The Association of Students of the University of Nebraska met on Wednesday, Feb. 5, to discuss and vote on four pieces of legislation.
The bills cover topics including the revised Student Code of Conduct, state-funded scholarships, the Night of Listening event and an amendment to the rules of the Electoral Commission Committee.
Government Bill 32 proposes 11 revisions that ASUN would like to see made to the current Student Code of Conduct draft. President Emily Johnson, who presented the bill, said that while there were closer to 50 different areas of the code that drew ASUN’s attention, they wanted to keep the recommendations concise.
“The main theme [of the recommendations] is trying to prevent university reach into lives off campus,” Johnson said.
Sen. Eric Rodene moved to add a 12th clause to the list, asking Central Administration to add a provision to the Code of Conduct that protects students from undue scrutiny. Rodene described undue scrutiny as UNL targeting a student’s conduct in response to an non-conduct related occurence that it feels damaged the university’s reputation. The movement was seconded, bringing the senate to discussion and debate on the amendment.
“I think this may be an unnecessary addition to the to the appendix,” Sen. Roni Miller said. “I’m not sure how much the university is looking to target students.”
Some senators, including Colin Dike, saw the benefit of adding such a provision.
“It seems to me that [Student Affairs] is not actually concerned with the conduct itself, [but] rather protecting the university’s image,” he said.
To discuss the proposed amendment further, Sen. Kyle Cacciatore moved for the senate to take a three-minute recess. However, after the recess, Cacciatore spoke against adding in the amendment at this time.
“We have spent a lot of time preparing this document,” Cacciatore said. “Adding something that we’re trying to put together in a three-minute recess isn’t going to stand up to the rest of the document.”
The motion to add an amendment asking for protection against undue scrutiny did not pass.
Johnson asked that someone add an amendment to the bill that suggests clarification on the definition of a university official, due to a phrase in the code that allows students to be punished for not following the reasonable request or direction of any university official. The amendment was put into motion by Sen. Jaden Roe, and approved by the senate. An additional amendment was added to ask that the code be re-evaluated every four years to protect student and university interests.
The bill passed, now with a total of 13 recommendationsfor the Central Administration to make to its draft of the Student Code of Conduct. After a second draft has been constructed, ASUN will have another feedback period to make more suggestions if necessary. Miller reminded the senate that there is an online form students can fill out with any additional concerns about the code.
Johnson introduced Government Bill 31 and said that there are currently no state-funded scholarships in the University of Nebraska system. The bill passed, expressing ASUN’s support of Gov. Pete Ricketts’s budget proposal that would allocate at least $2 million to the University of Nebraska to use to reduce the cost of attendance for students, specifically in housing, fees and textbooks, according to Johnson.
“It’s actually kind of wild that a huge, Big Ten, public land-grant university doesn’t have state-funded scholarships,” she said.
Government Bill 33, which approves the Night of Listening event and allocates $75 for promotional materials, was passed. The Night of Listening will take place in the Nebraska Union Swanson Auditorium on Tuesday, Feb. 18, from 7-8:30 p.m.
Also passed was Government Bill 34. Introduced by internal vice president Jared Long, the bill amends the rules of the Electoral Commission Committee so the Office of Student Affairs, which funds the campaigns of students running for office within ASUN, can pull the funds from anywhere in the budget. Previously, Student Affairs could only use funds from the contract the university has with Pepsi.
During the open forum, three members of the Committee for Fee Allocations presented the budget requests from the Lied Center, the union and the University Health Center. The official budgets will be submitted to ASUN for review in the coming weeks.
Nash Kelly, a junior architecture major, was sworn in as a senator representing the College of Architecture at the meeting.
The next ASUN meeting will take place in the Nebraska Union on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 6:30 p.m.
Editor’s note: To keep up to date with ASUN’s progress, check out The Daily Nebraskan’s Bill Tracker.