistic community. KWCW also experienced a change in leadership, with Cillian Mitchell and Alicia Burr stepping up as next year’s general managers. Mitchell seeks to make “it easier for anyone to be a DJ” and foster a stronger community at Whitman’s radio station. Finally, Senate approved the nomination of Marra Clay and Mitchell Smith as publisher and editor-in-chief, respectively, of the school newspaper formerly known as the Pioneer. Ombudsperson Mitch Cutter commended Clay’s success in working with students, faculty, and alumni “with much aplomb.” Though abroad, Smith still conveyed his excitement for the job, citing “high expectations for a high-impact year.”

Arthur Shemitz and AnnaMarie McCorvie jointly introduced Acts SAS16.7, SAS16.8, and SAS17.8, which substantially update the Nomination Committee’s by-laws. Under the changes, the Committee will focus more on liaisoning between CMOs, governing boards, and students.

As the Senate moved to consider allowing the college newspaper to change its name, Memorial 331 filled with student journalists wearing paper hats and carrying signs to lend their support to the newspaper. Sarah Cornett and Jessica Faunt expressed their concerns about Oversight’s ruling on the change, arguing that the decision set a precedent of limiting free expression. Oversight Director Jon Miranda, however,  assured the room that their choice did not represent “an attempt to defund the Pioneer.” In the end, the Senate unanimously agreed with Marra’s claim that “a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet,” amending the by-laws to allow for a future name change.

The senate also unanimously passed Act SAS16.6, which formalizes the position of “Publisher” within Waiilatpu leadership. However, ASWC members rejected Resolution SRS16.2, which requested that the Board of Trustees issue a formal response to Divest Whitman. President Jack Percival called a Special Senate for this upcoming Sunday the 23rd, where ASWC will discuss a revised version of the resolution.

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