Senate Minutes 10/6/2020

WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS STUDENT UNION SENATE MEETING

DATE CONVENED // October 6, 2020

LOCATION // Zoom

RECORDING SECRETARY // Kristina Lee

TIME CONVENED // 7 PM — Speaker Gaby Smith Calls to Order

Agenda:
Swearing in of new senators
Introductions
Speed dating
Marijuana Expungement Policy Legislation
Medical Leave of Absence Project Presentation
Project Updates/Open Forum/Student Body Pulse
Exec, Advisor Updates
Senate Snapz 

Attendance

FirstLast10/6
ChloeDoumarP
NkemjikaEmenikeP
StephanieHernandez-BarralesP
PhilipKeislerP
KristinaLeeP
NicoleLeersP
GabySmithP
DylanRosenthalP
TennysonHolmesP
AdamOubaitaP
ChristineMuoghaluT
Ani KesanapallyP
Zoe SiegelP
Maddy KishP
Braxton SizemoreP
Emmet KleinP
Ramadan IbrahimP
Jaitsiri Kaur AhluwaliaP

Swearing in of new senators

  • Completed!!! Finally sworn in!!!

Marijuana Expungement Policy Legislation

  • Resolution created by CRE Chair, Phillip and voted in favor by CRE Committee
  • This resolution supports the idea that we have expungement policies for marijuana and alcohol, similar to other universities who have these policies
    • Last presentation by Rob Wilde in March supported only the expungement for alcohol
  • What is a Resolution? → Senate to send an official stance to administration
  • Q&A
  • Push by certain administrators was the restorative justice approach, we can make mistakes and they shouldn’t be held to you forever
    • Senator Kristina: Did you consider putting more WashU tiered level universities in the second whereas clause?
    • These universities in the resolution were brought up by Rob
  • No current expungement policy as of now, current policy after 10 years, non-suspension concerns get expunged
    • Important to get these expungeable before graduation
  • Motioned to go into discussion
    • Senator Chloe in favor of passing this resolution, would be very beneficial to students. People make mistakes, shouldn’t be held against you especially 10 years ahead
    • Senator Nkemjika raises a lot of good points, the criminalization of marijuana wielding towards certain segment of people, use of marijuana and alcohol on campus is pretty similar
    • Speaker Gaby, substance abuse is something people struggled with, punishments going on actions students can’t control is antithetical, should have expungement policies 
    • Senator Nicole, propose to amendment of “substance abuse” to “substance use”
      • On discussion on motion to amend…
      • No objections to vote on amendment
      • 16 votes in favor of the amendment 
      • 0 votes in opposing, abstainment
      • Amendment passes
    • Senator Nkemjika motions to vote on the resolution
      • Senator Ramadan opposes and motions to make an amendment on the 4th clause, to remove clause “academic integrity violations”, leave on table for the future
        • 19 votes in favor of amendment → amendment passes
    • Senator Nicole motions to vote on resolution
      • 19 votes in favor of resolution
      • 1 vote in abstention 

Medical Leave of Absence Project Presentation

  • New transcript notation for medical leave of absence 
  • Background information:
    • “W” = Withdraw, notation you get on your transcript when you withdraw from a  course
    • Old policy: still get that W notation when you take a medical leave of absence 
    • Detrimental to students and their futures, deterrent from taking a leave
    • Was brought up by a StudLife article
  • Working towards a solution:
    • Research on peer institutions, had 2 meetings with 4 deans, emailed the registrar, finalized this fall
  • Timeline:
    • StudLife article (Nov 2018) → First meeting (Jan 2019) → Second meeting (Feb 2019) → Emailed registrar (April 2019) → Followed up with registrar and deans (Sept 2019) → Implementation (Present)
  • New Policy
    • W → WLA (Withdrawal Leave of Absence)
    • Starting fall 2019, students who take a medical leave after the add/drop deadline will have a “WLA” noted for each course instead of “W”
  • How it works
    • Combined process with Habif and 4-year advisor
  • PR & Student Response
    • StudLife article written!!!
  • Next Steps
    • Encourage HW and AA committee collaboration on policy changes
      • Ex. Add/drop deadline
    • Advising other senators on how to successfully research, plan, and complete a project

Project Updates/Open Forum/Student Body Pulse

  • Formalizing participation point system: expectation that everyone sometime throughout their term attend student group events, sharing senate stuff on social media, etc.
    • Will be harder with Zoom
  • Now accepting applications for Senate Chief of Staff
    • Helps Senate leadership with implementation of goals
    • Willing to take minutes, help with miscellaneous activities
    • Will post application on Slack 
  • Committee meetings
    • Introductions, mini-projects
    • So much fun !!!
  • Senate meetings are now bi-weekly
    • Check Slack + Email regularly
  • Anne’s project update
    • STL Engagement project
      • In response to rise in activism 
      • Mission: Empower more students to take action to meet the needs the of STL community, especially marginalized communities
      • Leverage SU’s management of these student organizations to creative more positive student engagement in STL
      • Need interested senators with various perspectives
        • Reflect on the role of WashU students in STL
        • Work as a team with various skill sets
        • Partner with student groups to build a infrastructure to further streamline student to community engagement
    • Pilot Project: 
      • Create survey + graphics for Westend neighborhood
      • Make graphics to increase census turnout for neighborhood 
    • Working Group Phase:
      • Thinking more long-term, built into SU
      • Continue to pull in actual student groups, pairing them to the community 
  • Nkemjika
    • ArtwithImpact nonprofit reached out to her
    • Does online programming to address mental health esp with marginal communities

Exec/Advisor Updates

  • On campus, tuesday tea is happening! 
  • Deadline for voter registration is tomorrow for MO!
  • Reflections event facilitated by CDI, thursday at Noon
  • Anne and Chloe are meeting with Provost, questions related to academic concerns in the fall or spring
  • As of mid-Sept, university is going to talk about fees for Spring semester + university restrictions related to Covid 

Senate Snapz