STUDENT SENATE Org affairs chairs

Organizational Affairs Committee chairs Bailey Hendrickson (left) and Connor Thompson (right) discuss appropriations during the weekly Student Senate meeting Mar. 3.

Student Senate appropriated $16,000 to two separate University improvement projects on Feb. 25.

Representatives from the Student Engagement Center and Residence Hall Association asked for funds to aid in their projects to improve different areas on campus. The Student Engagement Center asked for $10,000 to update the Student Engagement Center. Residence Hall Association asked for $6,000 to set up the first bus shelter on campus for students to use when waiting for the Safe Ride Home shuttle.

Director of Diversity and Inclusion Justin Mallett came to Student Senate at the Feb. 25 meeting and asked for $10,000 to improve the Student Engagement Center that he said is outdated and does not match the school’s branding.

“Some of the things we are also looking to do as well is to try and make it more inviting for everybody,” Mallett said.

Mallett provided a breakdown of where the money collected from Student Senate and other groups on campus would be distributed in the Student Engagement Center.

Mallett said the Office of Student Involvement has $50,000 dedicated to upgrading the area. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will be putting in $10,000 as well. 

Mallett said if Student Senate were to vote no, and not appropriate the $10,000 to upgrade the Student Engagement Center, the Office of Student Involvement was still going to try and make changes to the Student Engagement Center to the best of their ability.

“We may just have to cut some things … in order to pull this off,” Mallett said.

Mallett said there is a lot of unutilized space or space that is not being used to its full extent that could be changed so that it is as functional and welcoming as it can be. 

Another addition Mallett said was that the Student Engagement Center would like to bring in white board tables for students who come in and do their homework.

Junior Zerryn Gines, a representative from Residence Hall Association came up after Mallett and asked Student Senate to appropriate $6,000 to go towards the construction of bus shelters on campus for students. 

Gines said the bus shelters will be for students who can’t drive and live on campus to use while they wait for Safe Ride to pick them up. 

Gines said last year RHA discovered three problems: residential students were not utilizing Safe Ride as much as they could to get around town, students did not have a place to wait for their Safe Ride, and there was no way for any organization to advertise outside of the doors of the buildings on campus.

“People who were using the service were having to wait outside, so when their ride was on the way, they were having to wait in the rain, having to wait in the snow,” Gines said.

Gines also said these shelters will have heated lighting for the colder parts of the year so students have a covered, warm place to wait.

Gines said the shelters could also be used for advertising across campus. Students and organizations can hang posters and flyers to advertise events and other activities on campus. 

Gines said RHA plans to construct one bus shelter this year and add a new one every year. The first bus shelter will be at the most commonly used Safe Ride spot on campus, the stop closest to the Forest Village Apartments on Centennial Drive.

Both appropriations passed unanimously.

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