Home Politics Student Senate continues discussion on student influence on votes in the future

Student Senate continues discussion on student influence on votes in the future

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The student body may soon have more of a say in big issues that pop up in Student Senate after a referendum that was introduced last week was discussed further at Wednesday’s meeting.

The “referendum proposal” would allow students to “vote” on certain issues by answering poll questions that are sent to them, but the effect these votes would have on the final Senate decision was debated.

Originally, the proposal stated that the student body poll results would count for one-third of the vote. However, Student Senate Vice President Jared Ohnsman proposed that the effect of this polling be bumped to one-half and be percentages.

“It would give students a little bit of a say without making it irrelevant if it’s a close vote,” Ohnsman said, defending his suggestion.

After this change was proposed, the Senate also had concerns about the possibility of giving that much power to the student body when the turnout could not be predicted.

Another problem some Senate members had with this proposal was that the communication between constituents and senators mixes with the results of these polls.

After discussing the concerns the Senate had about the proposal, Health Science and Professions Senator Courteney Muhl suggested that they come together to talk about these issues and table the proposal until the next meeting.

In addition to talk of the proposal, President Gabby Bacha gave her State of the Senate address, where she talked about the progress the Senate has made over the course of the year to “restore integrity to the body.”

Bacha reminded the Senate of its accomplishments last semester, including working more closely with students, beginning conversations about racism on campus and furthering communication efforts with SAP.

Moving forward, Bacha wants “bigger, bolder projects,” new amendments to the Senate constitution and greater student attendance at Senate meetings. She did not give specific examples of what she wanted.

“I am excited because I know the best is yet to come from this body,” Bacha said. “I challenge you to deliver your best to Ohio University students.”

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