Ohio University Student Senate had presentations from two speakers at its Wednesday night meeting, one of them being Executive Director of Event Services Dustin Kilgour.
Kilgour runs all things in Baker Center, including the Baker Food Pantry. The pantry was created in April, and it ran small marketing campaigns during hunger and homelessness week to promote donations. It does not currently track any of the food that comes and goes on the shelves or who takes it. The only administrative interaction is twice a day when they sweep the shelves to make sure none of the food is expired and that it is all organized.
With the continued support of the community, Kilgour plans to turn the media hallway mailboxes into more shelving for even more food to give to the community and plans to add a cooler to keep perishable items for the community.
Kilgour said he was “adamantly opposed” to tracking who is taking food from the pantry.
“I want to make sure that the people who are hungry on our campus, either in our campus or in our community, are getting food,” he said.
However, Kilgour said he might be interested in data gathering to figure out what the community wants and needs. He also said if the pantry saw a need to offer clothing, they would consider it.
“If we see a need for it then why would we not?” he said.
Vice President for Finance and Administration Deb Shaffer also gave a presentation at the Student Senate meeting.
Shaffer began her presentation by setting up a Top Hat account for all of the senators and asking budget-based questions. Her first question touched on the state budget’s effect on the university’s budget. She said in 2000, 35 percent of the university’s operating budget came from the state, while today just approximately 20 percent does.
She says the university is heading in the wrong direction. The less state funding the university gets, the more it needs to raise the tuition to provide the same services, which proves to be another issue. Once tuition for incoming freshman is raised, their tuition is locked in at that point for the rest of their time at the university, even if state funding falls during that time.
Shaffer explained that it would take about $550 million to fix all of the deferred maintenance around campus, such as housing, stating that 59 percent of all current student housing will be more than 50 years old by the year 2022. Of that $550 million of maintenance needed, only about $70 million will be addressed this academic year.
Student Senate focused on internal affairs, allocated funds for pizza for several events, increased GPA supervision of senate members and discussed a bill asking that Graduate Student Senate give speaking rights to Student Senate members.