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Student Senate Update

Though Sunday night was the first occasion in which the Student Senate met in over two weeks, the meeting’s timeframe was a crisp two hours and 29 minutes.

Douglas Bencks, UNH university architect and director of campus planning, addressed the senate in regards to the expansion and renovation of the Hamilton Smith building.

According to Student Senate Speaker Alex Fries, Bencks stated that the building is still on schedule to be completed for the upcoming fall semester. However, Bencks provided the senate with ranges rather than exact dates, Fries said. Bencks also highlighted the increased accessibility that would be added to the building – notably, an elevator.

Another guest to Sunday’s meeting was a representative from the Graduate Student Senate who spoke in regard to a rally for voting rights that is to occur in Concord on Feb. 25.

A flyer for the rally states, “Concord is currently considering bills that would stop out-of-state college students from voting. Come join us as we advocate for voting right for all of New Hampshire’s citizens.”

Other than the guest speakers, Sunday’s meeting also saw matters of legislation come upon the floor.

Freshman Parker Armstrong was approved by senate for the position of student activity fee chief financial officer. Prior to Sunday, he had been serving as the interim for the position. 

Fries appointed Christopher Percy, a sophomore, on Sunday as the director of public relations for the senate.

“One of the things we were really looking for when interviewing candidates was someone with a broad understanding of [pubic relations], but [also] someone who was really passionate and was a CEO type,” Fries said regarding Percy.

The only resolution presented to senate on Sunday passed with one nay. The resolution, as written by the unit of Student Body President Jonathan Dean, Student Body Vice President Carley Rotenberg and senators Elena Ryan, Douglas Marino and Nooran Alhamdan, proposes that the university shall oppose President Donald Trump’s executive actions regarding immigrants and refugees, and also urges the UNH administration to protect affected students.

Announced on Sunday was the upcoming resignation of Student Senate Parliamentarian Shannon O’Hara. According to Fries, she is resigning because she “doesn’t have time to do the job justice,” and there is an effort to fill the spot before she leaves.

Also announced was the resignation of Student Senate Business Manager Christian Merheb, who officially left the post at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. By Tuesday of this week, Fries is expected to appoint an interim to the position. An application for the position will soon be released to the public, Fries said.

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