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Letter to the editor

Senate situation explained in detail

March 13, 2009

As a member of Student Senate, I take great offense to the column written by Aaron Billingsley in the March 6, 2009, issue. However, the lack of updates to the Web site and untimely posting of minutes and agendas is unacceptable. This is something that we will work to rectify. However, Billingsley failed to write that both the motion for the iClickers and the proposed $30,000 to be put forth to help orgs with costs are both INTRODUCTION ONLY at this point; we have only begun to discuss them.

What should also be noted is that part of the $30,000 that Senate is trying to allocate to a committee for student org expenses was partially brought forth due to the outdated computers that this newspaper desperately needs replaced. Senate is not trying to find irrelevant things to spend money on.

I believe that spending has to be done wisely and any motion asking for large amounts of money should be dissected. However, personal attacks are unjustified. We as Senators DO NOT actively try to avoid receiving input as Billingsley implies. Things are not as black and white as he suggests.

Funding for the new HHP building is something that our campus desperately needs. It is not the only building that needs updating, but the funds have to be gathered before any work can be done. The new University Center wasn’t something that happened overnight because some student journalist wrote a column in the school paper demanding it. It took formation of committees, student and administrative input.

As a governing body, we take student input seriously and encourage everyone, especially Billingsley, to attend one of our meetings once in a while. If that would have been the case, he would have noticed that the motion for the $30,000 was amended significantly, where the motion does not have a dollar amount attached to it any longer. He would have also seen that President Bendix pointed out that a major factor for this motion was to get student orgs such as the Voice the computers that they are in dire need of. He would have also learned that the Wisconsin legislature is considering an auxiliary of $25 million to aid students with tuition. Of that $25 million, approximately $2.2 million would be taken from this campus, which is about $300.00 per UWRF student. This is money that belongs to students and would otherwise be used for projects such as the new HHP building. This is the third raid of the fund that has happened in the last 12 years.

There are also proposed revisions to UW administrative code chapter 17 and 18 that deeply threaten students’ rights and gives the UW System authority to essentially punish students for municipal offenses committed OFF CAMPUS such as noise violations and public urination. Where was all that is Billingsley’s column?

Lizeht De La Torre, Student Senate