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This Week in Senate: Campaign Controversy, Consensus on Chartwells

Pajama Day at USA did not prevent members of the student government body from voicing concerns of violations during their recent e-board election and lodging complaints about food service at Canisius.

Senators first listened to rousing calls for constitutional reform from Senators Carlo Mastrodonato and John Gross. The former invoked federal election regulations and decried a “complete silence” over campaign violations, while the latter presented a philosophical defense of election transparency in demanding publication of vote totals.

Mastrodonato’s motion, seconded by Gross and passed unanimously for the Senate, requires that the Constitution be amended to strengthen punishments for violations and to ensure that club funds “avoid the tiniest appearance of impropriety.”

Gross’s motion, presented after a speech in which he called the lack of transparency “repugnant,” passed over four dissenting votes. It allows students to know how many votes future candidates receive and whether any were penalized for breaking election rules.

Jason Francey, director of student engagement and USA advisor, assured the Senate that the Constitution was upheld and said the student-led Rules and Elections Board considered every allegation of wrongdoing. He also noted that the USA Constitution precludes publication of vote totals.

Normally, The Griffin reports budget appeals here, but there were none. Johnson and the Finance Board heard their final appeals for the school year yesterday.

Dining Service Liaison Gabrielle Kaderli reminded her fellow senators that Chartwells’ four-year contract with Canisius is expiring. Advisor Francey jumped in to outline the process if Canisius were to not renew their longtime food service provider’s contract.

This sparked a 25-minute discussion which, while filled with laudable requests for vegetarian and local options to replace Chartwells, was best summed up by Sharon Smith’s frustration with the culinary status quo: “It sucks.”

So quickly did the Senate pass a resolution to request that administration not renew Chartwells’s contract that they forgot to specify the resolution’s text. (The resolution was redacted, rewritten and repassed unanimously.)

Senator Kobe Soriano, chair of the Social Programming Board, announced that the planned visit of Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen will take place Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m. in the Koessler Athletic Center. Students will have a two-week period to purchase tickets, after which remaining tickets will go on sale to faculty and staff. Students can submit questions in advance and will be able to enter a raffle to win a group photo with Allen. The event came in slightly under budget at about $75,000.

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