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Ian Armstrong pleads to vote cautiously on behalf of the concealed carry law at student senate on Wednesday as (left to right) vice-president, Courteney Muhl, president Hannah Clouser, and treasurer Steve Lichtenfels listen. (LIZ MOUGHON | PHOTO EDITOR)

Student Senate: Body will discuss opposing proposed textbook initiative

Correction appended.

On Wednesday, Ohio University Student Senate will discuss a bill opposing the textbook initiative proposed in Gov. John Kasich’s 2018-19 budget.

The budget proposal related to textbook cost would require colleges to increase tuition by $300 to cover textbooks, according to a previous Post report. Vice President of Student Senate Courteney Muhl said the initiative would cost the university $15 million.

Student Senate President Hannah Clouser, one of the sponsors of the bill opposing the initiative, said some students could lose money with this proposal.

"Some students like to rent their books or can find cheaper, free PDFs online or borrow it from a friend or things like that," Clouser said. "Students in some disciplines may not even be spending that $300 so for them it would be losing money."

She said she believes the textbook initiative could have a negative impact on not just OU, but all universities in Ohio.

“Across the state there are some schools that this could make their schools go bankrupt,” Clouser said. “It would have really negative implications not only for students here but for students across public institutions of Ohio.”

Senate will also discuss if they will publicly condemn the University of California at Berkeley and Middlebury College for protests on their campuses. 

In a bill sponsored by Mitchell Smith, a Graduate College Senator, he calls for Senate to “reaffirm its commitment to upholding and protecting the individual rights to expression, assembly and debate” in the college community.

Muhl said she believes this is a claim Student Senate has no business making with the little information they have on the protests.

“I think that as Ohio University Student Senate, we aren't a body that has enough information about what happened on these campuses to make that sweeping generalization,” Muhl said.

She believes there will be much debate on the purpose of the bill during the meeting.

“I think there will be some contention, especially because we just had so many conversations related to protesting on our campus,” Muhl said. “I think it will be very important for the primary sponsor and for everyone to have a very honest discussion of what the purpose of the bill is.”

Senate will also vote on a resolution sponsored primarily by Matthew Thomas, Clerk of Court for Student Senate, which would deny funding to organizations that apply for a reimbursement for an event that had already happened.

According to the bill, this is part of SAC’s goal to have student organizations plan ahead for events. Organizations must submit their applications for reimbursement before the event for SAC to approve the reimbursement if the resolution is passed.

Jacob Haskins, Commissioner of University Life, said he thinks this resolution should pass because it is clarifying funding rules.

"It’s clarifying something that has already been in place, at least that’s my understanding from SAC," Haskins said. "It’s saying in the rules, so in 2 or 3 years everyone is under the understanding, that you for sure cannot have an event, then ask for funding (later)."


Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated information about protests. The article has been updated with the most accurate information. 

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