SenEx Meeting Minutes

Meeting Details:

Fiscal Year: FY2024
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Zoom
Minutes Recorded By: Caty Movich
Minutes Approved on:


Attending Members

  • Brian Moss
  • Chris Wallace
  • DaNae Estabine
  • Josh Arpin
  • Sam Brody
  • Teri Chambers
  • Trina Weekly
  • Victor Gonzalez

Other Attendees

  • Caty Movich
  • Suzanne Scales
  • Luke Stanford
  • Jeff Chasen

Approval of Previous Minutes

Meeting minutes from Feb. 13, 2024. Motion to approve by Sam Brody. Seconded by Teri Chambers. Motion passed unanimously.


Student Senate Report

Reporter: DaNae Estabine (Student Senate Vice-President)

Student Senate elections have begun. Student Senate merch has launched in the bookstore. DaNae and Turner Seals are working on various projects. More information on the move-out donations project can be shared in New Business.

Josh asked whether anything that Student Senate may have learned at Big 12 on the Hill can be implemented this year?

Student Senate has shortened the election cycle from 3 months to 1.5 months. Ours remains one of the longest election cycles in the Big 12. Students tend to forget about the election by the time the ballot opens.

Staff Senate Report

Reporter: Chris Wallace (Staff Senate President)

Staff Senate is collecting nominations for elections. We have one candidate for President-Elect. Elections will begin in about 3 weeks.

Faculty Senate Report

Reporter: Victor Gonzalez (Faculty Senate President)

Victor attended the second Campus Constituent Surveys Implementation Team meeting. Progress is still ongoing with the KBOR faculty award. Faculty Senate has been filling senate and committee vacancies. Faculty Senate has accepted nominations for Faculty Senate and will hold elections soon.

University Senate Report

Reporter: Josh Arpin (University Senate President-Elect)

Governance has received many comments on the upcoming University Senate discussion of the ethics amendment petition. Josh has been working on gathering information about statewide Gen Ed and Core 34. The purpose of Thursday’s meeting will be to ensure that we are all on the same page and to discuss the petition. We have some examples of potential policy language, but that would not be voted on until a later meeting.

Josh has also been coordinating with Victor to fill faculty vacancies.

Unfinished Business

Excused Absences Policy & Survey

An initial idea was to offer 3 different surveys. The first survey focused on faculty and GTA understanding of the policy and its implementation. We envisioned the second survey to be more focused on navigation and challenges, while the third survey would be more student focused.

There has been some movement towards implementing a testing facility to assist instructors in managing excused absences. Josh asked if we still want to implement more surveys, since most of the issues seem to be with implementation rather than with the policy itself. If so, how will the survey change with the implementation of the testing facility?

The University Senate Athletic Committee has also worked with some smaller-scale data gathering from the School of Business. Josh presented this data at a recent committee meeting. Both Victor and the University Senate Academic Policies & Procedures (AP&P) Committee have been analyzing the faculty/GTA survey data. AP&P is charged with evaluating the impact of the policy and making recommendations, and there was some discussion in their last meeting about implementing another survey.

Caty suggested that we coordinate a meeting between the bodies and people involved (SenEx, FacEx, Athletic Committee, AP&P Committee). There was consensus to move forward with this plan; Caty will coordinate.

From Josh’s data and observations, it seems that most of the excused absences being granted have to do with illness and injury. Some individuals have suggested that the policy be split into two parts. A common misunderstanding is whether instructors can ask for documentation, including for non-illness/injury.

Josh asked DaNae if she had heard of any issues and challenges from the student side. DaNae has not heard anything in a while.

University Senate International Affairs Membership

Josh reviewed the IA Committee’s recommendation to redistribute its membership equally across constituencies, which would require an amendment to the University Senate Code (CODE). Once we develop the amendment language, SenEx can vote at its next meeting for University Senate to take it up at its March meeting.

There is also the broader question of restructuring the memberships of all University Senate standing committees. Some committees that involve academic policy may still require greater faculty representation. We can work up some specific numbers and discuss them further at the next SenEx meeting.

New Business

Student Senate Move-Out Donation Program

Student Senate is working on creating a move-out donation program and has had conversations with Student Housing, the Provost’s Office, and folks from Douglas County. People have been supportive of the program. One aspect of this project would be to create a sustainability committee through University Senate. DaNae would like to discuss with SenEx the logistics of creating such a committee and what people would like its charges to be.

Luke Stanford, Student Senate Coordinator of Staff, presented more information on this project. During move-out week, our campus generates tens of thousands of pounds of disposed items that are still usable. Turner and Luke ran a pilot of this project during their freshman year at KU and presented it at Big 12 on the Hill. Other Big 12 schools have similar programs that we can utilize as models.

Our proposal involves two aspects. The first is an on-campus donation event called Jayhawk Junk, timed around the end of the academic year when students move out of the dorms. Anyone on campus would be able to drop off usable items at a designated location, which would be stored in surplus facilities over the summer. We have talked with Student Housing and KU Surplus and are still ironing out the details. The second aspect, Freestate Finds is timed around the leases of off-campus housing. This would be a 9-day event divided into 1 donation day and 8 sales days. Anyone in the community could purchase items donated via Jayhawk Junk or Freestate Finds, which would be discounted compared to local retailers. Prices would be decreased incrementally throughout the event until they are free on the last day. All the money raised during this event would be donated to the student organizations volunteering their time.

We have spoken with the City Manager and the County Administrator, who are both very excited. We will be speaking with the city’s Sustainability Director and the county’s Sustainability Manager next. Our goal is to ensure that this program continues beyond one year. We hope that creating a committee focused on sustainability would help institutionalize the program. Luke asked for feedback and discussion.

Chris mentioned that KU used to have a similar program, but Luke pointed out that it currently only collects clothing and non-perishable foods. He provided Iowa State’s comparable event, Rummage Rampage, as an example of what he hopes the new program could be.

Chris and Teri voiced concerns about the staffing and storage space limitations of KU Surplus. Luke has had conversations with staff at KU Surplus and Grounds. Funding for staff, facilities, and security would be provided by Student Senate. There is a space available from KU Surplus, and the Provost has also offered a space to use.

There was discussion about creating a new University Senate Sustainability Committee, which would require an amendment to the CODE. The policy would specify membership, and SenEx would set the committee’s charges. Luke and DaNae will put together a proposal of membership and charges to bring back to SenEx.

University Senate Planning & Resources (P&R) Committee Charge

Josh reviewed the chair vacancy and introduced the recommendation about the broad planning committee for the Gateway District Project. He will send SenEx further background information about this and put it on the agenda for the next meeting.

SenEx - Feb. 27, 2024

Member for

1 year 7 months
Submitted by Caty Movich on