Home Economy Student Senate hears presentations on College Gate construction, proposed sustainability fee

Student Senate hears presentations on College Gate construction, proposed sustainability fee

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Student Senate voted on one internal resolution and heard presentations from three groups at its meeting Wednesday in Walter Hall.

Senate began by hearing from Joe Lalley, who has been working with the university on the construction of the class gateway on College Green. He told the students that the demolition of the gate was originally set for the summer months but discovered the utility tunnel running through the area was deteriorating.

“This added four months to a, roughly, six month project,” Lalley said. “If we didn’t start now we would risk being in a position of not being able to provide heat in the buildings by October when it starts getting cold.”

He said that the university did not want to do the demolition during this time but had no choice and in the end still views it as a “great project.”

Two students, Kristeena Blaser, a first year master’s student studying environmental studies, and Olivia Miltner, a junior studying journalism and war and peace, presented a proposed sustainability fee for students.

The proposed fee would be five dollars that all students, graduate or undergraduate, pay at the beginning of each semester. The fee could end up raising around $292,000, which would go toward potential projects that would help the environment on campus.

Students could opt out of the fee, but Blaser said they want to make the program as transparent as possible and give students programs they are interested in.

Additionally, they proposed the creation of an advisory committee students could apply for that will have an elected leader. The committee would help decide where the money from the fee would be invested.

“We want it to be student led, student oriented and student funded,” Blaser said. “We want students to feel like their voices are being heard.”

Student Trustees Sharmaine Wilcox and P.J. Roden presented the Senate with information from the last Board of Trustees meeting. They told the members about an update on the Comprehensive Master Plan and shared that Ohio University has a high Academic Quality Improvement Program accreditation.

The Senate voted to appoint Karen Opuku, commissioner of international affairs, and Cassidy Paul, women’s affairs senator, to fill vacancies on the internal budget committee.

“I feel that these are both two very active members of Senate who, I feel, will accept the commitment and do a good job,” Jacob Haskins, budget committee chair, said.

The Senate ended the meeting by reminding everyone to go to campaigning events and attend the announcement March 30 at 9 p.m. of next year’s Senate.

Editor’s Note: Olivia Miltner is also the editor-in-chief for The New Political.

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