Senate reconfirms support for bill on student loans

Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill could help students refinance loans, not all state legislators on board

Student Senate passed a resolution Monday night in the Woodland Theater reconfirming their support in Higher Ed, Lower Debt – a Wisconsin Senate bill aiming to allow students and graduates the opportunity to refinance their student loans.

According to Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Katy McGarry the bill will provide students more flexibility when paying back student loans.

Before Senate voted on the resolution, Senator Matthew Riedel said student senators should represent students by reaching out to legislators and showing interest in the bill because not all legislators support it.

“Many of us graduating with future student loan debt will be in sore need of something along the lines of what this bill proposes,” Riedel said.

Student Body President Jake Wrasse said he supports the bill because it would allow student loan holders to refinance loans at a different interest rate for a different period of time.

“It’s a common sense solution to an increasingly difficult problem that our generation will face as we graduate in the coming years and then try to work while also trying to pay off those loans at a very high interest rate,” Wrasse said.

Senate then passed a resolution in recognition of the Council Oak tree.

Senator Paul Soulier said the Council Oak tree serves as a reminder that indigenous people are still here.

“It represents resilience in the face of adversity. It represents the fact that everyone is welcome here at UW-Eau Claire,” Soulier said.

Soulier, also Co-President of the Inter-Tribal Student Council, said recognition of the Council Oak tree is Senate’s way of honoring the tree and celebrating Indigenous People’s Day on campus, Soulier said.

Senator Ashley Sukhu said recognition of the Council Oak tree is important for our university.

“It’s moving us in the right direction towards equity, diversity and inclusivity,” Sukhu said.

In other Senate news

Dean of Students Joe Abhold said to Senate UW-Eau Claire had the safest Homecoming in years from a conduct and law enforcement perspective.

“I think that all the efforts that are happening from the university and in the community side of things have been effective and our students I think have been safe and enjoyed themselves in a way that didn’t create problems for themselves and others,” Abhold said.

The Eau Claire Police Department had only one arrest and 30 citations, Aphold said, which is down from 60 the year before.

As a closing announcement Wrasse addressed an appearance his name made on Yik Yak Monday.

Wrasse said he received a screenshot of a post someone made on from Yik Yak about him falling asleep in class.

“I don’t have a real good defense, other than I was not paying attention and I was on Twitter…I didn’t fall asleep,” Wrasse said.

To answer Senator Sukhu’s question on whether or not Senators should downvote the post Wrasse said they may do whatever they wish in the interest of freedom of speech.