Gallery Asked to Step Out at November 11th Senate Meeting

Discussion of Advisors’ Behaviors Reemerges Behind Closed Doors


Shaina Breeden

Senate members get into groups to discuss who is their favorite leader and why.

Bridgewater, Va.- On Monday Nov. 11, there was a senate meeting at 7 p.m. in the Boitnott Room. The meeting started out with a game of kahoot with one question that asked how the players were feeling. The senators then split into groups of five where they explained who their favorite leader was and why, and then the best answer was shared with everyone. 

President of the Student Body, junior McKenzie Melvin, then mentioned that Harrisonburg/Rockingham County Social Services needs volunteers for Saturday with Santa on Dec. 7. There are multiple positions to be filled, including elves and cookie makers, and transportation could be provided for any interested in attending, which a few senators expressed. 

Some other topics brought up at the beginning of the meeting were that Gotcha!, which is a game held on campus, was discussed at a prior committee meeting and will be held in the spring. It was also brought up that Eagle Productions (EP) is still looking for teams for the Lip Sync Battle, which will be held on Friday, Nov. 22, from 8 to 10 p.m.

Melvin then explained that there have been various points of contention raised in recent senate meetings. Two were EP’s role in the senate and the senate’s statement of concern. 

Melvin said they are things that seem to be discussed at every senate meeting without coming to any solutions. To alleviate this issue, Alex Costner, Director of Student Conduct and Restorative Practices, was at the meeting to be a neutral third party to help the senate facilitate a discussion about those items. 

The room was informed that the discussion would not be specifically about these points of contention, but it would be about figuring out why the senate is having a hard time communicating. The goal of the discussion was to determine how the senate could communicate better when working through these points. 

While the points were brought up because they are part of the issue, the senate would not be deciding anything about the issues. 

First, Bridgewater College junior and senator Tatiana Williams explained EP’s role in the senate, answered questions about EP’s role on the senate and how EP works with the senate. 

Bridgewater College senior and senator Luke Morgan then read the statement of concern, which was signed by 22 senators, that addressed the behavior of the advisors at the previous senate meeting on Oct. 28. 

The gallery was then informed that since the discussion of ways to improve communications in the senate was not something the gallery should be concerned with, they would be asked to step out until that part of the meeting was over. At this point in the meeting it was 7:30 p.m. and the gallery was asked to step out. The gallery was allowed back in an hour and twenty minutes later — at 8:50 p.m — though many of the audience members did not return. 

The first subject brought up after the gallery was allowed back in were the bylaw amendments from the last senate meeting. Bridgewater College junior and senator Parker Estes suggested the amendments be tabled and given to the Constitution Committee. This was later passed by the senate. 

Morgan then said that he thought having residential town halls may be a good way for senators to connect with and hear the concerns of their constituents. The senate discussed the issue and Melvin decided to call forth a temporary committee to plan a meet-and-greet for the senate. This led Bridgewater College junior and senator Daniel Jones to emphasize the importance of taking committee responsibilities seriously and making sure senators are showing up to committee meetings. 

The last issue the senate talked about were the area reports. Some of the issues brought up were insect infestations in the cottages, the speed queen laundry app not working in the Wampler Towers or Wright Hall, reports of theft in Wakeman and Wright Hall and wanting more clarification of tailgating rules coming from the Stone Village as there were reports of rules being enforced that students were not aware of. 

For example, a police officer told a group of students that shotgunning beers was not allowed, but the tailgating rules state games that enhance consumption of alcohol are not allowed, which led to confusion over what “shotgunning” is classified as. More specifics on what the rules cover would be valuable to not just the residents of Stone Village but all students of drinking age. 

The gallery had nothing to contribute during open forum, thus ending the meeting.