ISS talks parliamentary procedure

At Wednesday’s student senate meeting, ISS welcomed Ken Andersen to give a presentation on proper parliamentary procedures.

The Urbana-Champaign Senate parliamentarian began the meeting by handing out a packet with “everything you ever wanted to know about the rules of the parliament.” Andersen explained key points of the Robert’s Rules of Order handbook, which ISS uses as a guideline for assembly procedure.

“My real goal is to make you comfortable in participating in the student senate,” he said. “We can do two things (in the senate): debate, talk about it, have a hissy fit, if you will — or we can begin the process of amending it.”

Andersen also stressed the importance of equality in the senate.

“Feel that you are empowered to be an important part of the senate,” he said. “That’s what I want you to take away from this presentation.”

Brock Gebhardt, student body president, thanked Andersen for coming and described his presentation as very insightful. He advised senators to hold on to the chart for future reference.

“As a new senator, I have no idea how to go about partaking in this kind of atmosphere,” said Naveen Vuppuluri, senator and junior in LAS. “(Andersen’s) clarification on the procedures gave me an overview and insight to the process.”

During the meeting three students were sworn into the student senate: Max Ellithorpe, Jordan Morris and Lauren Eiten. It was noted in the minutes that these senators had been participating in voting procedures before being initiated into the senate — an oversight by the executive board.

The senate also approved several committees at the meeting. The nominations for the commission on constitutional reform were recognized and approved with unanimous consent. In light of events that happened at last week’s meeting, in which the committee rules were changed to allow for senate approval, many senators expressed their appreciation to Gebhardt.

Damani Bolden, senator and junior in ACES, thanked the president for his transparency on the matter.

“Thank you for your serious consideration on the issues that were presented during the previous meeting,” he said. “I consider it a great slate of nominations for this commission.”

The committees, which make up the senate, were approved and set as well.

An important topic for discussion was a resolution to include student organizations within the assembly meetings as ex officio members. Author of the resolution, Shao Guo, senator and vice president-internal, said these members would be given free speaking privileges. Carey Hawkins-Ash, senator and graduate student, clarified that public members can currently come to meetings and be yielded by senators to be given the rights to speak on any particular subject.

Max Ellithorpe, senator and graduate student, moved to include the Religious Workers Association and the Illini Secular Student Association to the resolution. The senators debated the idea.

Boldon also expressed his opinion on the subject.

“If you are committed to your voting unit, then you will be reporting back to said unit,” he said. “There is no need to appoint ex officio members if we are doing our job thoroughly.”

The issue was sent back to the committee of internal affairs for further research and consideration.

The approval for action on a GPAC website was also a topic of much discussion. This resolution proposes a sub-domain for the graduate organization to post such documents as “The Graduate Survival Guide.” In opposition, some members of the senate believed that a tab on the ISS website would be sufficient. After much debate, the senate passed the resolution for the creation of the website.

Corinne can be reached at [email protected]