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Student Senate awards Pat McGee at final meeting of the year

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Student Senate met one final time in the 2019-2020 school to hear a message from Gigi Secuban and to award Pat McGee a medal.

Student Senate met Wednesday for its final meeting of the academic year to hear from the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion and to award a medal to the head of the Center for Student Legal Services.

The meeting began with a message from Gigi Secuban, the vice president for diversity and inclusion. She said she postponed the plan to move the LGBT center into the Multicultural Center, because of the feedback she received.

“It has been really disheartening to hear some of the comments around that,” Secuban said, referring to the plans to move the LGBT center. “Where we are right now, I don’t want to do anymore to inadvertently tear the community apart around this particular issue.”

Student Senate also awarded the Bobcat Medal to city council member Pat McGee. The Senate awards this medal annually to members of the Athens Community to recognize their service. In this case, they recognized McGee’s service for almost twenty years as the head of the Center for Student Legal Services and for his time on City Council.

“I couldn’t be prouder for all the years I’ve served you,” McGee said. “We’ve done so much, and that makes me so proud.”

Student Senate also debated a resolution to institutionalize the Bobcat Readership Program and make it an official function of Student Senate. The Bobcat Readership Program pays to have free copies of “The New York Times” for students to access, and this resolution would have required the university to seek permission from Student Senate before cutting funding to the program.

Many senators were confused as to whether or not this resolution would have created a standing committee for the readership program.

Student Senate Historian Nick Paredes argued it would not. The Senate held two votes on the matter due to a large number of absentations caused by confusion. The resolution passed on the second vote.

Student Senate also voted on a resolution to create a student mediation director for the body. This person would fill a counseling role for people within the senate who would prefer to talk to a fellow student rather than someone older. Many senators expressed reservations about the practicality of the measure, and the resolution failed.

Because this was the last meeting of the school year, senate passed 19 resolutions that appointed people to different positions for next year.

Student Senate President Maddie Sloat also gave her farewell address.

“It’s been such a privilege to serve as your president for the past year, and what a year it’s been,” Sloat said.

Sloat went on to list all the accomplishments of Student Senate in the last year and thanked her fellow senators.

The meeting ended with the inauguration of president-elect Lydia Ramlo, vice president-elect Alicia Lundy-Morse, and treasurer-elect Jayden McAdams. The three of them then inaugurated the rest of the senators for the 2019-2020 school year.

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