Student Senate seats reallocated

Temporary Reallocation of Vacant Senate Seats to Seats At-Large

Maddie Kasper

More stories from Maddie Kasper


The first Student Senate meeting of the semester commenced at 6:06 p.m. Monday. 

During the open forum, Phil Rechek, program coordinator for the Menard Center for Constitutional Studies, said he wanted to remind senators and students of the “Promoting Free Expression on Campus” that is being co-sponsored with the Student Senate at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8.

Elizabeth TenBarge, Academic Affairs commission director said that the commission would not be meeting this week, and instead encouraged senators and gallery members to attend the senate’s event with the Menard Center for Constitutional Studies.

Yoshi Gaitan, director of the Communications commission said the Student Senate has begun hosting “Motivation Mondays”. Every Monday, directors and senators will be serving hot chocolate to students and explaining the role that commissions play on campus, along with receiving student feedback.

Gaitan also said that a new, bigger banner about student senate office hours is being printed and new placards for senators’ personal office hours are being made.

There will be changes made to the Student Senate website, including a new page devoted to Motivation Mondays and one containing senator spotlights and resources for senators.

Mengcha Moua, Equity in Student Matters director, told students to look forward to events being planned for Black History Month, as well as an event next month with Women Uniting and Fighting.

Stuart Scamehorn, director of the Information Technology commission, said he wants students to fill out the student technology survey. The responses help the ITC gauge different technology issues on campus. The survey can be found here

The lobbying trip to the State Legislature, proposed by Bailey Carruthers, Intergovernmental Affairs commission director, has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Maddie Loeffler, Student Office of Sustainability director, said the new Student Sustainability Resource Center (SSRC) is to be housed in the old printing services space on the first floor of Davies.

Loeffler wants students to make “Valentines for climate” to post online and show support to the U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin for fighting for climate legislation at the federal level. Supplies can be found at the round table in the ordinance complex.

Brenden Hicks, Student Organizations director,  gave an update on platform implementation of an app that would contain CampS and Canvas. This app would consolidate resources that students regularly use and is expected to be ready for the fall semester.

Nick Johnson, Finance commission director, introduced Bill 65-B-7, a special allocation to replace outdated machinery in the Foster Gallery. The mini-cutter and dry mounter are proposed to be replaced with newer, safer models for students and staff to use. The proposed cost for this special allocation is $8,895.56 and would allow the Foster Gallery to put on more shows.

Jaden Mikoulinskii, Student Senate president, made a motion to change the current vacant senate seats to seats at-large. As of Monday’s meeting, there are 14 vacant positions and 15 applications. Senate seats were apportioned based on living both on-campus and off-campus because students have different experiences with different living situations. According to Mikoulinskii, by reallocating the vacant seats this semester, the senate is able to accept more students that are passionate about student government that they previously would have turned away because of where they live.

The senate then went through a speaker’s list, where every member of the senate had an opportunity to voice their concerns about the motion. The motion then passed by a vote of 13- 3-2. 

“This would mean any student who wants to be involved in senate, who is an enrolled student at UW-Eau Claire, can be involved in senate so long as they submit an application” Mikoulinskii said. 

Prior to this motion, the application period had ended. Following the hearing, Mikoulinskii said they are considering new students for positions.

Several senators graduated last semester and Mikoulinskii read their resignations at the meeting. Committee nominations were discussed and will be revisited at a later meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 8:08 p.m. and will reconvene at Monday, February 14th in the Dakota Ballroom.

Kasper can be reached at [email protected]