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Student senate passes constitutional amendment to simplify procedure

| Thursday, September 1, 2016

Following an all-student government retreat before the start of the school year, the Notre Dame student senate formally met Wednesday for the first time this academic year.

Student body vice president Becca Blais opened the conversation with the introduction of an amendment to the student union constitution.

“[The amendment] essentially suspends some of the more cumbersome parts of parliamentary procedure … essentially, it gives me the opportunity to use discretion when using parliamentary procedure, thus sort of streamlining the entire senate process,” Blais said.

Blais said the suggestion resulted from discussions she had this summer with members of student senate.

“What’s happened in the past is that some people in the past have learned it really well and used it against people who don’t know it really well, which has silenced discussion because the people that did know it well would be able to shut down those that didn’t with the rules,” she said.

Parliamentarian Monica Montgomery said she would closely monitor the utilization of parliamentary procedure, even with the passage of the amendment.

“If I do see that people are being silenced, or it’s getting out of control, you know, I think it would be beneficial to keep it condensed,” Montgomery said.

McGlinn Hall senator Maria Palazzolo echoed their sentiments.

“I think this is a good idea, because parliamentary procedure really has basically held back some of our meetings, so overall this seems like a good idea,” Palazzo said. “I think because a lot of us are new, it could really streamline things, which would additionally be beneficial.”

Senate approved the amendment, with one abstention.

Additionally, Flaherty Hall senator Jade Martinez was nominated to the position of Campus Life Council (CLC) liaison.

“I like the idea of having really close contact with the powerful people who do things,” Martinez said. “The CLC discusses some really important topics … on campus.”

Student body president Corey Robinson said the CLC is important in getting initiatives passed up to the administration.

“If anything is passed in the CLC, Erin Hoffmann Harding has to look at it and respond within seven days, which is pretty big,” Robinson said.

Martinez was unanimously confirmed, and said she was excited about the opportunity.

“I’m excited to talk about sexual assault prevention and how that’s handled, and overall, just campus safety,” Martinez said.

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About Rachel O'Grady

Rachel O'Grady is a senior Political Science major living in Ryan Hall and is currently serving as an Assistant Managing Editor. Hailing from Chicago (actual Chicago, not the suburbs) she's been a Cubs fan since birth.

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