The Student Senate met for its weekly meeting on Thursday, October 7 at 3:45 p.m. at the Hoover 212.
The meeting began with administrative reports, starting with Dean of Students and Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Belonging Nichole Gonzalez. Gonzalez began by addressing his recent choice to cancel guest speaker Joe Basrawi who was planning to come to campus for an event with the Turning Point USA chapter of Elizabethtown College. Gonzalez mentioned that there were a few reasons that led to this final decision, one of those reasons being that this speaker event was announced before going through final approval.
Gonzalez also touched on the recent stigma incident that occurred in an occupational therapy class where a professor used a racial slur. She said this incident is being investigated and being addressed. Although the teacher was not named, it was learned that this teacher was an auxiliary and would not be returning to class.
Associate Dean of Students Jenn Crowder spoke on behalf of the Office of Student Activities. She spoke about upcoming campus activities such as mocktails and karaoke that took place at Bower’s Center for Sports, Fitness and Well-being, along with Conrad’s Corner.
Housing and Residence Life Director Jenn Azevedo provided an update, noting that applications to become a residential assistant for the 2022-2023 school year are now open. Applications can be made through the Student Employment Portal on the College’s website or a link to the application has been posted on Jay’s app.
Associate Director of Diversity, Equity and Belonging Ellis Bonds has announced that his last day at the College will be October 25. Before his departure, he will lead the Safe Zone training on October 12 and 21 at 10 a.m. in the McCormick classroom located at the Haute Bibliothèque. In honor of National Coming Out Day on October 11, a panel titled “Coming Out Stories: The Different Narratives” will feature Dr. Dawnielle Simmons, Dr. Evan Smith, Bonds and second student Samhar Almomani as speakers.
Associate Dean for Academic Guidance and Health Needs Bruce Lynch first spoke about the retirement of Eileen Wagener, the College’s Health Liaison Officer. The College will have a new nurse Katie Frey starting October 18. It will be located at Sycamore Square.
Questions have been raised about making rapid COVID-19 tests available to students on campus. Lynch noted that they can’t have students using rapid COVID-19 tests that are available to student-athletes because they don’t have enough people available to administer the tests. He also said the college was looking to order self-administered COVID-19 tests; however, these tests are in short supply, which has delayed the College’s ability to order them.
Center for Student Success Representative Curtis Smith said mid-term progress reports had just been completed and starfish notifications had been sent to all students.
Turning to student comments and announcements, Cabinet Executive Secretary Jalen Belgrave took the floor to explain how the Student Senate has focused so much on event planning that its motto of “defending the rights of students” was not the priority. He explained that the Student Senate must challenge the institution to do better and keep the faculty and staff at a higher standard.
The committee’s updates covered all of the final stages of planning for the return home.
On new business, the ad hoc committee of student workers presented its resolution to send to the management team, which would propose that the minimum wage on campus be increased to $ 10 an hour.
A vote was taken to move to an executive session.
The Student Senate meets weekly on Thursdays at 3:45 p.m. at Hoover 212. Meetings are open to the entire campus community.