Campus named green university

During the student government meeting Wednesday, it was announced that Eastern was named one of the greenest universities in Illinois; during the same meeting a bylaw change was passed ending a Student Senate tradition of planting a tree each year.

The bylaw change “Tree Cuts Down the Budget” was passed unanimously after the senate decided that the $150 purchase would not be appropriate during a time of budget constraints.

Student Body President Michelle Murphy along with senate members Ed Hotwagner and Alex Boyd wrote the resolution with the rationale that said, “because of a severe budget cut, all line items that are not operational costs for student government are being reduced.”

The severe budget cut comes on the heels of the Apportionment Board’s decision to divide a $24,000 budget deduction between the University Board and the student government while approving the Student Recreation Center and the AB budget.

“I wouldn’t want to have the position I have now with the restraints that will be in place next year,” said Murphy, a senior communication studies major. “I think we were treated a little unfairly.”

The UB was requesting a 4 percent budget increase and the student government was asking for a 16 percent budget increase.

Murphy said she thinks the voting members of the AB misunderstood the budget cutting process.

Krystina LaMorte, the chairwoman of the UB, said she does not think the student government grasps the roles the two groups play on campus.

“We serve the whole campus and the bulk of their tuition goes toward tuition waivers,” said LaMorte, an English with teacher’s certification major.

Otis Seawood, the UB’s special events committee chairman and the former senate member.

“It is drawing some division among the fee funding boards when we should be a unified team,” Seawood said. “I feel like it’s personal agendas-opening this can of worms will cause something big on campus and then there are not going to be programs that students really want on campus.”

They are doing an injustice to the student body, Seawood said.

Murphy said she thinks the UB and the student government should not have been cut the same because of the differences between the two budgets.

“I think we got the short straw-a really, really tiny straw,” Murphy said. “It’s important for people to understand the magnitude and the consequences of their decisions and how important votes are.”

The senate passed a $572 resolution that would send Christy Anderson, the student executive vice president, and another member of the Student Action Team to the Illinois Board of Higher Education- Student Advisory Committee that meets in Springfield.

“We have to be at three to retain our voting rights,” said Anderson, a senior communication disorders and sciences major.

Senate member John Griffin was approved as chair of the Panther Express committee.

The senate also approved the resolution to delay the time of next week’s meeting to 8:30 p.m. to accommodate the senate members who are involved with Greek Week.

Chris Arnholz resigned from his senate seat leaving the senate with 27 senate members.

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