Student Senate

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==Notable Events & Legislation==
==Notable Events & Legislation==
[[Session XVI]], 2010-2011, Chair [[Bryan Dosono]]
[[Session XVI]], 2009-2010, Chair [[Jed Bradley]]
[[Session XVI]], 2009-2010, Chair [[Jed Bradley]]

Revision as of 21:44, 25 November 2010

The Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) Student Senate is the opinion-making body of the ASUW. It is responsible for representing all students of the University of Washington.


History of Student Senate

The Student Senate was founded during the summer of 1994 from the foundations of its predecessor, known as the Student Assembly, which was formed in the 1980's. During the Spring 1994 elections, the student body passed by majority vote constitutional reforms proposed by the soon-to-be 1994-95 ASUW President Phil Neiswender.

The Senate was built with a diverse membership in mind to ensure that groups throughout campus would be aware of the ASUW's activities, and that the ASUW would be aware of issues affecting students. Its membership includes representatives from the Greek and Multi-Greek systems, residence halls, ASUW commissions, commuter students, and various academic departments, among others. There are also at-large members, the ASUW President's proxy, and liaisons from the Board of Directors.

Any student, though not able to vote, may submit legislation or speak on any issue during the public forum segment of the Student Senate meetings.

The Student Senate is looked to by faculty and administrators alike as the voice of the student body and resolutions passed by the Student Senate are taken as the official postions of University of Washington students.

Notable Events & Legislation

Session XVI, 2010-2011, Chair Bryan Dosono

Session XVI, 2009-2010, Chair Jed Bradley

Session XV, 2008-2009, Chair Jon Solomon

Session XIV, 2007-2008, Chair Shawn Fisher

Session XIII, 2006-2007, Chair Hala Dillsi

Session XII, 2005-2006, Chair Alex Kim

Session XI, 2005-2005, Chair Zachary Tobin

Governing Documents

Student Senate Bylaws

Student Senate Rules


Voting Membership

ASUW Senate Seats (14):

Living Group Seats (144):

  • 44 Residence Hall Senators
  • 44 IFC/PanHell Senators
  • 56 Commuter Senators (of which 24 seats are for Local Commuters, and 8 seats each for North, West, East and South Commuters)

Dedicated Registered Student Organization (RSO) Seats (8):

Additionally, one seat will be reserved for each Registered Student Organization other than those listed above who meets the RSO Requirements outlined in the ASUW Constitution and ASUW Senate By-Laws.

Non-Voting Membership

Executive Positions

All Senate executive positions are elected in the final weeks of Spring quarter by secret ballot. They formally assume their roles at the final meeting of Spring quarter under the watchful eye of the outgoing leadership.

Chair: The Chair oversees all functions of the Senate and chairs meetings of the Senate and Steering Committee.

Vice Chair: The Vice Chair assumes the responsibilities of the Chair in the absence of the Chair. The Vice Chair also represents the Senate to the BOD and other organizations and oversees all Senate Standing Committees. The Chair may coordinate with the Vice Chair to ensure these duties are carried out.

Membership Coordinator: The Membership Coordinator is in charges of maintaining membership rosters, overseeing attendance records, and chairing the Membership Committee.

Clerk (Formerly: Secretary):

Senate Liaisons: Senate Liaisons attend various meetings as voting members. Their main task is to communicate between the Senate and other ASUW entities. They represent Senate interests to the committee, and report on committee activities to the Senate.


The Student Senate is composed of a Steering Committee, Standing Legislative Committees, Standing Non-Legislative Committees, Select Committees, and Special Committees. During the first weeks of Fall Quarter the Senate will elect a chair for each of the standing committees. Each committee sets its own agenda, elects a secretary, and provides reports on its activities to the Senate. The committees distribute projects among Senators. These projects include researching issues as a group, consider legislation that comes before them and providing student representation as Governance appointees for the ASUW on university committees. Because they are smaller and more focused than the Senate as a whole, the committees are able to consider issues in greater depth. The main importance of the committees is that all legislation that comes before the Senate must pass through the appropriate committee. As such, the committees are the heart of the Senate.

Each Senator is responsible for participation in one legislative and one non-legislative committee.

See Also: Student Senate Committees Prior to Session XVI

Senate Steering Committee

The Senate Steering Committee governs Senate, sets the agenda and discusses all Organic Acts, as well as refers all other legislation to the proper place. It consists of all other Committee Chairs and Senate Officers, and is Chaired by the Senate Chair.

Session XVI Chair: Jed Bradley

Legislative Standing Committees

On Campus Student Life: This committee is empowered to consider and write legislation that relates to Student life on campus, including issues related to the residence halls, RSOs, and other non-academic issues. Formerly Campus Affairs.
Off Campus Student Life: This committee is empowered to consider and write legislation that relates to Student life off campus, including issues related to commuters, tenant and landlord relations, and other issues. Formerly Off-Campus Affairs.
Academic and Administration Affairs: This Committee is empowered to consider and write legislation that relates to academic issues on or off campus, including how students interact with the administration. Formerly Faculty and Administrative Affairs.
General Affairs: This committee is empowered to consider and write legislation that relates to commendations of persons, organizations, or entities the Senate deems worthy, as well as issues relating to other issues that students wish to formulate opinion on.

Non-Legislative Standing Committees

Oversight: This committee shall communicate with all Senate Liaisons, reviewing their performance and requesting reports as needed. This committee is empowered to submit a request for information to a member of the Board of Directors. This committee can, with a 50% vote, create a recall motion that will be placed at the top of the agenda for that meeting of the Senate. The Vice Chair is a member of this committee.
Style, Presentation, and Formatting:This committee shall receive all legislation to review them to ensure that they are in the proper format, that their grammar is correct, and that they match the appropriate style for Senate Legislation. The Committee shall also suggest a Legislative Committee to review the legislation. The Senate Chair is a member of this committee.
Publicity, Outreach, and Membership: This Committee shall work to promote Senate to the community, coordinate with the Membership Coordinator to train new Delegates and Senators, and review the performance of current Senators. The Membership Coordinator is a member of this committee. Formerly Publicity and Outreach and Membership.

Select Committees

Senate Summer Review Committee:

Special Committees

Senate Officer Review Committee: This committee meets whenever a formal complaint has been filed against a paid Senate Officer. It is charged with recommending whether the Board of Directors should suspend or reinstate pay to a Senate Officer, as well as with drafting an Organic Act to remove a Senate Officer if necessary. If this committee has not been called by the fifth week of Spring Quarter, it will meet to discuss general related issues and make recommendations. It is chaired by the Senate Liaison to the Judicial Committee.

Senate Reform

The findings of the Senate Reform Taskforce, when presented on the 2005 ballot, were passed with 56.12% of the vote. This was followed by a vote in 2006 to enable the Senate to propose Constitutional Referenda.

On Tuesday, March 6th, 2007, a similar, but internal body (as opposed to a taskforce) was created by OA-13-9 The Senate Reform Committee. The report was summarized on May 29, 2007 to Senate.

Types of Legislation

Resolution: Statements of student opinion. (Any student can submit a resolution)

Senate Bill: Policy recommendations. If approved by the Board they carry the same authority as a Board Bill. (Must be a Senator to submit a Senate Bill)

Organic Act: Any legislation which would result in action internal to the Senate, such as a Rule or By-law change, Creation of a Senate Reform Committee or officer elections. (Must be a Senator to submit an Organic Act)

Senate Order: Acts that do not require approval of the Board, such as ordering a Board Recall Election. (Must be a Senator to submit a Senate Order)

Legislative Directive: Any proposal relating to the ASUW's Legislative Agenda and bills being proposed in State Legislature after the ratification of the Legislative Agenda. If passed, allows the ASUW Lobbyist to lobby as directed. (Must be a Senator or Legislative Steering Committee Member to submitt a Legislative Directive)


Senate Website
Senate Forum

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