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Student Senate’s semester in review: Spring 2021

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Photo via Scout archive

Student Senate has been pushing forward on several plans for the well-being of the student body and faculty.

The organization is going off of last semester’s momentum of increasing the organization’s transparency following administrative decisions. In light of staff changes onset by student body elections, this semester has seen the senate’s current officers continuing efforts to work for the community in a post-COVID-19 campus environment.

Academic affairs

At the start of the semester, academic affairs continued several projects proposed last semester, including setting up a panel for students and professors to discuss online classes, mandatory class recordings to upload for online classes and resolving issues among teachers implementing lockdown browsers for their classes, which was brought to light in a constituency report and proposed to continue through a PR campaign. 

In the following weeks, they moved forward with the directives for lockdown browsers and professor webcams while introducing an initiative for student mental health awareness. This culminated in a collaboration with the mental health organization Active Minds and posts on Instagram compiling tips for midterm studying.

Additional projects included contacting library executive director Barbara Galik to look into adjusting the facility’s hours and looking into move-out dates and graduation dates.

Campus safety and community relations

The committee began the semester with an action plan on achieving the goals set at the end of the last semester, also considering what new rules set in place could entail for student organizations in the upcoming weeks, looking ahead into fall 2021.

Police Chief Brian Joschko was invited as a guest speaker for Student Senate’s Feb. 15 meeting, discussing BUPD’s objectives for diversity and community outreach initiatives.

Following news from the Bradley COVID dashboard that, by Feb. 1, only two out of 500 COVID-19 tests administered on campus came back positive, the committee went forward with an infographic about the end of quarantine, reminding the student body to stay cautious and informing them of the various vaccine options that were increasing in availability.

They also went forward with an initiative to update the location of campus safety polls alongside a menstrual product initiative that was worked on last school year, receiving backing from the Residence Hall Association to implement products in halls alongside all academic buildings.

On the subject of life amidst COVID-19, the committee worked on creating a database of local businesses to attract attention for them among students.

Campus affairs

Campus affairs enacted work on infographics following the positive results of campus restrictions at the start of the semester and reached out to BUPD on student wellbeing. They also oversaw changes to the programming of the alarms in the Business and Engineering Convergence Center (BECC) to mirror the system of the residence halls.

Following this, the committee shifted focus to working on making the BECC available to all students after 10 p.m., also installing a printer that can be accessed by all students. This resulted in a printing station being completed on the center’s second floor.

In light of shifts in the operation of Geisert Hall, which saw menu edits, the firing of all supervisors which led to managers taking on most employer responsibilities and students being responsible for drawing attention to unsanitary conditions, campus affairs began a push for 20 percent of students’ BU Bucks money to be refunded.

Diversity and inclusion

The committee reached out to campus-wide Diversity and Inclusion-based organizations to hear about issues important to students, eventually enacting a calendar of unrecognized holidays. They also contacted Residential Living and Counseling Services regarding diversification.

They also opened applications for a new chairperson of the committee at the semester’s start, and Student Senate’s Feb. 15 meeting saw Cameron Dingerson voted into the position.

Public affairs

Student Senate began the semester with a Black History Month campaign over several weeks, which contained released posters and statements from alumni and Bradley organization leaders.

The committee also began informing students on changes to campus dining hours, alongside spreading awareness on general elections through a slideshow and informational meeting among Student Body Officers.

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