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Student Senate meeting short, sweet, to the point

February 7, 2008

The Feb. 5 Student Senate meeting opened at the usual time of 7 p.m. in the Willow River Room of the University Center,  with a number of members not in attendance. They were purportedly at the “Super Tuesday” happenings in Minnesota.

The Senate quickly moved on to addressing issues concerning Senate committees needing to be filled. The Student Affairs Committee, Senate Election Committee and Leadership Development and Programming Board were mentioned specifically.

Legislative Affairs Director, Craig Witte spoke of the efforts of the on-campus voter registration service, describing it as “very successful” with registration totals of between 500 and 600 students.  He moved on to upcoming challenges such as discovering ways to promote the upcoming primaries and how to inform the student body regarding a district map of River Falls, so they will know where to go to vote.  Student Association Student Senate Advisor, Gregg Heinselman, suggested a display in the University Center, as well as contacting Amy Lloyd for suggestions.  At the end of the meeting, Witte’s motion to approve funding for the Presidents Day Great Debate, happening Feb. 18, in the Riverview Ballroom (featuring members of the College Republicans, College Democrats and Socialist Alternative student organizations and moderated by Professor Neil Krause) would be passed unanimously.

Diversity Issues and Women’s Initiatives Co-Directors, Nikki Shonoiki and Laura Adrian described their efforts towards deciding on what conferences to attend and goals that their committee should have.

Parliamentarian and Ethics Chair, Nathan McNaughton, mentioned that the senate bylaws as posted on the senate Web site, (http://sa.uwrf.edu/student-senate)  were out of date.  Senate President Derek Brandt stated that the Web site was currently bring updated and that this and other updates (such as a link designed to make allocation of tuition and fees more transparent to students) should be completed soon.

Vice President, Sara Deick had the floor next, she mentioned that Jason Meier was the appropriate contact regarding financing of business cards and placards.  She also brought up that the Wisconsin Caucus would be Feb. 19, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., and that if any Senate members were going to be late for the Senate meeting, they should e-mail her in advance.

Leadership Development and Programming Board Chair Mike Defenbaugh brought to the floor the need for review of the budget policies and the vacancies in the committee as well as the aforementioned Web site regarding allocation of tuition and fees.

Heinselman had the most to say of anyone in attendance.  He started by bringing up that the Accreditation Review Board would be visiting UWRF on April 21 and 22, and that he was looking for faculty and students to help tell the UWRF story and speak to the student experience on campus. Continuing on, he stated that UWRF is looking to get in on the beginning of a new national program to help prospective students evaluate various universities across the country and mentioned that he was looking for students to participate in the steering committee of this program as well. Other opportunities for student involvement were detailed in a program designed to recruit summer camp programs to be located on campus (making use of the UC and South Fork Suites) to help ease the costs of student fees.

He also mentioning the very likely possibility that the Kansas City Chiefs might not be using UWRF facilities in the future, which would significantly impact university summer income.  He described the UWRF housing staff as “lean” and detailed the prospect of hiring two professional staff members as Assistant directors of housing in response to the opening of South Fork Suites.  Five other positions that needed filling were: judicial and conduct officer, student organization coordinator, director of student life, intramural/recreation coordinator, and the transformation of the director of conference services into a conference coordinator position .

The Senate meeting concluded with the unanimous passing of the motion to appoint Jason Meier to the Ethics committee.  The meeting adjourned at 7:35 p.m.

The next Student Senate meeting will be on Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. in the Willow River Room of the University Center.