By Michael Wunder, News Editor
The Student Senate approved a resolution Thursday requiring senators to spend mandatory office hours in the Student Government office, which will allow students more opportunities to speak with their representatives.
Student Government regulations require senators to set aside a minimum of one hour per week for office hours. Previously, it was possible to maintain this requirement outside the office by meeting with deans or other officials in order to work on legislative goals.
SR-10/11-32, sponsored by Senior Class Sen. Jimmie Pinkham, eliminated that possibility. Pinkham thinks the resolution will get Student Government in touch with students.
“The goal of the resolution is to cater to students wanting to talk to us,” he said.
Other senators felt mandatory office hours were limiting and said their time was better spent talking with deans or students outside the office in order to reach their goals.
Engineering Sen. John Wrobel criticized the mandatory office time as an opportunity for legislative members to disregard their duty.
“Most people in the office aren’t doing Student Government work,” Wrobel said. “They’re just chilling there.”
Pinkham, though, is concerned senators talking with deans, administration or faculty members aren’t doing their part to communicate with students.
“We’re trying to gear more towards students,” Pinkham said. “If you’re in the dean’s office talking to the dean, you aren’t talking to the students.”
Despite criticism from some senators, the resolution passed unanimously.
Thursday’s Student Senate meeting, the second-to-last of the body’s current manifestation, went quickly. At a little over 30 minutes, the session’s speed was “record-breaking,” said University Division Sen. Kyle Schulze.
The only other piece of new business was the approval of a 2011 – 12 Student Senate meeting schedule. The resolution passed unanimously.
At the end of the meeting, Speaker and President-Elect Liz O’Connor urged senators to bring any resolutions they want passed to the next meeting. For those senators not returning, it will be their last opportunity to do so.