Aug. 22, 2014

Snow days cause two senate meeting cancellations

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January 30, 2014

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The snow that has fallen over the last few weeks caused Student Assembly meetings as well as classes to be cancelled.

As a result of the last two snow days, the SA Executive department has cancelled one meeting. The senate, which has not met since the spring semester began, cancelled two meetings.

Since the Executive department was unable to hold their regularly scheduled meeting last week, SA President Chase Koontz ’14 said secretaries sent in electronic updates and held a few small in-person meetings concerning initiatives that would take place the following week.

The Executive department was not affected by the second snow day this week and held a formal meeting Monday. Koontz explained that no key initiatives were greatly affected by the delays.

“Fortunately none of the key initiatives during the first couple of weeks back required any bills to be passed immediately. The pending bills are for initiatives that will take place over the next couple of months,” Koontz said in an email. “The Student Assembly’s primary responsibility at this time is to work towards passing the budget and that process is right on track thanks to our Finance Chair, Joe Soultanis [’15] and the members of the EAC.”

The senate was not as fortunate with regard to snow days. Their typically scheduled meetings on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. were cancelled both weeks due to the College closing at 6 p.m.

Both times the regular senate meeting was cancelled, members attempted to reschedule. SA’s Code dictates that two thirds of all members must be in attendance to ascertain quorum — the minimum number of senators needed to be present in order to conduct business, so any attempt to reschedule can be exceedingly difficult.

“We need two of every three senators that have been inaugurated … [meaning], out of twenty people, we needed 14 [senators to be present],” Senate Chairman Will McConnell ’14 said.

Despite attempts to reschedule, the senate was not able to find a time for a make-up meeting due to the additional closing of the College Wednesday night. Because not enough senators were available, the senate was unable to  reach quorum.

“Unfortunately it has been a little more difficult for the Senate to work around the snow days because of the timing of the snow days and the requirement for them to meet quorum,” Koontz said. “The size of the Senate makes it difficult to switch up the time of their meetings at the last minute.”

Although the Senate has been unable to meet, senate McConnell said it has not affected the senate’s work.

He explained that the items on the SA’s agenda are not very time-sensitive and have not been too adversely affected. The agenda includes the inauguration of the new senator of the class of 2015, the Media Council Contract Act, the Religious Diversity Act, the Transportation Department II Act, the Spring Break Transportation Act and the Neighborhood Council of Williamsburg Support Act.

“It was annoying. Everything was out of our control. The school was closed, and we rescheduled [the meeting], and then it was closed again,” McConnell said. “We couldn’t really have done anything about that. It does not affect our work.”

The agenda will be handled at next week’s senate meeting.

McConnell explained that he directed the finance committee to meet in spite of cancellations to handle Activities and Events funding requests.

According to McConnell and Koontz, these missed sessions have not conflicted with the SA’s Code.

If all goes according to plan, the senate will have its first meeting of the semester Tuesday.

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Madeline Bielski

Madeline Bielski

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