Sean Zimmermann reports from last night’s hot and heavy ESC meeting.
Study Days madness never, ever ends: ESC passed the Academic Calendar Proposal that would begin school before Labor Day. Jim Applegate, Education Committee Chair, commented to Whitney Green that he based his proposal to remove the election day break on the
Facebook petition, Petition to Change Winter Break Calendar Facebook Group, which focused on the late end of finals and the study days problem. When Applegate explained that faculty want to be with their families during the final week of summer, Green countered that students want to be with their families during fall break. According to Green, the talks were “one-sided,” and her meeting with Applegate and Sue Yang became a “fairly heated discussion,” as the education committee has not “respected the voices of students.”
We’re gonna get a little bit technical here, so non-SEAS pals, keep calm and carry on! The University Senate Elections Committee, after reviewing the Engineering Graduate Student Council’s request to split the two senate seats between the graduate and undergraduate schools, has postponed Engineering Senator elections until the fall, and has requested ESC hold a referendum to see if its constituency would oppose the split. ESC opposes the split, as covered earlier.
Engineering Senator Rajat Roy said that the proposal would reward graduate students who are unable to motivate their own constituency, which has 600 more students than the undergraduate population. ESC also expressed concern that the split would decrease collaboration between the two councils, and feels that the split would decrease the pool of exceptional candidates. Last year, one of the two senate seats was held by a grad student.
The main question now, as explained by Rajat, was if the senate has the authority to force the ESC to hold a referendum. According to President Whitney Green, “they have no authority,” and the action by the senate, imposing an action on a class council, sets a “dangerous precedent.” Additionally, to get the community informed for a referendum, which would be held during the general election in two weeks, Chris Elizondo commented that “we’d have to dorm storm like we have never dorm stormed before.” Halp!