Senate makes final push to introduce legislation

Nine pieces introduced at this week’s meeting, Senate’s second to last of the session

Avery Shanahan

More stories from Avery Shanahan

Police Blotter
November 24, 2021

This week, Student Senate voted to recognize April as Muslim Hertiage month, Arab American Heritage Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The Senate began its second to last meeting of the 64th session with the weekly reports. Many of the commission directors discussed the conclusion of their weekly meetings and duties of the semester.

Senate then moved into unfinished business, where 64-R-41 was reintroduced by Director Haadia Malik. The resolution proposes enhanced support to first-generation students. 

The piece of legislation addresses the lack and need of a department or designated faculty to support first-generation students. The resolution is in support of a living learning community to be established to benefit these students. 

The resolution passed with a vote of 24-0-2.

Following unfinished business, Senate moved to the new business portion of its meeting.   

64-B-15 was introduced by Director Brett Swanson and proposed the approval of the 2022 information technology commission budget. 

Swanson said the Information Technology Commission is responsible for spending the student technology fee, which is two percent of tuition costs. 

Changes to the budget include an increase in the allocated printing amount allowed to each student from $10 to $20 and the creation of a paid ITC intern position.

This bill will be introduced and voted on in next week’s meeting. 

64-R-42 proposes mobile credential financial allocation. Also introduced by Swanson, this resolution supports a mobile application to replace physical Blugold ID cards. 

This mobile credential would be able to offer access to card door swipe locations, mobile printing, dining, library checkout, vending machine services and university bookstore transactions. 

“The financial allocated amount would be around $38,000,” Swanson said. “There will be a recurring cost of $2.50 per user of the system.”

Senate passed this resolution with a vote of 24-0-2.

Resolution 64-R-43, introduced by Senator Mengcha Muoa, supports recognizing April as Hmong Heritage Month.

Muoa said the recognition of Hmong Heritage Month would include education on Hmong history and celebrating the ways Hmong students and individuals are thriving now.

This resolution passed with a vote of 24-0-2. 

Following that resolution, 64-B-16 was introduced by Director Trenton Phillippi. This bill proposes a student initiative third party green building certification of the Sonnentag Complex. 

Philippi said the student initiative allows the finance commission to help promote projects that could receive funding from other financial accounts. 

The third party certification involved would ensure sustainable practices in the construction of the project.

If the referendum for the Sonnentag Complex passes, this bill will be introduced and voted on next week. 

Malik then introduced 64-R-44, in support of increased accommodations to international students. 

Malik said this addresses two issues which international students are facing:

  1. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, international students have had several issues receiving their student visas to attend universities abroad. 
  2. Students who are unable to travel to the United States that are attending UW-Eau Claire are attending classes at unusual times due to the time differences between countries. 

“International students are currently staying up very late if they are in their home country,” Malik said. “Mostly students in China stay up from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. just to attend classes.”

The resolution supports accommodations like recording classes and extending deadlines to international students abroad. 

64-R-44 passed with a majority vote of 25-0-2.

The next resolution, introduced by Senator Jacksen Wolff, supports recognizing April as Arab American Heritage Month. 

“This heritage month needs to be recognized and respected on this campus, especially for the sake of our Arab American student peers,” Wolff said. 

Resolution 64-R-45 passed with a vote of 25-0-2.

Following this resolution, Chief of Staff Grace Luloff introduced adopting the new student senate bylaws for 2021. Bill 64-B-17 includes changes to bylaw format and changes to commission director descriptions.

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

The final piece of legislation of the meeting introduced recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 

“This resolution is part of this committee’s support of sexual assault surviors and education surrounding this issue,” Senator Olivia Schenzel said.

64-R-46 passed with a vote of 24-0-2.

Shanahan can be reached at [email protected].