Student Senate reflects on semester

Samuel Nusbaum, Administration Reporter

The Student Senate listened to two speeches reflecting on the fall semester and reports of current and future plans Wednesday night, wrapping up the final meeting of the semester.

Student Body President Catie Witt updated the senate on the “It’s On Us” campaign, which will take place during April. She said the campaign committee is working with the University Board to plan events for next semester.

Witt gave her State of the University Address, and said she liked how the senate reacted to changing “First Night” from the South Quad to O’Brian Field.

She is finalizing her plans for the campaign, saying the planning has moved slower than she expected.

Witt said the “Voter Registration” campaign, led by the student vice president Maralea Negron, was a success. More than 350 students registered to vote.

Witt also brought up the “Call Your Legislator” event, also led by Negron, and students contacted 20 legislators about Monetary Award Program grant funding.

Witt said “Pantherpalooza” had 120 registered student organizations in the union. She mentioned that Derek Pierce, the student vice president of student affairs, did a good job moving the event from the south quad to the union.

“I remember seeing him that day and his eyes were red because he barely slept because he got there really early in the morning and set up everything for the RSOs,” Witt said.

Hailey Tellier, student speaker of the senate, said the executive board decided to postpone the speaker of the senate elections until next semester.

“We are losing a lot of senators due to focusing on school work, so we just want to make sure when we come back we have a strong senate,” Tellier said.

She said executive board wants to give the senators who will join in the spring a chance to vote as well. Witt said the senate may have started slow, but they should feel motivated to fill the 17 vacant seats in the senate and keep up the good work.

Tellier gave her State of the Senate, and said the strengths the senate has are brainstorming, cross committee support and helping to plan events they put on such as the academic affairs bowling activity.

Tellier said one of the areas the senate can improve on is preventing the loss of senators.

She said overall she is proud of all the work they have done over the course of the semester and she hopes it will continue.

Luke Young, student vice president of academic affairs, updated the senate about what happened at the Faculty Senate meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Young said the senate moved their meeting up because the recommendations from the vitalization project workgroups become public on Jan 20.

“They have bumped their meeting up to Jan. 10, so they can try to give the president a little feedback,” Young said. Young also brought up the potential of “performance based funding,” which was brought up during Tuesday’s meeting.

This would mean the Illinois government would give money to universities based on how its students perform. He said it is something the senators should pay attention to.

Samuel Nusbaum can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].