Illinois Student Senate

Illinois Student Senate is the representative body for the students at the University of Illinois. This blog allows members to discuss a variety of aspects about their lives, including but not limited to their involvement in ISS. ANY OPINIONS EXPRESSED HERE DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THAT OF ILLINOIS STUDENT SENATE AS A WHOLE.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A note to new senators

I hope you enjoy the ISS blog. Brian Pierce had the idea of starting it last year and he’s hoping this year it will really take off.

You’ll also notice our blog links to several other local blogs, the two I visit most regularly are Illini Pundit and The Next Frontier. Illini Pundit is a conservative blog with several commentators with considerable expertise on local issues. The New Frontier is updated regularly by Kiyoshi Martinez and Vincent Lee, Kiyoshi is a past Editor in Chief of the Daily Illini, Vincent is a former ISS Communications Director, former DI Opinions Editor, and the current Daily Illini Editor in Chief.

This semester Billy Joe Mills, Brian Pierce and I all had the opportunity to write for the DI. We started blogs to post our columns and add occasionally other content. From time to time Brian and Billy write on campus issues. Here is a column by Brian, our former Academic Affairs Committee Chair, on instructor evaluations. Also, here is a column by Billy Joe focusing on “self segregation."

As a guest columnist, I was required to mostly write on campus/ student issues. If you read any of my columns, please read Saving Illinois. You might find some of my other columns somewhat helpful if you're interested in: textbook prices, the need for a police review board, student discipline reform, the strategic plan, the "crisis of courage," or a general review the Student Senate's progress from last term.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Solving the Lincoln Hall problem

The current capital budget for the U of I includes $51 million for the renovation of Lincoln Hall. It is very unlikely the republican party will allow these funds to make it into the final budget. Meanwhile, our administration is pushing through a $250/ semester fee to get a handle on our current $800 million backlog on deferred maintenance.

Renovating old buildings is significantly more expensive than building a new, state of the art, building. Some estimates suggest we could replace Lincoln Hall for 1/4 the cost of renovation. Sadly, Lincoln Hall is historically protected, and renovation is our only option.

I'm forced to ask myself, W.W.M.D.D.. What would Mayor Daley do if he were our Chancellor? Instead of pissing away $35 million dollars, Chancellor Herman should secretly find the funds to have someone drive a bulldozer through Lincoln Hall. The next day have a press conference talking about how horrible the damage is and how tragic it is that we'll have to tear the hall down. Pull off all the awesome historical panels from the outside and remove the "lucky” President Lincoln statue (judging by the employment prospects of LAS students I'm not sure the statue is worth salvaging). Give the professors time to clean out their offices, and burn the rest of Lincoln Hall to the ground. Burn it to the ground. To the ground. Sorry, I got a little too into that.

Sadly, although some say Chancellor Herman is a "badass," he's no Mayor Daley, so we'll either never renovate Lincoln Hall or we will waste over 30 million dollars, dollars that are likely to come almost entirely from student fees.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Unofficial St. Patricks Day Resolution

Billy Joe Mills and I discussed making 2 amendments to the current USPD proposal. The first is supported by both the chair of ed pol and the chair of the committee on conduct governance. The second they generally seemed to agree with us on, and the chair of CCG might vote for it (the chair of ed pol is not a voting senator).

No matter how you feel about the resolution, I urge you to at least vote for these amendments, b/c they substantially improve the resolution.

Other members of ISS might also offer resolutions to narrow the scope of the broader resolution. (Hassen & Ruzic)

I'd like to debate the issue on our blog instead of clogging each others email inboxes, so have at it.

Motion A

Motion to amend Professor Roszkowski’s Resolution to Eliminate Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day to include the following at the end of the original resolution:

Be it further resolved, the Chancellor shall establish a commission including students, faculty and staff to make recommendations to the Chancellor to advance the aforementioned goals. Such steps shall particularly focus on eliminating academic disturbances and promoting campus safety by taking appropriate measures consistent with all existing laws, regulations and the Student Code, including Section 3-603(b)(4).

Motion B

Motion to amend Professor Roszkowski’s Resolution to Eliminate Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day to include the following at the end of the original/ or the amended resolution:

Be it further resolved, to the extent he is able to do so, the Chancellor should ensure that the University Police Department continues current law enforcement practices for underage drinking, instead of processing underage drinking in a manner requiring students to lose their drivers license. Students ordinarily do not lose their drivers license for underage drinking and they should not lose their drivers licenses just because they are caught drinking underage on a particular day.