Student Senate supports a greener campus

Senate passed a clean energy bill, plans to hear student voices at the meeting on Thursday


Photo by Amanda Thao

Nick Webber was appointed intergovernmental affairs director Monday at the Student Senate meeting.

Story by Hillary Smith, Staff Writer

Student Senate passed a bill that will allow funds from the Green Fund to be allocated to purchase a solar energy subscription from Xcel Energy, which will provide UW-Eau Claire with 100 kilowatts of solar electricity per hour, said Director of Student Office of Sustainability Ethan Fuhrman.

The new subscription will be in addition to the 40 kilowatts from the McIntyre Library solar panels, Fuhrman said.

Senator Mary-Laura Samples said the Green Fund has not been used in the past few years and has built a surplus.

“So I think the fact that we found a way to use that surplus is a lot better than the student’s money just sitting in the fund unused,” Samples said.

Supporting the bill is a positive investment for the school and productive use of the Green Fund, Finance Director Jorge Herrero Berengue said, as it is a cost-neutral investment over the 25-year subscription.

The bill passed with a vote of 27-0-2.

Senate will host meeting for student voices

In response to a comment that was painted on a Free Speech board outside Centennial Hall stating “UWEC is racist” the Senate will hold a meeting from 5-7 p.m. Thursday in the Ho-Chunk room of the Davies Center to listen to student opinions on the topic.

Student Body President Ashley Sukhu called on Senate to attend as representatives of the student body.

“It’s our job to listen to the students,” she said.

However, Sukhu said she would like to consider holding such meetings more frequently so students have a place to express their opinions on issues.

“It’s going to challenge many people’s beliefs and assumptions,” Sukhu said.

Appointment of intergovernmental affairs director

Senate appointed the directorship position for the Intergovernmental Affairs Commission (IAC) as well as the outreach/inclusivity coordinator.

Junior Nick Webber was appointed the intergovernmental affairs director (IGA). Webber has four years of political organizing experience, two of which involved professional lobbying on local and state levels, he said.

Webber said as IGA, he will focus on the state-funded bi-annual budget, getting students registered to vote for the upcoming election and working on effectively representing the student population.

“We need to educate and then agitate,” Webber said, on working toward getting students involved to prioritize whatever the student body feels is important, which he and the IAC can then advocate for.

First-year student Robert Nguyen was appointed as outreach/inclusivity coordinator, a position he said he feels strongly about as a student of color. He said he wants to increase the Eau Claire campus awareness of students of color, the LGBTQIA+ community and students of different backgrounds.

In order to increase campus-wide understanding of underrepresented communities, Nguyen said he will focus on educating all students, starting with a mass anonymous poll via email which will be used to gauge general student knowledge, biases and beliefs.

“A more inclusive campus would better our society,” Nguyen said.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Blugold Beginnings program are both entities he said he would like to help expand.