April 19, 2024

I am writing this letter in response to the previous article written in Feb. 11 issue titled “Student Senate to Hold Open Forum.” There were a few mistakes and had misguided information within the article, so I want to clear those up in this letter to the editor.
The open forum for the Center for Engaged Learning and Student Success (CEL in hereafter) will give students the opportunity to voice what they would like to see within the CEL, given the scope and purpose of the project. Student Senate outlined different possibilities on what the CEL will look like; however, Student Senate would like input from the student body regarding the different services it will maintain. In the proposal, Student Senate did not list these services in priority, so this will give students an opportunity to prioritize this list. Some of the services outlined in the proposal that Student Senate voted on are Career Services, Academic Services, Disability Services, Student Employment, tutoring, [and] information services, as well as student organization services. These services and their purpose will be made clear at the open forum when the committee for the CEL presents. The services listed in this article are subject to change, given the responses Student Senate may hear from students.
In the previous article regarding the open forum, it was stated that the Office Student Involvement would be housed within this space. As of current, the Office Student Involvement is not an element of the CEL project.
The money that is funding the CEL project is coming from the Student Senate Capital Fund of $350,000 and a donor, which will bring the funding for this project to nearly $500,000. The Student Senate capital fund is a part of the student activities fee designated by the Board of Directors. One thing I want to clear up regarding the capital fund is that it is mainly used for capital projects that include infrastructure; however, it does not mean that it can only be used for infrastructure projects. The capital fund mainly goes to projects that include infrastructure, but it can be used for other things as well. The Student Senate votes to allocate funding to all capital projects funded by Student Senate. In this, I do want to remind all students that their voices can and will be heard, which can be done during the Student Senate open forum at every meeting held by Student Senate. Another thing I would like to clear up is that the CEL project is a project that will change in time to facilitate the needs of students and institutional priorities.
When Student Senate held the meeting to vote on the CEL project, not one student came to bless or criticize the project. Student Senate can only be the voice of the student body if the student body speaks up regarding projects and issues that get voted on during Student Senate meetings. Therefore, the purpose of the CEL open forum is to mainly act as an opportunity to give students the forum to discuss what they would like to see within this space, given the purpose and scope of the project. However, as it is an open forum, all comments, questions and opinions will be entertained and answered with the utmost respect.
Student Senate invites all students out to the open forum on Tuesday, Mar. 3 at 6pm in Geil Lounge.
Zach Lough
Student Senate President

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