Minutes from December 7, 2011

Eastern Mennonite University

Student Government Association Senate


7th of December 2011


“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”

— Ralph Nichols


  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call/Prayer
  3. Announcements- Late Night Pancakes: Dec. 14 @ 10-11
  4. Committee Reporting
    1. Library Task Force- Brandon
      1. The library staff has been having meetings about ways to make the library more accessible and updated for students. They have been visiting other libraries and getting ideas. They are currently trying to get some money secured to potentially do some renovations. Some big ideas within a 2-4 year period are creating a computer nook (where the magazines are), moving the circulation desk to the middle so that it’s located right when you walk in, make it more user-friendly, etc. They are asking for students to give them more ideas about what they’d like to see changed (ideas can be given to Brandon).
  5. Old Business
    1. SGA Constitutional Amendment
      1. Sam Kauffman prepared an amendment that he would like to take to a vote. If it passes the senate (it must have a 2/3 vote of the Senate to pass), it will go on to the student body. The amendment says that the “qualifications may be waived by a two-thirds vote of the Senate” and Brandon asked if that means that people who have not served on SGA, but who want to run for president must come to the SGA with 82 signatures and a proposal. It was proposed that amendment specifies that the person has served for an entire semester (so that someone who was dismissed for too many absences/did not complete their term cannot run). Erica Babikow attended the meeting and shared that she thinks there are more negative repercussions from the proposed amendment than positives. She believes that it limits the pool of candidates quite severely. She said that perhaps we could consider adding something else, such as requiring a longer transition period between presidents. Nels has also heard the suggestion to have a presidential debate prior to elections to add credibility. Sam made a motion to vote on the following amendment proposal: “The President or Co-Presidents must have served previously on the Senate or Executive Committee” with “for at least one semester” added at the end. There was not a second so the motion was dead.
    2. Fitness Center Music
      1. Hannah Schrock and Nels have been in contact with John Wilson and Marty Edes about the music issue at the fitness center. John told Hannah that she needs to come and speak to him in person about having a sign put up in the fitness center saying that people can request a change in music (if they are offended). Hannah does not have the energy to follow up with John so she and Nels are asking if anyone else would like to this on. No one volunteered.
    3. WeatherVane & Shen Collaboration
      1. Brandon reported that a lot of people have had interest in taking pictures/helping out with the Shen. There will be a meeting on Monday at 5:30 to inform people about helping out with the Shen. James will put an announcement in the Friday announcements about the meeting.
  6.               VII.     New Business
    1. Mennonite Writing Conference- Kirsten Beachy
      1. Will be held at EMU (for the first time) at the end of March (March 29-April 1). Several Mennonite dignitaries and students from other Mennonite colleges will be attending and several of the events will be public. It will also include workshops for attendees. Last year Kirsten came to SGA to ask for ideas of events for the conference and to ask about potential funding. They are expecting about 200 registrants as well as a number of people from the local area to attend. Classes will not be cancelled across the board at EMU, but some professors may require students to attend in the place of class. Kirsten presented the costs of each event and speaker and is asking for any amount of funding that SGA is willing to contribute (SGA sponsorship of an event is an option). She would like to know soon if we can help contribute funds to the Spoken Word poetry workshop speaker (Ivaco) or the coffeehouse.
        1. Senators felt like this was a very important event to support. James suggested sponsoring the Spoken Word workshop. Becca suggested funding the featured writers. Nels suggested using the funds for the Student Lecture Series ($3000) and Katie suggested cutting that in half so that there is still money left in the fund (in case SGA decides to bring someone in for the SLS). Hannah made a motion to support the SGA sponsored coffeehouse and Spoken word poetry workshop (~$500) and also give $1000 to the Mennonite Writing Conference. Joel Choi seconded. Motion approved unanimously.
  7. Open Floor
  8. Adjournment Dan Sigmans moved to adjourn. Katie Landis seconded.


Next Meeting: TBD, if requests come in. If we do have a meeting, it will be in UC 211/212 at 9 pm