Deborah Stendardi, vice president of Government Community Relations, spoke to Senate explaining the role of her department on campus. Government Community Relations works as a liaison between RIT and the various levels of government in our nation. They maintain a strong relationship with these governing bodies in order to work on the university’s behalf, such as securing funds for new buildings and facilities on campus.

Natalie Hurd, fourth year Industrial Engineering major and president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), followed Stendardi. Hurd explained that SAAC works for the interests of student athletes at RIT, ensuring their needs are met. Hurd exemplified ways that SAAC works to ensure student athletes’ well-being, including New Athlete Orientation, the Tiger Den program and Tiger Tag. Every RIT sports team is also participating in Adopt-a-Family. With 23 sports teams at RIT, Hurd notes, 23 families in the Rochester community will have a better, easier holiday season thanks to SAAC’s work.

Cynthia Chu, third year Animation major and president of the ALANA (African, Latin, Asian and Native American) Collegiate Association (ACA) and Student Government (SG) representative for this association, spoke about the importance of ACA on campus. The ACA focuses on three pillars: Empowerment, Advocacy and Family. Among the undertakings of ACA are its restructuring of its United Leadership Council, the creation of ACA Study Jam and an ongoing effort to bring the Black Lives Matter flag to campus for Black History Month. ACA has also been working with Dining Services at RIT to ensure they are receiving feedback from ALANA students regarding specialty meals.

Lucas Granan, second year Computer Engineering major and KGCOE senator, is in talks to introduce a coffee location for the convenience of RIT’s engineering students.

Liz Vosburgh, third year Marketing Major and SG director of Student Relations, presented a proposal to change the bylaws of SG. The position of director of Clubs and Organizations has been dissolved, with its responsibilities being split between director of Student Relations and Director of Finance. Vosburgh also looked to change the bylaws of the operation of the Club Review Board, also in accordance to the dissolution of the director of Clubs and Organizations position. The final vote to approve or deny these bylaw changes was tabled until the following meeting.

Marc Billow,fourth year Networking and Systems Administration and Housing and Dining Committee chair, closed a petition regarding the ability to donate Dining Dollars to the RIT Foodshare. Due to specific tax regulations, he explained direct donation of Dining Dollars was impossible; however, he encouraged students to purchase food with their Dining Dollars and donate this food to the Foodshare.

Billow continued, addressing a petition to allow Taco Bell to accept Tiger Bucks. Billow explained that Dining Services was always open to new businesses accepting Tiger Bucks; however, after being approached on a few separate occasions, Taco Bell has repeatedly denied the request.

Liz Vosburgh retook the stage to further address the Tiger Bucks issue. She proposed creating a TigerBucks Expansion charge. She then delegated this to Student Affairs Committee, in tandem with their already-existing “Student-Friendly Rochester” charge, combining the two. Now, the Student Affairs Committee will be working to not only secure student discounts, but also expand the usage of Tiger Bucks throughout the community.

Marc Billow spoke again, regarding the “Let Us Loft” petition found on PawPrints. He stated that RIT Housing no longer allows lofted beds due to safety concerns. He did, however, note that Housing allows for bed risers up to eight inches, and suggested students purchase these instead.

Billow then explained the new housing policy going into effect this month, reiterating that RIT will not be stealing anything, but will simply be storing away any fire hazards that students can retrieve later. He further stated that he has spoken with Student Auxiliary Services in hopes of including an SG Representative in their talks going forward to ensure they hear the students’ voices, as well as making sure language used in official statements is both friendly and helpful.

Senate closed with recognition of The Order of the Cardboard Knights as an official club at RIT. The PawPrints Release Party will be on Nov. 8 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. in the SAU to celebrate an update to the PawPrints service. There will be temporary tattoos, stickers, t-shirts, post-it notes and more, as well as tables explaining PawPrints, SG and how students can get involved.