Student Senate Update: Changes to Students Rights, Rules and Responsibilities presented to senate, new policy advisor for finance established.

Bret Belden

Sunday’s Student Senate meeting began with the annual review of the Students Rights, Rules and Responsibilities, as defined by the university. In attendance for the discussion were Charlie Putnam, director of the office of community standards, and Ted Kirkpatrick, dean of students.

According to Student Senate Speaker Alexander Fries, the discussion lasted about 20 minutes and there were no “major” changes made to the documents that outline the behavioral conditions expected from all UNH students. Describing the discussion as an “open Q&A,” Fries noted that the Student Senate judicial affairs committee will review the updated documents and will most likely draft a resolution regarding the topic for the next senate meeting, two Sundays from now.

Also addressed at the meeting was a change made to the Student Senate constitution. Currently, the financial affairs committee, chaired by Ian Kyle, operates under the office of the student body president, but the latest amendment will instead place the committee under the office of the UNH university system student board representative, a position that Christian Merheb will assume on May 1.

Starting next year, the position of the financial affairs chairperson will cease to exist. Rather it’ll be the case that all responsibilities of that position will be given to the senior policy advisor for finance. According to Fries, this newly-established post, which will be overseen by the student board representative, is essentially just a “rewording and reshuffling of the financial affairs committee chairperson.”

Fries described the creation of this position as “logical” because of how it would potentially streamline the process of making the student board representative have a stronger awareness of the happenings in the committee, and the policy decisions they come upon.

Another matter of discussion in Sunday’s meeting was the Student Activity Fee Committee’s decision to nominate Jake Adams, the current chair of the committee, to head the group again next year. Fries said the senate discussion on the matter happened in an executive session, where both Adams and the only other candidate for the position, Ian Kyle, removed themselves from the room. The decision the senate came upon regarding the position and a report on the matter will be released in the upcoming “few days,” Fries said.

Sunday’s meeting saw the addition of a single new senator: Kai Forcey-Rodriguez, a sophomore Russian and Italian studies dual major.