VP: Formal statement of principles needed for Illinois Student Senate

By Megan Jones

Vice President-External Carey Ash made note at the Illinois Student Senate’s Wednesday meeting that the senate lacks a formal statement of principles to govern its operations, including guiding its support of students and their organizations.

Ash, though he expects this resolution to take some time, would like the senate to compose three principles to be voted on by the senate later in the spring semester. 

“Depending on what this statement says, we’ll need to ensure that it complies with proper use of your University funds,” said Rhonda Kirts, Illinois Student Senate adviser.  

She cited, for example, that the senate cannot give money to the Eastern Illinois Food Bank or any other nonprofit charity.

Additionally, Michele Guerra, UI Wellness Center director, spoke about the upcoming smoking ban, which will be effective Jan. 1, and answered senators’ questions. 

Senators are currently awaiting their trip to the ABTS Winter Conference, which will take place at the University of Minnesota from Jan. 17 to 19. The conference allows all student governments within the Big Ten to meet together. A total of $2,336 was allocated toward the conference, with a vote of 19-1, with six abstentions. 

The senate approved with a vote of 15-7 an amendment to their bylaws, which requires student senators to take Open Meetings Act training within 30 days of taking their oath. Senators are already members of the Urbana-Champaign Senate, which requires members to take the training. 

While the “Fill the Truck” campaign took place before Thanksgiving break, senators passed a resolution with a vote of 27-0 to show their support for those devastated by the tornado that took place 20 miles away from campus on Nov. 17. 

“It’ll be several years before life gets back to normal again (in Washington, Ill.), so just keep that in mind,” said Senator Luke Sailer, senior in LAS. 

Megan can be reached at [email protected]