Posts tagged with Student Senate
The Kansas University Student Senate has created four new ad hoc committees to address diversity-related demands voiced by Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk. Student Body President Jessie Pringle announced the following four committees this week, in an email to the Senate. Committees are expected to give a report and legislative recommendations to the full Senate on March 18.
“Each committee tackles issues and discussions that should be addressed this upcoming semester,” Pringle said. “The committees are a way to find solutions and policy changes together as a Senate body.”
Student Senate Overview Committee — Charged with assessing structure of Senate to “increase accessibility”; identifying “opportunities in the student fee structure to promote a more inclusive and diverse campus”; evaluating outreach policies and developing best practices to increase awareness of resources Senate and KU provide.
Election Reevaluation Committee — Charged with addressing concerns about “accessibility” to run in Senate general elections; identifying ways to “create a more open and equitable election atmosphere”; determining feasibility and logistics of an election support fund.
Retention and Recruitment Committee — Charged with monitoring retention rates of students; researching policy and programs within offices working with recruitment and retention; identifying problems with current practices.
Veterans Services Committee — Charged with “benchmarking” KU to the service programs of its aspirational peers; assessing services offered to veterans; identifying veterans services KU lacks; developing a “standing entity to address veterans’ needs annually.”
Invisible Hawk is a group of mostly black students that carried signs and read a list of demands at KU’s Nov. 11 town hall forum on race. They’ve spoken out at Senate meetings against the body’s leadership, led a protest that drew more than 80 students to Wescoe Beach on Wednesday, and have been actively promoting their cause on social media using the hashtag #rockchalkinvisiblehawk.
Senate’s top three leaders — Pringle, Student Body Vice President Zach George and Chief of Staff Adam Moon — all are currently facing impeachment procedures, prompted by some Senate members’ accusations that they failed to do enough to support minority students on campus.
A separate committee is investigating each leader and making a recommendation for discipline. First up is Moon; his impeachment committee is expected to share its recommendation at tonight’s full Senate meeting, where senators will vote on whether or not to continue moving forward with disciplinary action, which could be as drastic as kicking him out of office.
An impeachment committee should be formed today to prepare a report and make a recommendation for possible discipline of Kansas University Student Senate’s top three leaders.
According to an email to the Senate from senior senator Lauren Arney, a meeting was planned for this morning to form the committee, made up of some Senate standing committee chairs and several other senators chosen by lottery. Under Senate rules, the committee has five school days — so until roughly mid-next week — to prepare its recommendation, which must then be presented to the full Senate at a regular or special meeting.
Following a heated universitywide town hall forum on race Nov. 11, the Senate’s Student Executive Committee approved a motion demanding the resignation of Student Body President Jessie Pringle, Student Body Vice President Zach George and Senate Chief of Staff Adam Moon, whom some fellow senators and students accused of failing to do enough to support black and other marginalized students on campus. The three declined to resign, and the Student Senate took up impeachment procedures last week.
Pringle, George and Moon, in the meantime, have been working on a plan to improve the campus climate for marginalized students. They released a list of 11 commitments on Nov. 16, followed by a more detailed seven-page proposal for how to get them done shared on Friday.
• Gun survey wraps up Wednesday: In other Student Senate news, the online survey seeking students’ opinions about concealed carry on campus is still open — but not for long. The last day to take it is Wednesday. Students at KU and other state schools should have received links to the survey in their emails earlier this month.
There are gender-neutral restrooms on the Kansas University campus, and a gender-neutral safe space. Soon there will be what’s probably the university’s first purposely gender-neutral governing document.
KU’s Student Senate on Wednesday night voted to delete all instances of “his/her” and other gender-specific pronouns from the official Student Senate Rules and Regulations and replace those words with the gender-neutral pronouns “they, them or their.”
“This is a key first step in making our campus more inclusive,” said student senator Harrison Baker, the bill’s primary author. “Hopefully this will be a catalyst to create discussions on campus and cause change to happen elsewhere.”
Lest “they, them or their” be misconstrued as careless grammatical mistakes, Student Senate also approved an amendment to their bill. The amendment adds a paragraph to the Rules and Regulations explaining that gender-neutral pronouns are used in the document “to increase the inclusivity of Student Senate and prevent the microaggressions gender pronouns pose to individuals who don’t use them.”
For plenty of students, gender is just a box they check without thinking anything of it, said Omar Rana, this year’s Student Senate director of diversity and inclusion. But for others who don’t identify as strictly male or female, “it means so much more.”
• KU makes a "Total Frat Move": The website TotalFratMove.com weighed in this week on a recent fraternity related decision at KU, posting a writeup with the headline, “Task Force Recommends KU Defer Fraternity Recruitment To Spring, KU Says ‘Screw You.’” I’m pretty sure that’s not exactly how it went down, but in any case, the Total Frat Move author (who is not a KU student) is pleased. He says:
Accepting blatantly terrible recommendations in an attempt to save face is an all-too-common occurrence by university officials these days. It’s refreshing that at least one institution out there isn’t giving in to anti-fraternity pressure.
We can all agree that sexual assault is a problem on college campuses, but scapegoating Greek life is not the solution. Acting like forcing college men to wait until spring to rush a fraternity is in any way useful towards preventing sexual assault is some unbelievably flawed logic.
I guess Total Frat Move missed my earlier article on KU choosing not to defer Greek recruitment (it's OK, they were probably busy compiling "Ridiculous Tinder Pickup Lines"), but the author cites a story KCUR did on the subject this week.
• Sunday Funday for kids on Daisy Hill: Children (accompanied by an adult) are invited to Halloween in the Halls from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday on Daisy Hill. There will be trick-or-treating in Hashinger Hall, plus activities, crafts and games in both Hashinger and the Daisy Hill Commons (that’s the lobby area that connects the new Oswald and Self halls).
• New president for ESU: The Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday announced and formally voted to hire Allison Garrett, executive vice president at Abilene (Texas) Christian University, as Emporia State University’s next president.
Garrett is a native of Neosho, Mo., who has a law degree from University of Tulsa and an undergraduate degree from Oklahoma Christian University. She told the Regents and a crowd gathered at ESU for the announcement (which I watched online), “it is clear that there is a special spirit in this place. You all strive for excellence and achieve it, and I am so excited to serve you in the future.”
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Perhaps you recall that KU's Student Senate was considering a bill that would announce its opposition to any legislation allowing concealed carry on campus.
Well, that bill passed last night, pretty easily. The margin was 46-8 with three students abstaining, per the minutes from the Senate's meeting Wednesday night.
Also according to the minutes, a couple of students spoke against the bill. (That is, they spoke against being against concealed carry, just to make sure you've got that straight.)
According to the bill, the Student Senate will notify Gov. Sam Brownback as well as a litany of state legislators about its opposition to on-campus concealed carry.
I am against being against the practice of sending your KU news tips to me. So send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.