Senate passes bill to assist financial aid distribution to students

Both bills for Blugold Commitment funding proposals pass

Avery Shanahan

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November 24, 2021

This week Student Senate voted to help students learn more about and receive financial aid through the university’s Blugold Commitment program. 

Following the senate’s weekly reports, the body moved into the unfinished business portion of its meeting. During this time the body was reintroduced to two bills proposed by Jaden Mikoulinskii, the commission director of Academic Affairs. 

Bills 64-B-11 and 64-B-12 both include adjustments to the funding involved with the Blugold Commitment Differential Tuition Program.

64-B-11 was a bill for the approval of a differential tuition funding proposal package for 2021-2022. Mikoulinksii said this package for the differential tuition budget is reviewed every five years and goes towards funding research opportunities as well as faculty.

In support of this bill, the body heard from Elizabeth TenBarge, the vice chairperson of the Academic Affairs Commission. 

TenBarge said this program, funded by Blugold Commitment, has allowed her to work one-on-one with a professor for her research project as a Blugold fellow in the Blugold fellowship program. 

The body voted to pass this bill with a vote of  23-0-2. 

Mikoulinskii then reintroduced 64-B-12. This bill includes adjusting the Blugold Commitment financial aid distribution process. 

“This is really going to influence how students receive financial aid at UW-Eau Claire and increase accessibility to college,” Mikoulinksii said. “About 350 to 400 students will be impacted by this directly every single year, should it pass.” 

The body also voted 23-0-2 to pass this bill. 

Following unfinished business, the body was introduced to two new pieces of legislation. 

Resolution 64-R-37 proposes the encouragement of Housing and Residence Life employees to display their pronouns. Employees, including front desk workers, are being asked to include their pronouns in any official capacity. This includes physical name tags and placards as well as digital media like zoom and email signatures. 

“We feel that given the university’s mission and commitment to expanding EDI initiatives as a whole, this is a very significant step that needs to be made,” Mikoulinksii said. 

The senate voted 23-0-2 to pass this resolution.

The final piece of legislation proposed to the body was bill 64-B-13. The bill proposes a referendum vote offered to the students to vote on the construction of the Sonnentag Complex and Event Center. 

Information on the construction of the Sonnentag Complex was introduced in a presentation given by Kimera Way, the president of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. 

The complex will be a replacement facility for Zorn Arena and will offer an event center and new recreational facilities to students. The complex, to be located on Menomonie St., is expected to cost students an additional tuition fee of no more than $90. 

“Students would be paying upwards of $300 each, to fund a new replacement for Zorn if we were to go with the normal state process.” President Anna Ziebell said. “It would also be extended longer than the two year timeline we are looking at now.” 

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

Shanahan can be reached at [email protected].