Venango senate proposal questioned

Clarion, Pa.- The question of whether a student senate in the Venango campus should be considered a Recognized University Organization of Clarion University was a topic of debate in Monday’s 7:30 p.m. meeting in 246 Gemmell.

President Jarrett Boxley called upon his senators to get all questions asked and opinions voiced.  Allocated funds for a recognized Venango senate would have to come from the Clarion Student Association. If a vote to officially elevate the Venango group to RUO status went through, then Clarion students’ activity fees would in part be paying for Venango campus activities and vice versa.

This was something half of the senators did not like about the proposal to further unify the campuses.  It was discussed by some including Sen. Devon Vallies and Sen. Sarah Hrubetz that, realistically, transportation would not be officially provided between campuses and student demand to experience each other’s events would not be substantial enough to justify Venango Student Senate’s potential RUO designation.

After discussion before and during the meeting, a necessary two-thirds majority was not reached by Senate with eight in favor of recognizing Venango Student Senate and nine opposed to the idea.

One of the meeting’s other major developments was a request from the university swim team to purchase a new timing system. An old, refurbished system they were using until the new pool renovations came along failed during the home senior meet against Edinboro, something Assistant Coach Brehan Kelley mentioned as quite embarrassing.  The team resorted to using stopwatches to time the swimmers, and that was explained as a pressing issue since the NCAA no longer recognizes stopwatch times.

Before this request was brought to the students’ attention, Clarion University Athletic Director Dave Katis was sure to thank Senate for their previous help in funding new press boxes for the men’s baseball and women’s softball teams here on campus.  A sign will be constructed on the back of the women’s press box thanking Senate for their assistance.

“It’s a huge necessity,” said Kelley as she described the swim team’s need for a new timing system.  The overall cost was set to be $9,000 after factoring in the costs of the console, start system and six touchpads for the pool lanes.  With the large capital request laid out, Senate wasted little time in a unanimous decision that saw the needed funds allocated to the Clarion Swimming and Diving Team.

A review of the Senate constitution also brought up the situation of needing appointments to senator positions for the semester.  Due to resignations (including one coming from Senator Joseph Green officially accepted from Senate at the end of the meeting) and graduations of past senators, elections were recently opened up again to the Clarion campus.  It was decided as before that the executive board of officers would have the right to find and appoint new senators if not enough students ran for senate positions and in the case of a vacancy that could not be filled due to unforeseen circumstances.

President Boxley and Sen. Brana Hill reported back from what they thought was a successful rally in Harrisburg the same Monday where students from across the 14 PASSHE schools assembled for a compromise to move past the state budget impasse and get the state institutions more funding again.

Clarion Student Association Director Shelly Wilson thanked everyone who came to the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of The Den in the now-completed Suites on Main.  Student Senate Advisor Shawn Hoke also expressed his gratitude to the students who attended and gave their input at the Gemmell Student Center renovations meeting.  Renovations to the complex are set for the near future.

Lastly, it was reported that career service days would now count as officially recognized excused absences by the university.  Senate’s big February event Wingo, bingo with wings and prizes to be won, is going to be held in the Multi-Purpose Room in Gemmell on Friday, Feb. 19.

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