Student Senate Report- April 15, 2020

The Student Senate held its first full meeting for new senators and officers Wednesday night, in which the Senate made nominations for several positions and discussed the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former Senator and External Affairs Committee Chair Allison Lantagne and current Senator John Bagley were both nominated to positions on the Court, which helps pick jurists and upholds Senate bylaws. 

Student Senate President Austyn Ramsay backed Lantagne, citing her experience and impartiality.

“I completely trust her to make the right decisions and do the right thing for the student body,” Ramsay said.

Senator Mariama Diallo nominated Bagley, citing Bagley’s passion for the organization and knowledge of Student Senate’s rules. Additionally, Bagley noted that he was one of the senators responsible for starting the Court and “building it up” since its inception.

Director of Treasury Mitchell Asante said in his report that budgets for clubs and classes are currently frozen due to in-person classes and meetings not being held. Asante noted that these freezes were not currently affecting any clubs’ operations and that he expects them to be in place for the rest of the semester.

Asante also appointed Randy Urena as the Vice-Director of Treasury.

Instruments Committee Chair Christopher Bove noted that he would attend this week’s URI Board of Trustees meeting, asking the Senate if there were any concerns that he should bring to them. Both Bagley and Emma North said that they were concerned about relief being given to students who are considered essential workers or in the National Guard, with North noting that many students have had to “put education on the back burner” for various reasons.

Bove also nominated Caleb Hilyard for the position of College of Arts and Sciences representative. Hilyard, who is an education and music history double major, attended the meeting, and gave a short speech to Senate about his qualifications for the position.

“I believe that my background as a teacher and a musician gives me a lot of unique experience,” Hilyard said.

 Hilyard also cited his experience of being a member of URI College Democrats over the past year.

Grace Kiernan also nominated Cam Fournier for an off-campus representative position. Voting to fill these positions will occur next week.

This was Student Senate’s penultimate meeting of the semester. Their final meeting will be held over WebEx next Wednesday, April 22.

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