This week’s meeting of the University of Rhode Island’s Student Senate ended with a closed meeting for purposes of impeachment, however, the vote did not pass.
At the start of the meeting, during approval of the agenda, Senator Ryan Menard moved to strike the closed meeting from the agenda as there was no bill for it. This was seconded by Senator Michael LeBeau. Vice President Tristram Howard declined this motion as moderator of the Senate floor.
Senator Skylar Nelson defended the closed meeting and said that the Rules and Ethics Committee “did this with good thought.”
During the meeting, there also was debate over the budget for fiscal year 2019-2020, among other bills. A motion by Finance Committee Chair Zachary Taylor to change the vote on this bill to instead be voted on next week was passed. Senators reviewed the budget recommendations from the Finance Committee and were able to review them to make motions on the funds allocated to student organizations.
Student Organization Advisory Review Committee Chair Austin Ramsay moved to make Senate’s cosponsorship line to $10,000 which is $3,000 over what the Finance Committee recommended. This motion will continue next week when discussion about the bill continues.
Taylor informed the Senate that they have a $73,000 deficit in their budget. Senator Joseph Lachance said that the ways to alleviate this problem would be to either take money from the rollover account or take money from student organizations.
The $600 originally recommended to be allocated by the Finance Committee to the event called “Ace of Cakes” through the Senate was moved by Cultural Committee Chair Jennifer Kohl to be struck from the budget on the grounds that the program hasn’t had full capacity for the event in the past couple years. Nelson also supported this.
Director of Communications Nicolette St. Amand opposed taking the event off the budget. St. Amand said “we should be putting on more events like this, not taking more away.”
It was motioned by Kohl to change the line for “Ace of Cakes” to a programming line so that it can be used for events similar to it after recommendation by Taylor to do so instead of striking the line completely and losing the money. This motion was passed.
Two separate bills asking for contingency grants for Electronic Music Association and Musician’s Guild. The grant for EMA was for $3,925 and the grant for Musician’s Guild was for $1,395.
Nominations and Elections for the positions of the SOARC Committee Chair and Finance Committee Chair were held during the meeting. Current SOARC Chair Austyn Ramsay was re-elected for the position again with no opposition. Lachance and Annabel Cimbal were nominated for Finance Committee Chair. Lachance was elected Finance Committee Chair with 16 votes.
The four people that applied to be the commencement speaker for the University of Rhode Island’s graduating class of 2019, Kiran Reed, Ellie Dunkle, Brian Mcdonough, and Stephen D’Aloisio all gave their speeches in front of the Student Senate during Public Forum.
D’Aloisio, a communications major with a minor in business, was chosen to be the commencement speaker. His speech filled the room with laughter and ended with a quote from comedian Bill Burr.
A resolution calling for Student Senate to condemn all forms of bigotry and prejudice was passed unanimously. Senator Thomas McGrath said that the Student Senate will “make a highly accessible resource guide for all of our students.”
The bills calling for the certification of representative and presidential elections for the 2019-2020 term as well as the referendums on Indigenous People’s Day and whether or not to increase the Student Services Fee all passed unanimously.