Changes in the Student Senate and an addition to the Executive Cabinet.
BY AUSTIN EMERY, CLERK OF THE STUDENT SENATE
Editor’s Note: This article was written by the Clerk of Student Senate on behalf of Mason Student Government to relay information on recent legislation. Fourth Estate does not officially endorse formal activities or initiatives held by Mason Student Government.
On Jan. 25, the 44th Student Senate met in Merten Hall, room 1201 to vote on two pieces of legislation. The legislature also confirmed new members of the Student Senate and the Executive Cabinet. A new Chair of University Academics was also elected after Junior Nishok Chitvel resigned from the Student Senate. Freshman Griffin Crouch was elected as his successor.
Chair of University Academics Election
Freshman Griffin Crouch ran unopposed and won with 19 votes and one abstention.
R. #39 A Resolution to Support the Afghan Student Mentorship Program Documentary Screening
The resolution passed with 21 votes in affirmation and one abstention.
B. #27 A Bill to Allocate Funds for Mason Lobbies
The bill passed with 20 votes in affirmation and one abstention. It was amended once in committee and once in the general body meeting.
Appointment of June Johnson, Ty Carson, and Jawad Hosseini to the Student Senate
All three candidates were confirmed with 19 votes in affirmation and one abstention each.
Appointment of Manal Khalid to the Executive Cabinet
The candidate was confirmed with 22 votes in affirmation and one abstention.
In his candidate statement, Crouch spoke on his plans to revitalize University Academics, a department that two senators noted have been inactive lately. Crouch spoke about wanting to bring back “Dinner with Deans”, a recurring event where students can meet with all the deans for the university’s schools and colleges to talk about all sorts of academics-oriented issues.
The Student Senate voted to approve Resolution #39: A Resolution to Support the Afghan Refugee Mentorship Program Documentary Screening and Bill #27: A Bill to Allocate Funds for Mason Lobbies.
R. #39 formalizes the organization’s support for the Afghan Refugee Mentorship Program’s screening of their new documentary “Desperate” on Jan. 30.
B. #27 was amended to allocate $4,487 in transportation expenses and $562 for scarves for Mason Lobbies. Mason Lobbies is a big event scheduled for Feb. 15 where members of the Mason community are given the opportunity to travel to the State Capitol in Richmond to practice lobbying. Registration for the event closes this week on Jan. 31.
Sophomore Chair of Government and Community Relations Ilia Sheikholeslami amended B. #27 to allocate funds for three buses instead of just two. Despite the faculty advisor Lauren Kaplan insisting that the Student Senate should only allocate money for two, Sheikholeslami and the rest of the chamber voted in favor of the amendment. Sheikholeslami insisted that Student Involvement and University Life had arranged an agreement to fund the third bus, which would accommodate for a potentially higher turnout.
The Speaker sent two new pieces of legislation to committees so they could be voted on and revised before they are potentially sent back to the full Student Senate next week.
R. #40 A Resolution to Support the Mental Health Language Playbook is a resolution written by Senior Senator Saemi to spread awareness of the Mental Health Language Playbook, a guide backed by the Mental Health and Well-Being Task Force (MHWBT), a task force commissioned by former Provost Mark Ginsberg and University Life Vice President Rose Pascarell.
R. #41 A Resolution to Promote the Town Hall is a resolution written by Freshman Caden Garofalo for Student Government to officially recognize, support, and promote a town hall that University President Gregory Washington will attend to converse with students on Feb. 7 at 1-2pm in The HUB Ballroom.
The chamber also confirmed the appointment of three new student senators: Freshman June Johnson, Freshman Ty Carson, and Junior Jawad Hosseini. The three were all confirmed with 19 votes and one abstention each.
Lastly, the Student Senate confirmed the appointment of Manal Khalid to serve as the Undersecretary of Government and Community Relations for State and Local Affairs for the Executive Cabinet. She was confirmed with 22 votes and one abstention.
Mason Student Government meets every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2024 at 4:30 p.m. in Merten Hall, room 1201. All are welcome.