Members of the UM Student Senate dressed in orange polos crowded the Rock yesterday afternoon to watch Student Government President Lionel Moise make his State of the “U” Address. Moise ran unopposed last spring w-.ith Kristin Weaver as his vice president and Jeremy Kruger as his treasurer under the motto “U Matter, U Decide, U Win.” He updated the student body on his progress and goals for the future.
“Lionel has been working on all platforms and trying to get everything done,” Speaker of the Senate Christina Farmer said. “He has kept an open mind with the senate and will serve as a good model for the next president.”
He first began by recounting his success in bringing back the Ibis Ride immediately after his inauguration. Under Moise a shuttle has also been running on the first Saturday of every month from Stanford Circle to Key Biscayne. Moise was able to bring back the airport shuttles during holidays and even had the Sunset shuttle running during Thanksgiving break for those who couldn’t travel home.
“This was especially touching because of the economic crisis,” Moise said.
Student government is working on new ways to make the UV shuttles more efficient and accommodate the increase in passengers caused by Red Road Commons. Express shuttles have been activated and more improvements are expected next semester.
Moise went on to speak about his green initiatives, including putting blue lids on the recycling bins around campus to make them more obvious and going trayless in the dining halls, something that has received mixed feedback from students.
“Although we have received some complaints I’m pleased to announce this program has saved over 46 tons of waste,” he said.
At the top of the president’s agenda this year were academics and advising. A new advising compact, which lays out the rights and responsibilities of both students and their advisors, will soon be available in order to clear up past issues. The senate is also working to push back the last day to add a class to give students more time to figure out their schedules each semester.
Last fall, library hours were extended to 24/7 for the last week of classes each semester, giving students more time to study there for finals. One-hundred UPrint dollars now carry over for an entire academic year and a printer was added to the UC.
Additionally, the Moise administration had the campus bookstore offer discounts before sporting events. For those who prefer a night in to a night at the stadium, Student Government is finalizing deals for bringing a movie rental service to campus.
Moise announced that the expansion of the Wellness Center will begin in the upcoming months, but expressed a degree of uncertainty for the fate of the UC.
A new community service project in collaboration with the Civic Engagement Task Force is in the works as well.
“We are working to incorporate service into courses so students can apply what they are learning into the community,” Moise said.
In order to alleviate the parking issue the Mahoney/Pearson lots will soon be commuter only, but residents are guaranteed sole usage of their garage. Moise said this plan will definitely open more than 100 spots on campus.
The on-campus housing conflict caused by the destruction of the apartment area remains up in the air, though Moise said the university expects the best case scenario, that the available housing will accommodate the demand. The “Opt-in” process, a survey to determine how many students will choose to live on-campus next semester, is currently taking place.
As Moise faces the last few months of his term, members of the senate expressed appreciation for his service.
“Lionel has always been good about interacting with us if we have concerns,” SpectrUM Senator Debora Rubi said. Campaigning for the future candidates begins next week.
“Today solidified that the year is almost over; my college career is almost over,” Moise said. “But it’s been a great and amazing experience.”
Nina Ruggiero may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.