Student Senate Report- Dec. 5, 2019

The University of Rhode Island Student Senate ended off the semester by passing nine bills during an approximately three hour long meeting yesterday night. 

Much of that time was spent discussing changes to the Student Senate bylaws, which were proposed by the Instruments Committee. In the absence of Instruments Committee Chair John Bagley, Annabel Cimbal showed the proposed changes by the committee. The proposed changes were passed. 

The Senate also passed eight other bills following the passing of the new bylaws. 

In addition, changes were made by the Instruments Committee to the Student Senate finance handbook, which passed without much discussion. 

Six bills proposed by the Student Organization Committee to recognize new clubs on campus passed as well. Student Senate recognized Phi Sigma Pi, Alpha Phi Sigma, Ukrainian Club, Sojourn Collegiate Ministry, Shark Club and Pharmacognosy Club as student organizations. 

The Senate also voted to give $1,275 to the URI Judo Club in order to partially cover the cost of renting the dojo where they practice. 

Additionally, Student Senate held elections for new positions that would be open for next semester. Kristina O’Connell was sworn in as the College of Nursing representative. O’Connell was nominated by Student Senator Katie Siegle, who noted that O’Connell had “shown a lot of interest” in being the position. Siegle said the fact that she showed up to the final meeting of the year proved it. O’Connell stated that she could “effectively advocate for the whole nursing student body.”

Luke Scatenato was nominated by Student Senate President Nick Marotta as the new director of operations. Marotta said Scatenato was “very qualified for this job,” noting his past experience working as the treasurer and the operations director for his fraternity, Alpha Chi Sigma. 

Scatenato also his accomplishments that make him fit for the position.

“Last semester, I was able to collect dues from everyone in the fraternity, which is almost unheard of,” Scatenato said. 

Moderator Ryan McWeeney nominated Donna Osgood as the new recording secretary for meetings. This will be effective as of the Senate’s next meeting. McWeeney noted Osgood “had taken minutes at least once before, and she read over minutes a lot from previous years, and I see no reason why she shouldn’t have this position.”

Many members of Student Senate also talked about plans for spring semester. Marotta noted the success of the Angel Shot program’s implementation in local bars, and he said that his main push for next semester was “community engagement.” 

Marotta also proposed a Student Senate town hall style meeting in order to let students ask senators questions. Marotta also made note of a possible Philanthropy Day next semester and a possible on-campus lot designated solely for carpooling students.

Cultural Affairs Chair Lulu Alryati also said that she was working with The Women’s Project, a nonprofit organization, as well as the International Center on campus, to brainstorm possible events next semester. 

Lastly, Marotta complemented this year’s Senate, saying he was “happy with the atmosphere that Senate has taken on this past year.” 

This sentiment would later be echoed by both McWeeney and Cimbal following the debate on senatorial bylaws.      Student Senate will not meet again until the spring semester.

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