LIVE BLOG: Lehigh Student Senate meeting March 3

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A live blog of the Lehigh University Student Senate biweekly meeting.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:10 pm

Student senators and other members of the Lehigh community begin to arrive for the biweekly meeting, which this week is themed “Bring a Friend to Senate.”

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:14 pm

It is a full house at today’s meeting.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:17 pm

The meeting begins with a general announcement from Anna D’Ginto, the vice president of Student Senate and roll call by Stephanie Piscopo, the secretary of Student Senate.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:19 pm

Following roll call, Kerry Mallett, the president of Student Senate, introduces the guest speaker of the day. The speaker is Bill Hunter from the Global Union to discuss the Lehigh University and United Nations partnership.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:22 pm

Hunter says that Lehigh sends more than 1,000 faculty, staff and students to the UN each year. Last week, 40 students attended a conference at the UN that was broadcasted on television. He says that Lehigh has placed 31 students as interns at the UN.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:24 pm

Students can get involved by signing up to attend the numerous trips to the UN, Hunter says. There are currently 30 Lehigh students who are accredited and hold UN badges.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:28 pm

Hunter says about 15 spots will open in April for more students to apply to become UN accredited. He discusses a program launched in November 2014, the LU/UN Ambassadors Program, which works to connect and with students who regularly attend Global Union programming.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:29 pm

Next up, Mallett welcomes everyone to the biweekly Student Senate meeting and reminds everyone that all meetings are open to the community.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:31 pm

Mallett says the Student Senate gala was “strong effort by the Unity and Engagement committee. It was really incredible. Almost 450 people attended. it was such a success.” She also thanked Jonathan Jean-Pierre and the inclusion committee for planning the LGBT Basketball Game tip-off event.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:33 pm

D’Ginto announces a reward of two Saxbys gift cards for senators that brought friends to today’s meeting. The winners are Griffin Burke, ’17, and Sophie Bysiewicz, ’18.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:35 pm

The new LUPD headquarters will be located at Windish Hall, D’Ginto says. The renovations began this week.

Senators of the week are Student Engagement and Unity Committee for their work with the Gatsby Gala and Dakota DiMattio, ’17, for her work with the Club Affairs and Unity committees.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:37 pm

Jose Sierra, the Senate parliamentarian discusses the timeline for making revisions to Senate bylaws.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:38 pm

Shaan Gurnani, the treasurer of Student Senate announces motions to approve four allocations to student organizations.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:41 pm

The two allocations for Kappa Kappa Psi were approved. The allocation requested by Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers was approved. The allocation requested by the CREATE Club was approved.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:43 pm

Isabel Buenaga, ’17, announces a motion for allocation by the LU Aikido club and it is approved by Student Senate. She also announces the Club of the Month, which is the Food Recovery Network. The club donates leftover food from Lehigh dining halls to New Bethany Ministries in Bethlehem.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:44 pm

Public Relations committee chair Paras Khan discusses Senate apparel and Senate social media accounts.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:48 pm

Don Scott, the chair of the Diversity and Inclusive Excellence committee thanks everyone for attending the LGBT Equality Basketball game and tip-off event. Scott announces the winners of the secret prize for attending the game, Freddy Coleman and Cristina DeScisciolo.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:51 pm

Cristina DeScisciolo and Alex Stephanou, co-chairs of the Student Engagement and Unity committee discuss a meeting they had with incoming university president John D. Simon. They announce a town hall meeting with President Simon and students. Simon said he encourages students to ask questions at the actual event, versus submitting questions in advance. The committee has set a tentative date in April.

“The event is just as much for students as it is for him. I think (Simon) will be asking some valuable questions of us as well,” DeScisciolo says.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:52 pm

Cristina DeScisciolo and Alex Stephanou, co-chairs of the Student Engagement and Unity committee discuss a meeting they had with incoming university president John D. Simon. They announce a town hall meeting with President Simon and students to be held tentatively in April in Sinclair Lab. Simon said he encourages students to ask questions at the actual event, versus submitting questions in advance.

“The event is just as much for students as it is for him. I think (Simon) will be asking some valuable questions of us as well,” DeScisciolo says.

Stephanou says Simon is working with the university to launch a website and wants students to submit stories about their Lehigh experience. Simon’s intentions are to use the site to create a plan for his arrival at Lehigh.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:55 pm

The co-chairs poll the senators about a potential “Meet the Senate” event to be held before the “Meet the President” town hall event.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20154:59 pm

Hiyab Stefanos, the chair of the Facilities, Technology and Transportation committee ask student senators to volunteer to table for a bus that takes students to Newark airport and NYC bus stops this Friday for Spring Break. She announces that the weekend bus pilot program will begin the weekend after Spring Break. The route will use the T.R.A.C.S. van, follow the T.R.A.C.S. route and will run on Sundays from noon to 8 p.m. This pilot program will last the rest of the semester.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20155:01 pm

Hiyab Stefanos, the chair of the Facilities, Technology and Transportation committee ask student senators to volunteer to table for a bus that takes students to Newark airport and NYC bus stops this Friday for Spring Break. She announces that the weekend bus pilot program will begin the weekend after Spring Break. The route will use the T.R.A.C.S. van, follow the T.R.A.C.S. route and will run on Sundays from noon to 8 p.m. This pilot program will last the rest of the semester.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20155:01 pm

LUPD has just hired its first female police officer, according to Drew David, the chair of the Safety committee.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20155:03 pm

Spring Fling tabling will occur March 28 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., according to Casey Colangelo, the community relations committee chair. She discusses a Bethlehem geo-filter for Snapchat.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20155:05 pm

Lindsay Wilson, the chair of the Dining Ad-Hoc committee discusses Senate’s plan to involve Sodexo in the committee’s work. Jonathan Densa addresses rumors that Sodexo’s contract is ending this year, which is false.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20155:07 pm

Lindsay Wilson, the chair of the Dining Ad-Hoc committee discusses Senate’s plan to involve Sodexo in the committee’s work. Jonathan Densa addresses rumors on Yik Yak that Sodexo’s contract is ending this year. Wilson discusses the committee’s plan to release a survey about what students want from Dining Services, while working to not “alienate” Sodexo.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20155:10 pm

Mallett brings up new business for the meeting. She asks that student senators avoid using the Yik Yak application. She encourages students to apply for the Student Senate Leadership award.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20155:12 pm

The Faculty Committee representative announces the introduction of faculty lunches.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20155:14 pm

Jean-Pierre and Amber Alualu discuss presence of human trafficking in the Lehigh Valley and a new program with the Global Citizenship program and a Safe Space initiative.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20155:17 pm

Jean-Pierre and Amber Alualu discuss presence of human trafficking in the Lehigh Valley and a new program with the Global Citizenship program and a Safe Space initiative. Jean-Pierre says there are many children in the area who are involved in trafficking.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20155:20 pm

Jean-Pierre and Amber Alualu discuss presence of human trafficking in the Lehigh Valley and a new program with the Global Citizenship program and a Safe Space initiative. Jean-Pierre says there are many children in the area who are involved in trafficking.

“Just getting students to go to south Bethlehem is a huge initiative,” Jean-Pierre says of the program and its importance.

Katerina Traut asks Jean-Pierre if the program will be doing background checks on the businesses they intend to advertise as a safe space.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20155:23 pm

The meeting is adjourned because the Student Senate will be voting to elect a new committee member to the Faculty Committee on Student Life.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20155:25 pm

The meeting is closed to the public because the Student Senate will be voting to elect a new member to the Faculty Committee on Student Life committee.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20155:28 pm

The meeting is closed to the public because the Student Senate will be voting to elect a new member to the Faculty Committee on Student Life.

Danielle DiStefano Danielle DiStefano March 3, 20155:29 pm

The meeting is closed to the public because Student Senate will be voting to elect a new committee member to the Faculty Committee on Student Life committee.

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