SMU Student Senate kicks off spring semester
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 00:01
School is back in session on the Hilltop, meaning that SMU Student Senate is set to convene once again.
“It was a good break. It was a long break,” Student Body Vice President Zane Cavender said. “But it’s good to be back.”
On Tuesday afternoon, the Student Senate met in the Hughes-Trigg Forum for its first meeting of the spring semester. And, just as the first week of school is known for the lack of homework, the first meeting of the year was quite uneventful.
Student Senate did not meet last week, which was technically the first Tuesday of the school year, because housekeeping duties needed to be performed first.
“Committees need to meet before we have our first meeting,” Senate Speaker Monica Finnegan said. “So that they can draft up committee reports to present in front of the congregation.”
The committee that presented the most information in Tuesday’s meeting was the Scholarship Committee. Committee Chair Shea McDonald ensured that a list of all scholarships for the Fall 2013 semester would be provided by next week.
“I need the entire senate to be just as informed as our committee,” McDonald said. “After all, it’s everyone’s constituents that will be receiving these scholarships, and senators should be able to answer the questions they’re presented with.”
Also on the to-do list for the meeting was the clarification of Student Senate governing documents that are contradictory or misleading.
For example, senators are currently required to section off their Tuesday afternoons from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
However, in another document, it states that senate meetings should be adjourned by 6 p.m.
“It’s all streamlined now, though,” Parliamentarian Travis Carlile promised. Carlile was in charge of the simplification.
“It looks good, and I think we’re going to be happy with the changes.”
Other issues addressed, included the proposal for a new minute-keeping strategy for the secretary, as well as a plea for help in gathering club photos for the Rotunda.
Only one attendee came up to the Speaker’s Podium. Annie Winters, a representative from the James E. Caswell Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program, came to promote the Caswell Undergraduate Leadership fellowship.
The fellowship provides a grant for up to $5,000 for a student who designs an impactful leadership project.
“The project can be educational, it can be nonprofit, it can be faith-based or cross-cultural,” Winters said.
Near the end of the meeting, the Executive Director of Student Senate, Jennifer Jones gave an inspirational talk to the assembly of senators.
She forced the point home that the senators hold the future of SMU in their hands, and she expressed her pride in the work that the body had done so far for the school.
Jones articulated that this will be the year of no excuses and told the governing student body of SMU how much potential she saw in them.
She ended by letting them know that while the semester is just starting, their duties are already going to begin piling up.
“It’s time to get up, game up, and get ready for this semester,” Jones said.