Senate Minutes – 9.30.14

For questions or clarifications, please contact Senator Kelly Tsao at

    1. Vivek’s Presentation: Robert’s Rules and Resolution Writing Demo
      1. What are Resolutions?
        1. written motion passed by a deliberative body
        2. submitted via motion
        3. voted on by entire body (depending on if quorum is present; for us, 8-9 senators)
        4. advocates or initiates something
        5. main way we advocate (laws of SU), as opinion of entire student body
        6. Types of resolutions
          1. Internal: from Senate to rest of SU
          2. External: from Senate and SU to the University Council
      2. Resolution Structure
        1. Whereas clause: presents relevant facts and background information of resolution topic
        2. Resolved clause: provides recommendations for policy changes
        3. Signatories: Senate sponsor(s), Speaker of the Senate, SU President
      3. Examples
        1. Reading past resolutions and discussing
        2. Features
          1. Discuss what peer institutions do to help make WashU a more competitive university
      4. How to Start a Resolution
        1. Don’t shy away from resistance!
        2. Research the background of your issue (peer institutions)
          1. Have an answer to everyone’s questions
          2. Be prepared!
        3. Meet with administrators/students/other relevant parties
          1. Have an idea of what you want to do, but do research through them
          2. Bring resolution to Senate before meeting administrators
            1. And ask Mike Hayes for help reaching admins
          3. Don’t do this!
        4. Talk to Tommy and committee chairs about how to craft the resolution (esp. formatting)
          1. Be professional,
        5. Write up the Whereas and Resolved clauses
        6. Have ConCouncil look over the document
      5. How to Pass a Resolution
        1. Present completed resolution to your committee
          1. Must pass vote by majority
        2. Present resolution to Senate Floor
          1. Presentation -> Questions -> Discussion -> Vote
          2. Pass by majority
        3. SU President signs/vetos resolution
          1. If vetoed, Senate can override with ⅔ vote
        4. Resolution goes to University Council
          1. Which has many très important people on it
          2. You can reach them without camping out in Brookings Quad
            1. With great power comes great responsibility
    2. Following Up
      1. The full force of SU is with you
        1. Emma, Vivek, Tommy, Mike, and everybody else will push for you
      2. Make sure what you passed actually gets instituted
      3. Be respectful, but firm
      4. SU Resolutions impact university policy
    1. Questions/Answers
      1. Use your judgement to decide whether you can institute changes with or without resolution, but make sure when you do write one it is based on thorough research
        1. Conclusion: Put forth your best effort!
      2. Send out your resolution before the Senate meeting it will be discussed in so people are prepared
      3. Conversely, make sure you read resolutions before the vote
    1. Robert’s Rules
      1. What are Robert’s Rules?
        1. Written in 1876 by Henry Martyn Robert
        2. Rules to keep order in meetings
          1. Life without Robert’s Rules
      2. Motions made at any time
        1. Point of Personal Privilege – action to be more comfortable (ie: temperature, noise level)
        2. Point of Information – asking a question
        3. Point of Order – calls out breach of rules
        4. Point of Clarification – clarify statement, not a question; noticing a factual error and correcting it
        5. Move to Recess – ask for break
        6. Move to Adjourn – ready to leave
      3. Motions in Q&A
        1. Move to discussion
      4. Motions Made in Discussion
        1. Move to Table/Take from Table
        2. Limit/Extend Debate (Speaker can do this at his/her discretion)
        3. Amend
        4. Postpone
        5. Move to Previous Question – requires supermajority (⅔); a vote to go vote
      5. Vote
        1. Call for Division of the House – ask people to stand while voting to make vote clear
        2. Move to Roll Call Vote – Each Senator’s vote recorded in minutes
        3. Move for Secret Ballot
        4. Quorum Call – if you believe majority of Senators are not present, can ask for quorum call.
          1. Senate needs ½ the senators to be present to make a legitimate vote
      6. Motion Requirements
        1. Seconds
          1. Speaker asks for second, then a senator can second it
        2. Debatable
          1. only secret ballot, amend, postpone, or main motion
        3. Amendable
          1. Main motion can be amended
          2. No amendments to others
          3. Some motions only amendable by length of time debated (table, debate, questions)
        4. Various vote levels needed to pass certain motions
  1. Updates
    1. Peer Institution Research
      1. Northwestern
        1. study abroad guide – potential project?
      2. Rice
        1. cooler website than ours 🙁
        2. Rice’s Page
        3. Rice’ Senate
          1. Brian will send out google doc. EVERYONE MUST RESPOND.
          2. Except our pictures will be cropped to the same dimensions
      3. Johns Hopkins
      4. Georgetown
        1. Treasury & Senate together
        2. bios, current, pending, past projects + their voting result
        3. message from the speaker
      5. Emory
        1. Wonderful Wednesday
          1. student organizations sign up and program small food/happy hour event
          2. same time and place every week
      6. Senators assigned student group; acts as consultant to each group; goes to a few meetings every month
    2. Exec
      1. Presentation with Board of Trustees – Secretary of Board and Student Reps coming to ask them about possibilities for greater student voice (context Peabody protest)
        1. research things about board
        2. if particularly interested, contact student reps
        3. NOT here to talk about particular issues from last semester
      2. Vivek: Go to as many events as you can; may find a new project
    3. Treasury
    4. Advisor
      1. First Reel Talk tonight!
    5. Judicial
  2. Open Forum
    1. “Reel Talk Discussion Series” starting soon!!
      1. Talk it up!
    2. Tabling tomorrow for Ribbons of Hope from 11am-2 pm in DUC; again Friday
      1. in progress with meetings with Reslife/DUC
    3. “Catharsis” – Thursday, Graham Chapel, 6-8 pm- open mic to voice feelings/opinions on Ferguson
    4. Talk to Rahool if you have any questions for Dining Services
    5. SU Shirts
      1. Voting soon; google doc coming tonight from Tommy
    6. Tomorrow Rod Zebba (sp?) – Dodging Depression week – Simon Hall 7pm