Story by Emma Wilson
Student Senate opened its meeting last week with a message from some of the candidates running in the upcoming election. The candidates were encouraged to attend Senate this week to give a short presentation of their platform for the current senators.
Eighteen of the 27 candidates attended the meeting. Senator-at-Large candidates Ben Verhasselt, Mark Reiter, Olivia O’Hea, Emma Wilson, Mike Jennings, Josh Duden, Jacob VanderVaart, Ethan Gascho, Zachary Keller, Emily Grimm, Ekta Haria, Josh Schoenblatt and Cole Schwartz spoke at the meeting.
Diversity Interest Senator-at-Large candidate Salwa Janjua, CBPA senator candidate Kevin Maisto, Arts and Sciences Senator candidate Ben Lambrecht, Pharmacy and Health Sciences Senator candidate Natalie Gadbois and Journalism and Mass Communications Senator Gwendolyn Baumgardner also spoke at the meeting.
The Ultimate Club came to Senate last week requesting to change the amount of money it had previously requested from SFAC. The group planned to attend a tournament in Decorah, Iowa, but the tournament was cancelled. It already paid for a hotel, however, so the group requested $250 to cover the costs of the hotel. The motion passed unanimously.
The Middle East Peace and Prosperity Alliance came to Senate to request funding for donation jars. The money raised from the donation jars will be donated to a hospital in Israel that provides medical service to Palestinians who are otherwise denied access to specialized medical treatment. The donation jars will be placed in high traffic areas of campus and around the Des Moines community. The motion carried unanimously.
Greek Street Fellowship requested a name change during the meeting. The group feels there is a division on campus between those involved with Greek life and those who are not, so it wants to make the group open to anyone on campus. The group changed its name to “The Navigators,” and the motion was passed by acclimation.
Most of the Senate meeting last week was spent reviewing the budget for fiscal year 2013-14. Senate will not vote on the budget until later this year, but the senators were encouraged to share their opinions on the current state of the budget. Vice President of Student Life David Karaz expressed concerns that Senate should look into funding more organizations.
Sen. Dan Pfeifle sparked a debate when he suggested that Student Activities Board had been given too much money.
“They’re spending a lot of money on entertainment that not a lot of students are taking advantage of,” Pfeifle said.
Treasurer Michael Reibel countered Pfeifle.
“They’ve done a lot with collaboration with other organizations recently to create greater attendance at their events,” Reibel said.
The proposed budget is posted in Olmsted.
Student Senate elections will be held April 8 and 9 on BlueView.