Student Senate passes resolution Wednesday

Helena Edwards, Student Government Reporter

Student Senate passed Senate Resolution 20-21-01, a Resolution of Support for the Big Blue Food Pantry with a unanimous vote of 15 senators.

The goal of the resolution was to assist in providing an easier access of food resources to Eastern students and show support towards the making and implementation of the Big Blue Food Pantry on campus by Beth Gillespie and Crystal Brown.

The support by Student Senate will be through opinion only and not through financial support.

Co-author of the resolution Student Body Vice President of Student Affairs Skylar Coffey said, “The reason I wanted to coauthor this as I mentioned I feel like this not only provides more food for students but volunteer opportunities. You can never have too many food pantries.”

She also said, “If we’re sending all our students to the Charleston pantry it’s taking away from their sources, so more sources is better in my opinion.”

Student Body Senator Seth Yeakel added in agreement, “Adding more resources is a great way to giving back to students and helping them be educated.”

Leading the discussion on the proposed housing and dining rate increase, Yeakel was also first to comment with information gathered from students on campus.

Students expressed confusion on what additional benefits they would receive from this increase, especially those that live in housing but are not members of on-campus staff who do not benefit from the budget increase reasons related to minimum wage increases. They have concerns of paying more for the same thing.

Additional reasons for the increase were gathered from students from Bond Revenue who previously analyzed student satisfaction surveys and among top priorities was better wi-fi, especially due to the nature of importance of online classes becoming so relevant.

“The top thing that was on their list was the ongoing investment in wifi and internet connectivity,” said Mark Hudson, director of housing and dining services.

This is specifically to help the Lawson building’s wifi and internet connectivity. 

Another issue raised was by Senator Kassandra Amaya on a lack of awareness of this proposed increase among the student body. Many she talked to had no idea this was going on. 

Senator Natalie Mitlyng asked if the difference is covered during the next school year will the rates return back to what they were originally. 

“The probability of it coming down is not likely. It is driven on enrollment and occupancy and is all about trying to break even with costs,” Hudson said. 

Graduate Advisor Shawn Hammers asked Hudson about the money loss due to giving out single rooms this semester and if there has been any help from the state to make up for this loss.

Hudson said that there is action to ask the state for support in terms of this but are awaiting more information.

This topic of discussion will now move on to Univeristy President David Glassman’s cabinet and the Board of Trustees.

Speaker of the Senate elections will not be held for the Spring 2021 semester due to there only being 5 meetings left of the semester and the Speaker elections are a two-week process.

Justin Richards will remain the interim speaker for the rest of the semester.

There is still potential for Speaker elections to be held the last two meetings so that the one elected can be the speaker for fall of the 2021 semester.

April 21 is projected to be the last Student Senate meeting.

The next Student Senate meeting will be held March 17.

 

Helena Edwards can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]