Student Senate Report- April 1, 2020

The University of Rhode Island’s Student Senate approved student organization budgets and swore in newly-elected senators during two online meetings Wednesday night.

During the first meeting, the Senate finished its remaining unfinished business from earlier this semester, including recognizing the aforementioned budgets and the elections held on Feb. 26 and 27.

Before the final budget was passed, some changes were made. The Asian Student Association (ASA) was initially given a decrease in funding due to not using a large part of their allotted budget last year.

ASA Member Katelyn Dubois joined the meeting and explained that the reason ASA did not use their full budget last year was due to the main act for their Culture Show cancelling at the last minute, leaving them no time to find a replacement.

“These were unforeseen circumstances that [the ASA] really had no control over and they shouldn’t be punished for that,” Senator Adrianna Turano said.

Dubois also noted the importance of events celebrating the Asian-American community, citing an increase in racism against their community following the outbreak of COVID-19.

“We feel like our Culture Show is going to be very momentous in reunifying campus next semester,” Dubois said.

The Senate ultimately gave ASA their full budget of $6,075.

At the end of the first meeting, newly-elected President Austyn Ramsay and Vice President Madyson Ramsay were sworn in. The two will replace 2019 President Nick Marotta and Vice President Amanda Marino, respectively.

Austyn Ramsay nominated Donna Osgood as the Director of Information, Leila Cox as Director of Communications, Mitchell Asante as Director of Treasury and Turano as Director of Operations.

These meetings were the final ones for many senators who are either graduating this semester or were not reelected. Each had the chance at the end of the meeting to reflect on their time with the Senate and advise new senators. Outgoing senators include Marotta, Marino, External Affairs Chair Allison Lantagne, Director of Treasury Joe LaChance, Director of Information John Morabito, Moderator Ryan McWeeney and Senators Rhiannon Small, Billy Ferrara and Tim Berard.

“One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t join Student Senate sooner,” External Affairs Chair Allison Lantagne said. “I joined this group in a period of turmoil and left Senate better than I entered it.”

“This has been a truly unique experience for me and I’ll cherish it forever,” Marotta added.

Senators spent much of the second meeting nominating their choices for committee chairs and a new moderator. Internal elections to determine these positions will be held at the Senate’s next meeting.

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