ASUN Meeting 1.26

ASUN members and members of the public meet via Zoom photographed in front of the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska's office inside the Nebraska Union on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

A bill that would move Association of Students of the University of Nebraska to purchase KN95 masks was tabled by its author, ASUN Internal Vice President Taylor Jarvis, after she learned of a supplier that may be able to provide more masks at a lower price per mask.

Jarvis said Marlene Beyke, director of student government, approached her Wednesday afternoon about using a mask provider that the University of Nebraska has worked with before. She said the bill would originally have used $500 to purchase about 550 masks for students at a price point of about 87 cents per mask. 

The new masks will be either KN95s or N95s, but Jarvis said she was unsure which type will be purchased from the new provider or how many more may be able to be purchased. Regardless, she said ASUN remains optimistic for a better deal.

The executive team had a long discussion Wednesday afternoon about the disadvantages of moving the shipping date back by a week but ultimately decided providing more masks to more students was a higher priority, according to Jarvis. 

“When the question came down to, ‘How are we able to positively affect more students?’ that was the decision that was made,” she said.

While some colleges and universities have recently begun requiring N95 or KN95 masks, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has not. Jarvis said she personally wears a KN95 and couldn’t say whether ASUN would push UNL to update its mask requirements.

“We didn’t know if we would have a mask mandate on campus until a couple of weeks before the semester,” she said. “I’m just really glad that we have one to begin with.” 

During committee reports, ASUN President Batool Ibrahim informed the senate that meetings will remain completely online next week, and the executive team will re-evaluate the situation on Feb. 4. 

“The executive team is looking for patience and grace during this time,” she said. 

Ibrahim also said senators should not congregate in the ASUN offices and are to wear masks at all times when in that space. 

As the Nebraska Legislative session begins, Ibrahim said she will be supporting some bills in the Unicameral that affect UNL and the NU system, and she is excited for that process. 

Jarvis said she is currently serving on a committee to select a new civil rights resolution specialist to work with Title IX and other departments at UNL?, focusing on equity and civil rights in those areas. The committee will interview three finalists for the position this week and next week, Jarvis said, and she is happy to be serving on the committee and providing a student voice to the process.

Jarvis also gave a reorientation powerpoint presentation on the purpose of ASUN and the process of passing bills, as well as the situation regarding funds this semester.

In the spring semester, ASUN is responsible for allocating about $28 million to fee users each year, Jarvis said, as well as approving constitutions for recognized student organizations.

ASUN has about $200,000 remaining in it’s reserve fund for this year but needs to save money so other fee users can get an increase, according to Jarvis. She said the university does not want to raise fees on students for the next academic year. 

External Vice President Patrick Baker asked senators to provide feedback on the Campus Master Plan, a plan composed by the university every ten years regarding key themes including landscaping, transportation and interconnectivity in the university. Anyone can fill out a survey providing input for the plan on its website.

Chief of Staff Cameron Collier announced The Big Event will be on Saturday April 23 from 12:30-3:30 p.m., which he is newly the co-chair of. This will be the first time The Big Event has been held since spring 2019

Collier said The Big Event is a chance for students to give back through service efforts across the community. He said he did yard work for an elderly community member when he was involved his freshman year. The committee is looking for volunteers from within ASUN to join and solicit donations from business, market the event and recruit volunteers. 

Committee for Fee Allocations Chair Brent Lucke said the committee will begin reviewing fee applications from fee users next week. 

Sen. Kat Woerner, recently appointed chair of the Environmental Sustainability committee, said the kickoff for the President’s Sustainability Committee was held recently, and she encouraged senators to get involved in the venture. She also encouraged senators to take a survey from the athletic department regarding the game day experience at Memorial Stadium and voice their concerns about the balloon release. The survey is available to anyone here

A number of appointments were made to various subcommittees and positions, all of which passed unanimously.