Chancellor Jones commends efforts of student government


Angela Kerndl

Chancellor Jones met with the Illinois Student Government for the first time to answer questions in the Pine Lounge of the Illini Union on Wednesday night.

By Gillian Dunlop, Staff Writer

Chancellor Jones greeted the Illinois Student Government during Wednesday’s weekly meeting with warm words and an eagerness to hear their questions.

“Thank you for the opportunity to be here,” he said. “I’m deeply honored.”

The government invited Jones to create what is hopefully going to be a long, diplomatic relationship, President Ron Lewis said.

Although Jones only had about 25 minutes to speak, he addressed a multitude of questions from the senators concerning the University mascot, the future of agricultural studies and how to help the government connect with students.

“It’s a critically important time to reflect on the last 150 years of this great university, but more importantly to think of what we need to do today,” Jones said.

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    One of the questions that came from the senators was about the long held debate over the University mascot and how the Jones was planning on addressing that within the coming months.

    “I’m trying to have conversations with people on both sides of this issue,” he said. “It’s an issue of equality, fairness and it’s very complicated. I’m in the process right now of trying to get multiple perspectives. We have to be very thoughtful and methodical of how we think about this issue.”

    Another concern that came from the senate was about the future agricultural studies on campus and how it will be better promoted to University students.

    “We don’t only have to promote it among the students, but we have to reach back to the K-12 students,” Jones said. “I plan to visit rural parts of this state, particularly southern parts of this state, because I’m not only concerned of ethnic and racial diversity having an opportunity at this university, but I’m also concerned about geographic diversity.”

    Jones also commended the efforts of student leaders in their initiative to bring former president Barack Obama to campus for the spring 2017 commencement.

    “There are a number of you at this meeting that have been greatly involved with the efforts to invite President Obama,” he said. “And I just want to take a moment to say thank you for all your efforts in that regard, and we look forward to seeing the results.”

    Jones also encouraged the senators and government leaders to keep up the good work.

    “I would encourage you to continue what I’ve seen here,” he said. “And that’s to continue doing all that you can to reach out (to students).”

    The meeting continued with the ratification of the register where the government went title by title of the new constitution, giving the opportunity to senators to object to any title, article or section they wanted. Only section six of article one was objected. A small word change was made in that section and the rest of the register was ratified without any further objections.

    Thirteen people were then nominated to be justices in the judicial branch. Lewis will be in charge of appointing one justice which will need to be confirmed by the senate in order to go into effect.

    Senator Jaime Garza was confirmed as the official treasurer of the government by a majority vote by the senate.

    The senate then voted to issue a statement to the student body that will publicly show that the senate stands with those affected by President Trump’s executive order to ban people from seven countries from coming into the United States.

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