Student Senate allocates funds to the Confluence Arts Center

Two other bills and four resolutions were passed; two new senators sworn in

More stories from Rachyl Houterman


Photo by Kar Wei Cheng

The 61st Session of Student Senate passed three bills on Monday evening. One will allocate $71,540 to the Confluence Arts Center to pay for the LED lighting in the building.

The Confluence Arts Center will receive financial support from Student Senate after senators passed a bill on Monday allocating $71,540 for LED lighting in the building.

The bill, which was introduced by the Student Office of Sustainability (SOS) Director Kristina Haideman, is a follow-through on Senate’s pledge to allocate funds to the Confluence Center from a resolution passed in 2012 and an SOS proposal passed in 2015.

In 2015, the SOS Commission passed a proposal to provide financial support, but it was never brought before the Senate body to be voted on.

The allocated funds will be taken from the Green Fund, the SOS Commission’s financial fund.

Senate members, such as Academic Affairs Director David Miller, voiced their support for the bill. Miller praised Senate for following up with legislation passed in the previous years.

“I think it’s important that we do what we say we’re going to do and follow through with our promises,” Miller said. “I’m also really glad that there’s student support for something students will be using and that we can have an impact on this.”

The bill passed in a placard vote.

Elimination of Academic Affairs Policy Coordinator position

The Student Senate Bylaws were amended to eliminate the Academic Affairs Policy Coordinator position.

Responsibilities of the Policy Coordinator position included assisting the Academic Affairs Director with meetings and having a “thorough understanding of University academic policies.”

Miller, the author of the bill, said the Policy Coordinator position had the same description as the director position, therefore it wasn’t “adding much.” The position isn’t currently filled because it wasn’t funded when it was first written into the Bylaws, Miller said.

The bill passed in a placard vote.

Special Allocation to Kinesiology Club

The Finance Commission presented a bill to allocate $110 to the Kinesiology Club for a networking event planned for Oct. 12 to 13.

The bill passed in a placard vote.

Resolution to support Resident Assistants (RA) having their own rooms

Senate passed a resolution supporting single rooms for Resident Assistants.

Senator Austin Northagen, an author of the resolution, while acknowledging the housing crisis, said Resident Assistants require privacy in order to carry out their duties, which include having private interactions with residents who have concerns or issues.

Resident Assistants in the Priory, Chancellor’s Hall, Haymarket Landing, Aspenson Mogensen Hall and the Clarion Hotel all have single rooms. According to the resolution, Resident Assistants’ right to have their own rooms is included in the Campus Master Plan.

The resolution passed in a voice vote.

Resolution to support the Eau Claire City Council’s change of Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Senate passed a resolution in support of the Eau Claire City Council’s decision to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Eau Claire.

The resolution passed in a voice vote.

Resolution to support SOS Commission priority summary

A resolution in support of the SOS Commission’s priority summary for the 61st Session was presented.

Priority summaries are meant to further the goals and priorities of the commission from the previous Senate session.

SOS Director Kristina Haideman said the Commission’s priority summary includes supplying students with fresh produce at the Campus Food Pantry as well as initiating an “Adopt-A-Block” community clean-up event. There is also a bikeshare program in the works.

The resolution passed in a voice vote.

Resolution to support Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA) Commission priority summary

The Intergovernmental Affairs Commission presented a resolution to support its fall legislative priority summary.

The priority summary indicates plans for the campus, the city, the state and the national level.

Intergovernmental Affairs Intern Katy Gannon introduced the resolution, saying the IGA Commission does not expect to accomplish everything by the end of the year, but the summary should serve as a guiding post.

Gannon said the largest focus will be on the recently proposed merger of two-year UW colleges with four-year UW institutions.

Student Body Vice President Nick Webber praised the IGA Commission for their work and comprehensive summary.

“With this, we’re going to have great guiding posts in lobbying all the way from the university level all the way to the national level,” Webber said. “And I think that it’s going to serve as a great guide post not only for this year but for years to come.”

The resolution passed in a voice vote.

In other news

Justin Vue, the Second Chair of the Equity in Student Matters (ESM) Commission, presented a bill to amend the ESM Bylaws that will be voted on next week. Two “major takeaways,” Vue said, are changing the names of the First Chair and the Second Chair and changing the payment of the each position.

Two new on-campus senators were sworn into office Monday evening. The new senators are Karissa Red Bear and Austin Gulbrandson.