By Jacob Solis
Senate rolls through fast-tracked agenda in final meeting of 83rd session
As the 83rd session of the Associated Students of the University of Nevada officially came to a close Wednesday, the ASUN senate rushed to pass the final few pieces of last-minute legislation. All in all, 10 separate pieces of legislation, from budget moves to resolutions, made their way onto the senate floor.
One of those resolutions was one written by Sen. Sadie Fienberg, School of Journalism, on behalf of President Caden Fabbi, that would support the creation of a memorial for students of the University of Nevada, Reno, who have died while in attendance.
Though there was some mild apprehension at first over the resolution, as some senators thought the idea a bit morbid for a place of learning, Fabbi assured the senate that the memorial would be for all students a place of remembrance, not a place to grieve.
After the discussion, the measure was approved unanimously.
Also on the table was another resolution, this time aimed in support of creating a need-based aid program at UNR. Currently, the university only provides merit-based aid, itself meted out based on high school GPAs and standardized test scores. However, there is need-based aid disbursed to Nevada community colleges.
The resolution, written by Sen. Jacob Boult, College of Liberal Arts, found that with a third of UNR students eligible for the Pell Grant, the university should provide some form of need-based aid. However, Sen. Makayla Ragnone, College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, wanted to make sure that if the resolution were to be passed, it would only pertain to Nevada students.
However, after a lengthy discussion the senate concluded that the Nevada legislature would likely make that move anyway, making it a moot point for the resolution as a whole. Thus the amendment to change the resolution to include only Nevada students failed 5-14 while the resolution on the whole was approved 16-2 with one abstention.
The senate also tackled some last minute budget moves that drew some unusually testy discussion. One of those budget bills would have moved unused funds in the executive board account that would have paid for the ASUN honors and awards banquet that is not happening this session back to the host account in order to cover the remaining costs of a separate banquet.
This didn’t sit quite right with Ragnone who questioned Fabbi and Chief of Staff Reina Benford over why the awards banquet didn’t happen. Fabbi explained that there simply weren’t any awards to give out, and that if the senate didn’t move the money, it would simply sit unused. With that, the senate passed the bill unanimously.
Jacob Solis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.