Campus organizations top Senate agenda

Story by Nate Beck, Staff Writer

The Student Senate introduced a constitution for The Innocent Men, a UW-Eau Claire a cappella group Monday.

The Innocent Men will be a recognized as a campus organization if the Senate signs off on the constitution next week.

The Innocent Men is a seven-member all-male a cappella group — one of two on campus.  All members of The Innocent Men must be members of The Singing Statesmen, another choir on campus.

The Innocent Men have been funded through The Singing Statesmen since the group was formed in 1984.

Eau Claire senior Ryan Simmons has been a member of The Innocent Men since he was a sophomore and The Singing Statesmen since he was a freshman.

Simmons says he and other members of The Innocent Men drew up a constitution to break from The Singing Statesmen and become a separate student organization.

“We’re trying to become our own thing, obviously we still want to keep all the ties through The Singing Statesmen but becoming a student org has a lot of benefits,” Simmons said. “We just thought it was time to take the next step.”

Perks of becoming a student organization include possible funding through segregated fees, as well as discounts on printing and advertising. The Innocent Men could take full advantage of these benefits if the constitution is approved next week.

IN OTHER SENATE NEWS

Student Senate passed changes to the Organizations Commission bylaws by unanimous voice vote Monday.

The new laws define The Student Organizations Conduct Committee — a five member group that reports and regulates conflicts within organizations.  Prior bylaws mentioned the OCC but did not outline its makeup.

Changes to the bylaws also include new rules for organizations in “good standing.”  Organizations must regularly update their constitution, websites and contact information.

Organizations can be deactivated within 14 days instead of the previous 28-day trial period if they don’t meet all requirements each semester.

Student Body Vice President Patrick Martin said during Monday’s meeting that he was glad to see bylaw changes being made.

“You get so bogged down by the little minute detail that a lot of times those don’t get resolved,” Martin said. “I applaud the honor for recognizing that these are sticking points.”

Senator Jason Rector said during Monday’s meeting he plans to introduce a bill next week that could change senate bylaws to allow an opportunity for a public sounding session before votes on contentious laws.

The changes would provide an opportunity to request a public venting session before a vote on a bill.

Rector said big decisions, like this year’s vote to cut United Council, should be discussed publicly before a vote.

“We’ll call a meeting, a time that’s generally accessible for most people … publicize it any way that we need to, so that the necessary parties concerned have sufficient time to come to it,” Rector said.

Senate currently allows open forum sessions before each meeting. Rector said allowing more room for public discussions can help with “easing the process” for the person involved.