Senate supports hosting leadership conference

Story by Alex Zank, Chief Copy Editor

“A wise man once said let no great opportunity slip away.”

Finance Commission Director Bryan Larson, who also may or may not have taken credit for being the “wise man,” said this of the resolution in support of Eau Claire’s bid to host an organization’s annual conference on Monday.

In a meeting that included several independent events, this resolution was the sole piece of legislation looked at this week. The resolution called for Student Senate support for Eau Claire hosting the annual National Association of College and
University Residence Halls conference in the year 2014.

NACURH is an organization, as stated in the resolution, that aims to “develop leadership, promote diversity, recognize achievement, promote scholarships, and stimulate engagement and involvement among students living in residence halls.”

Senator Zach Ahola, who both submitted the bill and was one of the speakers during a presentation of the bid prior to the introduction of the bill, said it would be a “prestigious honor” to host the convention here in Eau Claire.

The resolution passed by voice vote, and those that spoke during the discussion of it voiced avid support for the legislation.
The speakers included Larson and senator Stephen Kahlow.

“I have nothing but support for this (resolution),” Kahlow said.

Organizations Director Frank Heaton did ask during a presentation of the resolution at the beginning of the meeting whether there would be any construction at the time that would interfere with the conference.

Ahola in response said there would not be any major construction going on at the time, and that it was actually their only
window of opportunity between projects to hold something like this.

The resolution also requested that “an ad hoc committee comprised of three on-campus senators” draft a letter of support.

This resolution is the first piece of legislation introduced by a senator not holding a directorship person in over a year.

Student Office of Sustainability Director Ellen Sorenson also gave a presentation showing the preliminary SOS budget.

Sorenson said that SOS always has one large project that gets the largest portion of the SOS budget, followed by several other
smaller projects.

This year, the project is planned to be the installation of solar panels on some university buildings. This took up $150,000 – over half — of the SOS budget for the 2012-2013
academic year.

Geoff Murray, president of United Council, also showed up at the meeting to speak at the open forum. Murray revisited the purpose of UC to the Student Senate and also answered questions and concerns from individual senators.

The majority of the questions dealt with when the senate could expect a response from UC concerning the White Papers.

The White Papers was a document crafted by the executives of Student Senate addressing some student complaints about the organization.

Murray said that he could not give a definite time that there would be a formal response, but he stressed that a speedy response over a thorough one would not be appropriate given the amount of care and effort given into crafting the White Papers.

Asking UC to respond immediately to the White Papers is doing it a disservice, Murray said.