About 70 Senators shut their laptops and turned off their cell phones at Tuesday night’s Senate meeting.
After a student complained about Senators being on social media at last week’s meeting, Sen. Anmol Shah (Impact, District C-06) stood up at public debate to ask Senators to shut off their devices.
“I told everyone out loud that this is something that’s going on, because when we do public debates, people come out and they’re spending their time talking to us, and it’s our duty to listen to them and give them our undivided attention,” Shah said.
Shah said during the meeting she didn’t see any Senators on their laptops or phones after she asked them to put the devices away.
“I was actually very surprised at how many people did it automatically,” she said.
The Senate also unanimously passed two Public Debate Acts, which were code revisions to the rights to debate and the procedures. At last week’s Senate meeting, about forty people signed up for public debate.
The acts were amended so Senate President Ian Green (Impact, Business Administration) doesn’t consistently have to ask students if they should yield their time to the chair during public debates, Sen. Branden Pearson (Inspire, Lakeside) said. With the new change, remaining time will be yielded automatically.
Every student is guaranteed one minute to speak. Students can be given up to five minutes by their peers or by members of the Senate. If a student has excess time, they’re required to give it to the Senate President or the person running the meeting, Pearson said.
“Essentially, to avoid the Senate President asking ‘Do you yield your time to the chair?,’ we revised the code so it automatically is yielded,” he said.
At the meeting, Sen. Maria Arboleda was unanimously appointed to take over the Graduate seat, and Sen. Lisette Pellot was unanimously appointed to take over the Liberal Arts seat.