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Motions spark debate, advisor announces she will move on

October 11, 2007

Several issues were discussed during an hour-long Student Senate meeting Tuesday night, including two motions concerning topics that sparked fairly extensive debate.

After the Oct. 2 meeting, two motions remained on the table for discussion.

The first was a motion that proposed to fund transportation and lodging for the Women’s Leadership Conference, which will take place Nov. 9-11 at UW-Oshkosh.

Traditionally, UW-River Falls has had significant participation in the event, and so far this year, considerable interest has been expressed, Diversity and Women’s Initiatives Director Nikki Shonoiki said.

The motion called for a budget to be presented, but due to some concern over mathematical figures, a recess was called to straighten things out. After reconvening, calling for several amendments and extensive discussion, the motion was passed to fund up to $4,500 for lodging and transportation for the students who will be attending.

Also on the table was a motion proposing funding for a candlelight vigil to be held on campus to do outreach and education about the Compassionate Care for Rape Victims bill (SB 129/AB 377). The bill would require emergency rooms in Wisconsin to provide rape victims with information about and access to emergency contraception, as only 30 percent do so now.

Much discussion and debate over the ethical implications of supporting such an event ensued and continued through the week.

Although it was a touchy subject, President Derek Brandt said it is Senate’s responsibility to look at controversial issues from an unbiased standpoint.

“We as a student governing body require viewpoint neutrality,” Brandt said. “We must look at [the issue] from beyond a partisan basis and look at educational value.”

Although not everyone was in favor, the motion passed to help cover costs for the vigil, which will take place Nov. 17.

Motions passed to appoint Senator Josh Breyer as director of the Students Affairs and Academic Services Committee and Tyler Halverson as East Area Representative.

The meeting ended with comments from Senate advisor Vicki Hajewski, who announced she will be leaving UWRF and moving to UW-Superior, where she has been hired as Vice Chancellor of Campus Life and dean of students.

She had nothing but praise for the students she has worked with for the last six years.

“I thank everyone for all their support,” Hajewski said. “I don’t know who will be taking over my position as of now, but I certainly hope they enjoy it as much as I have.”