Student Gov. election results announced Wednesday

Helena Edwards, Student Government Reporter

Jacqueline Williams won the election for Student Body President by unofficial results. She received 228 votes, in contrast to the opposition, Jaclyn Thomas who received 132 votes. 

12 students voted no confidence on the ballot for President.

Payton Ade ran unopposed for Student Executive Vice-President, with 43 votes of no confidence.

Terrence Trimuel won the election for Student Vice President of Student Affairs with 293 votes. Opposition Subodh Khanal received 74 votes and there were 15 votes of no confidence.

Prabin Karki won the election for the Student VP of Academic Affairs by 301 votes, with 29 votes of no confidence.

All student senators on the ballot were elected to positions, Jasmine Yusef at 168 votes, Natalie Mitlyng at 161 votes, and Ahmed Shahin at 122.

New executive members and senators were not sworn in to allow a full 72 hours pass as is tradition to allow for anyone who may want to contest the results to have time to. They will instead be sworn in during the week of April 26.

These results do not become official until 7 p.m. on Saturday evening.

There were 7 resolutions on the agenda for the evening, the first being Senate Resolution of EIUnited Against Asian and Pacific Islander Hate Resolution. It passed with a unanimous vote.

Student Senator Seth Yeakel said in support, “Anything that helps bring to light issues that affect these communities and hopefully we can get to place where we can cultivate EIU to be a better place.”

The other 6 resolutions pertained fee increases proposed by Business Affairs for EIU.

The Senate resolution to increase tuition for 2021-22 did not pass due to a tie in votes.

Normally, an elected speaker can break the tie during votes, but at the moment there is only an interim speaker.

Student Senator Peyton Ade discussed that based on academic affairs surveys, students stated that a major reason of coming to EIU was the affordability of the school.

Yeakel discussed the continual increase he has seen while being in school, along with the struggle of students to keep up with current costs and those that he has seen forced to drop out.

Student Vice President of Academic Affairs Justin Richards, who also serves as the interim Speaker of the Student Senate, spoke on the issue as well.

“Yes, we are the most affordable university in Illinois, but unfortunately costs are going up. Students are struggling to pay tuition,” Richards said. “Students have lost jobs, student’s families have lost jobs, we need to keep that in mind. How can we continuously year after year put the brunt of this financial burden on students backs? It’s not right and it’s inexcusable. I understand we have to make money but there has to be something else that can be done.”

Student Senator Marcus Powell said, “In order for programs to be included we need this resolution.”

A resolution to increase the Union/Bond Revenue Fee by $3.96 per credit hour to the current fee of $29.82 per credit hour for the 2022 Fiscal Year was passed with 12 yay, two in opposition, and zero abstention.

Paul McCann, Director of Business Services and Treasurer, was there for any questions pertaining proposed increases from the Business Department.

He said, “We take every single one of these increases seriously and I would say yes we have reviewed every avenue of possibility before we came to this recommendation.” 

He said that this is to cover the money lost at the lack of enrollment at EIU and to make up for minimum wage increases, however it was said that COVID-19 related expenses were not factored in.

Senator Young discussed an unfairness to students paying these types of fees for things that they do not have access to due to living off campus.

A fiscal year of 2022 athletics fee increase resolution was tabled due to error in original documents given out to members of the Senate and time constraints on fixing it.

A senate resolution to increase Lantz/O’Brien Operations fee from $1.38 per credit hour to the current $5.50 per credit hour for the 2022 Fiscal Year was also passed.

The senate resolution to increase the Student Recreation Operations fee by $1.00 per credit hour to the current fee of $5.79 per credit for the 2022 Fiscal Year was passed with nine in favor, one against it, and two abstentions.

Senate Resolution to increase the Grant-In-Aid fee by $1.02 per credit hour to the current fee of $17.05 per credit hour for the 2022 Fiscal Year was passed with 11 in favor, two in opposition, and one abstention.

Though a tuition increase would only affect incoming freshman, fee increases will affect every student at EIU.

Two emergency Senate Bills were approved to suggest procedures to RHA on tuition/fee proposals, as well as housing and dining rate proposals.

These would allow for Student Government to have a solidified student review process and student fee review committee “to provide student representation on behalf of the EIU Student Body in the student fee assessment, allocation, recommendation and/or approval of any and all university student fees to be administered to EIU students,” as said in the emergency bill.

A final recommendation covered establishing an approved review process timeline to allow adequate time to gather additional information and student feedback to fees as well.

Ending the meeting was senior farewells to those graduating in Student Senate to reflect on their time on campus, Student Vice President for Student Affairs Skylar Coffey sharing pictures over her years in student government. 

Though COVID has restricted activities, Coffey says that she hopes future members will be able to create memories like she did.

Student Body President Noor-ul-Haash Khamisani said that Student Government is not just creating bills but making friends and creating memories.

Powell said, “Over the years of being a student senator you learn you have to step outside the box to see different results. You have to be the one to shake the room. As a student senator we are here to fight for what the students want.”

Yeakel said, “It may be extracurricular, but it pays off if you make it a priority.”

Richards described his transfer to EIU as a non-traditional student and Student Body Executive Vice President Michael Perri being accredited as helping him realize that he made the right decision as another non-traditional student. Since Perri could fit in, he felt that he could also fit in. Richards said, “Student Government changed my life and I am forever grateful.”

 

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