Senate Briefings

Last Tuesday, the Student Senate met to hear briefs presented by various on-campus organizations reporting on developments in their departments. The briefs began after newly elected representatives were sworn in.

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and recently appointed Sustainability Director Steven Zavestoski shared his thoughts on how to nurture environmental consciousness. He listed a few proposals designed to promote and foster a sustainability ethic.

In addition to his position as full-time sustainability coordinator, Professor Zavestoski suggested the creation of improved biking infrastructure. He recommended the building of indoor bike shelters and the use of sustainable building codes, specifically the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

Communicating what he called USF’s “unique position” to succeed where political legislation has failed, Professor Zavestoski drew upon the school’s Jesuit roots in portraying sustainability as a type of social justice which he argued would disproportionately benefit the disadvantaged—a goal deeply embedded into the Jesuit ethos.

Cultural Centers
The new director of the Cultural Centers Dawn Lee Tu and Assistant Director Alejandro Covarrubias gave a brief overview of the Cultural Centers’ mission, primarily as a support for increased self-awareness and “discernment,” or thoughtful introspection.

Seeking to portray the Intercultural Center’s impulse to espouse certain values as Jesuit, Professor Covarrubias assured Senate of his dedication to the values of “justice” and “holistic development.”

Professor Tu then commented on the Gender and Sexuality Center’s role as an on-campus resource for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She also expressed a desire to encourage students to report instances of sexual assault, a crime that often remains invisible under threat of social stigmatization.

Electoral Governing Board
The Electoral Governing Board (EGB) was the last group to present. The group reported on this past election’s turnout, which was 14% of the student population. This is a 2% increase from last year’s elections.

The group also reported on their attendance to the National Association of Campus Activities in Denver, Colorado EGB members said they learned methods on increasing voter turnout and effectively managing budget affairs.

Ballot difficulties in the last election were briefly addressed by Senate representative, John Chibnall, and were largely pinned on difficulties stemming from the registrar’s office.


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