The first ASSOU meeting of spring term began with Mindy Welsh calling the meeting to order at 6:01 pm. One of the night’s first votes was tabling the minutes from a few sessions ago, voting nine to none with one person abstaining. Another item on the agenda was talking about the recent changes to the pass/no pass options at the next Senate meeting.
ASSOU’s new President, Violet Crain, is picking up where former president Andrew Zucker left off by working with communities and continuing the ASSOU Text Share program, which helps increase textbook accessibility on campus. Violet Crain is also planning two COVID-19 town halls in the future to help out the campus community, the first of which will be happening on April 23 at 12:30. An email with information was sent out to the All Students email on April 9. Crain is also working on interviews for new hires for ASSOU.
Michael Surgeon, ASSOU’s new vice president, is also working on projects, like upgrading InsideSOU and planning a Cinco de Mayo event with the Latino Student Union.
Jana Baker, part of the Judicial branch, discussed housekeeping items, particularly making sure people in the government update their calendars and have good attendance at meetings.
With nothing from the cabinet, the meeting moved on to Administration. After discussing the upcoming President’s state of the university address, which, as of writing, has already happened, Danielle Mancuso discussed House Bill 3294. House Bill 3294 requires every public Administration to provide free feminine hygiene products in women’s bathrooms. However, at SOU, all bathrooms, regardless of gender, will have feminine hygiene products.
The next item on the agenda was OSPIRG news and events, presented by Lisa Torstenson. Currently, OSPIRG is in their recruitment drive, and they are also planning for Earth Week, which will feature a state-wide Youth Climate Summit on April 22. During this time, OSPIRG will also be joined by their other chapters from the University of Oregon and Lane Community College and other youth climate groups from across Oregon.
After that, NRHH and RHA, presented by Rachel Baker, the Campus Life, and Housing Senator. For RHA, they are working on going to a local leadership conference later this term and working with NRHH leadership in planning the yearly University Housing Awards. For NRHH, they are planning their spring service project.
Athletics was next, and Tara Othman, the Athletics and Recreation Senator, had news to share. The biggest news was that SOU Athletics switched their COVID-19 testing to a rapid test, so instead of getting results after a few days, they get their results within a few minutes. Also, on the day of the ASSOU meeting, it was the day Raider Stadium opened for spectators, where “Women’s Soccer had their last home game and ended with a win,” she said. Masks and social distancing are still expected at the stadium.
In addition, Women’s Softball is on a winning streak, and Women’s Wrestling had two athletes, Esthela Trevino and Sienna Ramirez, compete in the Olympic Trials two weekends ago. Sienna Ramirez ended up placing in the top six in the trials.
Next was Clubs, lead by Phoenix Ramirez. He talked about the club leadership summit that took place this past Friday and New Student Orientation and how they are looking for students to help out. There were no new Committee updates.
During this meeting, there was also discussion about old news, specifically how the past few terms were untraditional. The Senate met over spring break, where former ASSOU President Andrew Zucker gave his farewell speech and formally stepped down from the role. Also, during that spring break meeting, ASSOU decided to table the Vice Speaker elections until the next meeting. There were two nominations for the position, Rachel Baker and Lenora Owens.
Since there were no other nominations, Rachel and Lenora both said their piece as to why they should be elected Vice Speaker. After they both presented their speeches, the Senate took a vote, and Rachel Baker won the position. Monica Benton, from the Judicial Branch, swore her in.
Next on the agenda was interviewing for the International Senate seat. The Senate then moved to an executive session to interview the applicant.
After the executive session, the next line item was the reconstruction of ASSOU, presented by Chief Justice Jana Baker. This proposal included combining different senate seats and, and as of March 9, ASSOU voted to move forward with these reconstructions. This reconstruction was announced in an All Students email sent out on April 8. These proposals presented at the meeting were not concrete, and ASSOU is looking for student feedback.
There was also a discussion about an All Student email about the International Senator position, goals for the rest of the term, and vaccine appointments for student employees at the open forum.
At the end of the meeting, it was announced that the tutoring center is hiring interns for the math, science, and writing departments. ASSOU also announced that there would be an all ASSOU meeting this coming Tuesday. The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 pm.