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Student Senate update: CASE allocation

November 6, 2015

At the meeting on Nov. 3, Student Senate discussed the Solar Panel Purchase Allocation and passed the CASE Allocation.

The Solar Panel Purchase Allocation, introduced by Director of External Relations Brady Murphy, was a motion to allocate $567 from the Student Senate funding pool to purchase a solar panel through the River Falls Community Solar Program. Through this program, businesses, residents, and non-profit organizations can purchase a subscription to solar panels in the River Falls community solar garden. The Senate funding pool has approximately $33,000 left in it for the year. This motion was introductory only, meaning that Senate could not vote on it unless the introductory status is changed by a two-thirds majority vote.

There was a lot of debate about this motion, with members of Senate voicing concern that they did not know enough about the program or university plans to purchase solar panels. Murphy had said that the university was planning on purchasing four solar panels through this program, but comments from UWRF Executive Director of Facilities Planning and Management Michael Stifter suggested that the university had not officially decided to purchase the panels, nor have they come to a specific number of how many panels to purchase.

After some discussion, amendment was introduced to the Solar Panel Purchase Allocation to change the number of panels purchased from one to four, with the overall cost being about $2,268 instead of the original $567. This amendment to the motion did not pass due to concern about the current confusion surrounding the original motion and concern that the cost would be too much for Senate to commit to. The motion’s introductory status was not changed and it will be voted on at next week’s meeting.

Senate then discussed the CASE Allocation, which was a motion to allocate $15 from the Senate funding pool to buy three $5 gift cards to the Dish and Spoon Cafe. The gift cards would be given out to students who participated in a drawing by submitting answers about sustainability during CASE tabling events this week. CASE stands for the Committee for Advancing Sustainable Efforts, a sustainability committee formed by Senate earlier this fall. The tabling events are to spread the word and get student input about a possible segregated “green fee” to fund sustainability efforts at UWRF.

This motion was originally introductory only, but was later changed to majority vote status by a two-thirds majority vote by Senate. Being able to vote on the motion, Senate quickly passed the CASE Allocation.

All information in this update comes from the Nov. 3 Student Senate meeting, and select documents from the OrgSync Student Senate page. It’s very important for all students to stay informed on what is going on with Senate. They meet at 7 p.m. every Tuesday in the Willow River Room of the University Center, and the meeting agenda can be found 24 hours prior on the Senate page. To see the details of what was discussed last Tuesday, go on the Senate page, and read through this week’s minutes document.