Student Senate Report 2/28

In the last meeting before elections, the Student Senate welcomed a guest speaker, announced candidacies and the appointed senators for the Women’s Summit Committee.

Assistant Vice President of Housing and Residential Life Tom Cooley briefed the Senate on new initiatives and survey results in on campus housing. A survey sent out in November 2023 showed 50.4% of students who took the survey were satisfied with their housing, and 63.2% would recommend living on campus.

HRL will be prioritizing amenities alongside building maintenance and making lounge areas in dormitories more hospitable and attractive. These updates will include board games, pool tables, ping pong tables, outdoor games and yoga mats, Cooley said.

The Senate emphasized to Cooley the importance of sustainability in dorm life, especially recycling in the buildings. Chair Hoover also provided updates on off-campus housing.

In the this week’s installment of the Narragansett Housing Ordinance (State House Bill #H7382) saga, a senator in the State House has sponsored the Student Senate’s potential bill to reverse the three-person housing limit in Narragansett.

Next week, March 4-8, elections will be held for student senators as well as the vacant president and vice president positions.

Current Committee Chairs Peckham and Buono announced their candidacy for president and vice president, respectively. The ticket was endorsed by Chair Hoover and Speaker Rudolph.

“I really want to encourage you all to look at everybody’s platform,” said Chair Peckham. “See what resonates with you the most and see who you think is the most qualified and most dedicated to the URI community.”

Chair Buono also spearheaded the nomination of 14 female-identifying senators for the Women’s Summit Special Committee. The Women’s Summit will be held in April, inviting all female-identifying senators and members of club executive boards to attend. All 14 nominated senators accepted their nominations and were appointed.

Sen. Ebrahimpour introduced a bill to increase funding for Military and Veteran Education to match the increase in tuition next academic year.

“I think it’s important to give veterans the chance to be on a level playing ground,” said Chair Hoover.

The proposed bill was approved and Sen. Ebrahimpour announced he will not be running for reelection.

The next Student Senate meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m. in Memorial Union room 300.