The first meeting of the Student Senate’s 66th session commenced at 6:05 p.m. on Monday.
A military acknowledgement was said instead of the Pledge of Allegiance, a recent change in the senate bylaws.
During the open forum, an untenured faculty member, who did not say their name because of fear of retribution, gave a presentation about the growing numbers of student caregivers and the support the university should be giving those students.
They said the Faculty Senate had failed to pass legislation by the Caregiving Task Force, a system-wide task force of the UW Women and Gender Studies Consortium, to add caregiving as a new category of authorized absences for students.
The untenured faculty member asked the senate to help support student caregivers as the Caregiving Task Force works to improve and eventually reintroduce the caregiving legislation in the fall.
The outgoing executive board members reflected on their experiences in the senate. Individual director reports can be found in the May 2 meeting minutes.
University Activities commission Director Brett Farmer said Spring Fest is underway and there are events all week, including the Spring Dash and Bash at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Mascot Coordinator Alex Stoll said Blu would be attending the Spring Dash and Bash from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Farmer also said Bryce Vine and Landon Conrath will be performing at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in the Zorn Arena, and Dad Bod and The Nunnery will be performing at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday in The Cabin.
Student Office of Sustainability commission members, intergovernmental affairs commission members and senate interns of the 65th session resigned.
The executive board of the 65th session resigned and new directors will be appointed at the next meeting.
Ivan San and Jake Hicks were sworn in as senators.
Jaden Mikoulinskii resigned and Rossellin Gaitan was sworn in as President. Gaitan is a third-year English student with a critical studies in literature, cultures and film emphasis, and they were previously an on-campus senator and the communications commission director.
“I’m incredibly grateful and very blessed to have this opportunity,” Gaitan said.
Justin Schilling resigned and Nick Johnson was sworn in as Vice President. Johnson is a third-year political science student with a legal studies emphasis, and he was previously the finance commission intern and then the finance commission director.
“They’ve got big shoes to fill but I know they’re going to strap them on and run. They’re going to sprint and do ten times better than we ever did and every other senate session before them,” Mikoulinskii said.
Gaitan said the previous president and vice president were great with the transition and making them feel prepared.
“Having such a gentle transition has allowed us to feel more excited about the positions than nervous,” Johnson said. “I’m sure everyone coming into these offices are nervous, but Jaden and Justin have just been such great leaders and teachers for us, and they’ve given us so much guidance.”
Gaitan and Johnson said they have begun working on legislation and initiatives for the 66th session, including plans to explore providing more support for first-generation and transfer students and refurbishing the student safety emergency stations.
“There are a couple of things I want to work on, but mainly on making a first-generation student handbook, as well as making something for our transfer students,” Gaitan said. “I’ve been talking with first-generation and transfer students and they’ve been saying they need more support.”
Johnson said he wanted to work on improving and increasing the number of student safety emergency stations to improve safety on campus.
“We’ve got big shoes to fill and we’re happy to fill them,” Johnson said.
Senator Thomas Miller introduced bill 66-B-1 to revise the 66th session bylaws. The bill will be voted on at the next meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 7:31 p.m. and will reconvene at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, May 9 in the Dakota Ballroom.
Kasper can be reached at [email protected]