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Student Senate leaders talk outreach efforts and plans to #makeOHIOlit

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A light on the clock outside Baker University Center lights an otherwise dark campus. Photo by Connor Perrett.

Student Senate leaders want to see a campus more aware about various issues and one that is brighter to keep students safe at night.

Student Senate Executives organized a press conference Wednesday and discussed the Bobcat Student Network, the lighting issues around campus and the proposed national tax bill.  

Vice President Nicole Schneider discussed the new Student Senate initiative, the Bobcat Student Network, and how it will educate Ohio University students about issues on campus.

The intention of this initiative is for Student Senate Commissions to produce short, one to three-minute videos on topics to share with students to raise awareness for issues.

“It’s hard for three executives to go out to each student and tell them how to fill out their DARS, or what the difference between hate speech and hateful speech is,” Schneider said.

This contrasts Student Senate’s older strategy of tabling outside Baker University Center, which Schneider suggested may not be as effective as direct outreach to students.

The Student Senate executive panel also answered questions about Student Senate’s role in the planned improvement of outdoor lighting across campus.

President Landen Lama stated that Student Senate will be holding a safety walk next Monday at 6:30 p.m. and that stakeholders, facility management, Ohio University Police Department representatives and Ohio U President Duane Nellis will attend.

“The most important thing we will be doing during this walk is being with the administrators that oversee the work orders,” Lama said.

Lama also stressed that they are not just seeking to improve lighting on campus, but also overall safety on campus.  

“Better lighting does not end sexual assault, but at least it is one small thing we can do to try and prevent it,” Schneider said.  

Schneider also announced the new Twitter campaign to raise awareness for poor lighting on campus, which is called #makeOHIOlit.  

Schneider encouraged students or faculty to take photos or videos of areas on campus that are dimly lit or otherwise dangerous to walk through at night, and publish the photo on Twitter with the hashtag #makeOHIOlit.  

Treasurer Zach Woods claimed that the OUPD is adequately staffed per Department of Justice requirements and in fact more than doubles the necessary ratio of students to officers.

Lama said he personally hopes to see work orders for updating current lighting fulfilled over Ohio U’s winter break. He also said that actually constructing new lighting will take more time and requires more management.

The Student Senate press panel also condemned the House and Senate tax bill, citing concerns about how graduate students and parents will be affected.  

“The tax bill that was proposed, unfairly, targets graduate students, and also as a whole, parents,” Lama said.

“One of the most important things is that we are going to continue to lobby against the House portion, even though the Senate did not include anything about higher education.”

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