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Student Senate Considers Creating New Committee to promote small businesses

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Student Senate Discusses New Committee and comments on a proposed bill from the State Legislature

Student Senate discussed a new committee dedicated to helping small businesses and voted to condemn an Ohio House bill at its meeting Wednesday.

Sen. Grant Adams addressed the Senate with a presentation for his proposed Small Business Committee, saying the Senate should do something to help small businesses.

“The Athens community has some of the best small businesses,” Adams said.

Inspired by the opening of a new Starbucks this year, Adams discussed his plan to gather a committee with various senators to work with small business owners on promotions and special deals for new students in order to increase brand recognition.

Adams also agreed to expand the committee beyond his original plan to promote student-owned businesses as well.

While admitting that he hasn’t done any formal research on the topic, Adams said he has a lot of confidence in his proposed committee, as long as he can get dedicated people to join.

“(The committee) will only be as effective … as we make it,” he said.

Adams said the primary plan of the committee is to establish relationships with the business owners. Adams believes that his proposed committee could be a great asset in helping Athens’ small businesses survive, despite the lack of brand recognition among freshmen.

Student Senate also passed a condemnation of Ohio House Bill 658.

Ohio House Bill 658 would require teachers and members of similar professions who supervise children to inform a child’s parents if the child is exploring the possibility of identifying as a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth.

The Senate moved to denounce the bill as a violation of transgender rights.

Members of Senate criticized the bill, saying that it treats gender exploration as a bad thing and that caretakers would have to report acts as benign as dressing non-traditionally.

This is the first bill passed by Senate this year, which prompted a 15-minute discussion between various members of the Senate. Sen. Parker Smith, while not supporting Bill 658 itself, questioned whether it was Senate’s role to condemn bills its members don’t like.

“I think we have not fully discussed what our role should be,” Smith said.

The bill passed with Smith and one other senator abstaining.

The body also voted on a resolution to fund the travel expenses of a speaker for the International Affairs Commission and appointed a senator to the Residence Life Commission.

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