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Looking ahead to 2017: More counseling, a nicer Starbucks and maybe even better Wi-Fi

Jordan Bebout

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Graphic by Ben Cross

Graphic by Ben Cross

Student Government (SG) wrapped up the year on Nov. 21 at the last Senate meeting of the semester by voting on several important pieces of legislation.

Students, senators and staff gave personal stories, read letters and called for more financial support for the counseling center. “It’s so hard to stay positive,” said one student in a letter read to the Senate by Lend-A-Wing director Erin Mitts. “I need to see my counselor more than once a month, but I can’t. They don’t judge, they just listen.”

SG approved a resolution advocating for the reallocation of $0.32 per credit hour of student fees to go towards the counseling center. This will not cause student fees to increase, but will instead use unallocated funds or be taken from other departments.

The Swearing-In of Senator-Elects. Photo courtesy of UNF Student Government

The Swearing-In of Senator-Elects. Photo courtesy of UNF Student Government

The non-binding request for the reallocation of funds will now be sent to the Student Fee Assessment Committee (SFAC) for deliberation, where they will determine how to use Senate’s recommendation. This includes the total cost of the project and where funding will come from. The Senate hopes to reduce wait time and improve access to critical mental health services through these budget changes.

The bill can be viewed when SG uploads the document to their Legislative Bills page.

Senate did not vote to override President Grantham’s line-item veto on funding for new carpet in the Student Union Ballrooms. The Ballrooms will still get a new AV system, but the SU Director John Simms explained that Student Union Administration and the Division of Student Affairs has decided a new carpet isn’t a priority.

Senate did, however, approve a $11,800 request for renovating the student lounge in Starbucks. While the Starbucks side of the space will be revamped over winter break, the lounge area is expected to be finished by the end of Spring 2017.

 

Senior political science and accounting student Thomas Beaucham was appointed Chair of the Government Oversight committee. Beaucham says he hopes to continue the professionalism of the committee and make necessary election reforms.

President Grantham updated the Senate on the progress of UNF’s project to improve the on-campus wireless network. “The old system isn’t built to support the level of use it has today,” Grantham said. He explained the university is working to make Wifi better in housing areas, UNF Arena and the core of campus.

To see some previous and current SG projects like the Veteran’s Plaza and nature trail reconstruction, visit their website. The Spring 2017 Senate schedule is available here.

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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Looking ahead to 2017: More counseling, a nicer Starbucks and maybe even better Wi-Fi