Senate discusses Panther pride

In a turn of events Wednesday the student government discussed the possibility of purchasing a live panther to become Eastern’s official live mascot.

Student Senate members Blake Pierce and John Griffin introduced “Panther Initiative” stating Eastern would be following in the footsteps of “many top tier universities across the country” by investing in a live mascot .

“Most people that have these things are done through alumni contributions,” Pierce said.

Pierce, a senior finance major, said he would be willing to donate money to a panther fund in a few years.

Student Senate member Aseret Gonzalez said the writers should look into renting the mascot instead of purchasing the animal as well as the containment facilities.

“It’s not a circus clown,” Pierce said.

The panther shuttle bus committee has been working hard on researching a live mascot all semester, Griffin said.

“We are aware that this is a long shot,” Pierce said. “You have to start somewhere.”

The resolution co-writers said the purchasing of the panther would need to be incorporated into the universities Strategic Planning.

The Student Senate voted to send the resolution back to its writers.

“How can you put a monetary value on (school spirit),” Griffin said.

Student Body President Michelle Murphy, a senior communication studies major, gave her second and last ‘State of the University Address’ said Eastern will continue to grow as a university.

“History has shown that universities that don’t include the input of students have drastically limited their ability to educate, function and grow- this is true of Eastern as well,” Murphy said.

Eastern is not just a univeristy, it is a family, Murphy said.

“The current and future success of our university cannot be solely contributed to our institutional leaders but our student leaders as well,” Murphy said.

The senate also approved the resolution supporting the Tobacco Coalition’s “Free Air Initiative” to limit smokers on campus to 60 already existent smoking allowed areas.

Student Senate Speaker Jarrod Scherle said he would vote in favor of the resolution because of the positive he received from it.

“This is not a step on a way to a smoke-free campus- I hope that is not seeded in this is some how,” Scherle said. “I have a lot of friends that do smoke, but I think for the sake of the university I will be voting yes on this.”

Scherle also delivered the ‘State of the Senate Address.’

Student Senate member John Poshepny said while he was not a smoker himself approving the resolution could set a dangerous precedent on campus.

“I’ve noticed when you start giving up something it starts moving onto other things,” Poshepny said.

The resolution passed with a vote of 18-6-0.

The senate also approved resolutions thanking Murphy and the election commission committee from their work throughout the year.

The senate also approved a resolution allowing Ed Hotwagner, the student body president-elect, to spend $5,900 to start purchasing things for next fall’s First Night.

Fourteen student government members said their goodbyes Wednesday before Murphy swore in 13 senate members for the upcoming school year.

“I, initially, wore all black for the last meeting, but now it’s for the carcass of the panther,” Pierce said.

Student Senate member Zach Samples, a freshman history major, who was elected to fill the Student Senate Speaker held by Scherle, said he was glad to be given the opportunity.

“It feels absolutely wonderful- I’m ready to take charge and plan for the future,” Samples said.

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