At its meeting Wednesday night, Ohio University Student Senate passed a bill asking the university to hire a legal consultant for international, immigrant and undocumented students. 

The conversation about the university hiring a legal consultant began at last week’s Graduate Student Senate meeting. Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Pina said the idea of hiring a legal consultant to come to campus twice a month to provide legal advice to international, immigrant and undocumented students was brought to him, according to a previous Post report. 

Currently the university cannot provide any legal advice for international students, despite the fact that they pay the Student Legal Fee. The argument for adding that service stems from OU’s promise that all students deserve equal amenities, legal and otherwise. 

President Donald Trump overturned the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on Sept. 5 with a six-month delay. 

“The Trump administration also announced a revised travel restriction on a permanent basis for people from eight countries on September 25th, both of which will have unknown impacts on Ohio University students,” the agenda said. 

According to a previous Post article, 10 of OU’s peer universities have already added the extra service for their students. OU leaders are looking to create a model similar to Colorado State University. In their system, a consultant comes to campus once or twice a month to meet with students. In CSU’s model, the lawyer charges a rate lower than normal at about $100 an hour.

Some senate members were worried about how much that would raise the Student Legal Fee for other students, but it was assured that it would not even raise it by a whole dollar. The bill passed almost unanimously, with just one vote against. 

Associate Vice President for University Planning Shawna Bolin, spoke about The Ridges planning overview, saying that OU is looking into creating an eco-village. That village would be cost-effective and environmentally friendly, and it would help meet the housing needs of the community. 

While the area is not specifically designated to one group, they hope it will cover housing for graduate students and the elderly. Also in the recreation area of The Ridges, the Athens City School District is hoping to find a place to build a new school campus, and the school district talked landowners to find the best fit for the campus. 

Student Senate also appointed Brian Jones to the Black Affairs Commission and Mahmoud Ramadan to serve as an Off Campus Senator.  

Senate was unable to decide whether fruit should be handed out instead of candy during the homecoming parade. 


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