A busy Monday proves Senate isn’t slowing down

Graphic by Ben Cross
Graphic by Ben Cross

At Monday’s meeting there were two appointment confirmations, a denied travel request and a few announcements from the SG President about Executive Branch initiatives.

Travel request

There wasn’t much legislation passed through the senate on Oct. 17, but there was an important action taken. The UNF Sculpture guild requested $1829.88 to travel to Birmingham, Al for a national conference of contemporary cast iron art and practices. The conference is in late March/early April of 2017.

The guild has gone before, and it’s a chance for students to learn new techniques, meet industry leaders and network. Because the event is so far in the future, the club was not able to provide an official itinerary for the event, or accurate official business quotes for accommodations.

The request for funding passed through the Budget & Allocations committee, but was vetoed by President Grantham due to insufficient information.

“If you can’t justify spending money on something, you shouldn’t be passing it through senate,” said President Grantham early in the meeting. For every credit hour a student takes, about $10.33 goes towards the Activity and Service Fee, which then gets sent to SG for allocation to different expenses like travel requests.

A two-thirds vote from senate in favor of funding the request could have overruled the veto, but it was not overridden. The club can go through the process request the funds again, and will probably continue to work with SG on the issue.

Student remarks and speeches

Senator Katherine Thames and Thorin Perego being sworn in to their positions by Chief Justice Elisabeth Avilla. Photo courtesy of Sami Mims.

During the “student remarks” time at the beginning of the Senate meeting, two students and one alumni spoke to raise awareness about the state of UNF’s nature trails. Recently, part of the trail closed because a boardwalk over wetland area became unsafe for use.

In his Executive Branch report, President Grantham explained it would cost around $530,000 to repair the boardwalk. “This is a large request and we need the Senate’s support.”

He explained that there is already support for this initiative within other campus departments, and to look out for legislation in the coming months.

Two individuals up for appointment gave short speeches and answered questions from senators about why they should be confirmed in their positions. Senator Katherine Thames, a junior International Relations major was confirmed as Senate Parliamentarian after being appointed by Senate President Dallas Burke. Thorin Perego, a Freshman biology major was confirmed to senate seat #25.

Executive initiatives and announcements

Other important highlights from the meeting came from the Executive Branch. After 15 years with Chartwells, contract negotiation will begin in November to decide if UNF should stick with the company or find a new vendor. For the first time in UNF history, a student representative will be part of the Food Service Intent To Negotiate Committee. Student Advocate Cole Poppell will be serving on the committee and the new contract should be finalized by March 2017.

Grantham also previewed some renovations happening to the Starbucks in the library that are on track to happen over winter break. Spinnaker will update students about the renovations when we receive more information.

SG Vice President Bella Genta, part of the recent establishment of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives, announced that UNF received the 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award for the second time. She spoke about an upcoming Civil Discourse event covering Political Correctness, that will take place on Oct. 26 in the University Center.

Last but not least, Lend-A-Wing Pantry director Erin Mitts announced that Project Clean Plate, a partnership with Chartwells designed to reduce food waste, was a success.

The next senate meeting will take place Oct. 24. For more information about what’s going on in SG, you can now see upcoming legislation and requests directly on their home page.

Important Dates from the meeting:

Elections are Oct. 25 – Oct. 26 from 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. in the SU, the Library, and online.

Civil Discourse Project: Is it Correct to be Politically Correct? is happening Oct. 27

The Counseling Center is offering Mental Health first aid training on Nov. 3 and Nov. 4.

Nov. 8 is the Veterans Plaza Dedication Ceremony, funded by SG initiatives.

There will be a Town Hall meeting on Nov. 14. More info to follow.

Lend-A-Wing Pantry will be having a fundraiser at Chipotle on Dec. 1.

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact editor@unfspinnaker.com.

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