Student Senate 4/24

In their last meeting of the semester, the University of Rhode Island student senate elected a new house speaker, got a presidential platform overview and passed two new bills.

Third-year Sen. Lauren Peckham was unanimously elected as speaker of the assembly for the 2024-2025 academic year, finalizing the new administration. Peckham ran unopposed, endorsed by two students: fourth-year Abie Olaye and former speaker fourth-year David Rudolph.

If Peckham finishes out her term, she will be the first woman to hold the position of speaker for an entire term in the student senate.

Peckham previously served as the chair of the Academic Committee during the 2023-2024 administration.

“Let’s be inspired by each other and the potential of what we can achieve together,” Peckham said.

Elected alongside Peckham were three new off campus representatives: Senator Timothy Small, Senator Jack Stadman and Senator Alexa Williams. All were voted in unanimously and all off-campus representative positions have been filled.

President Argha Goswami gave a presentation to senators explaining her presidential platform and potential initiatives. The first initiative would eliminate access codes for classes, common on platforms like McGraw-Hill.

“The whole concept of an access code doesn’t make sense to me, and I’ll be working on it throughout the year,” Goswami said.

The second initiative would implement mandatory diversity training for all student university employees and URI 101 classes, according to Goswami. This would most likely be facilitated through Diversity Dialogues, a corporate partner offering various trainings and seminars.

Vice President Sanah Feroz also outlined some of her initiatives, most prevalently accessibility for dining services. Feroz’s personal experiences with a lack of convenient options for Halal meal options inspired the initiative. Feroz also seeks to include students following Kosher and gluten-free diets in dining accessibility initiatives.

“We want the campus to be more aware that their different students have different demographics and different nutritional backgrounds who deserve to be represented,” Feroz said.

Feroz’ other initiatives include more reliable shuttles on campus and a potential conference of undergraduate women serving executive board positions in student organizations.

The first bill on the table was bill SS2425-02, which re-recognized Bridge USA as a student organization. Bridge USA is a national organization that aims to fight political division among students, according to their website.

The bill passed unanimously, re-establishing the organization on campus.

Bill SS2425-03 allocated $12,000 for the North Woods Challenge Course. The course sustained damage to roads following heavy winter precipitation. The bill passed unanimously.

After a two and a half hour meeting, Peckham called the final roll call of the year bringing the student senate’s year to a close.