University Senate called an rare executive session leading to an inquiry to review election protocol procedures.
Senator David Sanders motioned to establish an executive session after questioning about the sports ban policy.
In executive sessions or closed meetings, everything discussed within the meeting is kept confidential to protect individual privacy, according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
Sanders said the executive session was necessary because the topic was a “matter of confidentiality, it involves personnel of the Senate and I don’t not believe that the media and guests should be present during this discussion.”
After nearly fifty minutes of deliberation, the Senate voted to establish a commission of inquiry to review election protocol.
According to the Handbook on Indiana’s Public Access laws, "public notice of an executive session must be given 48 hours in advance of every session."
Both Sanders and Joseph Camp, secretary of faculties and professor in comparative pathobiology, interpreted the senate bylaws as giving the senate authority to declare executive session due to its non-government status.
“The University Senate is not a municipal, township, county, state, or federal governing body,” Camp said.
The senate endorsed the Graduate Student Bill of Rights, an aspirational document outlining the rights and responsibilities of graduate students. A revision was added that recommended faculty to work with graduate students to achieve their vision in the document.
There was some contention regarding how document provisions on graduate representation on graduate committees and clear expectations and guidelines for graduate programs overreached on faculty authority.
Taylor Bailey, the president of the Graduate Student Government, reiterated the non-binding nature of the document.
“This is a proactive way inform those students of things to watch out for and hopefully empower them to advocate for themselves when they need it, nothing more,” Bailey said.
Other resolutions passed included a revision to the course retake policy so students no longer need advisor approval and an establishment of an ad hoc committee to provide education on local transportation options and safety.
As the Senate discussed senate reapportionment of 102 seats for the next year, a question was brought up of why there were only sixty or so voting members present.
“The bylaws allow the Senate as a body to remove senators, if they’re unduly absent,” Camp said. “It’s up to you folks.”