UMBC Senate Initiative Tracker 17-18
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Initiative Name(s)Description of Initiative:Senate Members:09/11/201709/18/201709/25/201710/02/201710/09/2017 (END OF Q1)10/16/201710/23/201710/30/201711/06/201711/13/201711/20/201711/27/201712/04/201712/11/2017 (END OF Q2)WINTER BREAK1/29/20182/5/20182/12/20182/19/20182/26/20183/5/20183/12/20183/19/20183/26/20184/2/20184/9/20184/16/20184/23/20184/30/20185/7/20185/14/2018
Between Elections 2018Between Elections is a political initiative dedicated to the goal of encouraging and expanding political dialogue and engagement on UMBC's campus. Under this initiative, several projects have been pursued to attain this goal. First, our Coffee and Conversation sessions bring a bipartisan group of panelists and students together to discuss relevant political issues on campus (immigration, education, gun violence, etc.). Between Elections also works on voter registration drives and a legislative agenda for the SGA to pursue in the Maryland General Assembly. For further information, please contact Felix Facchine (, Collin Sullivan (, or Gerardo Herrera-Cortes ( Facchine (

Gerardo Herrera-Cortes (
introduction of Tracker / Confirmation Daymet with Election Night Extravaganza Committee to begin planning "coffee and conversation" events for Fall semesterDate has been set and room has been reserved for the first "Coffee and Conversation" event- to be held in October; met with ENE Committee and come up with a list of panelists and goals for the first eventEmailed panelists for our first coffee and conversation events --> received confirmation from two out of four. Will reach out to panelists again on Tuesday if there is no response. Meeting next week to discuss progress and plan the agenda for the event3 of 4 panelists have been confirmed; will have a 4th panelist by the end of the week; final details are being ironed out regarding an agenda and discussion questions; the event is in roughly 1.5 weeks, so the next milestone is actually hosting the Coffee and Conversation; we have begun work on the second Coffee and Conversation, which will be held in the second week of NovemberToday, Collin and I wrote out the final script and agenda for the panel discussion this Thursday night, 10/19. The topic will be immigration, and the event will be held from 7-9pm in Lower Flat Tuesdays. We have 4 panelists (or backups) confirmed, with 2 panelists from UMBC. In other news, I have begun compiling a list of panelists for our second Coffee and Conversation event, which will be focused on education. This panel discussion will be held on Tuesday, November 14 from 7-9 in the Apartment Community Center.The first Coffee and Conversation Panel was successful. Over 50 students attended the conversation, and we have begun planning for the following panel on education, to be held November 14 from 7-9 in the Apartment Community Center. Panelists have been emailed, and we are beginning to write conversation points/goals/topics. We have also begun discussing how to engage students with the MD gubernatorial race in the Spring and next Fall.Have continued to develop the itinerary for the second Coffee and Conversation, focused on education and to be held on November 14 from 7-9pm in the Apartment Community Center. We have finalized most panelists and are working on creating a much more student-involved conversation for the next C&C. This might look like breaking into smaller group discussions where students can interact with each other and engage in dialogue on issues so it's not just limited to panelists. Meeting next Monday with the C&C committee to prepare for the eventThe Coffee and Conversation committee met today and created discussion questions and an agenda for the next panel, which will be held next week on Nov 14 from 7-9pm in the Apartment Community Center. Other logistics are being finalized and prepared, especially heavier advertising to increase student particiaption and turnout.Successfully held our panel and conversation on education on November 14. We incorporated a discussion segment/element that went well and are looking forward to using this model of Coffee and Conversation in the future. Our next step is planning our next panel, which will be held either in December or early next semester- tbd. This panel will focus on Guns in America.

We are also continuing conversations regarding a potential gubernatorial debate on campus in late Spring. Our committee is currently in the process of meeting with Adminsitrators to discuss the logistics and goals of this event.
No major progress this week- most work on this initiative will resume in the Spring with our coffee and conversation series and efforts to expand political engagement on campus.No major progress this week- most work on this initiative will resume in the Spring with our coffee and conversation series and efforts to expand political engagement on campus.Coffee and conversation coming up based on gun violence and saftey in America. Conversation happening. Thursday Feb 22 in Skylight.Coffee and Conversation this Thursday on "Guns In America." Work the past week included promotion, inviting more people to attend, finalizing the questions/agenda, etc. Event in Skylight at 7pm.We successfully held our most recent Coffee and Conversation on Guns in America. Over 70 students joined in the conversation and listened to our panel. Our next step for the Between Elections committee is to plan our final Coffee and Conversation and lay the groundwork for a potential gubernatorial debate during the Fall semester.
Bee-Friendly CampusBee-Friendly Campus describes the ongoing inititiave of establishing a Pollinator Garden on UMBC's campus. A pollinator garden is a plot of land dedicated to wildflower and pollinator-friendly plants that encourages local pollinator and animal populations. This space will be located in a green space outside the Commons Loop near the Performing Arts and Humanities Building. For more information, feel free to contact Felix Facchine ( or Aline Thompson ( Facchine (

Aline Thompson (
introduction of Tracker / Confirmation DayMet with Nitya and Tanvi to discuss the possibilites of bee-friendly actions on campus; started meeting with other student leaders and staff that may want to get involved with this projectTentatively scheduled a meeting with Charlie Hogan, the Grounds manager at UMBC, to discuss bees/pollinators on campus and pesticide use at UMBC; plan is to learn more and continue to do research and then develop a policy proposal for Facilities Management re bees/pesticides. At the same time, we are working on planning planting-days for the spring semester; need to find locations and discuss other logistics of this projectPlanning on meeting with Charlie Hogan to discuss planting/pesticides on campus in the next 2 weeks; met with SEA, and they are very interested in helping plan and implement flower planting on campus in the spring; Attended the Climate Action Forum to learn more about on-campus practices regarding sustainability, pesticides, etcNot much progress in the past week; Nitya and I are meeting with Charlie Hogan, the Grounds manager, tomorrow to discuss next steps and learn more about pesticide policy on campus.Last Tuesday, Nitya and I met with Charlie Hogan and one of his associates in Facilities Management to discuss pollinators, planting on campus, and pesticide use. From what Charlie told us, it sounds like UMBC has moderate and environmentally-considerate policies regarding pesticide use. Additionally, Charlie gave us the go-ahead to create an SGA garden plot in the spring to plant flowers and a pollinator garden outside of the loop. We will be working closely with Facilities Management in the next few months to finalize details for the pollinator garden plot and what implementation will look like in March 2018.Work has been put on hold this week for the Bee-Friendly campus initiative. Nitya and I will be meeting tomorrow, 10/24, to discuss where the initiative stands and next steps.Met with Nitya to discuss next steps of this initiative and started contacting environmental student organizations about future steps toward a pollinator garden.Will hopefully be meeting with Josh Massey and Olivia Wisner within the next few weeks to talk about how this project will be sustained in future years. Additionally, Nitya and I are going to be looking into planting wildflowers and other plants for the garden during the winter (in UMBC's greenhouse) to give us a headstart in the Spring. We'll be talking with Dr. Swan and Charlie Hogan regarding those plansNo major updates- reached out to Charlie Hogan to discuss Spring planting plans again and am planning on meeting with Nitya and student environmental leaders to discuss winter planting in the greenhouseI am meeting with Charlie Hogan and Nitya this Friday to scout out a plot of land for our Pollinator Garden. Last Friday, Nitya and I met with Dr. Chris Swan from GES and two Eco-Ambassadors to discuss a timeline and necessary equipment and steps for the pollinator garden project.Our meeting with Charlie Hogan was postponed last Friday due to the impending snowstorm. Nitya and I will hopefully be meeting with Charlie this week to scout out the plot of land and determine the layout of our Pollinator Garden before we leave for Winter Break.Stuck some flags in the ground for potential planing areas? Next step: Figure out where planting will occur and aim for end of Feb.

Meeting with Charlie Hogan Tuesday to finalize details of mowing, tilling, and planting for the Pollinator Garden. Over the last week, we marked and measured the space of the garden, roughly 5,000 square feet.I (Felix) met with Charlie Hogan, the Grounds Manager of UMBC, and we laid out the final details of the Pollinator Garden. We hope to hold a work day for students on March 10-11 to prepare the land and plant the garden. After finalizing details, we are looking at an area of around 4,000 square feet. Additionally, we discussed funding details for the garden.
Stay Black & GoldLilly Keplinger ( of Tracker / Confirmation DayHave been working on SBG to help with launching the project and making sure that this can be done before the end of my senator termNot much has personally changed. We met on friday as a committee to talk about where we are going from here and when we are going to begin meeting as a weekend group.Today I saw Jen and we established that we will be meeting soon after Homecoming is over though since both student life and OIA are bogged down with things to be doing. She and I will meet within the next 3 weeksMeeting with Jen this week.
I am meeting with Jen dress this thursday to discuss SBG
Phone Meeting with Jen Dress soon. Committee meeting updates. Melissa Jasper working on 1-1 with Jen. Jen in contact with VPSA office about potential candidates. At this moment, awards may go out soon but still being sifted. Resource sheet or site being created. Expectations for meetings and each in the committee for group dynamics. TEAM DEVELOPMENT WOO.No updatesHave a 1:1 Meeting with Jen tomorrow to discuss when the committee is going to convene with her. I am also planning on sending out a big email to the members since I am having some meeting time issues. I may have to recruit a new member but hoping to just try to work it out but it is difficult since members have to be there for the entire meeting and it is such a small group. I want to ensure that people feel comfortable and plan on both setting up a meeting with Jen and the committee to ensure that we are going over mock people. Still need more team development to make sure that we can make the hard decisions.
Commons Grounds The purpose of this intitiative is to create a space on campus that promotes the following values: first, a space where students and faculty can interact, share ideas and experiences, and gain knowledge; second, a space that can serve as an applied learning opportunity for all types of students; third, an interdiscplinary space designed and run by students. We have envisioned this space to be a student-run coffee shop. Manisha Vepa ( of Tracker / Confirmation DayReaching out to the following colleges: UChicago, Towson, UMD, Rice to learn about the business models of student-run businesses; Following-up on meeting with Dan and Brittany to find out more about the noncompete clause, possibility for site visits, and surveying student about space issuesReaching out to other non-student stakeholders around UMBC. Strategized to figure out the three main challenges of our working group. Research different student-run coffee shops to get business plans. Plan agenda for this upcoming weeks meetingCollin and I have a meeting scheduled with Dr. McAlpine after Thanksgiving; I missed the last working group meeting because of my interview and being out of town, so I will be making that up and talking to Collin this weekCoffee cart or coffee stall in development (possibly) and how to convince faculty for this coffee shop. Haven't met yet to discuss logistics. Need to set up meeting with Chartwells and their stake in it. People got sick :(No updatesCurrently thinking of alternative spaces/ideas beyond a coffee shop that would accomplish the same goal in the short term-somehow we've missed all the meetings we've tried to schedule
Academic Sports EndowmentCurrently InactiveManisha Vepa ( of Tracker / Confirmation DayReached out Alumni Relations to set up conversations about the possibility of using GritStarter and soliciting alumni donations specifically for academic teamsNothing right now; This has taken a pause while working on other issues related to spaceNo progressNo Updates.inactiveinactive
Political Engagement Think TankCurrently InactiveManisha Vepa ( of Tracker / Confirmation DayHashed out the vision and ideas for how a think tank could function; Meeting with Meghan Lynch later this week to develop a list of stakeholders to talk to about this ideaAgain, this has taken a backseat when discussion other issues related to spaceNo progressNo Updates.inactiveinactive
Student Space on CampusAddressing the need for more student spaces on campus Manisha Vepa ( with Meghan to talk about strategies related to securing more student space perhaps in the Game Room, Flat Tuesdays, or even the new Arbutus Community center. Trying to figure out who's part of the RAC converation so I can get in on those and have a student voice in that. I have typed up all the notes from our advocacy day; I need to touch base with other volunteers to put together a report; We have not had a working group meeting to talk about next steps, but there is conversation around calling a space committee; I know there was supposed to be a google doc created around this, but I need to follow up Hasn't met yet as agroup but personal question of how state funding for this space need could be done. Needs to set up meeting with Joe Rexing (FM).No updatesStill working on getting a meeting with the campus architect- scheduling has not worked out
MHEC/USMSCMore cohesive statewide representation of student interestsManisha Vepa ( with Josh Michaels to talk about his experience with MHEC and how to utilize the body to make greater change. Got some great ideas about how to mobilize the body to go about researching and advocating for legislative change. Thinking about looking into policies about Title IX or Diversity that we can push on a statewide basis. MHEC had a successful meeting in October, and I had the opportunity to comment on the State Plan; I will be sending in comments tomorrow morning; MHEC has another meeting this weekend, but I will not be able to attend because of a competitionMeeting last week with the largest being the state plan for education. Feedback being discussed. The service project (diversity video) being worked on. Issue with transfer students on advising for community colleges for those intending to transfer.No updatesMeeting this weekend with MHEC (hopefully I can attend if SRC does not get held that day)
Title IX Accountability/MetricsCore Question: How does the university structually deal and hold itself accountable with improving Title IX complaints? Additionally, the creation of an online tool for Title IX complaint navigation.Aline Thompson

Brandon Liu
VACANT SEATVACANT SEATVACANT SEATMeeting scheduled with Bobby Hoye next week! Set up a meeting with Nitya and Tristan for last week (11/22) to get info on their initiatives to learn what they've already done in order to avoid duplicating work as well as reduce their load a bit, had to be pushed back. Had a bunch of initiatives passed on to me from Nitya, particularly cyber security and pollinator friendly campus. Have a meeting with Bobbie Hoye and Tristan tomorrow for Title IX things. Twine is going to be helpful for a lot!Meeting with Hoye + Tristan ended up conflicting with a necessary class session. Have not heard back on the results/information on this meeting yet. Lily sent me the info from last year. Meeting set on Bee friendly polinators this Friday. Hopefully will get to work on the web tool soon.Scheduled meetings with sexual violence awareness group We Believe You with the help of Nitya. The program and system for a Title IX "walkthrough" tool is ready to go, I just need to get the information and plop it in, and then a web page will be ready to go that we/the title IX office can publish, whoever wants to. Still working on bees, we've all met with facilities and are plotting the area as well as planning for hard labor for prepping the ground for planting by the end of February/early March.Met with Lisa Gray (Campus Life) and didn't gain new information BUT I GAINED CONFIDENCE. She was overall excided and on a similar track as I was. Asking "How does the university structually deal and hold itself accountable with improving Title IX complaints."
Bobbie Hoye and other folks in the office would be on-board according to Gray. Warned that the meeting might be 30 min. I have a prototype though. Will meet with the student organization "We Beleive You."
NO updates this week :( (I did do ProveIT! stuff)Will be meeting with WBY (last week conflicted) at the WC this wednesday evening. Once I have gathered all of this information, I will schedule and conduct a meeting with Bobbie Hoye with everything I have learned from Dakota, Lisa Gray, and other invested parties along with the prototype, if that is still relevant. The "walkthrough" has shifted from a from-scratch writing of Title IX procedure to a translation of the legal document to understandable human language, after a discussion with Nitya, Tristan, and Markya.

Brandon Liu is a part of this initiative now! (Also still workin on ProveIt! stuff)
Campus VibrancyThe purpose of this initiative is to figure out the situation of campus vibrancy and what makes campus vibrant. This embodies anything that makes students want to belong to campus.Jordan Troutman
VACANT SEATVACANT SEATVACANT SEATSENATE CONFIRMEDEmailed Vivian Bethea (ourSGA) and Meghan Lynch (Vibrant Campus Life), trying to identify projects in action that are intended to increase campus culture. I plan to continue trying to find people who have information upon the current stauts of campus vibrancy. Do you have any suggestions of who I should contact?Talked to Pat about my initiatives and how there are many factors that can contribute to the overall culture of campus. Plan on having a metting with Barnhart before the end of the semester is over. Meghan also emailed me back, giving me more inisght about vibrancy on campus. What qualities do you think epitomize the culutre on campus? Are these qualities constructive or destructive of the campus envrionment at UMBC?I had a meeting with David to discuss the purpose of my initiatives and started brainstorming methods of how to execute different tasks that will get me to reach the goal of my initiative. I am still learning about the Senate and I project that after this Winter break (and STRiVE) I will have a firm grasp on my initiative to demonstrate tangiable progress. When you look around campuses--and specifically UMBC's campus--what symbols are representative of student engagement and vibrancy? What on campus could be changed to improve these symbols?I'm still solidifying my initiative but I had a meeting with Collier and Pat to discuss the progress of myUMBC, which is an aspect that may be a factor to increasing campus vibrancy. Over winter break, I am going to STRiVE and after that experience, I think I will have a stronger direction to which I want to take my initative. How do you reach out to other students in a way that does not seem hierarchial? How do you set aside your elected position to talk to students about issues on campus?Hold for ProveIt!No updatesEmailed Dan about this. Rescheduled meeting. Will have a convo eventually. (aside) how myUMBC is doing but release for FA18, but there are set backs??? Having a myUMBC orientation perhaps?
Textbook Price Reduction InitiativeThe goal of this initiative is to reduce the price of textbooks for students at this school.Justin Levine ( initiative is still in its infancy, but I plan on reaching out to the bookstore in order to find out how effective their "Course Materials Initiative" was.I contacted the Bookstore about the CMI presentation, but wasn't aware that they were already planning on presenting.
Kitty-Kat InitiativeLet's control and address the real cat problem hereMiles Hunter
ASL Re-IntroductionLet's bring back ASL language classesBrandon Liu
Course EvalReintroduction of a mid-semester-wave for feedback during the semester.Brandon Liu
Combatting Phishing InitiativeJustin Levine ( just started this, but I would like to reach out to the advising departments of various majors and also to whoever organizes advising at new student orientation.`