Fest season is fast approaching. To prepare for the expected festivities, Student Senate passed a resolution on Wednesday to help fund the purchase of port-a-potties.
The resolution was met with strong opposition from members of Graduate Student Senate (GSS) and Student Senate.
Five members of GSS, including President Ian Armstrong and Vice President of Finance Alex Burke, spoke out against the bill. Burke noted no university finances are allowed to be used for partying or alcohol, and the resolution could be construed as supporting both of those.
“So imagine you’re going to contribute $1,600 partially for port-a-potties, which were probably already going to be considered by the people hosting the parties,” Armstrong said. “Now those people have an additional $1,600 to spend. What do you think they’re going to spend that money on? Probably more booze. So effectively Student Senate offering $1,600, you’re offering those parties to buy more booze.”
Graduate College Senator Mitchell Smith sent a letter through his proxy, who read it to the body.
“I see this as one way at least we can inform people about doing this,” Off-Campus Senator Joe Frate said in defense of the bill.
“I encourage you to vote no,” he continued. “Last fest season there were 20 citations for public urination, only 20. A major part of being an adult is taking responsibility for your action and not passing the onus onto another person.”
Smith argued the bill is a “monumental waste of students funds,” especially following last week’s discussion on cutting budget through removal or trimming of the Bobcat Readership Program.
Despite strong feelings and arguments from both sides, the bill passed. Plans will move forward with contacting landlords and helping fund two to three portable toilets for each fest.
Student Senate also passed a bill regarding the current policy on trans-identifying and gender-nonconforming individuals on campus. The current language regarding inclusion in Ohio University’s Policy does not include gender identity and expression. The bill asked the university to reaffirm its commitment to diversity and inclusion by providing more gender neutral housing and restrooms.
Several budget items were also passed. Funding was provided for Take Back the Night posters, as well as for golf carts and the combative room for events during that week. A resolution was also passed to fund delegates going to the American Student Government Association conference.
Two senate members were appointed as well: Zachary Bowman and Marco Ventresca were appointed senators of the residence life commission.