ASG Senate identifies six key issues to tackle

The Associated Student Government Senate on Wednesday made a New Year’s resolution to bring 21 pieces of well-researched legislation to the floor by the end of winter.

“Nothing is distracting us this quarter,” said Speaker of the Senate Richard Caldarone. “Last year’s Senate met a challenge of 20 and I think we can one-up them – literally.”

Though no legislation was on the agenda for the meeting, ASG President Adam Humann led a brainstorming session to help focus senators on ideas for possible bills. The Senate identified six feasible issues to work on Winter Quarter:

pushing for a full day without classes for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

working to register students for and promote the importance of the April 3 municipal elections

improving cross-group attendance at student group events

obtaining more physical space for cultural groups

improving ASG advertising for student group events

reforming the financial aid system for Summer Session and study abroad.

Humann said he was pleased with the results of the goals session.

“I think we have set a pretty good path for the next two quarters,” he said.

While senators were laying out plans for Winter Quarter, Student Services Vice President Laura Ellis’ attention was focused on the spring. She told ASG members that the deadline to sign up for the ASG Spring Break trip to Cancun, Mexico, is extended to Friday. Students still can sign up for the trip until Feb. 1, but will have to pay a $30 late fee.

The brief meeting saw the debuts of four new senators. Allison Sen. Ben Kohlmann, Kemper Sen. Mike Fong, Fraternity Sen. Ted Riley and Public Affairs Residential College Sen. Avani Lodhavia said they hope to help the Senate accomplish its goals for the quarter.

“I think the Senate will be very productive,” said Lodhavia, a Weinberg sophomore. “They passed a lot of bills during Fall Quarter and I think specifying our exact goals, like we did tonight, will help for this quarter.”

As the new senators arrived, ASG bid adviser Paul Wolansky farewell. Wolansky, campus activities assoc. director, will be participating in a semester-at-sea program but will return to ASG on May 1.

He was sent off with an ovation from the Senate and personal thanks from Humann. Aimee Rivera, who will take Wolansky’s position in his absence, said she knows he will be hard to replace.

“Students always talk highly of their relationships with Paul,” she said.

Next week the Senate will consider legislation that would provide paid legal counsel to students, a 24-hour sexual assault hotline, and discuss the ongoing battle to bring outside food into Norris University Center.