Ohio University Student Senate passed five of six proposed resolutions and three bills at its Wednesday night meeting. One of the bills addressed university divestment from fossil fuels and investment in alternative energy resources.
Vice Provost for Global Affairs and International Studies Lorna Jean Edmonds spoke about her role at OU in promoting the school as a global institution. Edmonds highlighted that in light of recent executive orders given by President Donald Trump, her job has broadened to include supporting students who may be affected by new federal policies and actions such as the removal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Edmonds speech was timely because later in the night, a bill that passed unanimously supported OU President Duane Nellis’ adoption of a "Global Vision” for the university. Edmonds supported that vision by posing the question, “As a Bobcat, how big do you want our global footprint to be?”
Also passed without contest was Bill 1718-05, which is a “call for the creation of a plan for divestment in fossil fuels,” Vice Commissioner of Environmental Affairs Winter Wilson said. That bill is the first of two bills that will address the topic. The second bill, which will be introduced later on, is to “take the plan from the first bill and state that this is what we want to do.”
The bill aims to create research groups developing a divestment plan. Looking towards the future, “this bill provides the opportunity to make a lasting change that establishes Ohio University as a leader in sustainability,” Wilson said.
Of the resolutions passed, three were amending wording and organizational changes to existing legislation in Student Senate’s Rules and Procedures. Those changes were met with little contest from the body.
The third bill of the evening was supporting Ohio House Bill 61, legislation calling for the removal of an increased sales tax on menstrual products. Last week, Student Senate voted to put money toward The Period Project’s Take a Tampon, Leave a Tampon initiative at its meeting night.
The initiative is the first of its kind in Ohio.