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President Nellis speaks during the first student senate meeting of the year at Ohio University on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017. (MCKINLEY LAW | PHOTO EDITOR)

Student Senate: Body discusses changes to senate election process

Ohio University Student Senate passed two bills and one resolution at its Wednesday night meeting. Of the bills passed, one consolidated Senate elections to a single day instead of the traditional two days; the other demanded further assessment of how planned The Ridges construction will affect environmental sustainability. 

The meeting was started with a presentation from OU Student Trustees Brooke Mauro and Faith Voinovich. They spoke about the current state of various items such as the university’s goal to lower the cost of textbooks by 15 percent, the current decline in the amount of student misconduct and approved renovation funding for Shively dining hall. 

The passed legislation concerning The Ridges construction plans is examining how OU Climate Action’s Plan for carbon neutrality and its ability to meet current benchmark goals in construction waste reduction will be impacted. 

That bill was heavily supported when taken to vote and saw little debate and discussion from members of the body.

Lengthy conversation ensued with the decision to consolidate Student Senate elections to one day instead of two. Chief of Staff Jonathon Schlosser spoke in opposition over the consolidation of Student Senate elections to one day, stating that “20 percent of the population votes on the second day.” Among other concerns was whether the online voting system was capable of handling an increase in user traffic. 

OU Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones came forward in support of the bill before it passed with more than two-thirds support from the body. 

Most notably among the legislation that did not pass were two polarizing resolutions: one to remove the prerequisite of collecting signatures for Student Senate candidacy and the other to double the number of required signatures.

Student Senate President Landen Lama noted that the organization is “an equal opportunity employer,” and that the bill to increase the amount of signatures should have a non-discriminatory clause attached because some students’ could be unable to effectively collect signatures due to disabilities. 

Both efforts failed when brought to a vote, resulting in the continuation of election procedures already in place.


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