Student Senate reaches quorum after 3 weeks


Robert Le Cates

Student Senate Speaker Jasmine Yusef, a senior English major, announces the committees senators are on during the Senate’s first meeting on Sept. 7 in the Arcola Room at the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union on the Eastern Illinois University campus in Charleston, Ill.

Katja Benz, Student Government Reporter

The student senate met quorum after two meetings spanning over three weeks without an official meeting.

During the meeting, Student Senator Allie Painter was appointed to the 2022-2023 Interpersonal Violence Awareness Team, Senator James Haddon and Senate Speaker Jasmine Yusef were appointed to the 2022-2023 EIU Student Publications Board, Kayla Crowder was appointed to the 2022-2023 Senior Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Search Committee and Taylor Cloud was hired as the 2022-2023 Student Government Association secretary.

During the committee reports part of the meeting, Senator Natalie Mitlyng, a senior pre-vet biology major on the External Relations Committee, said that they are planning to send out a survey to students asking about transportation.

The committee is working with environmental biology and sustainability, who are presently working on several projects like a garden and a farmers’ market. 

This committee is partnering with the group to work on providing electronic bikes and scooters as well as reintroducing ZipCar.

ZipCar was originally run through the business office until 2019, according to Mitlyng. The service includes having two cars on campus for students with a valid driver’s license to rent out.

“There would be two cars on campus in one of our campus parking lots,” Mitlyng said. “And a student with a valid driver’s license could sign up to rent the car for a certain amount of time. And they pay a fee but it’s really small. It’s almost smaller than what you would pay for gas. And they get to use a car for whatever they need to use it for. And then they return it and then another student can basically run it, use it, come back. Pretty much we just want the company to set up a station, which should be probably right next to the Student Activity Center.”

Mitlyng also said the survey will include questions about the Panther Shuttle. 

The shuttle hours were cut this year and it stops running at 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, with no hours on the weekends currently.

“We want to see if students would be using the Panther Shuttle, and if they would be where they want to go, what times they would most prefer things to be at,” Mitlyng said. “The other thing we are thinking, is if people wanted more, like Uber and Lyft services, if we could extend the bus transportation to weekends or 24 hours or whatever, would that reduce the need to get an Uber or Lyft.”

Mitlyng says that there are also questions about if the Panther Shuttle having a stop at the Amtrak Mattoon Station would be beneficial for students as well.

“That’s a big thing,” Mitlyng said. “We have a lot of students who do use the train especially when they’re gone home for breaks and that kind of thing. So, we are asking how are you gonna get to the train station, how do you go back? And if that’s kind of ‘I’m depending on somebody to give me a ride.’ Can we offer that as a bus stop? That would be really cool, I think.”


Katja Benz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].