The student senate has its 13th biweekly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015 in U.C. 308. The meeting was led by Student Senate president, Kerry Mallett. (Gimin Lee/B&W photo)

Student Senate plans for Gatsby Gala, introduces new members

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Student Senate prepared for the upcoming Gatsby Gala, a campus-wide formal, at its meeting in the University Center on Tuesday.

During the meeting, senate also introduced four new Senate members, listened to several student speakers and discussed upcoming projects.

The Gatsby Gala, Senate’s fourth annual campus wide formal event, will take place on Friday, Feb. 20 at the Wood Dining Hall. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door.  Buses will be provided to and from Mountaintop.

The event will be 1920s themed and will consist of a cocktail hour from 8 to 9 p.m. and music and dancing from 9 to 11 p.m.

“Students and faculty are encouraged to mix, mingle, and enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres for the first hour,” Cristina DeScisciolo, ’15, the co-chair of the Unity Committee, said in an email. “Then, a guest performance will transition us to an evening of dancing.”

Student Senate decided to invite faculty and staff to give students an opportunity to interact with their professors in a more relaxed setting.

“We also thought it would be neat to give students the opportunity to invite their favorite professors and/or mentors so that they could have conversations in a different setting,”DeScisciolo said. “So far, the faculty and staff seem very enthusiastic about attending the Gala with their students!”

Also at the meeting, three students came and spoke to the Senate about events and issues on campus.

Tamara Huson, ’15, the co-president of Lehigh’s Colleges Against Cancer, also spoke to the Senate on the upcoming Relay for Life events. In the February Frenzy event, colleges in Pennsylvania and Ohio compete in weekly challenges to see which college has the best Relay for Life event. As of week one, Lehigh was in fourth place, Huson said.

Lehigh is also participating in the Greek Relay Cup in which fraternities and sororities compete to see who can raise the most money. Alpha Gamma Delta and Kappa Delta are in the lead for sororities and Phi Delta Theta and Alpha Epsilon Pi are in the lead for fraternities.

So far, Lehigh has raised $23,000 for Relay for Life with a goal of $60,000.

Minni Kim ’16 and Sydney O’Tapi ’15  also spoke to senate about problems with campus climate. Kim spoke about the difficulties student organizations outside of Greek life have organizing late-night alternatives to going out.

“We need to empower other student groups to have that flexibility to provide other choices for students to attend,” Kim said.

O’Tapi spoke about bridging the gap between minority students and the rest of the Lehigh community.

Four new at large members were added to Senate: Georgie Brattland, ’18, Steve Pileggi, ’18, Cedric Wu, ’17, and Jonathan Densa, ’16.

“Everyone we interviewed was very qualified, but these four definitely stood out,” Vice President Anna D’Ginto said.  “There’s definitely a diversity in the group we brought on.”

In response to a survey done last year on places on campus where students felt lighting was inadequate at night, senate worked with an outside agency to map areas of campus that didn’t have enough lighting.

Using these results, senate plans to replace existing lights with environmentally friendly LED bulbs that project more light. The Brodhead House area has already been redone, while the rest of campus can expect changes by fall 2015.

Senate is planning a town hall meeting with Lehigh’s incoming president John Simon in April. The meeting will give students the opportunity to ask questions and get to know the new president.

The allocations committee passed budget decisions for the Asian Cultural Society and the African-Caribbean Culture Club.

The club affairs committee passed club recognitions for the Food Recovery Club, the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers and LU Diplomat.

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