Student Senate passes resolution, appoints new commission directors

Charlie Johnson, the student body president, gets emotional at final meeting of the semester


Photo by Miles Plueger

Johnson shed tears as Alexandra Kurutz, the student organizations director, gave her final report as a director of Student Senate, as she is graduating.

Student Senate passed one last piece of legislation before winter break to help students with disabilities on campus.

UW-Eau Claire’s campus is difficult to traverse for students with low mobility, which is why Student Senate has been working with the Services for Students with Disabilities Office to increase the aid for all students in need, Stephanie Hoeksema, the Director of the Equity and Student Matter commission, said.

Student Senate amended the resolution 63-R-20, which is in support of strengthening the Services for Students with Disabilities Office and was presented by Hoeksema. Ultimately, it provides the office an ability to reach a more broad range of students and does not set a cap on how many students to whom it can provide assistance. 

Directors Hoeksema, Joe Murphy, Carter Rush, and David Miller, as well as Senators Mary Stoutenburg and Jaclyn Buttafuoco voiced their support for the legislation. It was passed unanimously. 

Student Senate also discussed past accomplishments Senate has made this semester and what it plans to do this week in closing. Some of the accomplishments mentioned at the meeting included creating a computer science task force, creating a new Senate logo, gaining more following on social media, making changes in the Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) department and more. 

During this section of the meeting, Director Alexandra Kurutz gave her final report, as she will be graduating this semester. 

Charlie Johnson, the student body president, said in his four years in Student Senate, he has formed lots of close relationships. One of those relationships, Johnson said, is with Kurutz, and they have been in Senate together since their freshman year. During Kurutz’s final report, Johnson said he got choked up.

“I try to remove emotions as much as I can when I run Senate meetings, but in cases such as last night, there was really nothing I could do,” Johnson said.

Additionally, Student Senate appointed two new commissions directors on Monday. 

The first was the appointment of the communications commission director. Joel Meier, a second-year marketing analytics major, was appointed to this position in place of Alyssa Pake, the former director. Meier plans on expanding Student Senate’s reach to off-campus students, as well as working with The Spectator to designate one reporter to cover Student Senate meetings. 

The second was the appointment of the student organizations commission director. 

Mary Stoutenburg, a second-year legal studies and political science major, was voted on and appointed to the position to replace former director Alexandra Kurutz. She plans to narrow her focus on EDI within her commission and to support underrepresented students.

Plueger can be reached at [email protected]