Minutes from Nov. 30, 2011

Eastern Mennonite University

Student Government Association Senate


30th of November 2011


You are made into the image of what you desire.

—Thomas Merton


  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call/Prayer
  3. Approval of Minutes passed unanimously
  4. Announcements
    1. Late Night Pancakes- Dec. 14 @ 10-11
      1.  James sent around a sign up sheet for people to sign up for roles at the late night breakfast.
  5. Committee Reporting
    1. QEPIT- Elias
      1.  Talked about Jim Ball who is coming to speak this week and about whether expecting sustainability to be part of courses is too much of an add-on/hassle for classes.
    2. Union of Student Organizations
      1. A Christmas bash is happening next Thursday as a collaboration of several clubs.
  6. Old Business
    1. SGA Constitutional Amendment
      1. Nels said that people he talked to felt it would be elitist and that it would limit the student voice. Several others said they received words of support for such an amendment. Hannah Schrock looked up JMU’s constitution and they had no qualifications for president other than requiring them to have been at JMU for two years and to be in good academic standing. James said people he talked to had felt surprised that there wasn’t a requirement already in place for candidates for president to have served on SGA for a semester. Sam said he will write a potential amendment and will bring it to the next senate meeting to be voted on.
  7. New Business
    1. Funding Request- Josh Kanagy and Christine Baer
      1. Several clubs are proposing having an all-student Christmas bash in order to promote more inter-club mingling. It’s being planned for Wednesday, Dec 7. They are requesting $100 for supplies. They are expecting a lot of people since so many clubs are involved/lots of advertising. Hannah Schrock made a motion to give Earthkeepers, SFI, Safe Space, Peace Fellowship, TCK, and the Bike Co-op the full amount requested ($100) for the Christmas Bash. Dan Sigmans seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
    2. Student Debt Forum
      1. Jacqueline Painter from Everence FCU came to talk to SGA about student debt—she would like to bring a student debt forum to EMU to discuss this issue (tell students about ways to handle debt/know their loan options/address issues, concerns). She gave out packets with various loan options such as Sally May and told us about the scholarship through Everence that is available to students. She wanted us to give her feedback about whether a forum would be of interest to the student body. Senators mostly expressed affirmation about the idea. James moved that SGA support the student debt forum. Sam Kauffman seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
    3. Book Swap- Ben
      1. Ben Bailey would like to start a book swap of some kind on campus. He said advertising is very important since this kind of event will need a lot of people to attend to make it worth it. He and Katie Landis are asking for SGA to adopt this event in order to make it successful. There are already people in place willing to do the work; they mainly need publicity (posters, all-student email, etc). Katie emailed Daryl Burt, VP for Finance, and asked about the legality of this type of event and said there are no problems. Kat asked how payment would work between students. Ben said that it would be a free market place and, while they will be there to give guidance, students will mostly be able to name prices for the books they are selling. He also explained that the area would be divided up into departments to provide some organization. The proposed date is the first Tuesday of the new semester.
  8. Open Floor
    1. Becca Longenecker went to an Intellectual Life Committee meeting where they discussed having a theme next year that can be tied into courses. One theme proposed was “creativity.”
    2. Ken reminded the senate about the student recognition chapel next Wednesday.
    3. Kat reported that she met with Phys Plant told them about the suggestions we’d made to improve lighting. They are going to check those places and see if they have the budget to add lighting in some of those areas. They will get back to us.
    4. Ken reported that the Crisis Management Preparedness Team met and wants some feedback on the option of having an hour-long workshop on how to avoid an assault. One of the security guards would be able to do this workshop as soon as next week. Hannah Schrock said she thinks it’s a great idea/greatly needed, but that there may not be a huge turnout if it is held next week. She suggested waiting until after break. Ken said that it is an option for there to be two workshops: one next week and one after break. Ken said he will send this information on to Eldon Kurtz.
    5. Ken said that he met with Steve Johnson about the possibility of having the Shen tied to an academic dept. The problem is that the funding would not be able to come from a dept, it would have to come from student fees. This is similar to how it used to be. It’s possible that Kirsten Beachy could oversee both the Shen and the Weather Vane, but she is only willing if SGA is willing to help find dynamic student leadership for it. The university has the funds to pay for six work-study students and two co-editors (who do not have to be work study). However, additional money (and quite a significant amount of money) would be required if a faculty member were to oversee the Shen (as opposed to an adjunct). Senators were mostly supportive of this possibility. Ken said that one change would be having everyone get their picture taken in the registration line to ensure that everyone’s picture is included. Alli Eanes made a motion to support this strategy to save the Shen and to delegate to the appropriate committee (Shen improvement committee). James seconded the motion. Motion passed.
    6. Nels proposed having a Christmas party during the second half of the meeting next week. He said that if anyone is interested in putting something together they can send him an email.
  9. Adjournment Hannah Schrock made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Elias seconded.


Next Meeting: 7 December 2011 at 9 pm in UC 211/212