Voting was the hot topic of discussion at Wednesday night’s Student Senate meeting, starting with Councilmember Patrick McGee, I-At Large, who urged Senate members to vote for Issue 1, the proposed municipal income tax for the city of Athens on this year’s ballot.
McGee also notified Senate about planned police body cameras for 2017 in the Athens County Sheriff’s Office, which would be the first in the county. If Issue 1 passes, McGee suggested the Athens Police Department might follow suit.
“I was pleased to find out that the chief of police is in favor of (the body cameras) and I believe the chief of Ohio University Police is in favor as well. Probably the only law enforcement agency that would not be equipped with them would be the undercover officers,” McGee said. “On this particular issue, I’m really going to urge everyone to vote in favor of it.”
He asked the body to consider the trade-off of higher income taxes with the benefits it would provide, assuring Senate that the money would go toward more than just body cameras, including infrastructure and other city issues. Athens’ income tax has remained the same since the 2012 tax year.
Several senators encouraged students to get out and vote, especially to vote early, including Vice President Courteney Muhl and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Jenny Hall-Jones, who also stressed the importance of staying safe during Halloween.
“Be smart, be civil, be safe, and just a point of information — we have had the least number of student guests registered at residence halls since OU has started keeping track,” Hall-Jones said.
Six resolutions were passed, including another change to the rules and procedures, and one that appointed Anna Ayers to the LGBTQA Affairs Commission. Senate also passed funding for
the Survivor Advocacy Program bathroom stall advertising program, for the visualization campaign for CATS in the form of buttons and an attached pledge, to send students to the Collegiate Leadership Conference of Ohio Delegation and for an LGBTQA Affairs Forum.
Student Senate meets weekly on Wednesdays at 7:15 p.m. in Walter 235.