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  • The Griffin

This Week in Senate

The Undergraduate Student Association (USA) had a very productive meeting on Tuesday night. Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Jennifer Lodi-Smith spoke to the Senate about the CEEP research program at Canisius as well as Ignatian Scholarship Day. She is spearheading efforts to update the program to make it more accessible, and she encouraged members of USA to talk about CEEP opportunities with students around campus.

During the time for general student concerns, Junior Senator Carlo Mastrodonato asked about the state of the parking ramp. No members had a definitive answer for him and President Alyssa Deacon is going to look into the status on the ramp, as well as a possible updated email to the student body about the timeline of construction.

Vice President of Business and Finance (VPBF) Matthew Johnson proposed not bringing smaller club appeals to the Senate meetings in order to make the process for appeals faster. He argued that any appeal that is less than $250 for something like general body meetings can be decided solely by the Finance Board since it isn’t too costly, and it would probably be approved by the Senate anyway. Most senators supported this idea, but VPBF Johnson is able to enact this without Senate approval.

There was one junior senator appointment and two senior senator appointments. Junior John Gross was appointed after being denied the year before, and senior DesTiny Overton, as well as senior Kobe Soriano, were appointed as well.

Appeals for Little Theater, Model UN, C-Block, LASAF and Afro-American Society were approved this week. A motion to appoint a permanent vice president of marketing and press relations for the remainder of the semester was also approved.

In the open discussion portion of the night, Senator Mastrodonato brought up a concern regarding a document circulating around the campus that brings charges against the USA e-board, entitled “Viva La Revolution.” He said that the name of the president of one of his other clubs was signed on the document without her consent. Speaker Hudson noted that any document with charges brought upon any USA member must be seen by him so he could bring it to the Rules and Elections Board, essentially ruling the document in question to be invalid since he had never seen it.

Senator Mastrodonato said Senate meetings should be a place for open communication, and Senator Rami Daham responded that the trust between members of USA needs to be rebuilt. “I firmly believe and feel that there is a lack of trust between the members in this room,” he said.

Director of Student Engagement Jason Francey — the advisor for USA — closed the meeting with words of advice. Although the members of USA have a big responsibility on campus, he said, they need to take their role a little less seriously and remember that they are humans first. “There is always a balance between getting the work done and having a good time,” Francey cautioned. “You as senators and you as people should be able to have that.”

Editor’s note: The Griffin would like to issue two retractions from last week’s “This Week in Senate” article. It was stated “The Senate’s constitution was amended to for the purpose of ‘clarifying the constitution to condense and allow what we actually do in the Senate to be accurately reflected.’” This was not correct, there is currently an ad hoc committee that has been formed to make edits, but no changes have been made to the constitution. Second, the Student Programming Board does not have a “capital fund” and funding for clubs does not come from “student body tuition,” but comes from student tax dollars and a student activity fee. This is separate from tuition for classes.

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