The Senate convened on Sunday for its first meeting of the 2019-20 school year, during which they discussed Union logistics, swore in newly elected senators and confirmed Senate and Executive Board positions. Student Union Vice President Guillermo Caballero ’20 explained that after the roll call, the Senate would normally debate whether to charter new clubs or grant other club requests. However, he acknowledged that many senators were tired after going through hours of training at the Union retreat earlier that day. Caballero decided to push club-related business to next week’s meeting. He announced that next week, IfNotNow would present to the Senate for probationary status.

New senators were sworn in under the Union Oath of Office, promising to “work tirelessly to hear the unheard, be a voice for [their] constituents and be a changemaker for good and for justice.” 

Caballero reminded senators that a Google Drive folder  shared with all Union members that contains reports, daily agendas and a form to fill out when they host office hours.

Caballero announced his appointments for committee chairs. The chairships for the Rules, Services and Outreach and Social Justice and Diversity Committees were still open, and so he encouraged senators to speak to him after the meeting if they were interested in these positions. As president of the Senate, Caballero has full discretion over the appointments; he explained that seniority has minimal bearing on his decision, and that “everyone is qualified to have any position in the Student Union.” Caballero reminded the senators that if they represented residential quads, they were required to serve on two committees, one being the housing committee, while the rest of the senators were required to serve on three committees. 

Before beginning the confirmation process for the E-Board, Caballero acknowledged the informality of this meeting’s proceedings. He said that by the next meeting, the Senate proceedings would be governed by a set of rules formally known as Robert’s Rules of Order, a set of rules widely used for parliamentary procedure. 

For the new position of Media and Technology Director, the Senate confirmed Ari Hahalis ’22. The other E-Board positions were duly confirmed, except the candidate for Officer for Diversity and Inclusion, Nakul Srinivas ’21. Class of 2022 Senator Joseph Coles objected, saying that he first wanted to learn more about Srinivas’ goals as Diversity Officer before he was confirmed.

Caballero asked each senator to articulate a short summary of their main goals for the semester. The senators mainly provided variations on their campaign platforms, with goals ranging from keeping fellow quad members safe to improving dining facilities. Senator for Massell Quad Dariel Jimenez ’23 and Senator for North Quad Krupa Sourirajan ’23 announced their plans to work together to promote first-year unity.

For the final action of the meeting, Executive Senator Jake Rong ’21 and Class of 2020 Senator Scott Halper both applied to be senate representative to the Allocations Board. The press waited outside while Rong and Halper made their cases before the Senate. After some deliberation, Rong was elected.

Senate meetings are held Sundays at 7 p.m. in the Shapiro Campus Center room 313. They are open to the public. 

—Editor’s Note: Editor Gilda Geist and Editorial Assistant Sarah Katz are members of IfNotNow.

—Editor’s Note: Senator-at-Large Nancy Zhai ’22 is a News Staff Writer, and Foster Mods Senator Trevor Filseth '20 is a Forum Staff Writer.