Student Senate hears proposed room and board increase

Luis Martinez, Staff Reporter

The Student Senate was presented with a possible 2-percent increase in room and board rates for 2016 on Wednesday.

Mark Hudson, the director of Housing and Dining Services, came to speak to the Senate at its meeting about the possibility of either increasing the rate or leaving it the same.

“The goal of Housing and Dining is to break even,” Hudson said. “We’re trying to give students the very best service that we can.”

The propose rates would raise the room and board rates by $58 and meal plan costs by an average of $31.

“We have money from people who live with us,” Hudson said. “We are very driven by making sure we do everything to serve our students.”

The Senate also voted to reelect current Speaker of the Senate Courtney Sage.

As the members were accepting nominations, only one other member stepped forward, Senator Christopher Pickard.

Senators Danielle Burden and Catie Witt spoke on the behalf of Sage while Senator Marlene Acosta spoke on the behalf of Pickard.

“I feel super passionately about Courtney being re-elected,” Burden said. “She is super involved; she comes to all out reach tables she can be at.”

Burden also went on to talk about how well the executive board works well together now.

“She supports everybody,” Burden said. “She’s always pushing us forward.”

Witt said she agreed on Sage’s merit.

“I think we can all agree that Courtney has been an outstanding speaker,” Witt said. “Courtney helped me out and many other new senators this semester.”

Witt also said that Sage shows many signs of being a great leader, including being organized and on time.

Sage then discussed what she would like to accomplish as Speaker.

“Online orientation is one of the big things I would like to see accomplished, if I was voted Speaker again,” Sage said. “There’s going to be information that you can read to help understand what Senate does.”

Sage also said that recruitment it is the primary duty of the Speaker.

“In the fall, I was leading recruitment, and it was a success,” Sage said. “What I want to do is each Senator is going to go to their classes and talk about Student Senate.”

Acosta said she believed Pickard would be the best candidate.

“He does have a lot of good ideas to add,” Acosta said. “He seems like he can control order within the Senate.”

Pickard said he came onto the Senate last year as a freshman and has only served the fall semester.

“If elected, I will follow exactly what I am supposed to do as stated in the bylaws,” Pickard said.

After both candidates had presented their cases to Senate, the remaining Senators voted 13 to 3 for Sage to return as Speaker of the Senate.

The Senate will reconvene after the semester break.

Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]