Senate Update 11/17

The Undergraduate Student Senate meeting, held on Nov. 17, opened with a Special Allocations presentation from the Finance Committee for a request from the International Film Festival.

The International Film Festival sought funding for a short film hackathon. They requested $12,000, to be split between honorariums, screening venue, reception, competition facilities, and screening costs. The Finance committee recommended funding the International Film Festival $3,500, which did not fund mentor or juror honorariums. The Senate approved this recommendation 16-2-4.

Members of the Finance Committee also discussed an individual travel fund for undergraduates. Undergraduates could request money to cover costs of conventions, professional trips, or interviews.

Additionally, the Joint Funding Committee slate of members added two new senators to the Committee. The Committee previously had no members from the College of Fine Arts.

Student Body President Natalie Salazar and Student Body Vice President Joan Song delivered updates to the Senate. One of the team’s main focuses is “EAT”: equity, accessibility, and transparency. Many of their initiatives this term have focused on accessibility and opportunity.

The Senate will host vacancy elections at their Dec. 1 meeting. There is currently one College of Fine Arts vacancy, three Dietrich College vacancies, two School of Computer Science vacancies, and one Tepper School of Business vacancy.

The Senate also voted to change the Committee on Student Organizations bylaws. The vote passed 25-2-3. See the Nov. 7 Senate Update for more information.

Following some other Senate-specific announcements, the Senate held an open floor discussion. Topics included pushing back the drop deadline, allowing first-years to make their first semester pass/fail, office hour queues, initiatives for donating clothes, and student parking. There are plans for more open floor discussions in the future.