What is Senate?

Senate is the Legislative body of the Student Government Association, which was initiated at Mary Baldwin in 1969. The main goal of the legislative branch is to make and amend laws and constitutions. A constitutions is “a written document that establishes the rules and principles” for groups and organizations on campus.

The purpose of Senate is to allow the students to have a voice, to discuss student issues and topics which include: passing legislation like club constitutions, talking about campus issues like campus lighting and addressing general campus concerns brought to our attention by voting and non-voting members of Senate including the gallery.

Gateway Representatives and Hall Presidents act as direct representatives of their respective residence hall, house, apartment, or commuter student body. Their duty is to express the ideas, concerns, and suggestions of their peers and to vote in accordance with such ideas, concerns, and suggestions.

In order to represent such ideas, concerns and suggestions, Gateway Representatives and Hall Presidents need to report information and discussions from Senate back to their peers in order to find a collective agreement about ideas, concerns, and suggestions that can be presented and followed through with during the next Senate session.

Senate business can only be conducted when there is a quorum of one half plus one of the voting members (Gateway Representatives/Hall Presidents). Non-Senate members may also propose legislation, though it is the decision of the President whether or not the issue will be discussed in Senate at that time, move it to an agenda on a future Senate, or move it to the appropriate Co-Chair. Senate may also vote to not discuss the proposition or move it to committee.

A majority rule or vote is needed for proposals to pass through Senate.  Once passed, a proposal is then taken to the Executive Committee of the Student Government Association for approval. The Executive Committee has two options; approve the proposal, which will then become a bill, or veto the proposal and send it back to Senate. The Senate may override the veto of the Executive Committee by a three-quarters vote. The proposal would then be a bill and it becomes a policy of Mary Baldwin College.

In essence, Senate is the main vehicle for change on campus by providing direct communication between the student body and the administration of Mary Baldwin College.

It is the voice of the students.

President – Rebecca Stearn
Secretary – Kathryn Laflin
Treasurer – Anneliese Slaton
Parliamentarian – Neneh Sheriff