At a relatively brief meeting last Thursday, student Senators listened to committee reports, proposed amendments to their fiscal policy and explored the role they play in campus life.
On behalf of the business affairs committee, Ed Ryan announced that Student Senate feedback boxes will soon be installed around campus, and a Campus Express survey will be e-mailed to the entire undergraduate student body. He also reported that the University's most recent master plan will soon be displayed in the UC basement.
The campus life committee is working to erect booths for the Carnegie Mellon escort service, similar to the bus shelters used by Port Authority Transit (PAT). Also, senators in this committee along with other concerned students and citizens will be traveling to Harrisburg this Wednesday to dispute the proposed cuts of PAT service.
The communications committee will launch promotion of cashless vending, and in response to student inquiries, is trying to bring more colors of paper to University Printing and Publication.
Michelle Birchak introduced a series of amendments to the body's fiscal policy, and asked fellow Senators to consider the proposed changes before voting on them at next week's meeting. In particular, she directed their attention to a clause regarding whether or not fifth-year projects should be eligible for special funding.
Also on the issue of diversity, Maureen Burns mentioned the recent, heavily publicized "Pimps and Hos" party thrown by the Taiwanese Student Association (TSA), and asked fellow Senators for their opinions regarding the appropriateness of such a party and how — if at all — Senate should address the potentially offensive event. Some Senators, including Andres Bermudez and Adam Atkinson (who also serves as the Greek Council's first ever diversity coordinator, expressed the feeling that though TSA might have unwisely chosen their theme, Senate has no business to reprimand them.
Other senators believe the issue pertains to the quality of student life, and therefore falls squarely within their jurisdiction. Burns suggested that the party is just one in a series of indicators — senators mentioned The Tartan's most recent Natrat publication and a "Slave Auction" held by KGB — of a campus-wide lack of tolerance and sensitivity toward diversity. Senator Birchak ultimately suggested that the topic be explored further by Josh Yearsley and his new ad hoc committee on diversity, which will meet within the week.
Special allocations were granted to Chabad House ($250 to bring Hassidic reggae musician Matisyahu to the International Festival) and cmuTV ($7500 for the capital equipment they need to successfully make the transition to a 24/7 station). The Undergraduate Student Finance Association asked for $35 for materials for a case competition, but the request was tabled until a representative from the organization is present.
HSS student Jonathan Chen was nominated and elected a member-at-large.
On 11/16/04 at 6:06 pm, Adam Atkinson posted:
To clarify: My stance on the "Pimps and Hos" invites was moreso one of agreement with Senator Burns. The difference was that I felt ASA was less the problem than was the way pamphlets and invitations can be forced into the hands of passersby without any sort of screening. This literature should require the same approval as posters on bulletin boards and on the front of Doherty Hall. Best, Adam Atkinson
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