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Student Senate bypasses two-week rule to vote through timely resolutions

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Student Senate bypasses two-week rule to vote through timely resolutions

Retrieved from April Noethe Wolford

Retrieved from April Noethe Wolford

Retrieved from April Noethe Wolford

Retrieved from April Noethe Wolford

April Noethe Wolford, Student Government Reporter

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On Wednesday, Nov. 14, Student Senate passed two resolutions which will be pertinent to events occurring the following day. Typically, when introducing resolutions to the body, senate would need to wait at least two weeks before voting on the resolution; however, senators are able to vote on suspending the two-week rule when they feel it necessary.

The first resolution which bypassed the two-week rule, and passed senate’s vote overall, was a call to solidarity for trans and nonbinary students. This comes in response to recent national and local upticks in discrimination towards individuals who identify as transgender, nonbinary, and gender fluid.

So far this year, 23 trans individuals have been murdered across the nation. This is not just a faraway issue, though, as 45 of the 95 hate/bias reports at UWL this year have come from gender identity/expression related discrimination.

Senator Kallis, the Pride Center Senator and the author of the document, stated that this is something of grave concern for a body like Student Senate which aims at supporting and giving voice to its constituents. To articulate this, she stated that gender identity and expression occurs across all universities and colleges, saying, “these are your folks, not just my folks.”

This resolution is timely, not just for the reasons stated above, but also because Thursday, Nov. 15 was Trans Remembrance Day. This is a day dedicated towards commemorating trans individuals who have had their lives taken away from them because of their gender identity. To celebrate Trans Remembrance Day on UWL’s campus, there was a memorial in Centennial’s Hall of Nations followed by a vigil at the Hoeschler Tower at 6 p.m.

Senate both suspended the two-week rule and passed the resolution in an effort to stand in solidarity with individuals from a spectrum of gender identities.

The second resolution which sidestepped the rule is geared towards presenting an official statement regarding student loan refinancing during a lobbying trip to Wisconsin’s state capitol. Director Lawlis, the author of the resolution, stated that many Wisconsin residents grapple with student loan debt post-graduation.

Wisconsin ranks 6thin the nation for percentage of students who have student loan debt upon graduation, with 67%. Additionally, the state average amount of debt among Wisconsin students is $30,059, putting Wisconsin 17thin the nation in that category.

Lawlis stated that refinancing a student loan of $28,800 from an 8% rate to a 4% would save the average individual almost $14,000 in total.

With Student Senate partaking in a lobbying trip on Thursday, Nov. 15 and their intention to share this statement with the Wisconsin State Legislature, senators felt it necessary to abandon the two-week rule and approve this resolution.

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