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Student Council approves three new CIOs, concludes term with farewell from cabinet

Organization passes amendments to bylaws to incorporate gender neutral language

<p>The bills changed the language of the Student Council bylaws to be more gender neutral by replacing the words “he” and “she” with “they."</p>

The bills changed the language of the Student Council bylaws to be more gender neutral by replacing the words “he” and “she” with “they."

Student Council approved three new Contracted Independent Organizations during its General Body meeting Tuesday. The bill grants CIO status to the Darden Basketball Club, the Muslim Law Students Association and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Microwave Theory and Techniques Student Chapter. 

With CIO status, these organizations can now request funding through Student Council and reserve meeting space on Grounds, along with other benefits. 

The Darden Basketball Club’s goal is to promote camaraderie through friendly basketball competition among Darden students and between various University graduate schools and programs. 

The IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques chapter is intended to promote the field of radio frequency and microwave in the department of electrical and computer engineering. 

The Muslim Law Students Association aims to increase awareness of Islam, while providing Muslim educational and cultural programs within the School of Law. 

There were no representatives from any of the three organizations present Tuesday to speak on behalf of their newly-obtained CIO status. 

Student Council also approved bills to amend the bylaws of the Representative Body and Cabinet Committees. The bills allow any member of the Representative Body and Executive Board to endorse candidates in the election for chair and created a new Student Life committee and Graduate Affairs committee to focus on remedying problems in student daily life and enriching the experience of the University’s graduate community, respectively.

Tuesday’s meeting marked the end of the Student Council term, thus concluding fourth-year College student and outgoing Student Council President Sarah Kenny’s tenure. Kenny addressed the general body, speaking to the importance of each individual on Student Council. 

“This organization is what each individual in the room makes it,” Kenny said. “I truly believe, especially after this year, through our hyperlocal level of governance, we’re not just simply kids playing real world.”

Kenny concluded her final remarks by conveying the importance of the Student Council as a governing body. 

“We are grappling with issues that state and local leaders are grappling with too and it’s up to us to assert ourselves in this narrative and make our voices heard,” Kenny said.

With a new Student Council taking office, the representative body said farewell to fourth-year Batten student and director of University relations Katie Brandon and fourth-year Engineering student and chief of cabinet Liam Wolf. 

Brandon expressed concerns about the commitment by members of the Representative Body in terms of their attendance at Student Council meetings. 

“We don’t have good representation here,” Brandon said. “We don’t have a lot of you and those of you that are elected don’t always come [to general body meetings].”

Although Brandon lamented the weak attendance of representatives at meetings, she challenged the incoming administration to improve the role of Student Council. 

“I really hope that this next administration and future administrations look at how we can get students engaged,” Brandon said. “There’s got to be a better way we can serve the students better.” 

Wolf concluded his final statement to the General Body with optimistic advice for the incoming administration. 

“I encourage the new Student Council and administration to continue to strive to make Student Council a fun and social place to be,” Wolf said. “Strive to be beyond just coworkers, but good friends.” 

Alex Cintron, a third-year College student and outgoing vice president for administration, will assume the role of Student Council president from Kenny this Friday during an inaugural ceremony at the Rotunda.

This article was updated to include information on the impacts of the bills passed during the meeting.