Yesterday’s Student Senate meeting had a public forum from a climate change lobbyist, voted on critical bills, and a number of nominations and elections for empty seats.

Sharon Gold, a lobbyist for the grassroots Citizens’ Climate Lobby, spoke to the Student Senate about getting the University involved in their mission of supporting Carbon Fee and Dividend laws. These laws would put a price on carbon by the metric ton and return most of the fee to households. Gold visited the University in order to gain their support in this mission, through the involvement of campus clubs and the Student Senate, but also the support of President David Dooley, who the group is hoping will sign on in support of this type of carbon legislation.

President Adriana Wilding reported that University’s IT Governance committee spoke with a representative from Tophat, an online learning tool that is used in classes to take attendance, view notes and answer questions in the classroom. There is a possibility that the University will buy a license for the software because of the number of professors that require it and the price that it costs for students.

The bill proposed by Senator Ryan Menard about paying all student employees time and a half on Sundays and Holidays, which was the source of much debate last week, was tabled at Menard’s request. Another bill regarding changing the Student Senate Constitution based on the “Equal Students” bill, which would allow for Graduate students to be represented by the Senate, was postponed indefinitely and taken off of tonight’s agenda to not be put back on. A bill introduced by President Wilding about holding a constitutional convention was approved with some minor amendments to it.

A resolution proposed by Senator Jay Rumas regarding the University removing classes from the calendar on election day was passed overwhelmingly with no nay votes and few abstentions. The resolution essentially states that Student Senate wants to join the Faculty Senate and some other student organizations in moving for the cancellation of classes on election days in order to allow students to exercise their right to vote. The rescheduling of classes is up to the Calendar Committee of the Faculty Senate, and the hope is that this change will be made prior to the 2020 election.

Finally, several students were nominated and elected to the Senate yesterday evening. There was no nominee for the College of Nursing or freshman position. Both of those positions will be open for nominations again next week. The senators in attendance that were elected yesterday and who stayed following their election were sworn in at the meeting.