Senate adds bus route

Budget discussions continue, new bill written during last meeting of the year.

Senators meet for the last time this semester to finish discussing the budget. Photo by Chester Beltowski/The Dakota Student.

In the final meeting before the end of the semester,  UND Student Senate passed several new bills.

One bill, written during the meeting, gave $40,000 to the university to fund another route for the shuttle system for the spring semester. Senators were concerned about overcrowding and the safety of students because there are only three shuttle routes this year, instead of the regular four routes.

Sen. Kristin Emmonds believes that when buses are overcrowded, students are less likely to show up to class because they will be late to class.

State Governmental Affairs Coordinator John Mitzel echoed Emmonds’ comments.

“It’s really cold outside, and technically it’s still autumn,” Mitzel said. “Think how cold it’s going to get.”

The deadline for providing funding for a fourth route was Dec. 3, meaning the bill may not be accepted by the university to get the shuttle running in time for the spring semester.

TEDxGrandForks conference

Senate also passed a bill giving $5,000 to the TEDxGrandForks organization to help fund a TED conference that will take place at the Empire Arts Center in Grand Forks on Feb. 7, 2014.

The money will go toward student ticket fees, a live stream of the event and promotional materials.

Because it is the first TED conference in Grand Forks, the TED organization only allows 100 tickets to be sold for the event. Each ticket is $100. But, the funding will go toward reducing 30 tickets for students to $20.

Once Grand Forks holds several successful TED conferences, the TED organization will allow for 500 tickets to be sold.

Choir trip funding

Several members of the student choir and other university members were present at the meeting to ask senate to reconsider funding the UND choir’s trip to Cuba in May 2014.

Student Body President Nick Creamer previously vetoed the bill, which asked for $25,000 to help support the 30 members of the choir who would make the trip.

“I think this is a good bill,” Senator Derek LaBrie said. “There is a lot of potential with this trip.”

Senate ended up not overturning the veto.

“I am severely disappointed we denied them any funding at all when we were a key source of funding for them,” Sen. Brett Johnson said.

One-Stop Shop

Senate also revisited the bill they passed earlier this semester regarding their allocation of the student fees from the McCannel Hall fund to support the construction of a One-Stop Shop in the Memorial Union.

Although senate already passed the bill, several senators were in favor of adding an amendment stating that the university must provide an annual report to senate on how the funds were used and the success rate of the One-Stop Shop.

Emmonds and other senators were concerned about moving the money to be allocated to other buildings on campus instead of McCannel Hall.

“This was set aside for McCannel Hall,” Senator Sean McClain said. “Let’s not move it around.”

Provost Thomas DiLorenzo, who has been a part of getting the One-Stop Shop in motion, was at the meeting but said he could not answer why the original proposal was to build the One-Stop Shop in the Union instead of McCannel Hall.

Code of elections

Senate passed a resolution changing the wording of its code of elections, making the wording more clear and precise.

The changes included the amount of money candidates can spend while running for offices, the appeals process, penalties and sanctions for the elections process.

Megan Hoffman is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].