Resident Sen. Anthony Pergola expressed his concern that students doing homework during work-study jobs might not be getting paid for that time. Student Senate Business manager Kathleen Pease stated that federal guidelines require work-study students to be paid even if doing homework. She went on to clarify this applies only when there is no other work to be done. Sen. Pergola also expressed a concern that teacher recommendations that would allow students to view their professor’s professional history before deciding upon class were not available on the Internet. At-Large Sen. Tyler Stanley expressed a concern about a commuter bus that left three or four minutes early from Gorham, which he missed and had to wait for the next one. When Stanley asked the driver why he left early, he was told the clock on the bus was three minutes fast.
Heather Monroe, an Americorp VISTA volunteer at USM, was the guest speaker at Friday’s meeting. Monroe came to the meeting to discuss Service-Learning, a program that combines service to the community with student learning to improve both the student and the community. According to Monroe, Service-Learning program students develop skills through active participation in a thoughtfully organized service that is conducted in and meets the needs of the community. Monroe also stated that the program fosters civic responsibilities and enhances the academic curriculum while allowing students time to reflect on their service experience. Monroe came to the meeting hoping to receive a written letter or endorsement for support by the Senate for the program she presented. Senate Secretary Steve Witek stated that he was in support of Service-Learning and that it would receive a written letter of support by next Friday.
Jason Buss, from the Outing Club, submitted a proposal for a chem-free canoe trip in the Green River canyon area of Utah at a cost of $210 per person. The group, if the proposal is approved, will go on a five-day expedition spending each night camping along the river.
Rob Richardson submitted a proposal requesting $400 from the senate to fund the Habitat for Humanity alternative spring break trip to Melbourne, Fla. If provided by the Senate, the money will go toward expenses totaling $6,383. The group will help build three houses and has been fundraising for several weeks now. So far they have raised $3,121 through bake sales, rose sales, and a dinner dance. Next week they will be holding a silent auction in the Woodbury Campus Center.
After listening to a three-page letter of concerns and dissatisfaction for the recent business the Honors Program conducted with the Senate, the Senate passed the Honors programs constitution. The letter written and read by Jeremy Federman, a linguistics major and vice president of the Honors Student Association, stated the group’s belief that the Senate’s process in passing it’s constitution failed. Among the reasons for its dissatisfaction was what it considered to be an absence of a minimal level of professionalism and competency on the part of the Student Senate. The Honors Program submitted its proposal for constitutional revisions three weeks ago but it was tabled in the two subsequent weeks. In his letter, Federman claimed that although the Senate tabled the document last week, there was an obvious underlying, and more relevant, reason for the postponement. He stated that he believed the majority of the Senate did not want to vote last week on the constitution because they failed to review his paperwork prior to the meeting.
Senate Chair Ryan Anderson stated that Senate Parliamentarian Ben Hoffman wasn’t present at the meeting and therefore the letter could not be addressed properly.
The Senate later voted to pass the revisions for the Honors constitution. At the end of the meeting Federman commended the Senate for getting all its concerns resolved in the constitution at Friday’s meeting and passing it.
The following senators were absent without proxy from Friday’s meeting: Vice Chair David Casinelli, Senate Parliamentarian Ben Hoffman.
The Student Senate account stands at $1,150.57.
The next meeting for the Student Senate will be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday, March 23 in Gorham at the Hastings Formal Lounge. All are welcome to attend.