student senate graphic

Graphic by Noah Weaver

NC State’s 100th session of Student Senate held their sine die meeting of the 2020-2021 academic year on March 31. 

The meeting began with a report from Student Body President Melanie Flowers, a fourth-year studying communication, regarding the new student security fee and a meeting with stakeholders of the University. Discussion was posed on how to disperse the increased fee of $30 among University operations. Flowers also shared that the Board of Governors has additional meetings planned in order to allocate the fee before the start of the upcoming school year. 

In his report, Student Senate President Coleman Simpson, a second-year graduate student in agricultural leadership, acknowledged the irregularity of the 100th session of Student Senate and thanked the Senate for its service.

“Thank you all for a great session; it has been a lot, and I know this is not what any of us expected,” Simpson said. “I remember, almost a year ago today, sitting down and saying ‘Cool, we’re going to do the first two meetings on Zoom, it’ll be fine, fall will be in person,’ and fall was not in person. We’ve gotten through it.” 

The UNC Association of Student Governments (ASG) Delegation Report by delegate Henry Swartout, a third-year studying history and Arabic, included that the NC State delegation of ASG received the ASG Delegation of the Year Award. Additionally, the report stated Flowers was awarded the Eve Marie Carson Servant Leader Award for her dedication to student advocacy.

Following the readings of several pieces of legislation, the Senate voted on recipients of three awards: Outstanding New Senator, Outstanding Senator and Outstanding Committee. The winners of these awards will be announced at the Student Government (SG) Session 100 Celebration on April 7. 

As the meeting came to a close, the floor opened up to comments and announcements from members of the Senate. Graduating senators shared fond memories of previous sessions and gave thanks for the perseverance of the Senate and its accomplishments in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the closing roll call, Flowers addressed the Senate for the last time. 

“We’ve advocated for students through a global pandemic, Title IX changes, visa policy changes, in-person to virtual operation changes, systemic racism in our country and within our University, white supremacy, hate crimes against Asian and Pacific Islander communities, a politically polarized campus community, a domestic terrorist attack, mental health challenges and many other crises that touch our constituents and continue to impact all of our lives,” Flowers said.  “I’ve witnessed our organization fight and advocate for all students. I could not be more proud of the 100th session Student Government.”

Legislation Passed

R 170 - Triangle World University Games Bid Endorsement Act - Passed

R 170 was created to support the bid to bring the 2027 Summer World University Games, the second-largest Olympics sports event in the world, to the Triangle. In addition to showing support for the bid, this legislation calls for copies of the resolution to be sent to university leadership, student body presidents of colleges and universities near the Triangle, the UNC ASG and the North Carolina Bid Committee. This legislation passed unanimously with 47 affirmative votes and zero negative votes.

R 169 - Kipling Quote Change Act - Passed

This legislation was created to call for the removal of author Rudyard Kipling’s quote “For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack” from university branding due to Kipling’s history of racism, anti-semitism and misogyny in his works. This legislation was created in support of the University’s values of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. After mixed debate, the legislation was passed with 24 affirmative votes, 17 negative votes and three abstaining votes. 

FB 149, FB 150, FB 151, FB 167, GB 157 - VSA Funding Act, SFS Funding Act, Student Government Sustainability Department Funding Act, SG 100 Celebration Act, Update Unbudgeted Funds Breakdown Act - Passed

These various finance bills received a motion to be blocked together and were all voted upon at the same time. The legislation passed with 41 positive votes and zero negative votes.

FB 155  - Pack Essentials Position Funding Act - Passed

FB 155 was created to support Pack Essentials by hiring a NC State graduate student to provide support to students at risk for or experiencing food and/or housing insecurity. FB 155 passed with 40 affirmative votes and zero negative votes.

GB 148 - The Refining The Executive Branch Act - Passed

This legislation was created to amend the Student Body Statutes to correct attendance expectations for the executive cabinet as well as stipulations of powers between the student body president and student body vice president. GB 148 passed with 42 affirmative votes and zero negative votes.

GB 164 - Student Government Diversity and Equity Advancement Act - Passed

GB 164 was created to update the Student Body Statutes regarding diversity, equity and inclusion within SG. This legislation placed emphasis on SG’s duty to represent the entire student body because its makeup doesn’t always accurately reflect the makeup of the student body. GB 164 passed with 43 affirmative votes, zero negative votes and one abstaining vote.

GB 165 - Advisors to the Senate President Update Act - Passed

This legislation was created to amend the Student Body Statutes to accurately reflect the advisor provisions of the legislative branch and adjust the way advising structures are handled. GB 165 passed with 45 affirmative votes and zero negative votes.

GB 160 - Chief Justice Duties Act - Passed

GB 160 was created to amend the Student Body Statutes in order to provide the chief justice with more responsibilities in order to take the weight off of other roles, as well as allow the chief justice to be more involved. This act passed with 44 affirmative votes and zero negative votes.

FB 179 - AKPsi Finance Allocation Act - Passed 

This act was created to allocate $2,555 to the Lambda Omicron chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi to fund pins, professional development initiatives and promotional material, as long as the fraternity follows proper and relevant COVID-19 guidelines. The legislation passed with 44 affirmative votes and zero negative votes.

R 178 - The North Carolina Food Safety and Health Science Funding Act - Passed

R 178 was created to request the North Carolina General Assembly to explore funding for food safety items to students who attend Title I schools and requests that the North Carolina General Assembly continue to support all existing food safety and health science education initiatives. This bill includes the provision that copies of the resolution be sent to appropriate figures within the North Carolina state government. R 178 passed with 44 affirmative votes and zero negative votes.

SR 163 - The 100th Session Sine Die Act - Passed

SR 163 was created to finalize all reports and conclude the 100th session of the Student Senate. This act passed with 43 affirmative votes and zero negative votes.