Session of January 19, 2017
January 19, 2017
Minutes Recorded by: Alisa Wilson, Senate Secretary
Guests: Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students – Kristy Morgan
Call to Order at 11:01 am
Opening Prayer by Senator Martin
Approval of Minutes
Sen. Hartsfield: I was supposed to say “with the PPT’s approval.”
Senator Foster added to the roll.
PPT Largent: Makes nominations to committees: Senator Jobe to Student Life.
Sen. Hartsfield, Student Life: We applied the stickers purchased last semester to movies we bought in the student worker office in ASC. Stickers have been given to the library to put on the books we bought. The meeting with UPD about security cameras will not happen this week but next week. Talk to your floors about it and bring their opinions back this coming week.
VP Goode: I know a lot of you have done this. There are a lot of opinions. Represent those different opinions from your floor.
Senators Kleoppel and Vanecko added to the roll.
Sen. Butz, FAC: We had our first meeting this week. The deadline for club budgets to be turned in is February 3rd. Presentations will be Saturday, February 11th. We’re hoping to push through legislation so a bill is ready to present that following Thursday, dependent on time constraints. I believe we will have some colored flyers at the new clubs meeting. If anyone wants to put one on their floor, let me know and we can get one to you. They have the dates and contact information. Any club that needs to make a presentation will receive an email from us.
Resignation letters read from Taylor Hopkins, Sean Ross, John Rudy, and Christian Von Qualen.
Kurtis Naumann removed from Senate due to no longer attending LETU.
Sen. Yohe: Tabled amendment brought to the floor: “Constitutional Bylaws Amendment for Clubs and Organizations.” This clarifies that a residential community cannot be given funding. It’s possible for a club to be based on members of a floor, but funds from Senate will not be given to the floor itself.
Sen. Martin: Bill brought to the floor: “Historical Records Preservation Bill of Spring 2017,” allocating $80 from the Senate General Fund to purchase binders and page protectors for historical records.
Sen. Malinowski: Are any of the records not pages but actual objects?
Sen. Martin: The rest of the records already on the archives shelf are all in binders.
Sen. Davy: Is this fiscally responsible with the large project we’re funding later?
Sen. Butz: I believe so.
Sen. Rose: Approximately how many binders and page protectors will be needed to accomplish this goal?
Sen. Martin: I asked Wanda Davis for quotes using our contract with Staples. We will need approximately 400 page protectors (two pages per protector) and three binders for three years’ worth of records. There is a small buffer but I do not expect the purchase to go over about $70.
The bill passes.
VP Goode: We will be back in Heath Hardwick next week.
Sen. Hoos: The chairs are awful in here.
Sen. Malinowski: It makes us feel like a small, insignificant group.
Sen. Imken: I prefer these chairs because when I move my chair and the guy next to me moves his chair, it makes the next chair move.
Sen. Butz: If we could plan ahead and use both rooms, this room would feel better and more senatorial. For now though I think it would be a better idea for this semester to stay over there.
VP Goode: I did ask Event Services how feasible it would be to use both rooms, but they said it is quite a task to move this divider. We’ll have elections debates in here though at night. Chief Schultz is speaking next week. Thank you to everyone who came to the IMPACT informational meeting last night.
Kristy Morgan gives presentation about structure and purpose of Student Life. Student Life includes Residence, Health Services, Career Services, Achievement Center, leadership programs, conduct processes, Title IX, compliance, academic integrity, recreation programs, student activities, Cornerstones, care team, and new student orientation.
Sen. Malinowski: I noticed that Spiritual Life was not listed. Where is that and what’s the status of the new campus pastor?
Dean Morgan: I chair the campus pastor search committee. It’s likely that Spiritual Life will come to Student Life after we hire a new campus pastor.
Sen. Jim-Daniels: Is LeTourneau’s alcohol policy under student life?
Dean Morgan: It’s under the university. It’s bigger than me.
Sen. Davy: Along those lines, there’s been concern expressed that a lot of times there are verbal or unspoken rules that don’t show up in the handbook. We’re expected to know rules that aren’t recorded. In the handbook, it doesn’t say anything about switching rooms and there seems to be a hard and fast rule about having applications in and where you’re allowed to live within own dorm.
Dean Morgan: I don’t know specifically about that situation. There are policies in place.
Sen. Martin: What is the handbook revision process? How can we be involved?
Dean Morgan: Over the summer. I’m responsible for a portion of it. A lot is farmed out to other specific areas. The Student Life committee that has students on it is responsible for reviewing major changes. If there are specific issues, I would receive that information from you. Just let me know about typos or unclear parts. We try not to make changes during the year. You can talk to me about policies or the specific person who owns it.
Steve Conn: There is a difference between policy and procedure. The handbook is more of a contract with students and talks about things like code of conduct. Procedures are not typically in the handbook to allow for more flexibility. If you have questions about procedures, ask the Student Life office and we’ll refer you to the right person. When we get a good question, that’s an opportunity for us to write things down. The handbook is code of conduct and contracts, not an operations manual.
Sen. Hoos: Do you know anything about Provost Mason staying in his new position? Will you be finding someone to replace him?
Dean Morgan: Yes, he is permanent provost. We are hoping to fill his old position, but right now our focus in on the Deans of Engineering and Business & Technology, and Campus Pastor. Be in prayer about those positions.
Sen. Foust: My floor has had a lot of concerns about floor culture. They feel it’s been under attack from administration. What is your view on floor culture?
Dean Morgan: No, I don’t hate floor culture. I think there are ways that floor culture hinders us organizationally, but sometimes we let it. Events like Fall Fest and Campus Crash were student led. Those are YAC programs where students are making the decisions.
Steve Conn: I remember those conversations specifically. I did not want to get rid of Fall Fest. Many students said only a couple floors were involved and the majority were not. When they killed Fall Fest they replaced it with Spirit Week. Student leaders were saying I don’t think these events are working, let’s try something else.
VP Goode: These are excellent questions for the debates in a couple of weeks.
Pres. Smith: Both of my sisters were RAs in two other Christian universities. Neither had a static floor set up. It is not normal. So there are things that are hindered by having strong floor culture, but we do it because we see it as valuable to us. There were student led decisions for the purpose of uniting the university and students as a whole, not to divide up floors. There were things that were still floor oriented, but it was a matter of how much you did it floor oriented. Fall Fest was not very well attended. If it is something you cared about, bring it to the debates. Those events are led by students so you can decide who and how those are done.
Dean Morgan: There has been an interesting social phenomenon over the last two years. March 2014 was when the student center opened. Since then, people aren’t hanging out as much on their floors. People don’t necessarily feel like they have to stay on their floor to hang out with people. It became well utilized very quickly. Some of that could be bad for floor culture but good for the university.
Sen. Hoos: The opinion I’ve heard is it’s one or the other: school culture or floor culture. As school culture has been encouraged, floor culture has been attacked. All the events seem more organized to the entire school.
Sen. Jim-Daniels: People forget that it’s YAC putting on these events.
Sen. Vanecko: Note the people who are on YAC and the people who are attending the events. Students hear things from the past. The newer students don’t know that’s what they’re missing, so they are more interested in community events.
Steve Conn: I don’t think there needs to be animosity. The number one complaint I receive in IMPACT interviews is community between floors. This has always been an expressed need. There’s not a reason why you can’t value both, but you only have so much time and energy. We have not made policy decisions, things have just naturally shifted.
Pres. Smith: Older students also didn’t have as many social media accounts. Consider the fact that individuals have more technology pulling them away.
Sen. Hoos: It doesn’t help though that floors are getting moved around all the time.
Sen. Malinowski: D2 and D3 have a strong bond. Since the D1 split, many of the D1 North residents complain about no community.
Dean Morgan: Floor culture is becoming kind of stagnant. There is unoccupied space that we need to fill up. It doesn’t make sense to pay an RA to take care of very few people.
Sen. Butz: When I got to Mabee 1, I saw pictures and heard about how floor culture used to be very strong. I found out that a lot of the floor culture was primarily based on relationships with floor parents and our sister floor. Coordination with floor parents broke down because we got an RA who had no relationship with the floor parents, and our sister floor was moved out of ELH, causing bitterness toward the school.
Dean Morgan: There has been more of a push for university community and culture.
Sen. Walters: A lot of it also is students are notorious for assuming the worst. When students see something that’s important to them going away and they don’t know why, they assume the worst.
Sen. Jim-Daniels: Our floor was displaced last semester but we survived through it. We lost our sister floor, but we started a petition and it resulted in them reopening it back up.
Dean Morgan: We really are on your side. We enjoy seeing you happy and succeeding.
Sen. Pop: I am a freshman, so for me coming to the school I didn’t know anything about the floor community. It is all about the RA that does it. The floor has to participate and talk to the RA. I see our RAs together all the time planning events. Communicate with your RA and chaplain and tell them what you want.
Meeting Adjourned at 12:10 pm