Lack of city action prompts help from senate

Safety concerns shared about the 3rd ward of Eau Claire

Avery Shanahan

More stories from Avery Shanahan

Police Blotter
November 24, 2021

This week’s senate meeting began with an open forum regarding safety concerns in the 3rd ward district of Eau Claire. 

Steven Ross, an individual who spoke at the open forum, mentioned Eau Claire’s lack of alleyway lighting and he asked Senate to encourage the city to address that issue. 

Ross said he has experienced two incidents of attempted burglary in the 3rd ward this past year. One of these incidents included an individual attempting to steal his air conditioning unit directly from the window. 

“After calling the police and filing a report, we were told the burglar most likely chose my unit due to a lack of lighting around my apartment, specifically in the alleyway,” Ross said.  

Ross said after several attempts to contact his city councilman and the city manager, it wasn’t until after he threatened to take his story to the media that he was contacted back about the issue. The city responded to him by saying there would be an investigation into the incident. 

Six months later, there has been no action from the city, but an increase in crime in the 3rd ward, Ross said. 

Ross is requesting the Senate apply pressure to the city in order to have additional light fixtures installed in the 3rd ward district of the city.

Following the open forum, the Senate moved to pass the bill proposed at last week’s meeting.

Bill 64-B-13 proposes a segregated fee referendum question regarding the potential construction of the Sonnentag Complex. Students will vote to approve the fees included in tuition to help pay for the leasing and maintenance of the new complex. 

Student Body President Anna Ziebell highlighted that the fee would be “no more than $90 per student per semester” only after the construction of the complex is completed. Construction for the potential replacement for Zorn is estimated to be completed by 2023. 

The bill passed with a vote of 26-0-2. The referendum questions will be included in the upcoming Senate election. 

The body was then introduced to one new bill and two new resolutions in the unfinished business portion of the meeting.

Resolution 64-R-38 is in support of library innovative program financial allocation. The library requested additional funding from the Information Technology Commission to update some of their resources. 

Some of these updates include upgrades to the digital studio, a new flatbed scanner and an Oculus virtual reality headset. Director Brett Swanson said that this headset would be used for recreational and research purposes. 

This resolution to support the upgrades passed with a vote of 26-0-2. 

Following the passing of this resolution, the body was introduced to bill 64-B-14. This bill proposes adopting the 2021-2022 student organization fund allocation. 

The bill outlines the allocation and distribution of funding to the different student organizations on campus. 

Senate will vote on this bill at next week’s meeting. 

The final piece of legislation introduced was in support of online accessibility for counseling services. Resolution 64-R-39 encourages administration to work with counseling services in implementing easier online access to counseling services. 

“Students can only create appointments by phone during business hours or by email request,” said Senator Bailey Carruthers. “The counseling services department is not currently open to the public so students do not have the accessibility to create an appointment either in person or even meeting with their counselors in person.”

The resolution supports access to an online platform, so students can more easily schedule appointments. Some of these potential restrictions students face include inability to contact, time constraints or issues with phone anxiety. 

The body voted to support this resolution with a vote of 24-0-2. 

Shanahan can be reached at [email protected].