Senate began with birthday wishes for Student Government (SG) Advisor David Bagley, who also serves as the assistant vice president of Student Affairs at RIT.

Kate Mason, director of Parking and Transportation, briefly announced that RIT is looking to improve transportation services around campus and the surrounding areas. RIT’s contract with RTS, the current off-campus shuttle system, is expiring soon and the administration is currently weighing the pros and cons of allowing the expiration to play out and switching over to an RIT-controlled shuttle system. This would allow for more customization and control over the route and pickup times. When asked if RIT had any plans to expand their shuttle system to nearby off-campus apartment complexes such as The Lodge, Mason stated that while no plans were in place at the time, the office was open to taking it into consideration.

Sue Provenzano, assistant vice president of the Office of the Provost, as well as Nicole Boulais, associate vice president of the Senior vice president’s Office, opened discussion on a proposed change to RIT’s C.11 Policy: “The Policy with Respect to Demonstrations,” which was last revised fall of 1975. They looked to gain the endorsement of SG. Provezano and Boulais also look to bring this proposal to Staff Council and Academic Senate as well.

Provenzano and Boulais first outlined the major changes into the policy, including a name change to “The Policy on Freedom of Speech and Expression,” and then discussed the proposed change of lessening restrictions on free speech on campus.

The current policy is available to read here.

The new, proposed policy is available to read here.

The two then explained that, because RIT is a private institution, the university has legal flexibility when it comes to enforcing the First Amendment. They also detailed the moral gray area this can lead to, with the priorities of keeping students safe and promoting a positive learning environment being in potential opposition to the protection of free speech..

After detailing the general alterations to this policy, SG vice president Bobby Moakley opened the floor to discussion, encouraging the approximately 30 students in attendance to voice their opinions. This discussion continued until the end of Senate, whereupon the issue was tabled until the following meeting. Moakley further encouraged RIT students to reach out to their SG representatives to voice their concerns, as it will be these representatives that will be voting to either endorse or not endorse the proposal.

You can find contact information for your representatives on SG's website.

Senate ended with the “Of The Month” announcements. The Committee of the Month was awarded to the Academics and Co-ops Committee. Representative Student Organization of the Month was awarded to the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Finally, SG-er of the Month was awarded to Emilyn Nguyen, College of Health Sciences and Technology Senator.

Senate meets Fridays, 2:30–4:30 p.m. in the Bamboo Rooms above the Campus Center, and is open to all students.