Senate Minutes 2/25/2020

WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS STUDENT UNION SENATE MEETING

DATE CONVENED // February 24, 2020

LOCATION // Seigle 109

RECORDING SECRETARY // SENATOR Nkemjika Emenike

TIME CONVENED // 7:05pm — Senator Gaby Smith Calls to Order

AGENDA 2/24/2020Senate SessionMental Health Awareness Month UpdateAnnouncementsExpungement Policy FeedbackConstitutional Council ConfirmationSafespot pilot presentationProject Updates+Open ForumExec Advisor Updates

Attendance

DylanCassillypresent
AdyaDhulerpresent
ChloeDoumarabsent
NkemjikaEmenikepresent
AnneHeabsent
StephanieH-Bpresent
RamadanIbrahimpresent
PhilipKeislerpresent
MatthewKimpresent
StevenKishpresent
KristinaLeepresent
NicoleLeerspresent
AmaanMahadevanpresent
EricMillerpresent
SophieScottpresent
MasonSimmonspresent
GabySmithpresent
OliviaVellapresent

*denotes tardiness

Mental Health Awareness Month

  • Come out to Out of Stigma’s Shadows on March 4th at Umrath Lounge
  • DUC Tabling will take place in the first week
  • March 19th, Imposter Syndrome Panel with PHE
  • March 21st, Energy Sculpt Class
  • March 26, Happy Hour with sales for Mental Health Fund

Announcements

  • Election Packets due tonight

Expungement Policy Feedback

  • Rob Wild gives presentation on Expungement of Student Records
  • Idea discussed between administration and the Student Advisory Board
  • Conduct records where students are in violation of the student conduct code
  • Considering a policy for students who have been found in violation of the code to have their records expunged
  • The need for the expungement policy is as follows: everyone make mistakes, there should be accountability when mistakes are made, forgiveness, students should have opportunities to learn from their mistakes
  • Allows students to be held accountable without their minor offenses being on their permanent records
  • Holds student permanently accountable for more serious violations
  • Common practice at peer institutions
  • Students will be eligible to request to have their record expunged if: 
  • The student has earned at least 90 academic units
  • A total of four semesters have passed since the finding of responsibility in the student’s case
  • The student was not found responsible for violating Offense nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 8
  • The student did not receive a sanction of suspension or expulsion
  • Offenses not eligible for expulsion: academic misconduct, physical abuse, sexual assault, stalking, interpersonal violence, drug use, possession, or distrubition
  • All records are expunged after 10 years (except notations of expulsion or suspension which appear on University transcripts and are permanent)

Q&A

  • Expungement policy works as a request 
  • Process: a student who request an expungement from Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs who would then decide 
  • Majority of violations are alcohol violations which are treated more leniently than violations involving illegal drugs
  • Will not have academic misconduct expungements, academic misconduct goes through the schools not through the administration
  • A range of educational approaches used to educate students who commit lower level offenses
  • Warnings are put on conduct records

Discussion

  • Drug possession should be eligible for expungement, but not drug distribution
  • Have expungement cases go through a committee or group of people rather than just the Vice Chancellor to eliminate bias
  • Some feel as though drug possession should not be expungeable because the student conduct code is in place for students to protect themselves 
  • Trauma-informed training and education, as well as a follow-up with anyone affected by the decisions made by the student in question
  • Academic violations should be expungeable because if they are not severe enough to immediately suspend a person to begin with they should be expungeable four months later
  • Academic deans don’t feel academic violations should be expungeable because the Washington University reputation stands on the fact that the work students submit is original and done independently
  • Alcohol and marijuana should be held on the same standard
  • If there is an academic consequence for an academic situation (ex: a student being caught cheating gets a zero on a test) why should there be further consequences
  • If it is feared that a student is in harm due to drug or alcohol use, then giving a student a code violation is the incorrect solution
  • Four semester policy is in place so students don’t abuse the expungement policy by committing a violation and then immediately asking for an expungement

Constitutional Council Confirmation

  • Nominating candidate for Associate Justice position
  • Has previously involved in Activities Committee
  • Wants to be reinvolved in Student Union
  • Plans to not look at the witness as a person but rather look at only at the information given

SafeSpot Pilot Presentation

  • Renamed as One WashU Network (OWN)
  • Report is structured around three core issues surrounding student issues Accessibility, Intersectionality, Comprehensive Care
  • Data collected using student group committee and steering committee
  • Conducted survey in November of 2018
  • Survey sent out to campus service providers in December 2018
  • Accessibility: barriers to accessing services
  • Preferring to deal with issues on one’s own
  • Being unsure of what services are provided
  • Being unsure of the process to access resources from providers
  • Being unsure if one was ineligible for services
  • Being unaware of resources
  • Not having enough time
  • Intersectionality: 49% of students had their well-being compromised in at least two different areas of wellness (areas include: interpersonal violence, racial identity, etc.)
  • Only 20% have utilized resources form health providers
  • Service providers are constantly referring students to other offices, but are rarely in contact with each other
  • Comprehensive Care:  SFS was found to be the best provider 
  • Huge disparities between marginalized identities and the way they are negatively affected my a variety of dimensions of wellness
  • The following providers will be collocated at OWN: Navigators, Disability resources, Reslife, OISS, OSS,  RSVP, Habif, CDI, Campus Life, etc. 
  • The idea is that all these offices will be put in one place, situation will be assessed, and a “navigator” talks with student to lay out and connect student to the service they need
  • OWN Pilot is from March 19-April 30th
  • Thursdays 1-4PM
  • Evaluate after first 2 weeks, if it goes well it will continue till the end of the semester
  • OWN will be located in DUC 232, 207, 208, 209
  • Providers will be placed in own room together to facilitate communication between different offices
  • Success could be evaluated by attendance as well as follow-up with how students utilize those resources
  • Time availability based on heat maps
  • Students will first fill out assessments for services they want to see and then navigator would come in to answer any questions- emphasis on student autonomy

Project Updates + Open Forum

  • Possible new student center connected with CDI to replace the Gargoyle
  • Closing of Gargoyle resulted in less space for student groups to facilitate their activities
  • Project working on evaluating the international student experience on campus
  • Re-evaluating the greek life policies on campus
  • Syllabi availability project- meeting with Dean Smith on Wednesday
  • PRing General Budget

Exec/Advisor Updates