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Lao: Use full student potential

Maureen Reynolds | Thursday, January 29, 2004

The Student Senate passed a resolution calling for renovation to the first floor student lounge in LaFortune at their meeting Wednesday night.

The resolution, which senators approved unanimously, calls for “appropriate funds [to] be made available by the University for this renovation … in a similar fashion as the recent renovations in the basement of [LaFortune].”

Carroll senator Karsten Steinhaeuser, who introduced the resolution to the Senate, said the reason for the improvement request was first because “the paint on the walls has been there for a long time, and so has the carpet and the furniture.”

However, Steinhaeuser also mentioned that this area of LaFortune receives a lot of traffic from students who socialize and study in the space, as well as family members, alumni and prospective students.

For these reasons, senators voted to ask the administration for renovations to the lounge area. However, according to an amendment added to the resolution by a 19-3 vote by senators during the meeting, the resolution also requests that the student government be allowed to play a part in the design of the renovated space.

The Senate also received an update regarding the Council of Representatives from Keenan senator Dan Zenker, one of the Senate’s representatives on the Council. Zenker reported that COR has been debating how officials on dorm councils should be elected – on a combined ticket or a split ticket. He also said the council is currently trying to decide which Student Union body should have the power to approve the budget, a power previously given by the Senate to COR at its inception in the fall.

Zenker asked for the Senate’s input and affirmed that the four Senate representatives would vote in the COR meetings to represent the Senate’s views on the issue.

The issue was debated, with Senators arguing both sides.

“The reason behind the [combined ticket] is to improve communication and efficiency,” Cavanaugh senator Jordan Bongiovanni said.

Other senators disagreed, however, supporting a split ticket, where each candidate for a dorm council position would run separately.

“We need to get the best people for the job, and we can do that with a split ticket,” Howard senator Brin Anderson said.

In the end, an unofficial vote was taken to see where the Senate stood on the issue. Senators voted 15 in favor of a split ticket, 2 in favor of a combined ticket, and 7 in favor of simply letting the dorms decide.

On the issue of the budget, debate was short. Discussion centered around which body would be most unbiased in approving the budget, and whom the budget would most affect.

“I really think if it’s going to be the next year’s budget, it should be approved by those it’s going to affect,” student body president Jeremy Lao said.

In other Senate news:

u Senior Joe Dickmann spoke to senators regarding the possible forming of a University club for homosexual students.

“What I think is missing is a forum for dialogue,” said Dickmann. “The gay students … don’t have a voice.”

Dickmann went on to say that students are interested in forming a club that would present this forum. He asked senators to go back to their dorms and see where residents stood on this issue.

“See if this is something the Senate could support. See what the feeling is in your dorms,” he said.