Student Senate passes seven resolutions in fifth meeting of semester

Senate introduces bills to include EDI initiatives in constitution

Avery Shanahan

More stories from Avery Shanahan

Police Blotter
November 24, 2021

Warning: This article contains potentially triggering language and information regarding sexual assault and suicide.

This week’s student senate voted on furthering equity, diversity, and inclusion goals in their constitution, as well as recognizing March as National Developmental Disabilities and Women’s month.

The meeting began with an open forum featuring an elaboration on a bill introduced last week. Lauren Becker, Commission Director of Student Office of Sustainability, further explained the plan for SOS to fund a third of the new art installation to be constructed outside of the new Welcome Center. 

Joe Maurer, the installation artist, was present to offer clarification on the project and answer any questions the body had.

The open forum transitioned into the unfinished business of 64-B-6 regarding the same art installation. The bill for SOS to fund $10,000 for the project passed with a 18-8-2 vote.

Following unfinished business, the senate moved into their new business section of their agenda. This section of the meeting included seven proposed resolutions and three new bills. 

The first bill proposal was introduced by Anna Ziebell, the student body president. The bill proposed, 64-B-7, incorporated three changes to the constitution. These changes included adding the stolen land acknowledgement, gender non-conforming language and emergency procedures for cases such as a worldwide pandemic. 

Ziebell said in order to enact this bill, it must be passed by two thirds of the student senate and two thirds of student body voters in the next student senate election. The bill will be reintroduced and voted on next week.

The first resolution of the night, 64-R-28, proposed adding the suicide hotline on university issued Blugold identification cards. This bill was introduced by Senator Eddie Flottemesch, and was passed with a vote of 25-0-2. 

The next resolution proposal was for the changing of the curriculum of the first year experience course. This course is offered specifically to first year students to aid in their transition to college life. 

The resolution, introduced by Courtney Claeys, proposed adding lessons for navigating websites like CampS and the Microsoft Suite as well as assistance with financial aid. Resolution 64-R-29 was passed with a 25-0-2 vote. 

The second bill of the night, 64-B-8, was introduced by Trenton Phillipi, Commission Director of Finance. The bill was a budget reallocation, specifically for the music department at the university. 

The bill was a request from the reallocation of the music department’s travel expenses into their permanent property fund. The permanent property section would include new instruments for the department. 

“The music program rarely has enough funds to upgrade their instruments for students and there are a lot of instruments that are either broken or unusable,” Phillipi said.  

This bill will be reintroduced and voted at next week’s meeting. 

Director Phillipi also introduced resolution 64-R-30. This resolution was the proposal of the non- allocable segregated fees budget. Non-allocable fees include fixed obligations that the university must give funds every fiscal year. 

The change in dividation of funds was passed with a vote of 26-0-2. 

Resolution 64-R-31 was introduced by Bailey Carruthers. This resolution proposed adding inclusive language and informative content warnings on all documents distributed by the university to staff and students. 

“In a discussion with Dean Pierce there has been an example statement that has been crafted that reads: ‘Content warning: The attached information contains information about, in this case sexual assault and or violence that may be triggering to survivors’,” Carruthers said.

The resolution was passed with a majority vote of 24-2-2. 

The body then proposed a resolution to support National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Resolution 64-R-32 was introduced by Grace Luloff, the Chief of Staff for the Student Senate. 

“Disabled students are consistently forgotten and consistently left out of the conversation,” Luloff said. 

The body passed the bill to recognize National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month with a vote of 26-0-2. 

The next two resolutions were proposed by Haadia Malik, Commissioner Director of Equity in Student Matters. Resolution 64-R-33 suggested honoring March as Women’s History Month. The resolution was passed with a vote of 26-1-2. 

Resolution 64-R-34 highlighted issues with inclusivity of food options on campus. The resolution proposed more frequent communication with dining services to offer more food options to those with different dietary needs and preferences. 

The body passed this resolution with a vote of 26-1-2. 

The final bill of the evening proposed a ratification of the entirety of the language used in the constitution. The bill was a response to the open forum given by Nikolaus Spittlemeister, a fourth-year business student.

Spittlemeister gave an open forum presentation about bigoted incidents on campus and called for changes to the Student Body Senate during the senate meeting Feb. 10. 

Senator Anna Wendorf introduced bill 64-B-9 saying it was a representation of student’s support to ratify the constitution to include EDI changes. 

Wendorff said the bill was essentially a representation of a petition that received over 100 signatures supporting changes to the senate. This bill will be voted on next week. 

Shanahan can be reached at [email protected].