New members of the Student Senate, Eden Weinflash, '17, Katerina Traut, '17, and Logan Herr, '18 stand and introduce themselves to the other members of Student Senate XXVII on Tuesday, Oct. 14. President Kerry Mallett affirmed six new members of Student Senate during the meeting.

Student Senate XXVII hears student concerns, plans for upcoming events

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Student Senate XXVII held its sixth meeting of the semester on Tuesday, Oct. 14, in the University Center to discuss student-raised issues and upcoming events.

The Student Senate’s upcoming event, Light Up Off Campus, originally supposed to happen Oct. 15, was postponed to Oct. 22 due to poor weather forecast. The event is an initiative to promote safety and awareness in the off-campus Bethlehem area by providing off-campus houses with lightbulbs.

“Our overall goal is to keep the off-campus streets well-lit for when people are walking there at night,” said Drew Davis, ’17, chair of the safety committee.

The event will consist of a group of student volunteers from various campus involvements walking around the off-campus area, providing residents with the proper supplies to make sure they have lights outside their homes.

“We’re putting the ball in the off-campus court and giving them the supplies they need,” Davis said.

Regarding the postponement of the event, Davis said it ended up being positive. The postponement gave more time for the word to get out to students.

“We were ready to go; we had everything in place,” Davis said. “This gave us more time to rally some troops.”

The Student Senate also heard remarks from JJ O’Brien, ’16, a student who wanted to voice some of his concerns to the senate. He spoke about his thoughts regarding Lehigh’s pass/fail policy, the SOS petition process and future dining options.

“The (pass/fail) policy is holding the academic betterment of students back,” O’Brien said, who was denied a pass/fall for an introductory computer science course he wanted to take. The policy states that a course must be 100-level or higher in order to merit a pass/fail, but the basic-level computer science class, albeit it very challenging, is not a 100-level course.

Donald Scott, ’17, and Paul Lyons, ’16, reported on the Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Committee. The committee is in the process of creating a Certificate for Inclusive Excellence, a program similar in format to the Global Citizenship program Lehigh has.

Scott said in an email, “This proposal put forth by the Committee on Inclusive Excellence is the first of many documents designed to dramatically adjust Lehigh University’s handling of campus climate. It acknowledges past efforts have failed, and it puts forth a series of recommendations designed to be the first step of many in this process.”

The bill is currently entering a 30-day comment period to receive feedback. At the end of the period, a final bill will be rendered for a vote. If approved, some sections require additional executive administrative approval, and others require the involvement of Faculty Committees, especially Educational Policy, Scott said.

“One of the universal skills of leadership is to know and understand the resources of a group,” Scott said. “An individual who is not cognizant of others is no leader, regardless of degree. Firms know this and will actively seek students with this training.”

The Student Senate also heard from Pete Costa, Director of Health Advancement and Prevention Strategies, who wants the senate to share his office’s vision, help raise awareness and connect with allied student groups.

Dale Kochard, assistant vice president of community and regional affairs, requested the Student Senate’s help with his office’s missions — Bethlehem development, improved public education, neighborhood revitalization and more.

Six new senators were affirmed: Eden Weinflash, ’17; Katerina Traut, ’17; Kallyse Duddlesten, ’17; Logan Herr, ’18; David Kabrt, ’17; and Lance Kirschenbaum, ’15.

The allocations committee passed late budgets, as well as extra budgets for Society of Women Engineers and Engineers Without Borders.

The club affairs committee passed club recognition for American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, LUGMT, ASCEND, Cheap Eats, Habitat for Humanity and Students for Zoellner.

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