United Council resolution passes

Story by Alex Zank, Chief Copy Editor

Patrick Martin, student body vice president, said the resolution brought before the Student Senate on Monday was already a compromised piece of legislation, with the original being much more “fire and blood.”

This did not stop debate between senators on the resolution, though.

“The way this is worded … definitely has kind of an angry background to it,” Senator Libby Richter said during open discussion of the resolution.

After over 10 minutes of some back-and-forth discussion, the resolution was passed by role call vote, 26 voting yes and two abstaining from the vote.

The resolution that spurred this debate was a request from Student Senate that the United Council of UW Students immediately respond to concerns that were drafted in an earlier senate resolution.

The resolution that some Senate members wanted a response to — commonly known as the White Papers — is a review of United Council and offers possible policy reforms to be made to the group.

The earlier resolution that dealt with the White Papers states the senate was obligated to conduct this review based on some concerns expressed by Eau Claire students about the United Council.

United Council has not yet responded to the concerns stated in the White Papers, which led to the creation of this resolution.
“The United Council has known that this review was coming and they would need to have a response ready for about four months now,” Martin said during open discussion.

There was some debate on the time frame allowed for United Council to respond to the White Papers. Although there was not a formal date set when Student Senate wanted them to respond, several senators said there has been ample time given.

“This is how representation works,” Chief of Staff Tyrel Zich said. “They can’t choose to ignore it.”

Several Senators pointed out the students pay to be part of this group. The previous resolution supporting the White Papers said that Eau Claire pays $75,000 a year in “Mandatory Refundable dues” to United Council.

“No matter what organization, no matter what person you’re dealing with, if somebody promises to do something and they don’t follow through on their word, that is unacceptable,” Senator Jacob Fishbeck said.

The resolution said the failure from United Council to discuss the White Papers and respond to it “is unacceptable” and that the Student Senate would like an immediate formal response from the group.