Student Senate Meeting Minutes (1-16-24)

Posted By: Ann Merchlewitz On: 2024-01-18
Posted On: 2024-01-18

Student Senate Meeting Minutes 


Meeting was called to order by President Maggie Newhouse at 7:00 p.m.

Members Present 

Mario Rodriguez Gomez, Connor Close, Alison French, Sidney Polzin (Jack Hurley), Abbie Stigler (Lars Bergo), Jacob Fiala, Abby Nosbisch, Caden Rodning, Emma Mara, Teagan Phillips (Claudia Stein), Melanie Winzenburg, Emma Gerdes, Maggie Newhouse, Paige Morris, Sam Frick, Joel Tranel, Maddi Clark and Ann Merchlewitz 

Members Absent 

Mallory Von Tersch and Gabe Potyk

Members Excused 

Noah Kiemel, Leah Parker, Nick Kiemel and Jack Campion 

Fashion Club

  •  In attendance: President and Treasurer 
  • They want to bring in people who have the same interests 
  • Diversify club activities 
  • Bring in fashion shows, clothing drives, etc. 
  • Bring in a version of the Met Gala 
    • Give people the opportunity to have their red carpet spotlight
  • Want to showcase people on Instagram for different options for fashion 
  • Goals: 
    • Bring more people in that has the same interests 
    • Sense of belonging and community in hobbies 
  • Sign up showed interest from many people 

Resolution 002: Booths For the Cardinal Club 

  • Motion to bring from the table: Caden Rodning 
    •  Second: Jacob Fiala 
    • Votes: 
      • For: 12 
      • Against: 0  
      • Abstain: 0 
    • Motion passes 
  •  Joe Piscitiello  has asked for 2 new sets of booths for the Cardinal Club. He is asking for $5,200 to cover this cost.
    • The new booths and tables for the Cardinal Club will benefit the student body of Saint Mary’s University in a couple of ways. One of the first ways is that by putting these new booths in the alcove, we are creating more seating for the Pub, which is becoming an issue.
    • The second benefit to the student body is that the booths already in the Cardinal Club are in high demand. Thus, purchasing more can provide more optimal seating for the students here at Saint Mary’s University. 
  • Motion to Adopt Resolution 002: Caden Rodning 
    • Second: Connor Close 
    • Votes: 
      • For: 12 
      • Against: 0 
      • Abstain: 0 
    • Resolution Passes 

Pickleball Special Request

  • Hosting a Pickleball tournament 
  • Gift Cards will be for the winners of the tournament 
  • T-shirts will be provided for the club members 
  • Pizza, oranges, and Capri Sun drinks 
  • 75 official members 
  • Move to Fund at the suggested amount of $430 Connor Close 
    •  Second: Mario Rodriguez Gomez 
    • Votes: 
      • For: 12  
      • Against: 0 
      • Abstain: 0 
    • Motion Passes 

Guest Speaker – Father Burns 

  1. What are the core responsibilities of being the President of the University? What are your daily tasks, and how do they change throughout the year? 
  • He reports to the Board of Trustees 
  • He works with his cabinet 
  • He fundraises for the University 
  • He is the Chair of the MIAC 
  • He is the representative for the MIAC at the NCAA
  • Part of the Minnesota Private Colleges Council
  • His daily tasks are meetings, dinners, and lunches 
  • He works with all of the graduates of all three locations 
    • Winona, 
    • Rochester, 
    • Minneapolis 
  • In the summer he works with the cabinet to focus on the upcoming year for all schools 
  •  How do we align ourselves with other colleges to thrive?  Are there other universities with which we should have deep connections, such as our current alignment with the Mayo Clinic School of Health?  Geospatial Services can help bring in others because our school is strong in this area.  Our strong character, education, and virtues help bring the best students to our school.
  1. What is your vision for the university’s future? More specifically, where do you see it in five years? 
  • The college was operating at a deficit, so we needed to transition to our priority studies as a university. 
  •  We are now leaning toward incorporating the liberal arts programs into our core curriculum without it being a major. 
  1. How can the Student Senate increase its engagement and effectiveness with the rest of the student body? What can the student body do to help improve the campus? 
  • Having people throughout campus engaged in extracurricular activities during the week and on weekends is essential for community building. 
  • The way we as senators present ourselves throughout campus will encourage others to be united and bring more people in. 
  1. What are the next steps for the university? 
  • Fundraising is a gift, but they want to see investments within the campus.
  • Some funds depend on what the donors want it to be allotted to or what the campus needs. 
  • Working with these donors, organizations, and families is key to helping advance this campus. 
  • At the end of March, we have a family donor who will pay off our debt, but we still are in a deficit. 

Executive Board Reports 

 Maggie Newhouse, President

  • Make sure to take care of your friends, roommates, and teammates, especially during these cold nights. Make sure everyone gets back to campus safely. 
  • Thank you for all your work with resolutions and for being resilient in learning the proper terminology for our senate meetings. 

Sam Frick, Vice President of Academic Affairs  Nothing to report. 

Joel Tranel, Vice President of Financial Affairs 

  • If you are a club or board member of a club, please reach out to myself and the Student Senate to request a form. Forms are due February 18th at 11:59 
  • We will have another Academic Request to hear next week. 
  • Budget season will be here before we know it; familiarize yourself with some of the Bylaws that pertain to the Finances. Begin to start thinking about questions you want to ask clubs. 

Jack Campion, Vice President of Public Affairs  Nothing to report 

Nick Kiemel, Vice President of Campus Affairs  

  • Will be passing Chartwells survey off to Paige as it falls more under Student Life. 

Paige Morris, Vice President of Student Affairs 

 Events for the week 

  • Wednesday
    •  Snowdaze: Backyard Brushes (Have to sign up before)
    • Men’s Basketball vs. St. Johns @7:00pm 
    • Listening to Reality: A Survivor Story @7:00 in Aquinas 200 
  • Thursday 
    • Sound of Freedom Showing and Discussion @6:30 in Aquinas 200
    • Snowdaze: SAC summer pool party @7:00 
    • Snowdaze: Live and Loud @7:00 ○ Friday 
    • Glow Yoga: @7:00 in Dance Studio 
  •  Saturday 
    • Snowdaze: Cross Country Skiing @1-2:30 
    • Women’s Basketball @1:00 
    • Women’s Hockey @2:00 
    • Mens Basketball @3:00 ○ Sunday 

Noah Kiemel, Vice President of Media and Communications 

  •  We held an election today to fill the At-Large Election and Senior Class Officer spots. New Senate members will be named soon. 

Maddi Clark, Vice President of Administrative Affairs

  • Sophomore Class Officers are doing a 50/50 Raffle at the Basketball game tomorrow so please show up! 

Leah Parker, Vice President of Multicultural Affairs

  • Green Bandana Project is hosting a meeting to make ribbons to sell for events this weekend. They are also tabling at all events to raise money for future events and to sell their club t-shirts.


 Ann Merchlewitz, Advisor 

  •  If you have been assigned to a committee, please respond to the emails and attend meetings. 
  • Please do not use the hallway behind the Cardinal Club to shorten your walk. It is only available to employees. 

Class Officer Reports 

Freshman  Nothing to report 

Sophomore  Nothing to report 

Junior  Nothing to Report. 

Senior  Nothing to report 

Other Concerns: 

  • Talk next week about hosting an event since we now have snow.
  • Niki did not approve the paper towels in laundry rooms for all residents 
  • Students are being ticketed for not parking in their lot when no spots are available. If this could be discussed with Security, that would be appreciated.