Senate discusses energy conservation, housing lottery

By Andrew Maloney

After losing quorum during last week’s meeting, the Illinois Student Senate had several items to cover during its meeting Wednesday.

While the total amount of time spent was limited to five minutes per item, the issue drawing the most discussion was a resolution concerning campus sustainability.

Student senator Dan Weber, sophomore in LAS, authored the resolution and said that it focused on motivating different colleges to reduce the amount of energy they used each month. He cited a deficit in the University’s energy bill as being a result of overconsumption by campus units but said under the proposed system, they would not be punished for consuming more energy.

“Because of our current system, the University as a whole has achieved a grade deficit of $100 million,” Weber said. “There’s no punishment here, there’s only incentives.”

The item drew questions as to how some colleges further from campus, like the College of Veterinary Medicine, would be affected, as well as how some facilities that are utilized by multiple facilities would be billed. The item will be voted on at a later date.

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One item that was up for action Wednesday night called for the University to institute a lottery system for University Housing. It was written to address the problem of segregation in housing units on campus and ensure that students who had to wait for financial aid before choosing a residence were not all put in the same area.

The resolution was authored by Zenobia Ravji, graduate student, who said statistics provided by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Renee Romano showed significant disparity between which ethnicities were represented at which campus residence halls.

However, some members voiced concerns that students would not be able to live close to their desired campus departments. After some discussion, part of the resolution was amended to include a percentage system so that some students would still get to choose their residence when they were admitted to the University.

This amendment passed by a vote of 15-3 with four members abstaining.

The Illinois Student Senate meets every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the Pine Lounge of the Illini Union.