The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

New Environmental Endeavors Commission approved by Senate

Student Senate approved a new commission on Monday that will focus on environmental sustainability.

After two amendments were made to the original bill, the Environmental Endeavors Commission was unanimously approved.

Last year, the Senate approved of a referendum to start an environmental sustainability account and it has been progressively collecting money. Two dollars from each student’s tuition was taken each semester this year, and $10 will be taken each semester starting next year.

Sen. Jake Johnson, who co-authored the bill, said having this pool of money has contributed to the need for this commission.

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“The commission is set up to help figure out how to spend that money and to help promote sustainability overall on campus,” Johnson said.

The original bill stated that only a science professor could advise this commission, but an amendment was made to open up the position to all professors.

Sen. Dylan Jambrek said that the language of “science” professor was very vague, and that it could mean many things, including sociology and psychology.

Sen. Paydon Miller agreed with these sentiments, and said that there needs to be preparation for more qualified people from other departments down the road.

The amendment passed with three abstentions and the remainder of the body’s approval.

Jambrek then brought up another amendment, and the lengthiest debate of the night ensued. In the original bill, the commission was only required to report to Senate in the fall about where it’s money was going, but Jambrek thought it would be important for them to come back in the spring as well.

“I always think oversight is a really good idea. We’re spending student money, so we have to be responsible,” Jambrek said. “Since we’re writing them a blank check every year, it’s only fair that we make them check back twice a year.”

Vice President Amber Bretl was opposed to the amendment because she said this commission will just be another organized activity, and that no other organized activities are required to come back in the spring. She thought it was important not to create a double standard.

Senators then went back and forth debating how necessary it was to require them to come back in the spring. Ultimately, the majority of Senate supported it because this spring report will be non-binding, and the amendment passed 20-8.

Overall Johnson was pleased with the commission being approved, but was unhappy with the final amendment.

“I think it sounds good and makes us feel better, but whatever purpose we want it to serve, it’s not going to,” Johnson said. ” I think it’s setting up an unnecessary step for this commission, as it is an organized activity, and this is something that other organized activities won’t have to do.”

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New Environmental Endeavors Commission approved by Senate