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Student Senate returns to a full agenda

Senate’s first meeting of the new semester included a handful of funding requests to various student organizations and a resolution proposed by the Drake Environmental Action League (DEAL) to raise the minimum standards of post-consumer waste (recycled materials) found in paper bought by the university.

Drake currently does not have a uniform requirement for paper purchases on campus, leaving it up to each college to decide which paper it uses. Representatives from DEAL presented on the importance of having a uniform purchase of paper on campus that is made with at least 50 percent PCW. This would be a raise from the current 30 percent. This action, they said, would only cause a $1.44 increase per student every semester to cover the cost, which would be internalized into tuition raises for the next academic year.

“This is why we love this so much, it makes such a big difference but it’s such a little change that we have to make,” DEAL President Jennifer Koska said.

The motion was approved unanimously by Senate, and members of DEAL will use the motion to show student body support when they propose it to the Drake director of purchasing in the upcoming weeks.

Senate also voted unanimously to pass five funding allocations. The largest was $2,643 to Habitat for Humanity to fund their Alternative Spring Break Trip to Beaufort, S.C.

DEAL also received $1,051 to help fund their Earth Jam event on March 25, and Rainbow Union received $2,105.75 to cover costs to send 11 members to attend the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference in Ann Arbor, Mich. in February.

In addition, the International Student Association received $800 to secure Sheslow Auditorium for their International Night program that took place on Saturday night, and Drake Women’s Ultimate Club received $1,143 to cover costs associated with the Midwest Throwdown Ultimate Tournament in St. Louis, Mo. in March.

After all of the funding requests, senators discussed the process the Student Fees Allocation Committee uses to fund organization affiliation fees during the issues portion of the agenda. Sen. Kayleigh Koester opened discussion among senators as to what affiliation fees could be covered by Senate.

“I think it might be something worth talking about and deciding in what direction we want to go with that in the future or would like to recommend SFAC does in the future,” Koester said.

Treasurer Nate Bleadorn, who chairs SFAC, acknowledged that this topic is something that his committee will look into in the coming weeks.

By a vote of acclamation, Senate also approved a motion to approve allocating $5,922.50 from a Quasi-Endowment Fund, which was put in place by the 20th session of Student Senate four years ago, toward “Drake Dogtown After Hours.” The event, hosted by various organizations on campus, will be held on April 8 and will be similar to the Celebrate Drake event held last October.

Vice President of Student Activities Greg Larson said that the main difference between Drake Dogtown After Hours and Celebrate Drake is that it’s going to be a competition between student organizations.

“We’re asking organizations to apply to pitch their idea of what they would envision the event to be,” Larson said.

Senators also discussed the possibility of a three-week January academic term. Sen. Ben Cooper said that the idea had been brought up at Faculty Senate but put aside until next month’s meeting.

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