Politics Senate passes proposal allowing students to vote on some resolutions By Maddie Capron Posted on February 11, 2016 4 min read 0 0 485 File photo by Austin Linfante Student Senate voted Wednesday to pass the referendum proposal that will give the student body a chance to participate in bigger Senate decisions that impact the entire university. After three weeks of debate, Senate voted to adopt the referendum after 80 percent of the Senate members who participated in the online poll, discussed last week, voted for it. This means student votes will be counted proportionally as extra votes. In addition to passing this proposal, Student Senate also passed a resolution to request an extension of the hours the fourth floor of Alden Library would stay open. Carolyn Miller, a senator at-large, said they are hoping that the fourth floor will follow the same hours as the second floor. The fourth floor currently closes at midnight. Another topic of discussion was the removal of the necessary approval they must get from the Board of Trustees, saying it slows down their process and makes it difficult to adopt new changes. Head Parliamentarian Landen Lama explained that the policy says every change to the constitution the Senate passes must be approved by the Board of Trustees before it is official. “Say we wanted to rename something in the constitution right now, the Board of Trustees would later vote on it in June,” Lama said. The resolution was tabled for now, as the Senate wanted to clarify whether it would still be considered an official form of student government if it is no longer overseen by the Board of Trustees. Another change that was passed by the Senate was to change all instances of “quarters” in its constitution to “semesters,” since Ohio University hasn’t operated on quarters since fall of 2012. “No one has ever changed this, so I think it says a lot about this body that we are actually changing quarters to semesters,” Jared Ohnsman, vice president, said. In addition to voting on these proposals, the Senate also saw a presentation about student health care changes from Dale Burns, a representative from UnitedHealthcare, and Anna Casteel, the Student Insurance Administrator for the university. The presenters explained that if the university stays with the health care plan it currently provided for students, premiums will increase. However, if the university switches the plan to the lower premium option, students’ out of pocket costs would increase. In an informal poll, the Senate was leaning toward keeping everything how it is and accepting the higher premium. However, members wanted to reach out to students and see what they feel is the best option for them.