Tuition waivers reduction bylaw change proposed

The student government discussed a second executive compensation bylaw change that would reduce the tuition waiver given to student government executive members.

The senate tabled the bylaw change.

The senate passed three resolutions and tabled nine items of new business.

If the bylaw change is passed it would limit the student executive tuition waivers to only cover nine credit hours instead of the current 12 hours. This currently takes up 64 percent of the student government budget.

Student Body President Michelle Murphy said she is not in support of the bylaw change.

“I will fight this until there is no breath in my body,” said Murphy, a senior communication studies major.

Murphy, who said she spends 15 hours a day in her office, said a tuition waiver is not only necessary, but also deserved.

Student Senate Speaker Jarrod Scherle said executive compensation should be considered a scholarship, not money in the student executives’ pockets.

“The (student executives) that are truly doing their job-it does take a hit to your academics,” Scherle said. “It’s a thank you for giving your time to the students.”

It gives the student executives an incentive to excel, Scherle said.

“(Murphy) phrases it best in which she said if she was expected to put out the quality of work that she does to not help her pay for tuition would be not fair,” Scherle said.

Student Senate member Miriam Torres, a co-writer for the bylaw change, said the student government should willingly cut the compensation for the betterment of the senate and the student body.

Eastern’s smoking regulations were also a topic of discussion when three Free Air Initiative supporters came to the meeting asking for support.

The Free Air Initiative wants Eastern to become a “smoke-free campus” by only allowing the smokers to smoke at the already 60 designated smoking permitted locations scattered around campus.

Sheila Baker, the medical director of Health Service, is one of the writers of the resolution and said she took the idea from Ball State University in Indiana.

“We would like to further the healthy environment for our university by making smoking allowed only in designated areas,” Baker said.

Baker does not plan on enforcing these regulations with fines.

This would make Eastern the first Illinois public university to be smoke-free, Baker said.

Student Senate member Ryan Larimore said there is no difference between people who drive cars that emit carbon dioxide and those who smoke.

“If you sit in a garage that fills with car exhaust you are going to die before you sit in a room with cigarette smoke,” Larimore said.

It is hypocritical for those who drive cars to try and initiate a smoke free area, Larimore said.

“Maybe smoking isn’t the worst thing going on, on Eastern’s campus,” Larimore said. Baker said she conducted a survey before coming to the student senate and 694 people completed the survey, and the majority was in favor of the smoke-free campus.

“We also did a survey to make certain that it was still in the best interest of the faculty, staff and students,” Baker said.

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