The Elizabethtown College Student Senate held their weekly meeting Thursday, Nov. 2 in Hoover 212 at 3:45 p.m.
After senior Senate President Sean Fiedler called the meeting to order, High Library Director Sarah Penniman presented the first of the meeting’s three special orders. Penniman discussed this year’s Leffler Lecture (which will be given by Dr. Samantha Nutt Thursday, Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in Leffler Chapel and Performance Center) and the events that precede it.
Penniman asked the senators for suggestions about how to advertise the pre-lecture events and boost attendance. One suggestion was to send emails listing the events happening each week rather than one that listed everything, which could overwhelm students.
The second special order featured Director for Curriculum and Assessment Dr. Brian Newsome, who gave an update on the current Core Program Revitalization process. According to Newsome, three groups of faculty are developing drafts of the new Core Program to be reviewed at a faculty assembly meeting later this semester. All of the groups are thinking about reducing the Core Program to only 32 credits and giving it a tiered structure.
Suggestions from the senators regarding Core Program changes ranged from having more class options for each core requirement to adding classes that focus on things like diversity and how to do taxes, cook one’s own meals and do other “adult” tasks. Some senators also suggested including more team-taught classes and more classes that count as Signature Learning Experiences (SLEs).
The final special order concerned a change to the constitution regarding the Student Groups standing committee. The change now allows the committee to include one first-year.
In the community comments section of the meeting, barista Sharon Gainer and two student employees talked about a Change.org petition sparked by plans to change and add campus dining facilities. As of the afternoon of the meeting, the petition had garnered 206 signatures. The students stated their opinions on the issue and asked Dean of Students Marianne Calenda a few questions.
Moving on to Administrative Reports, Calenda said the Board of Trustees approved the construction of the new Bowers Center for Sports, Fitness and Wellness at their most recent meeting. She also gave an update on the showers in Schlosser Residence Hall 2-West, which have been temporarily fixed until a more permanent solution can be implemented over Winter Break. Her final point was an update on the reworking of the Center for Student Involvement, which will be completed in January.
In another Administrative Report, Director of International Student Services Kristi Syrdahl promoted International Education Week. Fiedler then invited senators to pitch ideas for concrete projects.
One idea that received enthusiastic support from many senators was the construction of pits for gaga ball (a game similar to dodgeball played in an octagonal arena) and/or bocce in or around the Bowers Center. Other suggestions ranged from building cubbies or shelves in the Marketplace to store belongings, more dog-friendly campus spaces and building more sidewalks within campus.
The meeting then proceeded to elections for the new Business Communications standing committee. The committee ran on an ad hoc basis last semester, bringing food trucks to campus every Wednesday.
This committee will be comprised of a chair, a vice chair, one member from each class and two at large members. Sophomore Holly Francescone was elected as chair of the committee. Francescone chaired the ad hoc Business Communications committee last semester and said she sees potential for the committee and has lots of ideas.
First-year Jeremy Eberly was elected vice chair. First-year Matthew Smith, sophomore Maggie Fix and senior Erick Blank were elected, with the junior class moving to table their vote until they fill their open positions. Fiedler and sophomore class President Rachel Craft will serve as the committee’s at-large members.
Two external committees also elected at-large members. Sophomore Ethan Waugh will serve on the Parking Appeals committee and junior Christoph Schartner will serve on the Sustainability committee.
The next Student Senate meeting is Thursday, Nov. 9, at 3:45 p.m. in Hoover 212. This will be the Senior Staff meeting, which is held once a semester and gives the senators the opportunity to ask the College’s administration questions and offer suggestions for how to fix the College’s problems.