New year brings full Senate floor

Eric Norris - Student Senate President

Eric Norris – Student Senate President

After keeping a full Student Senate for most of fall semester, Senate returned with full numbers.

Eric Norris, Senate president, said normally there is a drop off in numbers between semesters. He said much of it is due to only being able to communicate through e-mails for the last month. But, this year’s spring Senate has returned healthier than any he has seen in the past.

“Normally, the first two or three meetings have a drop off, but I’m pleased with the turnout tonight,” Norris said.

Even the committees seemed to keep numbers better than normal.

Greg Salzer, Senate vice president, said there are several open positions in committees right now compared to a normal Senate meeting.

The openings due to schedule changes students go through when returning from break. And, Salzer said, the number of open seats in committees will diminish quickly so he is not surprised with the amount of openings and is proud of the amount of seats currently open because it is lower than years past.

Senate returned with 28 senators and four officers at the meeting on Jan. 24. There were only four empty seats at the beginning of the meeting, but three were filled. Alexandar Vassilev, Melody Salzer and Mariya Gavrilova filled the seats, leaving only one empty seat.

Senators not present were Truman Yeary, Hector Amaya, Crystal Bush, Rebekah Burchfield and Jackie Harris. Their seats will be held until they reach the limit on absences or the officer’s find out they transferred schools or are not returning for other reasons.

But other than the attendance, it was business as usual in the Senate.

Senate allocated $700 to a group of students wishing to attend the Collegiate Music Educators National Conference.

Senate also tabled an appropriation for Southern’s Student American Dental Hygienists Association to attend Dental Hygiene Lobby Day on Feb. 8. The allocation was tabled for two reasons. One was because there was no representative of the club in attendance of the financial meeting earlier in the evening. The other was because the allocation was missing an attached sheet.

“We could have voted without them being here, but to give them the benefit of the doubt we tabled it until they come in and give us the missing information,” Norris said.

Senate also passed a motion creating a new committee dedicated to reviewing and changing the Senate’s by-laws.

“Creating the committee is a step in the right direction and since all changes must be approved by the senate it couldn’t hurt,” Norris said.

The meeting also yielded a new treasurer. Candice Dickinson was voted in during the last session of last semester but was sworn in during this first meeting.

Dickinson said she is excited about her new position and hopes she can help the Senate continue to make educated and informed decisions with its money.

The next Senate meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m., Feb. 1 in the House of the Lords in the Billingsly Student Center. Meetings are open to everyone.