Student Senate met on Wednesday to discuss topics ranging from university life to new options for student healthcare.
With three presentations on the agenda, University College Dean and Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies David Descutner was the first to speak. He continued to emphasize a common intellectual experience among students. After expanding on previous projects that did not facilitate a great deal of student participation, Descutner talked briefly about a media project entitled “The Apocalypse Project.”
“It only got about 66 percent of student participation,” he said. According to Descutner, the lack of involvement is largely due to the absence of faculty leadership. “Faculty aren’t leading this, committees are… faculty need to join in.”
He concluded with disclosing information concerning a three-year sustainability project that will be implemented with hopes of building this concept into the OU curriculum. This project is geared toward making the OU experience for second-year students as rich as the first year. Program suggestions made by members of the Senate included informative programs about off-campus living, learning communities for second-year students and ensuring adviser compatibility.
Starting in Fall 2013, all students will be required to complete a module during the summer that deals with Ohio University history. Incoming freshman will also have to write an essay incorporating the historical content. This is to ensure students are knowledgeable about the university while also fostering a connection between the student and Ohio University.
Next, the University Life Commission gave a presentation with a themed message of “Stand Up, Speak Out.” The two presenters discussed their experience standing outside of Perks asking students what it is they like about OU.
Students frequently asked them: “What does Student Senate do?” They spoke on ways to make known to the student body the affairs of Student Senate. Among these proposals were bringing back Awareness Day.
Taking part in Awareness Day can be as simple as letting students know about the organization and the activities they assist in hosting. Another suggestions included attending other events and increased advertising of general body meetings.
“Encourage involvement; students often forget what is going on after freshman year,” said OU student Bryan Morton.
By doing these things, the student population can become increasingly aware of who Student Senate is.
Student Senate President Kyle Triplett spoke briefly about a literary campaign. Students are concerned about the college costs that are steadily rising. He named four committees that would be appropriate to address in voicing concerns, two of which are Senate Finance and Education Committees.
“Let them know how you feel… I think seventy letters showing up at once will make quite a statement,” Triplett said.
Triplett encouraged students to respectfully write letters to people who actually control the funding with hopes of making their voices heard.
Dean of Students Ryan Lombardi informed the members about a potential change in the healthcare plan for students here at the university. With a minor increase in fee charges, the university healthcare can potentially have four options added to its plan. The potential options include travel immunizations, sexual re-assignment surgery, removal of exclusion and an administrative fee. With an annual cost for each option, all students who have healthcare with Ohio University would have to pay a minimal fee if it is decided to follow through with this proposal.
This proposition sparked some disagreement and discussion among the members in the room. Some students thought even though the plan comes with a small fee, it will be beneficial considering that it could potentially save a life. Also, other members repeatedly expressed opinions of the cost not being completely unaffordable.
However, other members believe costs ranging from ten to fifty dollars is just enough to categorize school costs as unable to be met for many students.
“Even if they had to pay ten dollars, I know several students who would not be able to afford school even with an increase that small,” Residence Life Commissioner Evan Ecos said in opposition.
In order to receive an idea of where the majority of the senate stood on each individual option, the meeting concluded with a vote of support or nonsupport for each.
Lombardi has to report back with an answer of approval or disapproval about the healthcare plan proposition by Tuesday.Share