Student Senate takes measures to be more transparent

The Student Senate approved a resolution Wednesday that would allow Eastern students to see how Student Senate members voted.

Senate members Roberto Luna and John Poshepny said they wrote the bill to increase the senate transparency. A non-senate member of the business affairs committee, Brian Shields, a senior finance major, gave Luna the idea.

“What this resolution would show is who listened to the student’s voice and who did not,” said Luna, a junior finance major. “At the very least, student’s could at least be more informed on which senators are representing their constituents’ opinions.”

The votes of senate members would be updated onto the student government website sometime after its meeting.

This new method could work with the Turning Point voting system proposed by Student Senate Speaker Jarrod Scherle earlier this semester.

“By switching to Turning Point, we would actually have an automated Excel system,” said Scherle, a senior finance major. “We could register a specific clicker with a specific senator.”

If the senate did implement the Turning Point system, then senate members would have a specific clicker registered to their names.

Student Body President Michelle Murphy, who does not get to vote on senate resolutions, cautioned about giving the Webmaster extra work.

“You’re going to be having a really hard time paying someone for two hours when they are working more,” said Murphy, a senior communication studies major. “People don’t want that job.”

Murphy said the senate members should consider if the Webmaster and graphic designer could do all his or her work in the necessary timeframe.

During the senate’s audience participation, Kyerstin Zapiain, a sociology major and member of the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, announced that it will be having a charity bake sale for her sorority sister Briana Silver, who has Lemierre’s Syndrome.

Zapiain said Silver was admitted to the hospital last November and was released last week. At the time she went into the hospital, Silver was a freshman.

“Her family came to us asking for a bit of help,” Zapiain said. “They have thousands dollars worth of hospital bills and she has a long road of recovery ahead of her.”

The bake sale will take place in Coleman Hall from April 4 to 9. The bake sale will also have cookie grams available for Eastern students living on Greek Row.

“Once we get everything collected then we are just going to send it to her family,” said Zapiain, a senior sociology major.

The senate also tabled the Students’ Distinguished Professor Award reception resolution, which is asking for $273.35.

Jennifer Prillaman, the student vice president of academic affairs, and senate member Holly Henry wrote the resolution.

The reception will happen on April 12 to recognize three nominated professors. Applications for the Students’ Distinguished Professor Award are available now on student government website and in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Scherle read the resignation of JR Patton.

Blake Pierce is a member of the senate’s panther express committee where Patton was the chairman.

Pierce, a senior finance major, said that while the committee is distraught to lose their committee chairman but the committee will persevere.

“I want you to know that we are not going to give up on this committee,” Pierce said. “We’re going to push the bus by hand if we have to.”

Senate meets at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays in the Arcola-Tuscola Room located in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Nike Ogunbodede can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].