Sam Tauchen has been inaugurated as the new Student Senate president.
Tauchen was inaugurated on April 30, beginning the 76th session of Senate. Tauchen, along with Vice President Tony Sumnicht and the rest of the new Senate members were sworn in by outgoing president Bobbi O’Brien. Currently, there are six new senators and eight returning senators, including Tauchen.
“Many time sensitive and complex items were introduced, and I commend the newly elected senators and especially the first-year senators for actively engaging in every discussion,” Tauchen said. “Typically, motions with this magnitude are not introduced until a couple months into fall semester at the earliest.”
One of these motions, introduced to the Senate on April 30, proposed changes to the Involvement Center (IC) in the University Center. These changes would aim to make the IC more inclusive and help students get more involved on campus.
The proposed project would cost $60,000. To fund the project, Senate will draw the money from the reserve account. This account is the pool of money which is taken back from student organizations that were not used during the academic year.
The reserve account currently has a little more than $100,000 in it.
The renovation to the IC would include new furniture, as well as changing the computer stations from individual desks to group oriented pods.
In the computer area, there would also be desks where up to six students could work together on one large screen, as well as plug their laptops into the screen so all group members could word together.
University Center Director Cara Rubis said that the plan for the computer area is modeled after a new computer lab at UW-Madison.
The renovated IC would also include a kiosk where students could access OrgSync to get easy access to Senate documents as well as other organizations on campus.
The plan would also include renovations to the fireplace area in the IC. Rubis informed Senate that official plans would not be drawn up until money was actually allocated to the project.
Director of Student Life Paul Shepherd said that the project would “not just put the Involvement Center on par with other schools, it would put it above par.”
If the plan is passed by Senate on May 7, the renovations to the IC would have a tentative completion date of Aug. 31, meaning it would be done by the time fall semester begins.
Senate also introduced three motions which will be voted on next week.
These motions include allocating a little more than $6,000 to Kinni Outdoor Adventures to go toward the purchase of bicycles for the new bike program, a motion which would shift money from the defunct wrestling club to Rec and Sports via the reserve account, and a resolution which states that Senate is in favor of a 5.5 percent tuition cap instead of a tuition freeze.
“A tone has been set, and I am confident in the fact that the 76th Session of Student Senate will effectively face next year’s challenges and provide a positive impact on UW-River Falls,” said Tauchen.