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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 receives presentation from Students Defending Students

Ohio University Student Senate met Wednesday to discuss the student code of conduct process with a branch of the body known as Students Defending Students, or SDS. 

A presentation was given by Celine Freetage, associate director, and Ellen Gill-Franks, director of SDS.

“We focus on helping students through the student code of conduct process, especially when they're engaging with the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility,” Freetage said.

Freetage and Gill-Franks made it clear that SDS is not something every university has and emphasized they want to prioritize longevity on OU’s campus. 

Gill-Franks also said SDS was not there to give students legal advice, but instead to help guide them through the code of conduct. 

“We are not lawyers … we are trained on the code of conduct, but also everything they (students) say is confidential with the exception of mandatory reporting obligations,” Gill-Franks said. 

Currently, SDS has reduced its office hours because of the pandemic, but is still open 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday through Friday to advise students through the code of conduct. 

Following the presentation, the body discussed the importance of the campus climate survey. The deadline for students to be able to take the survey has been extended to Dec.1. 

To finish the meeting, Senate treasurer Simar Kalkat gave the body its current budget numbers. Senate has a current total of $64,761.19, Kalkat said, and the Senate Appropriations Commission’s budget is at a total of $379,249.53. 

@paigemafisher

pf585820@ohio.edu

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