Vice President Aaron Finkel ’20 began this week’s meeting by swearing in Class of 2020 Senator Trevor Filseth and Racial Minority Senator Denezia Fahie ’22. 

Running Club Presentation

Lydia Sawyer ’21 and Neeti Kulkarni ’21 presented the Running Club to the Senate for probationary status. Sawyer added that the club’s goal is to create an atmosphere where people can connect with other runners and get “a beneficial workout.”

The Senate voted by acclamation to approve the Running Club for probationary status.

Upcoming Special Election

After “a few members decided to leave” last semester, Finkel announced, there would be a special election the week after February break. Finkel declared that Student Union Secretary Simran Tatuskar ’21 found a section in the Bylaws which would eliminate the problem of vacant Senate seats. The Community Senators clause allows all community members to run for any seat should no one of that constituency declare their candidacy. 


Finkel introduced Presence, a website which “consolidates all of student life.” Presence will have study abroad forms, club information and more and will eliminate the “disastrous” Listserv system, Finkel explained, asserting that the software will make student life much more accessible and “convenient for people” and will bring the University “into the 21st century.”

Executive Reports

Chief Justice Gabriela Anavisca ’19 has stepped down “due to personal reasons,” Executive Senator Kent Dinlenc ’19 announced. 

At the E-Board meeting, Dinlenc reported, the board discussed the Union Code of Conduct and Branchan, a controversial forum similar to 4chan. They also discussed the  upcoming Judiciary hearing about the jurisdiction of A-Board and E-Board regarding the allocation of funds, to take place on Feb. 24. 

Senate Committee Chair Reports

Service and Outreach Committee Chair Kendal Chapman ’22 announced that the Midnight Buffet will take place in the SCC this semester and that the committee is working to involve cultural clubs in the event. 

Dinlenc, the Sustainability Committee chair, announced a preliminary proposal to ban the sale of bottled water at the Hoot Market and dining locations, to be implemented by the end of the semester. The University would have to change its deal with Coca-Cola to cut bottled water distribution, he stated. Dinlenc added that the committee would distribute free water bottles and would try to increase access to tap water by adding more water fountains around campus. 

New Business

The next amendment proposed abolishing the mandate that clubs have a website. Senator-at-Large and Club Support committee chair Noah Nguyen ’21 objected, stating that once Presence is implemented, clubs will have to maintain their own pages and the mandate would have to be re-added. The Senate postponed the vote until its next meeting. 

The final amendment proposed requires a weekly report from the judiciary, as they have not been transparent about their activities, according to Village Quad Senator Jake Rong ’21. He pointed out that though there are confidentiality clauses, it is “unfair” for the judiciary to say nothing about cases. The Senate will vote on the amendment at its next meeting.

— Editor’s Note: Kent Dinlenc is a staff writer for the Justice.