Senate update: August 31

On August 31 The Tartan was privy to the first roll call and meeting of the 2023-2024 Carnegie Mellon Student Senate. Conversations raged, food was laid, and spirits were high. Upon a table off to the side was set a laptop, itself under a large whiteboard proclaiming “Vacancy Election Petitions." The food, catered from the excellent Smiling Banana Leaf, provided options both vegetarian and non alike.

This was the first meeting ever for many of the senators, so Undergraduate Senate President Kyle Hynes used this first meeting to get these new members up to speed. After the Roll Call, he went over “Robert’s Rules,” a series of basic rules for how things have always worked in the Senate. For example:
“Discussion generally begins after a motion has been brought to the floor. In the case of points on the agenda, the chair will generally move us directly into a discussion. When discussion begins, time is given for questions only at first.

"Please hold your personal points until after the chair announces these are germane.

"The Chair will take a queue of people wishing to speak, note that people entering the queue for the first time are prioritized over people who have already spoken.

"Only the person who currently has the floor may speak.

"Note that once you ask a question, you are not allowed to reply directly to whoever answered your question, please re-enter the queue to follow up.

"The Chair will use discretion to stop people from reiterating past points. Please consider whether you are adding new viewpoints to the discussion before entering the queue.

"Discussion ends when either: Time for discussion is over on the agenda and we motion to table, or a member of the Body calls for a move to vote (and that motion has a second.)”

Next, senior Cole Skuse was confirmed as the Student Government Chief of Staff.

Following that, the Senate Sergeant-at-arms election was held. Eunice Lee, Francesca Cain, Thomas Xiao, Ryan Lin, and Kyle Hynes were nominated, with Eunice Lee, Francesca Cain, and Thomas Xiao accepting their nominations. They each gave three-minute speeches about what they would do if they were given the position, and why they should be elected. Cain, a sophomore ECE student, received a majority of the votes and was elected to the position.

After this were the vacancy elections, which fulfill positions that were still vacant from last year. Sophia, a junior in CFA, had served last year, but missed the election because of her job with Disney. Rahul, a first-year in CIT, had traveled the world and was part of the student council in high school. Aaron, a first-year in CIT, had gotten involved in conversations to build community, and is interested in joining the finance community. Cindy, a first-year in SCS, advocated for increased mental health funding, addressing sexual violence, and more. These candidates were all elected to their respective positions.