Student government adopts final legislation of the semester

Second session of the 38th Student Senate comes to an end

By Tisha Herrera, Staff Writer

Mason’s student senate met for the twelfth and final time this semester on April 19 in Merten Hall. The student government adopted old and new bills, resolutions, and invited members of the university’s Board of Visitors (BOV) to discuss tuition prices for the following year.

Speaking to the BOV, Senator Davide Genoese-Zerbi, chairman of Government and Community Relations asked, “If [Mason] doesn’t get more money from the state, at what point do you consider slowing growth… taking in a smaller increase of students, in order to try and keep tuition low for the students that are already here?”

“We just don’t know what those price points [would be],” said Rector Tom Davis, but “we’d like to get to that point where we’re maximizing income, without having to spend more money.”  

Speaker Caitlin Lively then moved on to the first order of old business, Resolution #25 – A Resolution to Oppose the Planned Development Along Roberts Road.

“This development is going to abolish the Jewish student center [Chabad at GMU],” said Genoese-Zerbi, the author of the resolution. He explained that the Government and Community Relations committee does not support this development “that will have an adverse effect on student life.”

“I’ve been one of the students struck by a vehicle while crossing this intersection,” said Senator McKenna Bates, speaking before the vote. She added that other Mason students are frequently struck by vehicles traveling along Roberts Road as well. Resolution #25 was then unanimously adopted by the senate.

This resolution tied into new business, Resolution #28 – A Resolution to Urge the Construction of a Traffic Light Along Roberts Road.  

Speaking to the senate before the vote, Speaker Pro Tempore Brendan Sullivan said that the people getting hit or nearly struck by traffic makes it not just a Mason issue, but an issue that impacts the entire local community. Sullivan referenced an account of an entire family that was nearly killed while attempting to cross Roberts Road on their way to church. Thereafter, Resolution #25 was adopted.

Two other pieces of legislation were also adopted: Bill #33- A Bill to Allocate Funds for Operation Legacy, and Bill #35- A Bill to Allocate Funds for Destress Fest.

Both Sullivan and Clerk Eric Nielsen then thanked all the senators for their participation throughout the Second Session of the 38th Student Senate, but it was Speaker Caitlin Lively who gave a closing speech.

“I commend those of you who really put in the effort this year to learn what they’re doing,” said Lively, who thanked the senators but also offered advice before the final meeting came to a close. “If you’re not going to put in the effort, don’t be here.”     

The first meeting of the newly-elected 39th Student Senate will take place on April 26, at 4:30 p.m. in Merten Hall room 1201.  

Photo by Tisha Herrera