ASWC Senate convenes for year’s first official meeting in Memorial

Lachlan Johnson

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The Memorial Building hosted the first senate meeting of the Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC) on Sunday, Sept. 30. Senate meetings this year will be held in Memorial, the physical and symbolic center of campus, rather than their traditional location in the basement of Reid Campus Center.

Despite complex procedural rules and a large number of new senators, the senate managed to address important issues concerning nominations, financing and clubs.

“We got a lot done,” said first-year senator Anya Tudisco. “We ratified clubs, we passed or didn’t pass finance requests, people are getting money or not getting money, people are going to conferences or not going to conferences. We could really see how ASWC was affecting student life this evening.”

Traditionally, ASWC meetings have been held Sunday evenings beginning at 7 p.m. in Reid GO2. While this room was large enough to house the senate and observers, it lacked windows and was less visible.

“Memorial 328 has very comfortable chairs, larger tables, better lighting and windows,” said ASWC President Kayvon Behroozian. As president, Behroozian made the decision to move the location of the senate. He chose to keep the traditional timing for the meetings as Sunday evening is the most likely time for senators to be free from commitments involving classes, sports and clubs.

ASWC had its first meeting of the year in a new location, Memorial 328. Photos by Charlie Li.

Despite the large number of senators new to ASWC, Behroozian attempted to enforce Robert’s Rules of Order throughout the meeting. This proved difficult at times, as specific terms had to be used to gain recognition from the chair.

“Everybody’s still learning Robert’s Rules of Order, but I feel they worked really well, and helped us get through our speaking points,” said first-year Jonathan Miranda, a member of the oversight committee, which ensures ASWC follows the rules and regulations laid out in its handbook.

Although strict time constraints on speeches and comments were enforced, the meeting still lasted over four hours and several agenda items were tabled for the next meeting. One of the tabled items was a group of resolutions that were passed by last year’s senate but never signed, and were up for re-approval.

President Kavyon Behroozian ’14 leads ASWC’s first meeting.

“From our understanding, [the lack of signatures] wasn’t due to [the previous ASWC President] wanting to veto them, it was simply due to his … not remembering to sign them,” said Behroozian. “[The resolutions] will be considered as a slate on the floor of the senate so [they] can officially be re-approved.”

At the end of the meeting, senators generally felt positive about it. This was the first senate meeting for most senators, and Behroozian’s first time heading a meeting as ASWC president.

“I thought it went really well. There was a lot of discussion, there were a lot of points posed that were very thought-provoking. I thought we discussed all the issues to a very good extent,” said first-year senator James Lavery. The next ASWC senate meeting will be held in Memorial 328 on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. As always, it will be open for any students who wish to observe or speak on issues on the agenda.

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