Senate GBM recap, May 6

The Undergraduate Student Senate presented the work of the Senate committees over the past year and elected the chairs of each committee for the next school year in their final meeting last Thursday.

There are eight committees in the Senate, those being the Academic Affairs, Advocacy, Business Affairs, Campus Life, Communications, Finance, Internal Development, and Executive Committees.

At the meeting, the Academic Affairs Committee presented their work with various other faculty and university groups to investigate course delivery modes, implement the 2020-2021 pass/fail voucher policy, fund course materials, and survey students on their academic experiences during the pandemic. The Advocacy Committee reviewed their survey used to assess how students learned best during the pandemic, and they also presented recommendations according to their feedback from administrators. The Business Affairs Committee highlighted their recommendations for creating all-gender housing, more equitable on-campus employment policies and payment, and raising awareness of transportation options on campus. The Campus Life Committee discussed the social media campaign Humans of CMU, Senate Scotty Sweepstakes, the First Lecture Series, and their efforts towards setting up outdoor charging stations in the future. The Communications Committee created a Senate Spotlight series on social media and explored possibilities for students to receive updates on Senate initiatives they were interested in. The Finance committee reimbursed Black Lives Matter projects and poll workers, began an initiative to pay Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion student workers, and held a financial town hall for university administration to answer financial questions. The Internal Development Committee held socials for senators and also contributed to creating the Senate Spotlight social media series. The Executive Committee worked with Communications and Business Affairs to secure The New York Times digital access for Carnegie Mellon faculty and students.

In addition, Senate held an election for the Executive Committee, which is composed of the chairs of each of the other committees. Liam O'Connell was re-elected Senate Chair on a 16 to 0 to 0 vote. Emily DuBois was elected as Academic Affairs Committee Chair over James Gallicchio. The rest of the candidates, not having any competitors for their positions, were voted on as a collective slate consisting of Diana Crookston for the Finance Committee, Jeanie Xu for the Advocacy Committee, Prithu Pareek for the Business Affairs Committee, Victoria Liu for the Campus Life Committee, Saloni Gandhi for the Internal Development Committee, and Yoori Kim for the Communications Committee. The slate of candidates was elected 13 to 0 with 4 abstentions. In addition, Mason Xiao was elected as Sergeant-at-Arms, a role whose purpose is to conduct meetings by creating meeting slides and ordering meeting food.