University of Rhode Island Student Senate President Joseph Maynard shared his experience as a URI student at the Legislative Luncheon, yesterday.

Rhode Island government representatives, state companies and student body representatives from URI, Rhode Island College, Providence College and Brown University gathered to discuss the theme, “A forum for 2015.”

Maynard, was able to express his concerns for higher education and share his experience as a URI student. The group  appreciated listening to the concerns of a student. “They were very receptive to student opinion, most of the time they hear it from President Dooley,” said Maynard, “But it’s different  hearing it from students that actually live in the dorm rooms and actually pay the tuition.”

State representatives felt that the issue of higher education was more of a national topic. “ They want to institutionalize education,” Maynard said.

The luncheon provided Maynard with the opportunity to network and work closer with state representatives to better higher education in the future. “I appreciate that they took time to listen,” Maynard said.

Kath Searle, the senior vice president of marketing for Textron, and Kurt Harrington, the CEO of the startup company Something Fishy, spoke about  having a business in Rhode Island. The meeting was filled with ideas of new beginnings, and a positive outlook to the new gubernatorial term.

In other news:

External Affairs Committee Chair, Matthew Kilduff, informed senate members about an increase in the amount of towed cars in the parking lots near the URI Emporium. Students have reported to Kilduff that the Emporium owner has hired people to observe the movement in the parking lots near the business which he also owns.

“Apparently, he pays people to sit in cars and make sure that no one stays in the emporium for too long,” Kilduff said. Towing in these parking lots have always been an issue, but it is becoming a more prominent. “They are towing people for being parked for shorter amounts of time,” Maynard said. “There have been people who run into I-Slice for five minutes and get towed.”

“This should not be happening,” Maynard said, “I will look into it, but I want to make sure the stories are true.”

The student senate voted on positions for their elections committee. Senate members were not able to cast the votes correctly because they were distracted and had to vote for a second time. Senate Vice President Nicholas Hetland used his time during the general discussion and open forum to re-direct the groups attention and say that it is the most immature floor he has seen in the two years he has served. “You guys do not realize the importance of your positions,” Hetland said. Senate members elected Denise Ogbemudia-Pratt and Emily Teixeira.