Coach Dawkins, ASSU Senate aim to increase basketball fan support

Oct. 30, 2013, 4:12 a.m.

The 15th Undergraduate Senate held a two-hour meeting Tuesday night that included an appearance from men’s basketball head coach Johnny Dawkins, who was there to discuss ways to increase support for the basketball program.

The senators also discussed the recent decision by the Graduate Student Council (GSC) to veto the Board of Judicial Affairs (BJA) bylaws to the Student Judicial Charter.

Dawkins – accompanied by Kevin Aha, assistant director of marketing and event presentation in the athletic department – spoke of the need to create a better student fan environment in Maples Pavilion, and looked to the Senate for help.

“We have five seniors and these five seniors have the opportunity to do something special, but it won’t happen if everybody isn’t on board,” Dawkins said. “We need everybody to get engaged”

Senate Chair Ben Holston ’15 came away from the conversation impressed.

“Coach Dawkins was articulate and well-spoken, and I think he got his message across very clearly,” Holston said. “I hope that there are some senators who can go back to their communities and come up with ideas to get people who haven’t cared about basketball more involved.”

Dawkins said that only 1,000 students were needed to fill the lower bowl of Maples Pavilion, which, according to Dawkins, would create a great atmosphere.

Aha announced to the Senate that a contest would be held over the first three games.

“Whichever dorm or house brings the most students to the first three games will receive guaranteed front row seating to the Big Game,” Aha said.

The first three games will see the Cardinal play Bucknell University, Brigham Young University and Northwestern University.

In addition to meeting with Dawkins and Aha, the Senate took the next step on the BJA issue after the GSC voted to overturn the board’s eight bylaws last Wednesday, appointing three members of the Senate to serve on the Joint Legislative Committee on Judicial Affairs: John-Lancaster Finley ’16, Hisham Al-Falih ’16 and Natasha Patel ’16.

“We are going in [to the committee] to initiate conversation and open up the discussion and make something happen that benefits the students,” Finley said. “The Board of Judicial Affairs and Office of Community Standards and students who were involved in the process and alumni who were concerned about it have the same final goal, which is to make sure the students are served the best.”

“Everybody is equally wanting to participate in this conversation,” Finley added.

The Senate also appointed three senators to the recently created Senate Innovation Fund ad-hoc committee.

Senators Nikos Liodakis ’16, Ryan Matsumoto ’16 and Ilya Mouzykantskii ’16 were chosen to serve on the committee, which will monitor the reimbursement by a senator requesting money from the Senate Innovation Fund.

“The Senate Innovation Fund ad-hoc committee exists to loosely oversee Senate innovation funding requests,” Mouzykantskii said. “If it has an issue with anyone in particular, it can bring it to the attention of the committee or to the attention of the Senate.”

“As the bill’s author, I think it is reasonable I am on that committee,” he added.

The Senate passed two other bills on Tuesday night. One bill amended Senate rules of order and the other allocated discretionary funding for food for Senate meetings.

In addition, the Senate’s Communication Committee reported that it was in the process of planning a rally for the football team’s Nov. 7 game against Oregon.

“We are trying to connect students to what they want,” said Senator Brianna Brown ’16.

Liodakis also noted that there was a possibility that ESPN would be filming the rally, which is tentatively scheduled for 1:50 p.m. the day of the game.

Additionally, the Senate passed $24,736.56 in funding bills.

Contact Andrew Vogeley at avogeley  ‘at’

Andrew Vogeley ‘17 served as President and Editor-in-Chief of Volume 249. He is a senior majoring in political science and hails from the great state of Texas (and he’ll be sure to let you know it). Outside of The Daily, Andrew is President of RUF, a Christian fellowship group. To contact Andrew, email him at avogeley ‘at’

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