Ohio University’s Student Senate passed a bill showing opposition to the potential relocation of the Athens County Board of Elections office and heard a presentation on microaggressions at Wednesday night’s meeting. 

The Board of Elections office, 15 S. Court St., is a vital location for student voters, according to the bill.

“The current location of the Board of Elections office promotes voter registration and turnout among students at Ohio University; and the visibility of the Board of Elections has expanded in recent years with the addition of ‘Pumpkin the Cat,’ who has increased students’ knowledge and engagement with the Athens Board of Elections office,” the bill states.

The proposed location of the Board of Elections on Campbell Street was first brought up because the Board of Elections office needs more space, according to the bill.

"It has come to our attention that the Board of Elections office has not met (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements in the building,” Minority Affairs Senator Mackenzie Rader said.

Senate moved to approve opposition to moving the Board of Elections office, opting to support improving ADA requirements in the current building. 

delfin bautista, the director of OU’s LGBT Center, gave a presentation discussing the negative impacts of microaggressions against LGBT people. bautista, who uses they/them pronouns and the lowercase spelling of their name, described the various forms microaggressions can come in. 

“The concept of microaggression can be a physical act or a backhanded compliment,” said bautista. “It is something that is said or something that (a person does) that ultimately dehumanizes the individual.”

Senate executive officers also presented a brief presentation of their time at the Ohio Student Government Association conference and outlined the various topics covered by the President’s Council, the Legislative Committee, and the Academic and Student Affairs committees. 

Members also passed in favor of an autonomous constitutional process for Student Senate, which will help legitimize Student Senate as well as maintain the body’s relationship with the OU Board of Trustees, Senate President Maddie Sloat said.