In this week’s meeting of the University of Rhode Island’s Student Senate, three and a half hours were spent to pass four bills.
Finance Committee Chair Zachary Taylor announced that he would be running for Student Senate President with Senator John Bagley as his running mate. During his speech, Taylor expressed that it has been unfair to the student body for Senate to focus on bylaws during meetings instead of the student organizations needs on campus.
Senate passed a bill calling for a referendum polling students on whether Student Senate should try to get the state of Rhode Island to change the state holiday of Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day. Cultural Affairs Committee Chair Jennifer Kohl expressed that passing the bill would show students that Senate will fight for what the student body believes in.
Under the Finance Committee’s report, Chair Taylor motioned to move the vote for a bill calling for $2,585 for capital improvements to Student Senate to be held during the committee’s report at the beginning of the meeting. The capital improvements included $1,300 to buy 10 new $130 office chairs and $1,285 for one custom pop up tent with URI Senate Senate branding.
Vice President Tristram Howard stated during the meeting that he believed the office chairs were not necessary in the bill and should have been a separate vote from that of the pop up tent.
The Student Senate spent a substantial amount of time revising a new constitution for Student Senate, which was spoken about in a separate constitutional convention at the end of last semester.
During the convention, Vice President Howard stated that “The Senate is a failure of an organization and cannot maintain its members.”
This was in reference to Senate losing many senators last semester to resignations. Debate on the constitution itself will continue next week when Senate votes on implementing the constitution.
Bills calling for the recognition of the Pre-Physician Assistant Club and the Pre-Physical Therapy Club as Recognized Student Organizations were approved during the meeting.
Dining Liaison Ryan Menard reported that Astros, located in Mainfare dining hall, will now be open later at night than dining hall itself with hours close to that of Rhody Market so that students can get burgers later at night.