ASSMU to add two new Senate positions

Olivia Alvord, Staff Writer 

 

On Jan. 30, the Associated Students of Saint Martin’s University (ASSMU) approved the addition of two new Senate positions: Senator of Military Affiliated Students; and Senator of Nursing and Social Work. The Senate also approved several name changes and memorandum requests.

To begin the meeting, associated students Treasurer Conner Snow announced the total amount of money, which has been requested so far this semester. As of Jan. 30, there had been 20 club budgets submitted and over $110,000 requested. This amount increased to $141,000 on Jan. 31, as it was the last day to turn in club budget forms. Last semester, the average club budget request was $5,200. This semester, the average amount requested is already above that, and some clubs still need to submit their budgets. Snow also pointed out that ASSMU has about $82,000 to allocate this semester and the current amount requested is beyond the excess of that; no one should expect to get the full amount requested. All club budgets were reviewed on Feb. 1 at the Finance Committee meeting and funds will start being allocated on Feb. 6. 

Snow also mentioned a mistake which was made at the previous meeting that concerned the Saint Martin’s University Future Educators (SMUFE) memorandum for $1,100, requested in preparation for their National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) Conference scheduled for Mar. 4 to 6. According to the current Finance Code, ASSMU can only fund rooms for six people, plus the club adviser. SMUFE asked for funds exceeding the six member count, in addition to funds for their club adviser. Because the measure was passed at the Jan. 23 meeting, the difference in funding (about $200) will come out of the ASSMU Project Fund.

Next on the agenda was a proposal backed by various senators and executive board members to expand the ASSMU Senate by adding more positions with the intent to create a better representation of Saint Martin’s various majors and departments. The motion carried and students can expect to see these new senate positions in the 2020 ASSMU election packets, which were slated for distribution at the Feb. 6 meeting. 

The first memorandum, put forth by associated students President Andrew Garcia, outlined the details for a new position — Senator of Military Affiliated Students. Garcia commented that there is a definite need for this position, not only because Saint Martin’s is so close to Joint Base Lewis-McCord, but also because it is a Purple Heart Institution. Senator of Cultural Diversity, Jayci Gomes, commented on the fact that Saint Martin’s is also a Yellow Ribbon school; a program that provides veterans the opportunity to attend a private school for little to no money. Currently, military affiliated students fall under the representation of the Senator of Non-Traditional Students. The new position would give them the recognition that they deserve and grant them a stronger voice in the community. Kaitlyn Slade, Senator of Non-Traditional Students, also explained her feelings on the new position.

Slate said, “Non-traditional students are such a wide variety of students which includes parents, students who took a gap year, and students who had other priorities which prevented them from attending college after high school. I think it will be good to have a position specific to military affiliated students as they have a high need here.” 

A constituent also mentioned that a mandated qualification for the position should be that the Senator has to have a military affiliated background — whether that be a child, a spouse, or a veteran. After many contributions, the motion carried and the new position of Senator of Military Affiliated Students will be elected for the 2020-2021 school year.

A memorandum followed the motion. The memorandum was proposed by Senator of Life Sciences, Jansen Daquel. As Daquel mentioned in previous meetings, he has been in contact with the Director of Nursing, Teri Woo, Ph.D, about the addition of a Senator of Nursing on ASSMU. Daquel’s reasoning behind this memorandum was that “the nursing program is so different from the Life Sciences and they will need their own advocate.” 

Gomes recommended that this position be available to Social Work students as well, because Nursing and Social Work students often work hand-in-hand. With the addition of Social Work students, and keeping in mind those students in Exercise Science, Daquel adjusted the position to accommodate the name change, and the motion carried.

Realani Rulona, Senator of Engineering, also put a memorandum on the table to either introduce a new position for Senator of Computer Science, or change the name of the Senator of Engineering to encompass Computer Science and Information Technology students. Rulona put forth two memorandums for this decision, since she wants her position to be more inclusive of the Computer Science and Information Technology students, but was not sure which idea would be more popular. 

Senator of International Students, Welly Alqufaydi, had some thoughts on the matter as a Computer Science student himself. 

Alqufaydi said, “It might be a good idea to make it all into one position as there are not many computer science students and we are already considered part of the engineering department for our degree.” 

After some discussion about what the best option was, the name change for the Senator of Engineering position passed, and beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, the position will now be referred to as the Senator of Engineering and Computer Technology. 

Last on the agenda, Senator of Arts and Sciences, Amanda Chappell, introduced a memorandum based on her observations and student concerns. This memorandum appropriated $500 of the ASSMU project fund for the purchase of a TV. The screen will be placed in Saint Gertrude’s Cafe to advertise and promote club and school announcements; and events. ASSMU has also struck a deal with the Saint Martin’s, Marketing and Communications department, wherein ASSMU pays for the TV, and Marketing and Communications will handle any costs of the computer, programming software, and upkeep such an arrangement requires. The motion passed; meaning Eric Boyer, Ph.D. and Bon Appetit will be working to create a spot in the cafeteria for the TV.  

 

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