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Students cry out for Student Senate behavioral changes

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Ohio University Student Senate heard pleas from multiple sources to recognize its mistakes and become the well-esteemed body that students want.

Emily Harper, a fifth year senior, Joel Newby, the president of Graduate Student Senate and Tyler Daniels, senator-at-large, all made their case to address the behavior of senators and executives alike.

Daniels has drafted a leadership philosophies pledge that he urges all of the senators to sign and wants to implement this into the senate’s general rules. This pledge has 10 points that are aimed to change the behaviors of all senators.

“It’s a pledge of sorts about how to become a better leader,” Daniels said.

Daniels says that the senate is not working together and he hopes that this resolution will fix this issue.

“I want to implement this in a way that every student is held accountable for things they are supposed to be doing anyways,” he said.

Some of the ideas Daniels put forward are for senators to take 10 minutes to change someone’s bad day into a good day, remember that many people want to be in their positions so each senator must fulfill their position so they are not replaced, and ensure that by the time the senators graduate that the university will be better than when they took office.

The pledge was welcomed by Senate as the whole body applauded Daniels efforts. “As a member of honor council, I think this is fantastic,” Government Affairs Commissioner, Jordan Ballinger,  said.

President Nick Southall agreed. “I think this is really great… I think it reads between the lines (of the rules),” he said.

Daniels has drafted this pledge based on events he has seen within the body. He has recently become a member of Student Senate and his first meeting happened to be the meeting when former senator Mary Kate Gallagher resigned. He started to notice the things she mentioned and he wants to put a stop to it.

Daniels hopes that this pledge is fully adopted by spring semester at the latest. He hopes to come to the next Student Senate meeting with a resolution to be voted on by Senate members.

Among the voices to try to reform the behavior of Student Senate was Harper, who urged Southall to give up his position. She wants the Senate body to take action against the rape culture on campus. “This is my fifth year and it’s the first time I have legitimately feared for my safety,” she said.

Harper brought up the plans set in place by the Senate already but she said, “these aren’t real solutions.” She urges Senate to set something in black in white to allow students to fully understand what rape is and what constitutes as rape.

Another person to voice his and his respective organizations’ opinions was Newby. He addressed Southall about the Graduate Student Senate’s choice to not support him. Newby said that Southall can’t just join marches and protests, but he needs to be proactive. “Your apathy towards this situation has been ridiculous… I did not want to do this,” he said.

Newby suggested that Student Senate help out Southall and treat him like another Bobcat, while also suggesting that Southall leave his spot as a leader but find another spot on the body.

“This body is one of the most prestigious parts of this entire university and at this critical time when our university is facing embarrassment, not just in the state, not just in the nation, but on the world stage, we need a leader,” Newby said. “It’s not time for (Southall) to leave Senate, it’s time for you to leave that leadership role.”

 

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