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Student Senate Update: New student senate speaker elected, resolutions on fraternity and sorority GPA requirements, UNH gun policy passed.

With the decision by the members of Student Senate on Sunday evening to select sophomore political science and justice studies dual major Brennan Pouliot as the next student senate speaker, the head leadership of student governance at UNH for next year is now open knowledge to the public. Earlier in the day, the results of this week’s student body elections were released: Carley Rotenberg for student body president, Alexandra Burroughs for student body vice president and Christian Merheb for university system student board representative.

Pouliot is currently the chair of the Judicial Affairs Committee and has past experience with the Student Activity Fee Committee (SAFC), the Health and Wellness Committee, and the Election Committee. Like with the other newly elected leaders of UNH student governance, Pouliot will not assume his new position until May 1. Until then, he will be acting as the assistant speaker under the current student senate speaker, Alexander Fries. The other candidates for senate speaker were Ian Kyle and Elena Ryan.

A major topic of discussion at Sunday’s meeting was one regarding a decision made by SAFC on Friday to allocate $22,500 from the reserve pool to the student group Trash to Treasure (T2T). After a discussion that lasted more than a half hour, the senate decided on Sunday to increase that funding to $30,000. Prior to this point, T2T was no longer going to be funded through the student activity fee as a project that fell under the budget for the Student Environmental Action Committee (SEAC).

Three resolutions were voted upon and passed by the senate on Sunday night: resolutions 30, 31 and 32.

Resolution 30 concerned the academic excellence of UNH fraternities and sororities, and was introduced by Chi Omega sorority member and Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Liaison Alicia DelVento, and the senators Peter Garfield, Gordon Guilmette and Camden Tatsapaugh. Garfield is a former member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, and Guilmette and Tatsapaugh are members of the Phi Mu Delta Fraternity. The resolution urges the governing councils of UNH fraternity and sorority life to investigate increasing the standard GPA requirement from 2.5 to 2.7. The resolution passed with one abstention.

Resolution 31, introduced by the duo of Academic Affairs Chairperson Audrey Getman and Campus Structure Chairperson Zachary S. Dumont, resolves that the senate “support the real time traffic analysis project conducted by the Connectivity Research Center and the Department of Transportation that will provide greater service to the driving community.”

Furthermore, this resolution urges the UNH Administration, the Department of Campus Planning and other related departments to “continue investing in this technology in order to improve on campus traffic flow.” Like the previous resolution, Resolution 31 also passed with one abstention.

The final resolution, Resolution 32, dealt with the gun policy at UNH. On Feb 22, Governor Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 12 into law, and in doing so, made it legal to carry a concealed pistol or revolver without a permit. Resolution 31, however, makes known that the Student Senate supports the current firearm policy set by the University System of New Hampshire (USNH). The resolution further states that the Student Senate implores the New Hampshire General Court to continue recognizing the ability of the USNH to set its own gun policies. This resolution passed with one nay and one abstention.


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