Last Student Senate meeting features praise, bill votes

April 16, 2010

By Katy McDowall


At Student Senate's last meeting of the year Thursday night, Interim President David Garland thanked student government officers and senators for all of their hard work.

"I think it's been a good year," Garland said. "I have enormous respect for your student government officers."

Garland said it has been a fabulous year all across the board.

"We see it nationally in sports, but I also see it in what our professors do, but that doesn't always make the headlines, and also what our students do," Garland said. "This is just a fabulous school."

At the meeting, Student Senate passed SR 57-21, a bill proposing that the Baylor administration consider repairing and/or replacing elevators in poor condition to provide students, faculty and staff with safe facilities.

"There are several elevators on campus that are pretty much inadequate," Senior Senator Keely Terrell, who authored the bill, said. "A lot of times they're really slow, a little bit shaky or their doors don't close all the way."

The bill was based on responses to a survey in which 71 percent of students reported that they had encountered problems with an elevator on campus and 81 percent reported that they felt there were elevators on campus in need of repair or replacement, according to the bill.

Terrell said inadequate elevators also pose problems for disabled students, especially when elevators are broken and disabled students cannot make it to class.

Terrell said she heard firsthand from one student that such incidents do occur.

"She took the survey and was telling me that this had happened to her more than once," Terrell said.

The bill will be sent to Don Bagby, Director of Facilities Management, and Kevin Jackson, vice president for student life.

Senate also passed SR57-22, a bill proposing that the Department of Campus Recreation consider expanding the Student Life Center's exercise facilities and aquatic facilities to keep Baylor competitive with other Texas schools.

"I think 96 percent of Baylor students use the SLC in a month, so it's clearly something relevant," said junior senator Ian Reeves, who authored the bill.

Reeves said Baylor does not have an official swim team and expanding the SLC would allow for one.

According to the bill, there is limited space for certain activities such as swimming laps and volleyball, which makes it difficult for students to experience everything the SLC has to offer.

The bill will be sent to Kim Scott, Director for Campus Recreation, Kevin P. Jackson, Vice President of Student Life and Reagan Ramsower, Vice President for Finance and Administration.

Also passed was SR 57-23, which proposes that the Baylor administration should permit military service members the opportunity to make up all work missed due to military order, and that absences incurred will not count toward the university's required 75 percent attendance policy.

"I just want to stress the amount of gratitude for our servicemen and women and we don't need to make it any harder on them," sophomore senator Michael Lyssy said. "They're already doing a great service for us."

The bill will be sent to the offices of President Garland, President-elect Judge Starr, Provost Dr. James Benninghoff, Chairman of the Board of Regents Dr. Dary Stone, and the Chairman of the Faculty Senate Dr. Dennis Myers.

Senate did not pass SR 57-24, the smoking bill which would have proposed creating 11 aesthetically pleasing smoking areas on campus.