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Members strive for African solidarity

Amanda Michaels | Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Student Senate was focused on the “call to solidarity” with Africa at Wednesday’s meeting, as presenters urged them to support plans for an “Africa Week” and endorse a letter to Bono, lead singer of U2, requesting a U2 benefit concert.Emily Chin, Laura Feeney and Meghan Hanzlick asked Senate to back their efforts to continue the mission of raising the awareness about Africa started last year when a group traveled to Nigeria with “The Call to Solidarity.” They showed a video with clips from the Nigeria trip, set to a rock version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” featuring Africans speaking to the importance of different cultures joining together in brotherhood.Hanzlick then explained the purpose of Africa Week – tentatively set for mid-April.”It’d be about bringing the student body together for one week under one cause, and it would be amazing,” she said. Chin then spoke about the letter to Bono – originally introduced to the Senate by Hanzlick in November – that invites U2 to play a benefit concert as what she called “the icing on the cake” for Africa Week.Feeney emphasized Africa Week would go on with or without U2, but they should at least try to spark Bono’s interest with a display of student support by way of a mass amount of signatures. The letter, once approved by Senate, would be sent to Bono as an initial expression of interest, and booths would be set up soon thereafter to collect the signatures. Though senators expressed their support of the idea, there was concern over the tone of the proposed letter, and they voted to have it rewritten for next week in favor of a “more professional style.”After the presentation, Judicial Council president Brin Anderson spoke to Senate about the upcoming student body presidential and vice presidential elections. Petitions were due Wednesday and candidates will be officially announced next week, she said. “It’s also my job to inform you of any campaign procedure violations,” Anderson said. “Consequently, we’ve already had one, regarding campaigning prior to approval.”Though she did not specify which candidates were involved in the violation, Anderson said that a hearing was already held and sanctions were issued.

In other Senate news:u Finally, the Senate passed a resolution from the Committee on Residence Life commending the Office of Information Technologies for its efforts in starting a Dorm Printer Pilot Program that will install printers in five different residence halls. Carroll, Pasquerilla West, Stanford, Keenan and Welsh Family will be the trial dorms.u Committee on Academic Affairs chair Vijay Ramanan announced a College Readership pilot program – bringing students three national newspapers for free – would start in February. The pilot program itself will cost the student government nothing, but they are still looking into funding for the full program.