By Thomas Holmes
The Student Government Association (SGA) hosted its first Senate meeting for the 2019-2020 school year. The meeting took place on Monday, September 30 in the Pryz great room B.
The Senate meeting started off, as it always does, with the pledge of allegiance, prayer, and a time for public comments. Brendon Dillon, SGA president, was the first to speak. He addressed the Senate and the crowd and thanked them for their interest in the betterment of the university. Monica Wallace, SGA treasurer, and Megan Walsh, SGA secretary, welcomed the crowd and the senators to the first meeting.
Once the public comment ended, Kaitlin Shanahan, SGA vice president, led the process of swearing in the senators for the academic school year.
The newly sworn in senators began voting on committee chairs; the confirmation of the freshman Treasury Board appointee, Tyrica Edmonds-Miller; and the first piece of legislation of the year, resolution 001 presented by Senator Chris Carey from the School of Arts and Sciences.
The resolution intended to keep the Kane Athletic Center open later on weekends. Carey mentioned that several of his constituents had raised the issue of the Kane closing too early on weekends. He also compared the hours to fitness centers at other D.C. schools like Georgetown and American which stayed open later than the Kane center on weekends.
Senator Carey’s resolution passed with a vote of 21 yeas, 2 nays, and 1 absent. The two senators who voted nay did not voice any concern about the resolution during the deliberation period.The resolution will now be sent to the Academic Senate for another round of voting.
Throughout the deliberation for each item on the agenda, one thing became clear; the senators in SGA took their job seriously.Vice-President Shanahan presides over twenty four senators voicing opinions and raising thoughtful questions all while following the precise rules written in SGA’s bylaws.
Senate meetings follow a strict procedural process that takes a while to learn. With a large number of new senators, the meetings will take some time to move at the same pace as they did at the end of the last academic year.
Senator Gerald Sharpe of the class of 2022 reserved time at the end of the meeting to share some data that he had collected from student leaders over this past summer. At the heart of Sharpe’s findings was the realization that the Senate at Catholic University and SGA as a whole is meant to serve the Catholic University community.
“Although the team of leaders we have here in the Senate is great, it won’t mean much if we cannot produce work that benefits our community,” said Sharpe.
Sharpe is a good example of how dedicated some of the senators are to Catholic University and how the senators can go above and beyond to help students have a sense of community on campus.
The Senate will meet again next Monday, October 8 and students are encouraged to attend.