The Association of Students of the University of Nebraska passed five pieces of legislation and discussed four more at the weekly senate meeting Wednesday, marking the first in-person meeting since March 2020.
Senate Resolution 7 was discussed at length and passed. ASUN will encourage the Athletic Department to stop releasing helium balloons during the Nebraska football games. ASUN will also encourage no further purchasing of helium.
ASUN is also encouraging continued discussions between students, student government, registered student organizations, Procurement Services, the Office of Sustainability and the Athletic Department regarding the balloons.
Multiple people spoke during the open forum to voice their support for the resolution. One of the speakers, who spoke via Zoom, joined from Long Island, New York. In 2018, she said she found one of the red balloons on the beach.
“We, the Association of Students at the University of Nebraska, have an ethical responsibility to preserve and shape a world for the next generation of Nebraskans,” Sen. Kat Woerner, author of the resolution, said. “It would be crazy to say we support a zero-waste goal one week and mass pollution the next.”
Senate Bill 26 passed. This means that the Environmental Sustainability Committee and ASUN will hold a booth on April 8 from 12 to 2 p.m. outside the Nebraska Union. One hundred zero-waste starter kits, consisting of reusable shopping bags, metal water bottles, a metal straw, wool dryer balls and a fabric mask, will be handed out at the booth.
Senate Bill 27 also passed, meaning the ESC and the University Program Council will co-host a movie night on April 2 from 9 to11:45 p.m. in Devaney parking lot 52. “The Lorax” and “WALL-E” will be played to entertain and educate students on sustainability.
Senate Bill 28, also submitted by the ESC, passed. The ESC will co-host a political roundtable along with UNL Young Democrats, UNL Young Democratic Socialists of America, Turning Point USA and AcClimate UNL on April 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. via Zoom. The goal of the roundtable is to have a variety of perspectives on climate policy.
Senate Bill 29, a bylaw revision, was discussed. This bill, if passed, would require the internal vice president to keep an accurate list of senators in attendance at the senate meetings. Additionally, the bill would update the name of the Scarlet Guard to the Student Alumni Association, in regard to the Homecoming Steering Committee
Senate Bill 30, another bylaw revision, would allow the IVP, under extenuating circumstances, to change the meetings from in-person to virtual up until noon on the day of the meeting. These circumstances include poor driving conditions and university closures.
Senate Bill 31, a special rules amendment, would once again allow the IVP to change the meetings from in-person to virtual until noon the day of the meeting. The proposed revision also makes it mandatory for all votes taken during a web meeting to be made public.
The bill would also remove a portion of the special rules that prohibits computers and mobile devices from being used during meetings.
Senate Bill 32 was also discussed. This bill would enact that authors of a bill would not be allowed to chair the senate meetings during the proceedings of their bill. Additionally, the amendment also requires all bills to be sent to the speaker of the senate by 8 p.m. on the Monday before the meeting. The speaker may accept bills after this deadline at their discretion.
Senate Bills 29 through 32 will be voted on next week per bylaw and special amendment rules.
Senate Bill 33 was added to the agenda as emergency legislation. The bill passed, which means ASUN encourages students to attend a seminar hosted by the Center for Great Plains Studies on April 1 and 2. The seminar will be about climate change in the Great Plains.
Additionally, the bill also encourages students to apply to participate in the “Lightning Round” hosted by the Great Plains Studies. The “Lightning Round”, which will take place at the end of the seminar, will give students the ability to present what climate change means to them. The application deadline is March 5.
The next senate meeting will take place Wednesday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m. in the ballroom on the second floor of the Nebraska Union. However, due to social distancing restrictions and limited occupancy, the public is encouraged to attend via Zoom.