During this week’s Student Senate meeting, four new bills were passed, two of which were Senate recognition of new clubs.
Director of Treasury Chris Hoover endorsed a new bill he wrote, handled by Senator Anabelle Gibson and sponsored by four other senators.
The bill’s primary purpose is to address several issues pertaining to parking, traffic and electric vehicles. The Senate explicitly attributed many factors to the issue, including an increased number of commuters and more resident parking permits among freshmen, more of whom have received exemptions to University rules not allowing freshmen to park on campus than years past. The bill was passed unanimously.
“It’s more of an action bill to take action on the multiple issues surrounding parking,” Hoover commented on his initiative. “I know there’s been a lot of talk around campus that students have had trouble finding parking, or it taking 30 minutes plus just to get out of the parking lot.”
The bill doesn’t define a linear path of action that the Senate will take to resolve the issues, but the Senate has now officially recognized the issue and declared its intent to collectively work toward a solution.
Other issues covered in the bill include the cost of parking tickets, which students and senators said are excessive given the cost of parking permits and the shortage of working charging stations for electric vehicles.
“I think students should have more awareness of the construction that is going on,” added External Affairs Chair Grace Kiernan during a discussion of the bill.
Kiernan, along with her committee and the rest of the Senate, has been working on improving the experience for commuters since this year’s first meeting. She announced during her report that a new club for commuters was in development, among other initiatives for commuter appreciation.
Campus Affairs Chair Emily Gamache is also looking into contributing solutions for the parking issue. She reported today that on Oct. 7, she will run a booth at Memorial Union from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to gather student input on parking issues.
Faculty Senate President Audrey Cardany was also present, and announced her excitement during the Public Forum to gather information on parking issues from tonight’s session to share with her colleagues.
From Oct. 4 to 18, a donation box will be in the Memorial Union for hats, scarves, and headwraps. Cultural Affairs Chair Angelica Tyson said today that the Senate will donate the articles of clothing to those suffering from breast cancer.
Also in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a Pumpkin Awareness Paint Night will be held in the Memorial Union ballroom on October 22 from 8 to 10 p.m., according to Tyson. There will be refreshments and a competition with prizes.
The Student Entertainment Committee (SEC) requested that the Student Senate transfer $65,000 between their accounts to make adequate preparations for the “Conversation with Stephen Colbert” event on Friday. The Student Senate passed the bill with full expectation that the event will make the money back for the SEC, making no major implication on the budget. Hoover emphasized that the transfer will have no effect on the operations of the SEC.
Two student organizations received official recognition from the Senate without any opposition: the Cape Verdean Student Association and the Pre-Dental Club.
The Senate will reconvene at their chambers in the Memorial Union again on Wednesday next week at 6:30 p.m.