Senate holds first meeting, seven seats remain empty

Parker Willis

Student Senate had a short first meeting this week.

After only 15 minutes John Carr, Senate president, called the meeting to an end. Since it was the Senate’s first meeting, there was no new business, no old business, no reading of the minutes and no committee meetings beforehand.

But one thing did come out of the meeting that was a little different than normal Senate meetings, and that was Eric Norris, student delegate to the Board of Governors, giving a report to the senators about what went on over the summer.

Norris told the Senate about the progress on the student recreation center and the Hughes Stadium renovations.

He also told the Senate how he wants to change the position of delegate to the Board of Governors to be more of a liaison-type position.

“In the past the student delegate to the Board has been kind of a seat filler,” Norris said. “Basically I’m trying to give the students more of a voice on issues, like the Biology Pond last year, by educating the Board about what goes on on campus on a day-to-day basis, the stuff they don’t normally see.”

Norris said he also wants to open a line of communication the other way.

“Not only does the Board not know what the students do here, the students don’t always get a good point of view about what the Board does either,” Norris said. “I’m already getting good feedback from the Board, they enjoy hearing about what’s going on. Even the little stuff like Finals Madness and Survivor night, they enjoy hearing about what the students are doing on campus.”

He said he not only wants a good line of communication from the Senate to the Board, he also wants to voice the opinion of student life on campus, student activity and other departments that might not always have a voice in the Board.

“The student voice is definitely something that has needed improvement on this campus for the last couple of years,” Norris said.

The meeting also produced a new parliamentarian, Alex Vassilev.

Vassilev said he was excited about his new position and with his position he hoped to help other senators understand the parliamentary procedures of the Senate.

“Senate has generally been strict on rules,” Vassilew said. “However, in the past we’ve had a lot of misunderstandings of the rules amongst senators. We’ve had conflicts, and sometimes voting was not as smooth as it should be.

“And I think I can contribute to the efficiency of the Senate by delegating rules and making sure that they do things using the right procedures.”

Currently the Senate does not know the balance of its funds. And four senators were not present at the meeting, which angered a couple of the officers.

“I was a little disappointed that there were already people that didn’t show up to the first meeting. But we have several people interested that have picked up applications to show up next week,” said Valerie German, Senate vice president. “By then we’ll have a vacancy committee formed and we’ll get some people that want to be here.”

German said she wasn’t too worried about the seven empty seats in the Senate.

“To me having people that want to be here is more important,” German said.

The next Senate meeting will be at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday in the House of Lords room in Billingsly. For any students interested in joining Senate please pick up an application in the student services office.