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The Ohio University Student Senate holds the first general body meeting of the semester on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. (FILE)

Student Senate: Body discusses bill condemning Ohio House Bills 322 and 327

Ohio University Student Senate met Wednesday to discuss and oppose two bills currently in the Ohio House of Representatives. 

Senate Vice President Elaina Tartal introduced a bill to the body that condemns Ohio House Bills 322 and 327, two bills written to prohibit the instruction of controversial issues of public policy or social affairs within K-12 education and to prevent educators from discussing certain concepts. 

She said if those bills were to pass, it would keep students out of the loop on important events, especially considering the fact that House Bill 327 specifically threatens to withhold state funding from schools that continue to teach the prohibited topics. Furthermore, students coming to OU would not have the critical thinking skills to promote inclusivity on campus, she said.

“It's not fair to (K-12 students) to take away part of their education based off of what some state legislators believe that they should be learning,” she said. “It should be up to the teacher in the classroom to decide on this as an age-appropriate conversation about these topics.”

The body unanimously passed its bill demanding that both House Bills be voted down. 

Senate also received an update from Jenny Hall-Jones, interim vice president for Student Affairs, concerning student well-being on campus. She said the Division for Student Affairs is trying to promote wellness on campus using the four pillars of Bobcat well-being. She also said that the division will be implementing a well-being task force to develop breakthrough objectives and identify key results. 

The task force will have four different objectives, all of which intend to give a more comprehensive view on students’ well-being. It also hopes to integrate well-being into the work it does for and with students, as well as staff work and culture. The task force will also effectively communicate, increase engagement and provide informational resources promoting Bobcat well-being with the university and community, and obtain funding for well-being work. 


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