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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Student Senate asks Faculty Senate to expand definition of excused absence

Senator+Palmer%2C+and+off-campus+senators%2C+makes+suggestions+to+fellow+senators.
Photo by Photo by Edith Anthony

Senator Palmer, and off-campus senators, makes suggestions to fellow senators.

Hippies, nurses and supervillains (and at least three people dressed in Christmas sweaters) unanimously passed three pieces of legislation on the Student Senate’s Halloween session: one addressing excused absences and two altering senate debate and amendment rules.
Speaker Pro-Tempore Tate Banks, Academic Affairs Chair Jacob Powell and Finance Chair Mathew Walther presented a bill proposing rewrites to current legislation to expand the definition of a university excused absence. The bill asks the Faculty Senate to include job interviews, immigration proceedings, other legal proceedings and research events.
“Student Senate has passed legislation supporting the changes two times so far and each time it’s been voted down by faculty,” Banks said. “It really looks like the stars are aligning this time.”
The senate also passed two acts that change the way it will debate resolutions.
First, Senate passed the Legislative Revision Act to ease the process of amending legislation before the Senate. Previously, any change to a piece of legislation, even something as simple as a grammatical error, had to be passed by an amendment, which requires parties to debate for and against the change. After the passage of this act, the Senate will be able to fix mistakes with only verbal confirmation from an author.
Secondly, the Senate passed the Debating by Legislation Authors Act. In the past, bill authors have not been able to debate for or against their piece of legislation. This change removes this rule so that authors can be active participants in debate.
“During the last meeting, we realized that legislative authors were not allowed to debate for or against their own legislation,” said Karina Wilson, Rules and Regulations chair. “We thought this was inserted into the code as a loophole so that people who wrote things that may have been controversial couldn’t/weren’t allowed to speak up for their legislation. We don’t like that, so we want people to be able to speak on behalf of something that they have written.”
The Senate did pause for somber moments, with Academic Affairs Chair Jacob Powell delivering a tribute to the 11 victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.
“I’m an engineering student, and all my professors teach that there’s always a solution to a problem, but this week it sometimes feels like there’s not a solution,” Powell said. “The only thing we can do as a community is move forward.”

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