The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Student Senate passes legislation in support of gun legislation

Senate discusses FASFA, gun legislation and parliamentary process in eventful meeting

Billy Felz, vice dean for enrollment, began the Student Senate meeting with an update on the current situation with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA release was delayed for the 2024-2025 academic year and this will impact when incoming students will receive their financial aid plans. 

Financial aid packages normally come out in December but this year are expected to arrive in May. This is already impacting admissions, as Felz said admission for the class of 2028 is down 6% compared to the previous year, a large margin. Felz referred to the situation as a “debacle.”

Nicole Andrews, executive director of enrollment management at Blugold Central, described the changes that will impact current students. With the form simplified, certain things used to be seen as “advantages” that no longer are. 

If FASFA applicants have a sibling in college, it will not benefit them, as it used to. In addition, small businesses and family farms will be included as assets. 

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Senator Matthew Lehner reintroduced resolution 67-R-11, urging for the support of stricter gun legislation on college campuses. In his introduction, he detailed how he planned to originally withdraw the legislation, but instead wanted to debate it. 

The senate then debated the resolution. Intergovernmental Affairs Director Mei Bean began to make amendments, the first being to change the wording of the title. The resolution used the word “urging” while Bean changed it to “in support of,” which is the standard language for resolutions.

Changes like this continued, with Student Organizations Committee Director Brad Heap amending the resolution to remove the words “fiercely and unapologetically” from the document to remain bipartisan. 

“At the end of the day, I think that the amendments that we brought forward — that also everyone else brought forward — were good and really helped to solidify what this resolution is and what we stand,” Bean said.

The bill passed 27-4-3, with four senators voting against it and one choosing to abstain.

President Brett Farmer said this was the largest vote split during this session but said he was unalarmed.

“I have been advocating for people to vote or speak against things if they will feel [that way],” Farmer said. “Because unanimous consent can be dangerous and set a bad precedent.”

With the legislation going through multiple rounds of amendments, Lehner said he was relieved to see it go through. 

“If you believe what you have written, bring it forward to the body and let’s discuss that,” Lehner said. “We should not be afraid to submit amendments on the floor, we should not be afraid to debate legislation on its very merits.”

Senator Logan Ackerman introduced resolution 67-R-12, providing resources to learn parliamentary procedure. The Parliamentarian Procedure Playbook that the senate uses is often used incorrectly, and this most greatly affects newer members. 67-R-12 will create a sticker with some basic terms that senators can use in session. 

The stickers will be placed on the back of their placards, and according to Parliamentarian Luke Mandli, will be available before the next meeting. Senator Brunke discussed how legislation like this is important. This piece comes at a time when the bylaws are being rewritten. 

“Senate is headed in a more like understandable, comprehensible, accessible direction,” Farmer said. “It’s exciting”

The resolution passed unanimously, 23-0-2. 

The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on March 4 in the Dakota Ballroom of Davies Student Center. 

Leick can be reached at [email protected].

Correction: A previous version of this story had the incorrect spelling for senators names and the wrong date for the next meeting. The names and date have been corrected.

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