This Week in Senate: Title IX, Drag Show, Club Finances
By J. Katherine Barth and P. Thomas Healy
The Undergraduate Student Association welcomed Title IX Coordinator Debbie Owens at this week’s meeting. Also the director of New Griff Orientation, Owens announced that orientation leader applications are officially up on GriffNet. She encouraged all undergrad students (other than seniors) to apply.
Owens also answered some commonly asked Title IX questions, noting that all faculty, staff and RAs are mandated reporters so that students who come to them can actually receive help and support. “We are trying to protect our community, provide due process and provide support services for those in need,” Owens said. For sexual assault awareness month (this April), Owens is planning to work with students to put on programming to bring awareness to the issue and to educate the Canisius population.
USA President Jahare Hudson announced a committee he will chair to discuss the inclusion of graduate students in USA as well as in other undergraduate clubs. The committee will be a way to work out issues and answer any concerns that may arise. President Hudson also announced a Black History Month-themed Family Feud (hosted by USA, the ALANA Center and Afro-American Society) from 8 to 10 p.m. on Feb. 23 in Montante. Students can sign up to participate, and teams will be chosen ahead of time. All participants could win up to $100.
USA Advisor Jason Francey announced a change in finance processes for clubs and organizations. Previously, club leaders planning trips or apparel collected their members’ money and other information and delivered it all at once to Student Life. Because this system forced club leaders to collect potentially thousands of dollars in cash and checks, as well as identifying information in the case of club travel, members will now submit payment and personal information to Student Life electronically. Francey also announced that he will be going around with a designer to clubrooms next week to discuss the purchase of new furniture in the coming months.
Diversity Chair Hawkins’s committee took over the USA Instagram on Tuesday to celebrate women in sports. They are also handing out candy grams for students to celebrate Valentine’s Day coming up.
Public Health Chair Gabby Kaderli brought up her idea to talk about distrust of the healthcare system within the Black community, which Diversity Chair Hawkins said she would like to collaborate on.
Dining Services Liaison Alyssa Kornacki announced that Chartwells will be bringing in outside restaurants and chefs for future events. Substitute Facilities/ITS Liaison Tim Sanders said that budgets are starting to be worked out for new computers in clubrooms. Public Safety Liaison Ian Gotthelf brought the Senate’s concerns about changing swipe access around campus to Chief Beaty and has received no response yet.
The Senate unanimously passed a motion to support the drag show that Unity is planning to hold, an event that has been in constant conversation at Canisius over the past few years. President Hudson expressed support for the event saying, “We need to do something: we need to show our support.”
The Senate ended with a discussion about potentially moving next year’s Senate meetings to Friday afternoons in order to increase student attendance. Pointing out concerns with students not being on campus or having work, as well as athletes having practice at that time, senators were mostly against the move. However, many supported moving the Tuesday meetings earlier in the evening. Multiple senators also suggested that free food could be a draw. What will the Senate decide? Only time will tell.