12 pieces of legislation to discuss

The Student Senate will discuss 12 pieces of legislation today during its rescheduled 8:30 p.m. meeting.

Because numerous student government members are a part of Eastern’s Greek Life, the senate made the decision to postpone its regularly scheduled meeting from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to accommodate its Greek members.

Senate member Ed Hotwagner, a senior math education major, said he thinks the senate made the right decision by postponing its meeting time.

“We took an oath (to Greek Life) before (student) government,” Hotwagner said.

One resolution is asking for money out of the student government’s budget for refreshments for the open forum meeting that will be on April 27. This will be the senate’s last meeting.

Dan Rolando, the student vice president for student affairs, is one author of this resolution.

“We try to have refreshments to encourage students to attend the meeting and to provide a nice atmosphere,” said Rolando.

Another resolution will be presented asking for money for refreshments and plaques for outgoing executive branch members for the student government’s inauguration ceremony.

Student Body President Michelle Murphy said this resolution is presented almost the exact same way every year.

“This ceremony is to commemorate not only the outgoing execs, but also to award ‘Senator of the Semester’ and ‘Senator of the Year,'” Murphy said.

The ninth annual Panther Service Day is Saturday and the student government is asking for money out of its budget to buy T-shirts to give out to volunteers.

“The T-shirts encourage involvement and give volunteers something to remember their day of service by,” Rolando said.

During Panther Service Day, volunteers can choose from six different activities to volunteer in: elderly care/support, nature/conservation, community beautification, painting/cleaning, on-campus support and animal lover.

“This is a good way for students to give back to the community that we are a part of for 9 months out of the year,” Rolando said.

Sheila Baker, the medical director of Eastern’s Health Service, Ryan Messinger, the assistant director of Health Service, and students from the Heath Education Resource Center will attend the senate meeting.

They will present a brochure written by the Eastern Tobacco Coalition that talks about the objective to promote a safe and healthy environment on campus.

They will also talk about supporting the “free air initiative.”

The “free air initiative” tells of various ways Eastern could benefit from being smoke-free except in designated smoking areas around campus.

“We would like to continue with our recommendations and to have campus become smoke-free,” Baker said.

One bylaw change, written by Student Senate Speaker Jarrod Scherle and other various members of the senate, deals with proposing a grievance where if a senate member casts a vote for a new Student Senate Speaker and the speaker resigns before its first meeting, then the losing speaker candidate(s) may petition to the Student Supreme Court to void that senate member’s vote of the resigning speaker.

The Student Supreme Court will then decide from there.

“This has happened in the past two speaker elections and I find it very unprofessional, Scherle said.

Another bylaw change written by Roberto Luna, the business affairs chair, and various senate members, is proposing to reduce executive compensation.

This change is being proposed because executive compensation is currently taking up 64.7 percent of the student government budget.

A big portion of the student fee money that is being given to the student government’s budget is paying for executive compensation.

The bylaw change states that hours would be cut from 12 credit hours to nine credit hours.

“Based off the current $254 tuition per credit hour rate, (executive) compensation would stand at $27,432, which takes up on 51.5 percent of the student government budget, which is still a significant portion but an improvement,” Luna said. “There would be $7,068 additional dollars from (executive) compensation that could be transferred to other line items which could better benefit students. As the tuition per credit hour rate increases each year, it is more money that is to be given to the students rather than going towards the exec members.”

The executives currently get paid up to 12 credit hours and graduate students get paid up to nine credit hours.

The bylaw change would reduce undergraduates to get paid up to nine credit hours and graduate students would be paid up to six credit hours.

The Apportionment Board, the University Board, the student government and the Student Recreation Center will all receive a copy of their new budget requests.

Also at the meeting, previously tabled resolutions may be voted on.

These resolutions are the Student Action Team lobby day travel and the Green Week tree planting.

“This is the most legislation I can ever remember being presented at a Student Senate meeting,” Scherle said.

Erin Riedl can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].