Resolutions passed in the Student Association Senate give GW students a voice in administration decisions.
The resolutions, known as the “sense of the Senate,” are one way senators push issues into the campus spotlight and inform students and administrators, said undergraduate Sen. Phil Meisner (ESIA).
A resolution begins with ideas gleaned from the senators’ constituencies to implement change in University policies. Issues debated by the Senate can range from something that affects one student group to a problem that affects the entire student body.
A senator drafts a resolution, which is brought to the full Senate to be named and forwarded to the committee that deals with the issue.
Committee members analyze the resolution to make choices about amendments and other changes, said undergraduate Sen. Alexis Rice (CSAS), who chairs the Student Life Committee.
The committee sends the resolution back to the floor of the Senate for a general body vote. A majority vote is necessary to pass the resolution.
Resolutions inform administrators about ideas and changes that students want, but that the Senate does not have the means to implement, Rice said.
“The resolution is directed toward the administrators that can
directly affect the outcome of the resolution,” SA President Carrie Potter said.
Mike Gargano, assistant vice president for Student and Academic Support Services, said he tries to keep informed of the issues that make it to the Senate.
“I try to go to as many (SA) Senate meetings to hear the discussion that is generated from a resolution to get a general feel for what is going on, and not just what the final writing on the paper is,” Gargano said.
“When the Senate brings me a resolution, I try to work with both sides in order to facilitate what everyone wants to bring about,” Gargano said.
During the past few months, several resolutions have been sent to the Senate floor. The most recent resolutions were ones that protested an increase in graduate fees and proposed increased hours for Gelman Library study lounges.
University Librarian Jack Siggins said the library staff considers student input but has to balance these requests with resource availability.
The resolutions may be implemented after many of the senators who propose them have graduated, but Meisner said the resolutions give current and future students a voice
“Although it may take a lot of time to implement the changes we are mainly making suggestions for the improvement of GW,” Rice said.