The Association of Students of the University of Nebraska passed four pieces of legislation concerning advocacy efforts, The New York Times Readership Program and the Adobe Creative Suite during the body’s weekly senate meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 23.
President Hunter Traynor submitted Government Bill 24, which moved for ASUN to express disapproval of the proposed Title IX changes and to encourage students to voice their opinions about the changes.
Traynor said he only wanted to publicly oppose one specific provision of the Title IX changes because he understands a partisan bill may create controversy among senators. The bill included the proposed change to limit the university’s ability to investigate UNL community members’ off campus behavior.
Traynor said he was concerned about this provision and how the university would handle assaults that occur off-campus.
“We can all imagine how this can get pretty hairy pretty quick,” he said.
Sen. Kyle Upp opposed the bill because he said he wanted to protect students’ due process. However, other senators spoke in favor of the bill.
“We shouldn’t be answering whether or not due process is good because I fully support due process …” Sen. Omar Elkhader said. “With this, the question is: do you support Title IX’s [ability to] investigate off-campus? For me, that answer is yes.”
Sen. Spencer Nussrallah proposed a friendly amendment to extend the deadline for students to submit their thoughts on the Title Ix proposals to Wednesday, Jan. 30, which changed because of the government shutdown, according to Traynor.
The bill passed, so the Communications Committee will promote events for students to voice their opinion.
Government Bill 22 moved to advocate for the Bridge Behavioral Health facility. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln partners with the facility and sends intoxicated students who are in need of treatment to this location rather than to jail. According to the bill, “the new Department of Health and Human Services guidelines on alcohol treatment facilities may jeopardize the licensing of the Bridge.”
The bill passed, so ASUN officially supports LB200, which would allow the Bridge to remain open. Traynor said he will send a letter in support of this bill to the legislative committee.
Traynor also submitted Government Bill 23, which moves for students to receive digital access to The New York Times. The bill notes the student readership program has offered print copies of the publication since 2001, but ASUN has noticed a decline in the number of students who pick up print copies.
Traynor said the expansion would also allow faculty and staff members to access The New York Times online. According to ASUN adviser Marlene Beyke, faculty members are not currently included in the college readership program.
Speaker of the senate Jared Longquestioned whether or not the service’s funds, which currently come from student fees, would be split between students and other services, since the digital program also allows faculty and staff members to access the publication. Traynor said he does not know the answer to this question.
“Students for the same price are getting greater access,” he said. “If staff and faculty are [added] on to campus access, I don’t have a lot of opposition to that.”
The bill passed unanimously. ASUN endorses the transition from print to digital as long as the switch does not impact the cost of the student readership program. Traynor said he does not know at this time if physical copies of the paper will be available on campus.
The Technology Fee Committee submitted Senate Bill 20 to move for ASUN, Information Technology Services and Adobe to host an Adobe Creative Jam on Tuesday, Feb. 19. According to committee chair Nussrallah, representatives from Adobe will work with students to create “digital assets around a theme” during the event.
The bill passed by acclamation.
The next senate meeting will take place in the Nebraska East Union at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30.