Senate on the Seventh

Tyler Maule, ASWC Copy Editor

The second Senate of the spring 2016 semester began, as it often does, with a reflection on the role and goals of student representatives. President Jack Percival warned Senators not to “try to eliminate conflict from our conversation  [because it’s] important […] and part of our duty as student representatives.” Jack also reported that he communicated concerns about Transparency to the Trustees and proposed the February 24th Town Hall theme: “Governing Boards 101” (also known as “the inside scoop”). Finance Chair Anya Tudisco met with the Board of Trustees with the Budget Review Committee, and Dani Hupper talked about sustainability beyond the February 23rd Sustainability Summit. While the first-years and sophomores took a night tour of Whitman’s campus to improve lighting, Senator Caroline Bauwens reviewed the recently distributed large-scale mascot survey (this one comes from the administration rather than ASWC).

In the night’s first agenda item, Josie Furbershaw introduced the Pre-Vet Club for ratification. Its leaders’ commitment to educating students about veterinary medicine, providing hands-on experience to members and volunteering at an upcoming “Dog Jog” fundraiser won the unanimous support of the Senate. Borders as Method, or “BAM,” a club that also sought ASWC sponsorship, hopes to create a “centralized space for immigration discussion and engagement” as well as institutionalize an “Immigration Week.” While Senator Cutter doubted the club’s ability to attract new members, the Senate’s belief in the mission of “BAM” carried it to ratification.

The Climbing Club attended Senate and secured funding  for their fifth annual Red Rocks spring break climbing trip, which is predicted to attract over thirty attendees. Additionally, the Senate funded Avalanche Training for twenty-five members of the Backcountry Ski Club. This training constitutes the group’s main event.

AnnaMarie McCorvie’s Nominations Committee took the stage to introduce first-year Christina Dias, whom ASWC confirmed as the latest member of the Committee. “[U]nbiased and passionate,” Dias made (recent) ASWC history when she chose to stay and watch the Senate’s proceedings after her confirmation.

The Oversight Committee presented this year’s Election Rules, and Committee Chair Jon Miranda congratulated the Senate for “excellent work last semester” based on committee evaluations.

ASWC passed Act SAS16.1 and Act SAS16.3, both of which significantly revised ASWC’s by-laws. While SAS16.1 clarified the Ombud election procedure in the event that two candidates with equal seniority volunteer, SAS16.3 reorganized Finance by-laws — especially regarding club funding.

Sustainability Director Dani Hupper, in an effort to both demonstrate and increase the “understand[ing] that there are environmental impacts to travel,” brought Act SAS16.2 before Senate to implement  an internal ASWC carbon tax. The Act will “tax” requests from the Travel and Student Development Fund and allocate that money to the Green Fund for environmental, educational, and symbolic benefits alike. After the incorporation of a friendly amendment by Senior Senator Von Clemm, Whitman became the first collegiate student government in the nation to pass this kind of legislation. ASWC signified its particular support for this act by adopting SAS16.2 by acclamation.

Then, at 10:30 PM, what President Jack Percival called an “important historic day for ASWC” adjourned right on schedule.