Senate informed of governance agreements and diversity

The first ASUAF meeting of the 2019 spring semester began with the swearing in of 3 new senators: Joshua Narravo, Gabriel Madore and Emma Ashlock.

Two guests, from the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities (formerly the Dean of Students Office), Jessica Rhoads and Kaydee Van Flein, came to speak to ASUAF. They gave a brief overview of their new changes and potential future collaborations with ASUAF. 

“Advocacy is probably the largest portion of what we’re doing for students,” said Van Flein, the Associate Director of the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities.

They reached out to ASUAF senators to participate in a practice Student Conduct Process, in order to provide the Center with feedback to better serve the student population who go through student discipline with the Center.

Before the discussion of the governance boards and the ASUAF governance groups Senate Chair Audrey Kirby stated, “I invited […] the leaders of our governance groups just ‘cause there’s some misinformation going around and I kind of wanted to, like I’m not very informed about our governance groups, so I invited them to introduce who they are and what they do.”

Ronnie Houchin, ASUAF Advisor and Office Manager, led the presentation about the Governance Boards, covering Concert Board, KSUA, The Sun Star, and Sustainability. Houchin spoke of who comprised the governance boards and their purposes of managing the funding for the four groups under ASUAF. Houchin also mentioned the percentage each group receives from the student life fee and what that looks like in a yearly budget. KSUA: 28% of the fee, $95,000 budget, Sun Star: 12% of the fee, $41,000 budget and Concert Board: 17% of the fee with a $57,000 budget. Sustainability is funded by the Sustainability fee. 

The presentation also touched on the moving of the Sun Star and KSUA into the upper level of the Wood Center to be closer to the Center for Student Engagement and ASUAF. 

“Both KSUA and the Sun Star are student media organizations, are protected by freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the US Constitution, state law. No one at the University has any power to tell KSUA or the Sun star what they can or cannot publish,” Houchin said and went on to explain the importance of protecting free press and speech on campus.

After Houchin presented, the senate shifted to more general topics of note. Starting with Public Relations Director, Daniel Vaziri, having been approved for $500 to be used in the purchasing of promotional items to give to students. Vaziri is looking for something to give to graduating students as a memento from ASUAF.

Former ASUAF Senator Benson Hoover’s resignation letter was read aloud, stating their reason for resignation as, “Due to time constraints.”

Kirby mentioned that the by-laws require executives to be available in the office. The suggestion was made for senators to speak to her to set their hours. Kirby also stated that the schedule will be publicly posted.

Senator Lisa Gilbert, during talks involving the Good of the Senate, brought up diversity and inclusion within ASUAF.

“Diversity and inclusivity applies to everyone across the board,” Senator Gilbert stated, “We are adults, we need to work together, we need to include everyone and support everyone so that we can support the student body, that’s our job. […] And I do want to remind you all that not doing so is, in fact, often walking the tightrope of being a Title IX violation. And if it is a Title IX violation, from this point on, I will note it and it will be reported.”

Senator Ashley Paulus, leading the University Relations Committee, mentioned that the 2018 fall semester finished with a Title IX resolution. But no further explanation was offered.

In a 5-3-2 vote against Senator Ashlock, Senator Kayla Haeg won the seat of University Relations Committee Chair. And in a 7-0-2 vote all three confirmations, that of Peter Freymueller the Government Relations Director, Benjamin Carstens, and Senator Haeg were confirmed to the Commencement Speaker Search Committee.

The meeting ended with the setting of future meeting times. A doodle poll had been sent out by Kirby asking for what meeting time would be best for ASUAF senate meetings. At this time the meeting time has not been changed from 4 p.m. on Sundays.