Student Senate passes major scholarship proposal

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Photo credit: SMU

SMU Student Senate’s meeting Feb. 28 began with a recap of student-run organizations’ funding requests, including those of men’s and women’s club polo and the society of engineers. Three SMU organizations also sought full charters: the Prudential Society, Ice Hockey Club and Engineers Without Borders.

Interviews for new Senate positions were conducted this past week, and the chamber was sealed for approximately 20 minutes to discuss each candidate in detail.

Senate then moved to old business. The first order discussed a previously introduced proposal to create a student leadership historical commission that would compile Senate and leadership information from over 100 years of SMU history in an online or published work. The senators gave lots of positive feedback, with excitement radiating at the idea of honoring individuals and coalitions who have selflessly served the SMU community over the years. However, the proposed legislation was tabled due to workload and timetable concerns.

Immediately after, Senate moved to look at a proposal to bring back the DFW scholarship program. This was the focal point of the meeting. This scholarship program, benefitting deserving students in the DFW area trying to make ends meet, has been inactive for three years. Passing the proposal would help children receive the education they deserve but cannot afford and build a support system for scholarship students who may not have much in common with the majority of the student body. The program charges the scholarship committee with creating a concrete plan regarding the scholarship and its implementation and hopes to aid student retention efforts.

This proposal is about more than students on scholarship. Over the past three years, since the scholarship has not been awarded, money has been accumulating in an account without a designated purpose. This cash will continue to accumulate through Dec. 31, 2020. Because this money no longer is designated to scholarships, under the proposal it would be used for major Hughes-Trigg Student Center renovations.

The DFW scholarship program passed through Senate quickly and efficiently.

A proposal to amend the student body constitution was tabled due to concerns over lack of time spent on it.

The school provost has officially sent last week’s passed proposal on giving students a longer add/drop period to the registrar. Once the change is finally implemented, it will mark the end of a nearly 40-year battle between Senate and the administration.

Senate voted on Hilltop Award nominations, which will be slimmed down in the coming weeks.

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