The latest Student Senate meeting, this past Sunday night, opened up with an appearance from David May, the associate vice president of business affairs at UNH, who spoke in regard to updates on the multiple initiatives that his office has worked with the senate on. According to Student Senate Speaker Alexander Fries, May used this occasion to offer thanks to the students who have collaborated with him, many of whom are set to graduate next month.
Approximately two weeks ago, the Student Activity Fee Committee (SAFC) nominated sophomore Jake Adams to serve another term as the chair of the committee. The only other candidate for the position is junior Ian Kyle. The senate chose to suspend their normal rules on Sunday night to allow for non-senate members to speak on Adam’s nomination. Such guests included president of the Campus Activities Board, Billy Boyce, business manager of the New Hampshire Outing Club, James Holden, and Kea Rief of the Memorial Union Student Organization. According to Fries, the discussion on this matter lasted approximately 20 minutes and the decision by the senate on who will assume the position will be released to the public by Tuesday.
The student legislative body confirmed four executive officer positions for next year’s senate last night. Sophomore Chris Percy will be the director of public relations, Jesse Austin will serve as parliamentarian, freshman Bryce Mosher will again be the business manager and interim-Historian Tyler Anderson, a junior, will assume the role as historian. The lone Student Senate executive position that remains unfilled is that of the spot of executive position; Ian Kyle was at one time the front-runner for the position, but withdrew his name since becoming a candidate for SAFC chair.
With the first resolution of the night, R. 39, the senate approved the proposed changes to the Students Rights, Rules and Responsibilities document. According to the resolution, as introduced by Judicial Affairs Chairperson Brennan Pouliot, these changes have “a positive effect on students by expediting the time between filing for a hearing and the hearing date, changing definitions to be more easily understood, etc.”
With the next two resolutions of the night, R. 24 and R. 28, the senate voted unanimously both to address sidewalks in need of repair and to improve crosswalk safety across campus.
Resolution 33, “On the issue of increasing access to safe rides,” was also approved unanimously. Safe rides, which is a program operated by the Department of Transportation that provides students a sober and safe ride if necessary, can at-times become overloaded and unusable due to regular high usage, according to the resolution. R. 33 calls for the development of a Safe Rides app through the current UNH Mobile app.
The next resolution approved, Resolution 34, resolved that the senate urges the Department of Transportation to investigate into expanding the parking meters around campus “so that they may accept student identification cards and allow for a charge to be made to their student accounts and/or accept payment through Cat’s Cache.”
With the approval of Resolution 35, the senate resolved that the senate urges Career and Professional Services to consider “filling the role of academic advisors so that quality and reliable advising services may be provided to students,” while also making it a requirement for all students to meet with their respective advisor once a semester.
Resolution 36 dealt with the topic of teaching assistants (TA) and was also passed unanimously. With it, the senate resolved that each department should conduct TA performance reviews, and these reviews should be considered during the TA hiring process. It also noted that there should be a procedure for which students are able to “report their TA issues through a formal process to professors in an open and understanding manner.”
Resolution 37 urges the Department of Housing and Residential Life to remove gender restriction on housing assignment. According to the resolution, the senate intends on having this policy implemented by the 2018-19 academic year.
The final resolution of the night, R. 38, urges the “Faculty Senate and University Administration to conduct a full review of the Discovery Program in conjunction with the Student Senate during the 2017-18 Academic Year. According to the resolution, there is a common concern among the UNH student body “that the current number of Discovery Program requirements may not be conducive to their educational experience at UNH.” The resolution also urges for the creation of a review committee for this topic, and according to the Student Senate, it shall include the following: “student body president or vice president, academic affairs council chairperson, other undergraduate student representatives, and members of the faculty Senate, as well as other representatives from the administration.” The resolution notes that the finding and proposal by this committee should be presented to the Student Senate and other appropriate parties no later than April 30, 2018.
Three individuals were added as senators on Sunday night: junior Chelsea Evankow, junior and Student Body Vice President-elect Alexandra Burroughs and senior Alicia DelVento.