Aggressive action starts Senate semester

Amye Buckley

During the Sept. 24 meeting Student Senate removed two items from its bylaws, passed a resolution in support of Martin Luther King, Jr. day, tabled an online voting option and approved a new member.

The first section required a second reading for all appropriation requests. The second required any student who belonged to the student organization in question to abstain for voting. Both were eliminated.

“This I believe to be a very, very unfair piece,” said Matt Day, Senate parliamentarian.

Discussion among Senators centered on an appropriation request presented last year by the Greeks.

“We ended up setting the rules aside to give the Greeks $200,” said Alesha Gilleland, Senate treasurer.

Prior to the vote, students who were on Senate, but also members of a student organization which brought in a funding request would be required to abstain from voting. The abstention counted as a negative vote.

“What’s happening is if say the Greeks need money for something then every Greek in the room has to abstain from having a vote,” Day said. “And unless we set the rule aside before the vote – once they abstain they go against that person’s vote.

“The rule is entirely unfair because – abstentions – they count towards a majority.”

Supporters pointed out that no organization would receive more than $1,000 per semester and said the new measures will save time.

“It’s a procedural motion that you have to do every time and it just takes up time,” Day said. “Basically, now it’s out of the way and you don’t have to worry about it.”

Senate also passed a resolution calling for the administration to acknowledge Martin Luther King Jr., Day, and to release students from classes on that day. Supporters believe it would give students a better chance to plan more events and prevent them from skipping class to attend the events.

“They can’t give us one day off of school so everybody can celebrate?” said Jeff Walker, senior graphic communication major.

The measure passed, but not without opposition. Some students suggested evening events, instead of the traditional breakfast, luncheon and mid-day speaker. As Campus Activities Board President, Walker hopes to see more involvement and more educational activities, especially, Walker said since February is Black History month and there are few other events on campus.

“I can see other things, maybe more movies, more events all day as far as knowledge because there’s a lot of people who know who of Martin Luther King but don’t know what he did,” Walker said.

“They give us so many days for winter break. We can take one day away from there. It wouldn’t kill us to take that day away because the majority of the students towards the end of their break are pretty much sitting at home watching T.V. and waiting to come back.”

Presented by Sentate President, Ben Hinkle as an opportunity make the voting process more convenient for students and cuts down on costs, a resolution to move voting for Student Senate elections, officer elections and any campus-wide votes for constitutional amendments to Lionet was tabled.

“I’m for it,” Walker said. “But people are struggling to get on to Lionet all year long.

“I feel like since we tabled it we have a chance to find a solution for students to be able to vote online.”

Senators put the idea on hold to research the idea better and asked for a test run to be put online so they could see how the system could work.

Junior public relations major Jessie Wood was confirmed as a Senate member. Senate still has openings for two junior and four sophomore students.