September 9th, 2021
Minutes Recorded by: Chairman Gabriel Willis, Imposter Secretary, and occasionally Senator Rubingh when Chairman Willis needed to speak.
Visitors: President Joseph Ryan, Caleb Livingston, Dean Scott, as well as Senators Langlee, Ko, Naranjo, Oden, Branch, Berry, Drebot, and Hill who were sworn in during special business.
Call to Order at 11:04 AM
Senator Smith opens in prayer
Approval of the Minutes
Senate Mother Interrupts via Online
PPT Moyes: Good morning everyone, hope you're doing well. Our stand-in secretary Mr. Willis, thank you for that. Hopefully, our new secretary should be back soon. One thing on meetings, committee chairs please connect with your committee and set up meetings to get stuff done. The committee chair's meeting will be tomorrow at about 7-8 PM. Please send in bills to the new PR&R email.
Chairman Willis: Where is this meeting going to take place?
PPT Moyes: The chairs meeting takes place in the YAC cave.
Chairman Willis: Where is the YAC cave exactly for the benefit of the general public?
Chairman Allen: Financial Appropriations Committee. All the club funding is in... hopefully. Our meetings with clubs are Saturday. We will be getting the club funding bill written around the week after next once we've processed it and clubs will be funded.
Chairman Willis: The Buzz Word is now our official publication source. As you can see by our new senators, the propaganda is working. I am not just recruiting senators for the sake of recruiting them—these people will be future leaders in their workplaces, churches, non-profits, and much more. I believe this will prepare them well for that and it is far more than just about the senate. It is also about serving the student body, but we are growing Christian leaders here that will shape the future of our nation and our world.
Chairman Crowder: Over this past week, the Student Life Committee has got a lot on its plate. Senate Ice Cream will be at the 4-5 PM slot. Please come to help with the setup at 3:45 PM. We're also taking care of the Glaske situation. Another thing coming up is our homecoming. We will be helping with the ice cream part of that. On Friday from 5:30 - 6:30 PM. It will be at the ASC patios. ISN is doing pretty good—we're about to start doing more food runs and activities now that we have more senators. The sustenance act has indeed been passed. Floors can get snacks, so please poll your floors regarding what snacks they want and tell me.
VP Avent: We have new senators to swear in.
Senators Langlee, Ko, Naranjo, Oden, Branch, Berry, Drebot, and Hill are sworn in.
PPT Moyes: I've talked to a lot of you before this session. Drebot and Hill will be in GoPro. Naranjo, Oden, and Branch will be Student Life, and Senator Berry will be in FAC. For those of you who have not been assigned roles yet please come talk to me afterward.
Senator Bright: Would you be willing to update your discussion with the Associate Dean Dr. Matthew Green regarding the Glaske rooms?
VP Avent: Our discussion was brief, but he has seen this before and is on our side.
Senator Bright: Did we officially pass this on to the Student Life Committee? I can help look into this.
President Ryan: We're going to talk to
Chairman Willis: I met with the people in charge of EMS yesterday. I have found their policy and can speak to these people on behalf of the senate in an unofficial capacity. It is worth noting if it is individual students, what times, groups of students, etc.
Senator Bright: I believe it is groups of students in the evening. The problem isn't that students can't get the stuff they need, just the rooms are locked and the students want the space to study.
VP Avent: We have a lot of different groups working on this, we should consolidate
Chairman Willis: So is it groups of students?
President Ryan: Let me restate, it's groups of students that want the space to study after 8 PM and the rooms are locked
Chairman Willis: Classrooms that are not in use should be locked according to policy. There are some resource rooms that should be unlocked all the way until midnight—which is when Glaske itself is locked. Classrooms must be locked when not being used for official university events. Leaving them unlocked leaves a liability for the university and a potential for unsafe situations. There's not a lot of supervision late at night in Glaske
Senator Bright: A potential solution would be to allow UPD to unlock classrooms for groups of students. Have the classrooms open to groups, and that way you don't have to have a 72 hour in advance
Chairman Willis: I move that we discuss this in the open forum.
Senator Eaton: Any news about the letter?
VP Avent: Not currently.
Chairman Allen: I motion to bring a bill to the floor.
The Homecoming Fabulous Fashion Bill of Fall 2021 is brought to the floor and read
PPT Moyes: If there is any further discussion please bring it up now.
Senator Rubingh: What will it look like?
Chairman Allen: It looks pretty good.
PPT Moyes: I motion to bring this bill to a vote.
The Bill passes
Chairman Crowder: Senate Friday Ice Cream is happening from 4-5 PM on Friday in ASC hallways. We will be doing vanilla and drumsticks this week to help mix things up. Every other week we'll switch between vanilla-chocolate and vanilla-drumsticks.
Chairman Willis: If anyone wants to publish articles on the senate website, let me know.
VP Avent: I will be re-sending the career fair volunteer email since we have new senators. Secondly, you can sign up to work at homecoming and get a free t-shirt as seen in the previous bill.
Senator Eaton: The emails will be sent when by you VP Avent?
VP Avent: As soon as possible.
President Ryan: Last Friday, I met with the interior decorating design team and the flags in the library will be going up next week.
Thunderous applause ensued.
Chairman Moore: The athletic director got traced so he'll be back on Monday. If anyone wants to be in my committee we will be meeting with him Tuesday.
Senator X: Library hours should be extended at least two hours. I've heard that funding was redirected to athletics.
Senator Hofer: The student life committee is working on this. The redirection of funds to athletics is not accurate. We are currently working on that.
Chairman Crowder: Speaking of which, I have received an email from Dr. Ware. I will be reviewing it and announcing the results of my investigation. Actually, I'll bring up the email right now. She hasn't been feeling well but now that she's back she is addressing this issue. She is grateful for the senate's investment in the library. She understands the importance. She is speaking with Dr. Ben Caldwell about the request to see if there is a viable solution. He is currently out of the office but she will be touching base with him when he gets back.
Senator Hill: What is the proposal that y'all have put forth?
Chairman Crowder: Our initial proposal is asking if we can help fund employees or find out if there are any ways we can help extend those hours with volunteers.
Senator Eaton: Where are we about talking about the specifics of that proposal? If we propose directly helping then they may take our funding and put it into the library for future semesters too. We also don't want to become the new library.
Chairman Crowder: We've been addressing this situation, it sounds like she's asking the Provost what the situation actually is. I'll make sure to send a clarifying email regarding that situation. We don't want that to happen, we do want to help but we can't just become a library task force.
Chairman Willis: Everyone had budget cuts.
Senator Rubingh: Why did everyone have budget cuts if our tuition went up?
President Ryan: I believe this is a decision by President Mason.
Dean Scott: In general, LeTourneau lost money for a couple of years and made negative revenue. We've been wise in having some savings stacked up, but we were operating at a deficit that was not good but was manageable. We are doing better now and have had better enrollment. We've also got this whole online program that has not been doing well lately and has not contributed the revenue we expected. I don't want to alarm anyone but we've had some mean years so we want to get out of the red and back into the black. That plan involves cutting spending. It's been working and we are on track. I feel good about some things that have been done. It costs a lot more than your tuition to run a university. We get donors, side-hustles, and a lot to operate a campus. It's practically a tiny city. We're looking toward better years in the future.
Senator Rubingh: Thank you, Dean Scott.
Dean Scott: Sometimes Mike Hood just throws a dart at a board to decide the budget [Secretary's note: This was a joke as derived by tone]
Senator Berry: Regarding the library, we have a student center where you can reserve places for later hours.
Senator Hofer: While that is true, I have personally had times when all those are full. At that time, Glaske is a better place or just works better as a place.
VP Avent: The Glaske rooms being closed and the library with shorter hours seem to have compounded the problem.
Chairman Willis: The director of conference and event services loves the students and has offered to talk with us, even to come to the senate. One solution is having the workers at the student center set up tables because the student center is quiet at those times. We want to have students have places to study
President Ryan: What about having a student worker in Glaske?
Chairman Willis: We haven't thought of that, good idea. I'll discuss it with the director of Conference and Events Services.
Senator Bright: This could be a cheaper way to open more classrooms and the library. If we have a student worker that could provide accountability that would be good.
Chairman Willis: I motion to refer this matter to the Student Life Committee (SLC).
Dean Scott: I know the SLC has a lot of work, I think LeTourneau should raise several hundred million dollars so that we can become completely independent in terms of financial aid from the Federal Government. [Secretary's Note: I wish this was not a joke]
PPT Moyes: Considering that the time is about 11:50 AM, I motion to recess unless there are any further comments.
Session is recessed 11:54 AM