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Student Government Tackles Beginning of Semester Issues

by Angelia Lobifaro

4 mins read

On Wednesday, Sept. 29, Student Government gathered for their weekly meeting to bring forward recent issues that have surfaced, such as absences from class due to illness, security policies upon entering campus and natural disaster protocols. 

Senior Senator Sophie Dommermuth (‘22) addressed concerns for student accessibility to a doctor’s note for missing class due to the various illnesses that have been circulating around campus. 

“Some professors are requiring [a doctor’s note] if you are going to be absent for a day or two days,” said Dommermuth. “Let’s push professors to not make that a requirement.”

Dommermuth argued to the board that doctor’s notes are quite difficult to obtain— whether due to issues of copayment costs or transportation to a healthcare facility. It was unanimously decided that the Student Government would reach out to faculty to request that students be excused from class due to illness regardless of the presence of a doctor’s note.  

Senator-At-Large Rachel Papa (‘23) brought up concerns about the security booth upon entering campus. Papa recounted that a student was randomly stopped the weekend prior. 

“A constituent of mine who is a student of color was stopped at the box at the Lancaster entrance, I know it has been spotty here and there when people do and don’t get stopped when they haven’t been stopped previously,” said Papa. 

Papa said that this was a form of racial profiling and proposed that there should be a policy regulating how students may enter campus. The board proposed that students should be allowed in with either a parking decal or a Drew student ID, while third party visitors should be stopped before entering campus. 

However, some board members did express concern about enforcing the policy and not going further. President Pro Tempore Checkwube Okunowo (‘24) said, “The cycle continues if the individual remains in the system.” 

Attention was also brought to natural disaster safety protocols by First Year Senator Jocelyn Freeman (‘25). The resolution was in response to Hurricane Ida hitting campus a couple of weeks prior. Freeman added, “These life threatening situations that are not being handled properly I would like a plan to be referenceable.” 

Student government agreed that there should be established protocols for natural disaster situations through Residence Life and that the protocols be publicized to all students, residents and commuters alike. 

“A lot of commuter students that I have contact with did not receive emails that they were excused for class and they had to drive through flood waters and destroyed neighborhoods to get to class,” said Freeman. 

Student government also initiated a new Senior Senator at this week’s meeting, resident assistant and neuroscience major Fernando Cardoza Ochoa (‘22). 

Student government encourages students to reach out with any questions or concerns. For upcoming information and meeting times and locations follow them @drewstudentgov.

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