Student Senate

Public safety referendum presentation and SOS priorities summary

Maddie Kasper

More stories from Maddie Kasper

Student Senate
December 15, 2022
Student+Senate

The Student Senate meeting began at 6:04 p.m. on Monday in the Woodland Theater.

Eau Claire City Council Members Jeremy Gragert and Joshua Miller gave a presentation about the public safety referendum with Deputy Chief Thomas Derek of the Eau Claire Police Department.

The referendum will appear on the ballot for the upcoming Nov. 8 election, according to Gragert.

Gragert said the referendum, if passed, would fund positions for six police officers, six firefighters/paramedics, two civilian community service officers and one civilian law enforcement associate to meet the city’s growing public safety needs.

Thomas said the demand for service has increased but the staffing has not, with police officers’ overtime up 450% in 2021 compared to 2018. 

Thomas, who is in charge of the investigations and professional standards division, said he often has to move his detectives to patrol shifts to maintain minimum staffing for the city.

According to the referendum fact sheet, calls for fire and rescue have increased 25% and the city population has increased 4%, while fire and rescue staffing has decreased over the last decade causing longer response times and increased overlapping service calls.

Local officials have been hosting informational sessions and attending public meetings to talk to voters about the referendum and answer questions.

More information about the referendum can be found at www.eauclairewi.gov/referendum

Hannah Kelly, intergovernmental affairs commission director, said students should check The Hub in Davies Student Center for information about voting eligibility and candidate information for the upcoming election.

University Activities Commission Director Brett Farmer said Fiona Rose Kelly and green will be performing from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 15 at The Cabin.

Mascot Coordinator Kyle May said he is working on Blu themed merchandise and that Blu has new suits.

Student Office of Sustainability Senate Director Sydney McGuine introduced resolution 66-R-2 in support of the SOS Fall 2022 priorities summary.

The resolution passed with a vote of 22-0-3.

McGuine introduced bill 66-B-4 to allocate funding to support Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the new science and health science building.

“I think – and the commission thinks too – that LEED certification is really important. It’s one of the biggest accreditations in the world for sustainability,” McGuine said.

Sustainability Coordinator Lily Strehlow said the $217,555 would go to the Potter Lawson team, the architects for this project, to ensure the building is designed with LEED in mind.

“We committed as a university to be carbon neutral by 2050 and buildings are a large part of carbon-emitting things on this campus,” McGuine said. “This building will be around for a long time and it is important to follow the list that LEED provides to ensure that the building is sustainable.”

McGuine introduced bill 66-B-5 to allocate funding to provide LEED green associate credentialing exam waivers for students.

McGuine said an allocation of $8,500 would remove the financial barrier for students to get professional LEED credentials. The funding would cover the exam fees for 85 students.

Both bills will be voted on at the next meeting.

Stuart Scamehorn, Eddie Noyes, Theresa Bell, Academic Affairs Director Sahana Suresh, Senator Austin Lallak, Grant Eiden and Breanna Renslo were appointed to the information technology commission.

The senate adjourned at 7:27 p.m. and will reconvene at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17 in the Dakota Ballroom.

Kasper can be reached at [email protected]