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Ohio University Student Senate Vice President Hannah Burke speaks during the body’s meeting on Sept. 26. (FILE)

Student Senate: Members vote on bill to endorse Student Legal Services

Student Senate will look to pass two bills and three resolutions on Wednesday at the general body meeting. 

One bill is to endorse the Center of Student Legal Services and calls for the renewal of Ohio University’s contract with the center.

According to the agenda, Student Legal Service is a non-profit organization that is funded entirely by student enrollment in its service and has been providing OU students with affordable legal assistance since 1997.

Student Legal Services was formerly funded by a quarterly fee of $8, according to the report. The bill supports the decision to increase legal services fee from $12 per semester to $15. 

Parker Smith, off-campus life commissioner, said raising the cost is still below the older rate. At $15 per semester, it’s $30 a year. When it was a $8 quarterly fee, it cost $32 yearly. Smith said the center’s budget constraints are facing pressure, which is similar to every other element of university operations.

“The Center for Student Legal Services suggested raising the fee to $15 to offset some of the concerns that may come from the other branches and departments of the university that govern the center's contract as a university partner and representative,” Smith said in an email.

Senate members will vote on a bill to renovate the South Green basketball courts.

Alicia Lundy-Morse, chief of staff, said Senate is not sure about the cost of the new courts, but it has been an ongoing conversation with Brian Jones, black affairs commissioner, and Pete Trentacoste, the executive director of Housing and Residence Life. 

“Pete has verbally committed to keep the courts updated so it should not be very costly to our knowledge,” Lundy-Morse said in an email. 

The three resolutions will appoint senators to commissions in Student Senate. Members will vote to appoint Ava Schmidt to the Off-Campus Commission, Nikkiya Addison to the Women’s Affairs Commission and Courtney Archibald as the Fine Arts Senator for the Academics Affairs Commission.

There will also be two presentations at the beginning of the meeting from Student Legal Services and the student trustees.

Student trustees Austin McClain and Faith Voinovich will do a presentation recapping the October Board of Trustees meeting.


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