ISS shoots down ending General Assembly scholarship

The Illinois General Assembly scholarship program was up for debate Wednesday night at the meeting of the Illinois Student Senate, or ISS.

The issue was originally brought to the Senate on Sept. 7 as a resolution for information. Senator Peter Hughes, senior in engineering, sponsored the resolution, which aimed for the senate to take a stance on ending the program. The resolution failed on the floor. Senator Shana Harrison, junior in LAS, said the senate should be taking a stand on such issues.

“What’s the point of having these large issues come up and not having senate take a stance on it?” she said.

Harrison is the chair of the committee on community and governmental affairs, which edited the resolution.

During debate, Hughes said the General Assembly scholarship has a direct effect on the University. Harrison reminded the senate the program is an unfunded mandate.

Senator Cody Chalkey, junior in business, opposed the resolution, saying the senate should remain neutral about the issue.

“I am wary about passing this bill,” he said. “We are the official voice of the student body.”

Senator Nick Larson, junior in LAS, agreed, and said that out of the 510 undergraduate students that received the scholarships, only a few had been under questionable circumstances.

The senate also elected its Champaign and Urbana city council liaisons. Senator Hughes was elected for Urbana, and senator Matt Gold, junior in LAS, was elected for Champaign.

Harrison said this is the first step to building strong relationships with both cities.

“Both senators will do a great job,” she said. “We’ll be able to civically engage with our fellow members of champaign and Urbana.”