Senators off to a strong start

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Photo Credit: Media Submitted

Jyothsna Ganesh

The Senators’ caucuses were the highlight of Student Government’s general meeting held Sept. 23.

Vice-Chair of the Senate, Nubwa Gadzama, said she will continue working on the library development project. Since the library was built in the ‘80s, some of the power outlets remain incompatible with recently released laptop models. She also is looking to improve partnerships with the Ann Arbor and Dearborn campus libraries, while trying to make students aware of options they have of lending books from the other libraries.  Senator Benny Stribling will be working with Senate Gadzama on this caucus.

“With our caucuses we plan to make the campus a great space for students. We will implement changes like improving campus climate and financial aid, and address other student concerns we hear of,” said Gadzama

Senator Blair Davis will be dealing with the Facilities and Operations department on campus. Although his initial focus was on unused spaces on the University’s premises and reopening the bridge that stretches across the Flint River to the White Building, it has shifted to providing better water facilities for students living on campus since the resurgence of the Flint water issues.   

Senator Sunsae Davis will work toward improving food and dining services for students on campus. This is the first time this issue has been addressed as a full-fledged caucus. Davis said she has observed that Kettering University has more dining options and would like to take a closer look into what Kettering does differently.

Senator Savannah DeMil’ will be focused on campus safety in conjunction with the sexual assault taskforce. Another new caucus being set up is the Green Initiative under Senator Lina Eltahir in an effort to make the campus more sustainable. The President and Vice-President will set up a meeting with the Chemistry club to discuss various ideas like installing more recycling bins; installing solar panels is another ambitious idea in consideration.

Senator Adedotune Ojelabi has short-term and long-term ideas, and his caucus is still in the making. Some of his long-term ideas include making the Loft accessible to everybody on campus, and his short-term plans will be organizing events that will bring students together from all three University of Michigan campuses.

Senator Cameron Haskins’ caucus is community outreach. His mission is getting students engaged within the community and establishing volunteer opportunities. The Director of Community Outreach position has been scraped off, and Senator Haskins’ caucus has been set up in lieu of this position. The Student Government body, along with the Sponsoring Executive Cabinet, has decided to reallocate the funds from the position’s pay toward bonuses for Senators.

There were a couple of updates from the financial board. $2000 had been allotted for the Touch-A-Truck event, of which only $1000 was used and the remainder was returned to Student Government.

In the short general meeting that took place on Sept. 30, critical matters were discussed. It was confirmed that the Student Government’s contract with the Mass Transportation Authority still remains good; buses to the Great Lakes Crossing mall will continue to operate every Saturday and the free shuttle to Meijer and Target will operate every alternate Saturday. For the latter, the pick-up will be at 2 p.m. from First Street Residence Hall and will be available on the following dates – Oct. 3, 17, 31; Nov. 14, 28, and Dec. 12.

It was also noted at the meeting that the University purchased 120 parking spaces for students of the School of Management, which had previously been lost because of the Genesys Elder Care program located across from Residence Hall, and the Business and Finance and Student Government Council Leadership had collaborated to compensate for that loss. The University has arranged for 120 student parking spots in the Rutherford parking deck, which is located one block south of the river at the intersection of Kearsley Street and Beach Street. 100 access cards for the parking slots are allotted on a first come first served basis to students registered for a graduate or undergraduate degree with the SOM. For more information, contact Kathy Howe from DPS at [email protected]

Over the last two weeks, Student Government focused on sexual assault awareness, and held two events in collaboration with the Intercultural Center (ICC) and the Women’s Educational Center (WEC). There was a sexual assault role play held, and it was a success with over 80 students in attendance.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank George Marzonie and all of the actors from the Student Theatre Group for organizing the skit,” said President Eidelsafy.  

Marquetta Hall was sworn in as a senator of Student Government during their general meeting held Sept. 23. Hall was also able to discuss her plans and visions to assist freshmen with financial advising.