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Student Senate now requires sustainability for SAC-funded events

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Student Senate 2017-18. File photo by Connor Perrett

Student Senate passed a key resolution this week that requires SAC-funded events follow sustainability standards. They also addressed free speech, DACA and more. 

If your SAC-funded event isn’t considered “green,” Student Senate will refuse funding, as of yesterday’s resolution. Sustainability standards, freedom of speech, DACA-protected student affairs and more were all topics of discussion at this week’s Senate meeting.

Read on for four things you missed.

Passed five resolutions

One resolution officially formed the committee for community and social activities and another appointed La Ron Jones as South Green Senator on the Residence Life Commission.

Three of the resolutions were related to the Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC); one required SAC commissioners to attend every general body meeting instead of one every two weeks, the next changed the senators under the Financial Affairs Committee to senator or delegate at-large for Senate Appropriations and the last reinforced SAC’s commitment to sustainability.

Reinforced sustainability

The resolution that reinforced SAC’s sustainability efforts now requires funded events to follow the Office of Sustainability’s definition of a “Green Event” if possible.

The minimum requirements to fit that are currently as follows: utilize online communication; minimize paper advertising and single-use decor; offer local, sustainable and/or fair trade food; offer, promote and utilize recycling and compost containers; use reusable or compostable napkins, utensils and plates and do not provide styrofoam or non-recyclable products.

The Office of Sustainability also offers guidelines for water and energy conservation and waste reduction at events.

SAC will also now have a representative from the Environmental Affairs Commission at every general body meeting that will advise SAC on funding the most sustainable projects.

DACA

President of Student Senate Landen Lama referenced Ohio U President Duane Nellis’ actions, saying he was proud of Nellis for his quick statement in support of Ohio U students who might be affected by a possible termination of DACA.

Jenny Hall-Jones, Dean of Students and adviser for Student Senate, mentioned a program earlier that day in which the administration clarified some concerns that the Ohio U community had about the recent DACA announcement.

“It’s not going to end there, we’re going to keep figuring out what we can do to give our support to all our students,” Hall-Jones said.

Free Speech Policy

Lama noted a recent update to Ohio U’s free speech policy, officially called the “Use of Outdoor Space on the Athens Campus” policy. The last version was approved in May 2012. The policy strongly protected students’ right to free speech, according to Lama.

There is a bill expected in the Ohio House of Representatives that will address free speech on college campuses, and Lama said he thinks Ohio U’s policy is a good way for the school to get ahead of the legislation and protect student rights.

The new policy has been endorsed by Interim Vice President and Provost David Descutner and approved by Nellis for interim use.

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