The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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University Student Senate meetings continue via Zoom

University Student Senate elections were held online from Apr. 22 to Apr. 23. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

The University Student Senate (USS) continues to meet weekly, despite St. Joe’s move to virtual instruction due to the coronavirus pandemic, in order to prioritize student support and outreach during this time. The virtual meetings are held via Zoom every Monday at 5:30 p.m. 

The USS kept the structure of the virtual meetings similar to in-person meetings by using PowerPoint to run through the agenda of the meeting, according to Julia McQuade ’20, vice president of USS. 

McQuade said it is important that the USS remains active due to the “craziness of the world right now.” 

“There are obviously even more problems that students are facing, so we wanted to make sure that we were still very active,” McQuade said. “We were able to address the additional concerns whether that be international students still needing housing, still needing transportation, issues with commencement, [or] questions about online classes.”

Another goal of the meetings is to identify different issues and direct resources sponsored by the university, according to Taylor Stokes ’22, USS secretary for inclusion & diversity.

“[USS] highlights resources that are useful to help cope with these times,” Stokes said. “We also talk about allocations that can be made for the future.”

Stokes said in the near future, Nicole Stokes, Ph.D., associate provost for diversity, equity and inclusion, will join USS Zoom meetings to speak about her plans for the future.

“We will use this opportunity to continue voicing our concerns,” Stokes said. “We will continue to be the voice of the students.”

In order to continue to prepare for the future, the USS is moving forward with elections for the 2020-21 school year as typically scheduled. Voting is currently closed and took place through The Nest from April 22 to the 23. 

Jillian Garvey ’21, who is running for president of USS, said it is essential to hold elections in unprecedented times in order to support students. Garvey has been working on a basic need drive this semester to meet the needs of students who are still on campus.    

“So focusing on [making] sure that these pantries are always stocked and that we are able to meet the demand for the products,” Garvey said.  

McQuade said she acknowledges that it is frustrating for students in these scary and uncertain times. 

“I know a lot of questions have gone unanswered for all of us,” McQuade said. “But I’m continuing to let people know that we’re here for anyone if they need it, we’re trying our best to help students in any way that we can. Although it’s not the same, we’re still here if they need us.”

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