Illinois Student Senate passes energy resolution

By Andrew Maloney

The Wednesday meeting of the Illinois Student Senate was a busy one this week, as members discussed items concerning the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District contract negotiations, the appointment of a new senator to the Urbana-Champaign Senate Executive Committee, and a pending energy billing proposal.

The senate discussed and asked questions of three of their colleagues before selecting Carey Ash, a graduate student, to fill a position on the UC-Senate’s Senate Executive Committee. The selection was unanimous after determining that the two other candidates, ISS treasurer Brad Tran, and senator Trent Morrow, would be unable to fill the spot.

Perhaps the most contentious issue of the night was an energy billing resolution proposing that the University bill individual campus departments for utilities. The resolution was authored by Dan Weber, sophomore in LAS, and proposes that billing individual departments will provide incentives for them to reduce energy usage.

The item went through several amendment processes during the meeting, and one change, proposed by graduate senator Justin Umlah, instigated that the system be optional rather than mandatory, and this created some controversy. One issue in particular focused on the fact that different colleges sometimes share the same buildings, and making the program optional would create problems in this situation.

“Obviously people have very strong sentiments on this issue,” said Carlos Rosa, sophomore in LAS. “But the reality is that all the discussion we have on this does not bring it closer to becoming a reality on this campus.”

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After numerous weeks of debate, and while some members questioned the strength of the resolution after the amendment passed by a vote of 15-9, the resolution ultimately passed by a tally of 15-6 in favor.