The Students’ Association passed bills to fund air fresheners in the Campus Center bathrooms and a scholarship for students traveling to Washington, D.C., for the presidential inauguration.
Student Congress voted to take $150 from the congressional project fund to buy air freshener dispensers for the Campus Center bathrooms. Madeline Dayton, sophomore class treasurer, wrote and presented the bill after working with sophomore class president Julia Kennedy to find ways to improve the Campus Center.
“That’s one of the main places that students congregate as well as a lot of visitors go,” said Dayton, sophomore global studies major from Katy. “One of the first things we talked about was how disgusting the bathrooms are. They always smell really bad, and we tried to think of a small way we could improve that.”
The bill provides for four dispensers to be purchased at $35-$40 each and installed in the bathrooms on the main floor and downstairs in the Campus Center. Dayton said she hopes university facilities management will refill the air fresheners later and that the initiative will set a precedent for cleaner bathrooms. Several Congress members suggested a Twitter poll to see what scents students prefer. The bill passed 31 to one with four abstaining.
Congress also voted on a bill to give $4,000 to students going to Washington, D.C., for the presidential inauguration January short course sponsored by the Department of Communication and Sociology. Hope Stanphill, junior class president, wrote and presented the bill because she heard several students were signed up for the trip but could not pay the full amount. The trip costs $2,900 per student, including fees for airfare, hotel and the convention. The bill allowed for $1,500 from the congressional project fund, $1,500 from the cabinet fund and $1,000 from class allocations for a total of $4,000 to be split evenly among the 20 students going on the trip. Stanphill said only 18 students are signed up so far but the department is planning for 20 students to attend.
“Any amount that you don’t have to pay is going to be helpful,” Stanphill said.
Stanphill said she asked for such a large amount of money because the semester is halfway completed and Congress has not yet spent any unallocated money. She also said last year Congress had leftover funds in the fall that carried over to the spring semester. Abbey Moses, SA executive president, said the executive cabinet believes the scholarships will be helpful to pay for conference fees.
Dayton argued against the bill saying although Congress hasn’t used funds yet, those funds may be needed more in the spring. She also said SA should not fund departmental trips. Stanphill responded saying students from different majors are going on the trip, not just one department. She also said juniors and seniors don’t always use all of their class allocations so the money could be better used to fund the bill. The bill passed 29-10 with one abstaining.
Stanphill signed up for the trip the day she presented the bill, but said she wrote the bill before she decided to go.
SA also passed a resolution to request that campus facilities management take better care of lights on the Lunsford Trail. The resolution to advocate for student safety was written by Lauren Franco, representative for the College of Arts and Sciences and sophomore psychology and convergence journalism major from Euless. Franco said she noticed low lighting especially near Morris Hall made it difficult to see pedestrians while driving at night. The resolution passed unanimously.