Student Senate votes not to pass budget for spring semester
The Student Senate voted to go this semester without a budget. In their first meeting of the spring semester, the Senate discussed the proposed budget for this semester, which will end in a monetary value of zero.
Led by student senate president Luke Diel, the discussion quickly began on the initial budget that was proposed by treasurer Tyler Wright.
The purpose of the budget is, according to Wright, “to find the best way to allocate the money from the university to best serve the students we represent.”
The initial proposal of the budget included the idea of a cowbell giveaway, which would have been done during this upcoming basketball season in collaboration with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at a student watch party. The purpose of the giveaway was to get students involved during the basketball season. The cowbells were the only item presented in the proposal for the budget.
“Many senators saw the cowbells as an athletic expense,” Diel said.
Other ideas were presented for the budget but on the date of the vote. Because they were beyond the due date, they were left off the budget vote.
Community involvement was a huge topic of discussion during the debate portion of the virtual meeting. Many senators felt that the cowbell idea wasn’t the best way to give a sense of community.
The final Senate vote was 20-1 in favor of passing a blank budget
Junior senator Lachlan Loudon was the only senator who voted to pass the budget.
“I voted yes because I believe the cowbells have long-term benefits,” said Loudon. “I believe they would help with community building and help improve school spirit. We have the money, so why not spend it now while we have the idea.”
“We want to help as many groups as possible,” said Diel. “By having students participating in polls to voice their opinions will build a sense of community.”
Weekly Senate polls are posted every Monday and run until Friday. If students have any ideas or questions regarding current or future polls, they can reach out to the Student Senate via myConnect.
Student Senate tab on MyConnect to be updated
The Student Senate tab on myConnect is getting an overhaul, and progress is starting to pick up. Discussion about updating the Student Senate tab on myConnect was easily agreed upon by a majority of the senators.
The senate tab was last updated three years ago. The student senate wants to deliver on its message of community involvement and familiarize students with their elected senators.
Social vice president and chair of the campus affairs committee, Isaiah Skeete, is in charge of creating the groundwork for what the new senate tab will look like and what will be included.
The goal of updating the senate tab is, according to Skeete, “to be as transparent with the student body as possible.”
The initial proposal of what will be included in the new senate tab will consist of committee descriptions, senator biographies, future projects that will include past and present projects, an issue mach form link, a meeting link for the public and meeting recaps for those who are interested in the senate.
Transparency is the main focus of the new senate tab. Student senate president Luke Diel wants the new tab to create more awareness and involvement in the student senate.
“We feel this new tab will generate not only more awareness but excitement about the senate,” Diel said. “We want students not only to learn about the senate, but we also want to familiarize them about what we do, who we are and maybe get them interested and consider running for office in the future.”
While there is no date set in stone for when the senate tab will be finished and able to be accessed on myConnect, the senate is confident that it will be completed soon.
“The goal is to have everything done and have it accessible within the next few weeks,” Skeete said. “If we start getting into March and it still isn’t finished, we will have to step it up and get this done.”
Students can get involved and stay up to date with the senate by participating in the weekly senate polls that are posted every Monday and run until Friday.