In its first session of the academic year Aug. 25, the Student Association Senate discussed a wide variety of issues and initiatives as the senators looked to have a productive start to the semester.
SA President Nick Gumas focused his remarks on the three goals he has established for this year. Gumas is looking to start a peer counseling program, streamline and reduce the cost of gaining credit for internships and improve the University’s “diversity and inclusion” efforts.
Other potential initiatives mentioned throughout the meeting included making class syllabi available to students before they register for a class, improving the student advocacy program to advise students who are in disciplinary trouble with the university and streamlining the process to transfer credits students earned while studying abroad.
A large portion of the meeting was spent discussing the planned adoption of a digital management system for student organizations called OrgSync. Anne Graham, program coordinator for the Center for Student Engagement, said OrgSync is a “web based platform that promotes engagement by…coordinating and connecting students to organizations.”
The system would allow student organizations and the CSE to centralize and streamline organization registration, easily send emails to students and simplify many other tasks, Graham said.
Graham argued that “our systems now are kind of antiquated,” a sentiment echoed by many senators at the meeting. Finance Committee Chair and U-At-Large Ben Pryde said the Finance Committee needed OrgSync and that “we cannot be professional with the status quo.”
Based on discussions with the CSE, the Finance Committee suggested a $10,000 contribution to the purchase of a three-year subscription to OrgSync, which includes assistance setting up and maintaining the system. Although this amount is relatively small compared to the total cost of $119,000, Pryde insisted it was vital to the success of the project, and that “there’s a lot of moving gears here that are counting on this $10,000.”
Although some senators were hesitant to support the contribution due to Graham’s statement that the CSE was going ahead with the purchase regardless of if the SA helped, enough senators approved the amount to reach the two-thirds support needed.
In internal business, the senate confirmed Matthew Molock (ESIA) as Senate Parliamentarian and Spencer Perry (CCAS) as VP for Judicial and Legislative Affairs and adopted a new logo for the SA.