Senate approves military minor
March 13, 2008
Student Senate gave its unanimous support to the new military leadership minor on Tuesday night.
Guest speaker Lt. Col. Scott Bolstad, director of ROTC at UW-Stout and military science professor at UW-River Falls, opened the Senate meeting with a presentation concerning the details of the new military leadership minor. The minor will encompass fields in history, foreign relations, leadership management and military science. It will be open to any UWRF student whether they are in ROTC or not.
Upon completion of Senate director reports, discussion was held concerning the motion to lend Senate support for the military science minor. Matt Dale spoke highly of the proposed minor.
“This would be a most excellent minor to add to our curriculum … for several reasons,” adding that “in the long run this is going to actually save lives,” he said.
Other students also thought the addition of this minor would add to the appeal of the University.
“I think what makes UWRF an appealing school is the variety of majors and minors we offer. I think that by offering this we’re just [expanding] what we can offer the students,” parliamentarian/ethics chair Nathan McNaughton said.
The minor program is scheduled to begin in the fall.
Other Senate News
• End of year budget constraints drove much of the debate concerning the amount of funding for the “Take Back the Night” event to be held March 24. Diversity Issues and Womens Initiatives co-director Laura Adrian spoke to the event’s importance.
“The purpose of ‘Take Back the Night’ is to raise awareness of violence against women and sexual assault,” Adrian said.
The event will feature speakers, live music and an open mic session where attendees will be free to share their experiences. Also scheduled is a “clothesline” project where participants will make T-shirts to be hung in front of the University Center , which is designed to promote awareness. After amendments were made to the budget, the motion was carried unanimously.
• Relations between students and UWRF will be affected greatly by UW-System Chapters 17 and 18 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code. Chapters 17 and 18 concern the Jurisdiction of UWRF (along with all UW-System Schools) concerning non-academic misconduct. The policy would allow UWRF to extend its authority to not only the surrounding community, but also to anywhere in the world. This policy applies to any students who are enrolled at UWRF (including while on summer break). Potentially a student could be expelled (UWRF punishments would increase along with the degree of the infraction) for breaking the law “if the conduct adversely affects a substantial University interest.”
Student Senate voted in opposition to UWRF extending its jurisdiction, as well as in opposition to the degree of authority that chapters 17 and 18 lend to UWRF.
• After heated debate, unanimous support was granted to a motion introduced by student Ben Plunkett bringing Student Senate meetings into accordance with the Wisconsin Open Meeting Law.
The motion stated that Senate and Committee meetings will be advertised on the bulletin board behind the convenience store, in a binder at the Involvement Center desk and on the Senate Web site.
“I do think we should take a clear and serious look at going beyond the legal minimum,” Dale said.
Further initiatives will be made to increase the efficiency of this process.
• Student Affairs and Academic Services director Jennifer Biss reported a student survey will be conducted online the week after spring break. regarding a campus bar.
The survey will be available on the UWRF Web site.
“There is a feeling that [an on-campus] bar is a good idea,” Biss said.
• Legislative affairs director Craig Witte reported that his committee was working to promote the local government elections to be held April 1.
“[Student turnout is reflected] in the way that certain [city council members] vote.”
“We feel that the [shaded governance] fee is high enough and don’t want to raise it [in light of] other fees going up,” and added, referring to possible budget deficits “I think we can be a lot more diligent with our funds,” finance director Jason Meier said.
• Senate President Derek Brandt spoke to the issue of upcoming Senate elections, saying petitions must be submitted by 4 p.m. March 28 for a candidate’s name to be on the ballot. Petitions require “50 signatures for any senator and 100 for president or vice-president.”
Senate election funding was also approved. In addition to the candidate selection, the ballot will also include a referendum question gathering student sentiment regarding UWRF participation in the United Council.
” … it was pretty close last year,” Director Nikki Shonoiki said.
The United Council is an organization designed to lobby for students at the Wisconsin Legislature. UWRF is currently not a member.
Agendas and minutes for Senate meetings are available on the Senate Web site. Senate meetings are Tuesday’s at 7 p.m. in the Willow River Room of the University Center. Students are encouraged to attend and participate.