Biology Pond concerns Senate

Todd Wilkerson (left) and Micke Sobotka of Affordable Tree Service, Joplin, finish cleanup on the alterations made to the Biology Pond.

Todd Wilkerson (left) and Micke Sobotka of Affordable Tree Service, Joplin, finish cleanup on the alterations made to the Biology Pond.

Parker Willis

Senate ended its Feb. 1 meeting with concern for the Biology Pond’s transformation into an oriental garden.

Kristen Duwe, Senate secretary, informed Senate that workers have already started cutting down trees at the pond and expressed concern for the habitat.

“As a biology student, I’m pretty upset,” Duwe said. “During the Senate meeting [with University President Dr. Julio León] we were told that it wouldn’t effect biology studies and just cutting down one limb or cutting down one tree does have an effect on the ecosystem. It doesn’t seem like a drastic change, but you can go over and ask any biology professor and they will tell you it’s going to have a chain reaction on the entire pond.”

So far, the changes have only been the removal of trees and the placement of some gravel. But it is rumored there will also be a fence put up around the pond and coy fish added to the pond. Both will have an effect on the pond and the students studying it.

“Everybody in the biology department goes out there and uses that pond at least sometime during their courses,” said Carolyn White, sophomore senator. “This is affecting biology majors right now. Mr. Heth’s class goes out there and does research every week for lab. I think it’s hypocritical because we were told in a Senate meeting that the biology pond would not be touched.”

As the night progressed, Senate also allocated $400 to the student nursing association for a trip it took to Louisville, Ky. in November.

Senate also allocated $1,000 to the Student American Dental Hygiene Association for 41 students to take a trip to Jefferson City. There, the students will lobby for two bills that are coming up on a sunset deadline to be extended. One of the bills will benefit Medicaid.

Also during the meeting, Jason Hare, senior senator, brought up a resolution to observe Holocaust Memorial Day on campus. Normally, the day would be celebrated on April 25 but because of scheduled events, Southern will observe it on April 26. The Senate voted to suspend the rules on the resolution so the first and second reading could be on the same night. The resolution was passed.

Candice Dickinson, Senate treasurer, said there was an estimated $16,131 in the budget at the beginning of the meeting. The budget total was not available because it is still unclear as to how much will be added for this semester.

“We have to wait until our fourth week to find out the exact amount because the figure is based on enrollment,” said Eric Norris, Senate president.

In total, there were 25 senators and four officers.

Senators not present included Iulia Nastasa, Truman Yeary, Divine Aquino, Daniel Boyer Jr., Rebekah Burchfield, Valerie German, Kyle Kastler and Melody Salzer. No senators lost their seats this week.