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September 25, 2023

This week in Student Senate

Katie Bradham, Photo Editor

Senator Elizabeth Chiarovano presented a resolution Monday night to make Clemson’s attendance policy less ambiguous.

During Monday night’s Clemson Undergraduate Student Government (CUSG) Senate meeting, many items were discussed including Blended World Week, a new scholarship fund for descendants of Black laborers, parking updates and upcoming senate legislation for the month ahead.
An update from Senator Caroline Avinger of the Inclusion and Equity Committee announced that next week is Blended World Week, where CUSG will be hosting events listed below:

  • Remembering Sikes Sit In: Wednesday, April 13 from 7-8:30p.m. in Hardin Hall room 100.
  • Action in Advocacy: Thursday, April 14 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., in a to-be-determined location.
  • Culture Shock: Friday, April 15, time to be announced later, in the Amphitheater and Carillion Gardens.

Another announcement was made by Avinger, promoting the future scholarship fund for descendants of Black laborers that is being brought to Clemson. The University will begin conversations with CUSG soon. “[Members are] optimistic that the scholarship could be proposed before the 2025-2026 academic year,” said Avinger.
This initiative will continue to be student-led and does not need approval from the Board of Trustees for implementation.
Senator Minhyun Shin, representing the Infrastructure and Operations committee, announced that a parking sensors accuracy test was conducted last Tuesday, March 29 to assess the accuracy of the sensors used for student commuter parking.
More information regarding the results of this accuracy test will be provided later. Student Body Vice President Julia Blouin announced that interviews for the President’s Cabinet are being held this week, with the chosen candidates being introduced during the next CUSG meeting on Monday, April 11. 
Academic Affairs legislation regarding an amendment to “Provide Clarification for Ambiguous Language about Excessive Absences within the Clemson University’s Attendance Policy,” which will combat the current policy that has “situational ambiguity over how a course instructor can impact the educational experience of a student by deciding their future in said course.”
Currently, the 2021-22 Clemson University Academic Regulations state that “A student with an excessive number of absences may be withdrawn at the discretion of the course instructor.” There is no definition included within the policy about what “excessive” can mean, so this legislation will work to update the policy to diminish ambiguity. 
This bill proposed by Senator Elizabeth Chiravano was submitted on April 4 and will go through the process of approval, with more updates coming in the future.
Senator Scotty Moore from the Inclusion and Equity Committee proposed another piece of legislation regarding an amendment to University policies to promote free speech after being submitted on March 31. The bill’s purpose is “to call upon the university to adopt the tenants written within the Chicago Statement and to follow the recommendations of the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) Organization.”
Clemson has received a “yellow” score by the FIRE organization, which dedicates itself to promoting free speech on college campuses. This rating signifies that “yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application.”
Clemson ranks 124 out of 154 institutions in terms of free speech policy. The University has scored 56.82 out of 100 possible points, 100 being a perfect score, in terms of metrics such as tolerance, openness and administrative support. FIRE outlines specific places where Clemson can improve its policies to better promote free speech. More information will be updated as the bill follows the legislative process.
CUSG meetings are held each Monday evening at 7 p.m. in the Student Senate Chambers.

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