Student Senate

Comments on MSU shooting and lobbying trips canceled


The Student Senate meeting began at 6:04 p.m. on Monday.

Senator Matthew Lehner spoke about the shooting at Michigan State University.

Lehner said, “it’s really sad that we live in a country where we say ‘never again,’ we actually mean ‘we will never do anything about our mass shooting problem killing our kids and young people.’ Thoughts and prayers are useless when we can’t even muster the courage to help ourselves.

“For a young person like myself, I find it sad that mass shootings in this country are now a new normal. I don’t remember a time while in school where we didn’t have lockdown drills or had to listen to a presentation during study halls about how to use books, pencils and chairs meant for learning, as weapons, how to barricade the doors or to smash the corner of a window in order to escape the shooter.

“In a country where we are supposed to lead and set an example for the rest of the world, children and young people don’t deserve to grow up wondering whether it will be the last time they say ‘goodbye, I love you,’ to their mom and dad. They don’t deserve to live in this preventable cycle of abhorrent violence, wondering when their school or workplace will be next. Moreover, they don’t deserve the politicians who do nothing, while bending over backwards for the NRA.

“The one thing that gives me hope throughout our crisis is the will and desire of young people to change our country. We will no longer tolerate the status quo perpetuated by the out of touch politicians put in power. Young people like myself are ready to step up and lead our country out of its troubled present, and into a bright future where no child or person has to stare down the barrel of an assault rifle, wondering whether today will be their last,” Lehner said.

President Rossellin Gaitán said the lobbying trip to Madison, Wisconsin has been postponed because of an upcoming snowstorm.

“We were going to talk about things like mental health, Wisconsin tuition promise and reciprocity funds within UW education,” Gaitán said. “It’s important to go and lobby about these things because a lot of times I think it is easy for lawmakers and policymakers to forget about the student perspective and youth voices, and it’s important for us to go and remind them.”

Gaitán said interviews have begun for the vacant senate seats.

“Our vacancy interviews have gone really well and our first set of interviews were today. The people were great and I’m really excited to see who else is joining our session,” Gaitán said.

Senate Personnel Director Anakah Denison said according to the senate bylaws, all senators are required to author at least one piece of legislation. Monday’s meeting was the fourth week with no new legislation introduced.

Intergovernmental Affairs commission Director Hannah Kelly said the Chippewa Valley Rally has also been postponed because of weather. The tentative new date is March 29.

Kelly said Chancellor James Schmidt is encouraging more students to attend the Chippewa Valley Rally and lobby for sustainability in the new science and health sciences building. Interested students can contact her at [email protected] or Vice President Brett Farmer at [email protected]

Kelly also said voting for the 2023 Wisconsin spring primary will be held today from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and on-campus students can vote on the second floor of Davies Student Center.

Director Bradford Heap said the Student Organization commission will be listening to segregated fee funding presentations from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and there will be no commission meeting this week.

Student Office of Sustainability commission Senate Director Sydney McGuine said there will be no commission meeting this week.

University Activities commission Director Zach Jacobson said the Winter Carnival events went great last week, and there will be no events this week.

Lehner proposed an amendment to section 11, part 14 on page 102 of the senate bylaws. Lehner’s proposed amendment was to add a space between “at” and “the.”

Gaitán said the amendment was editorial and could be passed without writing legislation. The senate approved the amendment.

Senators Katherine Myszka, Rebecca Yoshino and Taylor Kaplan resigned.

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

Kasper can be reached at [email protected].