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Senate discusses response to marathon tragedy

Maddie Daly | Thursday, April 18, 2013

Student body president Alex Coccia discussed the student government’s plans for responding to the Boston Marathon bombings at Wednesday’s Senate meeting.

“We did the vigil on Monday night as sort of an immediate response, and I thought it had a good turnout,” Coccia said.  “Since then we have gotten in contact with people at Boston College, trying to coordinate with their plans.”

According to Coccia, Boston College planned a walk, called The Last Five Miles, and immediately got over 14,000 attendees on their Facebook event.
“They were asked by the police to postpone the walk because of the possible danger and the fact that Boston is still technically a crime scene, but when we do find out the date we are planning to do a similar walk in conjunction,” Coccia said.  

Coccia said he has spoken with the coordinators of The Shirt unveiling event on Friday, and they have planned a moment of silence or something similar to respect the victims, also in coordination with Boston College.

The group then discussed ideas to bring up at the upcoming town hall meeting.  Student body vice president Nancy Joyce opened the floor to discussion.
“One of our main items in our platform is this idea of trying to hold several town hall meetings throughout the school year as a way to connect students with administration,” Joyce said.  “I think sometimes there’s a disconnect between students and the administration on issues that are really important, so it will be helpful to talk with them and give them some feedback.”

Joyce said one of the topics they would like to bring up is food services, ranging from dining hall menus to grab-and-go to meal plans and swipes.
Club Coordination Council (CCC) president Maggie Armstrong said she would like to learn more about campus expansion.

“I’ve heard rumors about building new dorms out on library fields and McGlinn fields,” Armstrong said.  “I think a lot of students would be interested in learning how the University is planning on growing and changing.”

Senior class president Carolina Wilson said she also had concerns about housing as well as overcrowding on campus.

“I would be interested in having more senior housing,” Wilson said.  “Not necessarily specific housing but maybe nicer opportunities for seniors who want to stay on campus.  Also, study space is a huge issue because it is almost impossible to find a table at the library especially during finals week.”

O’Neill Hall senator Kyle McCaffery said he thinks student relationships with hall maintenance staff should be addressed.

“I think it is important to develop a better relationship between students and the hall cleaning staff,” McCaffery said.  “Maybe we can establish a sort of staff appreciation day.”

This idea was widely supported by other senators who had ideas such as collecting money for a Christmas bonus, having students clean for the maintenance staff for a day and cooking for their staffs.

Welsh Family Hall’s senator Sophie Manley brought up the issue of inconsistencies between women and men’s dorms.  

“Between girls and guys dorms, with parties and stuff, the standards are not the same at all,” Manley said.  “For girls it’s annoying that we’re held to this high standard, while guys can have crazy parties and not get in any trouble.  For us, it’s one toe out of order and we get in a lot of trouble.”

Judicial council president Michael Masi introduced two nominees for various judicial council positions.

“Kathryn Peruski is being nominated for judicial council vice president of elections,” Masi said.  “If approved, she will be in charge of all elections, including freshmen class council, student body and hall elections.  

“Secondly, Erin O’Brien is being nominated for judicial council vice president of peer advocacy, an organization that oversees 12-15 peer advocates,” he said. “She will be responsible for training these advocates and working closely with the office of residence life.”

Both nominees were approved by the Student Senate.

Contact Maddie Daly at [email protected]