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Student Council Meeting Recap: September 4

Posted: 2019-09-04 21:33:34   Expiration: 2040-09-11 22:33:34

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The Associated Students of Madison Student Council met on Wednesday, September 4 at 6:30 p.m. 

Alex Pierce, Sadat Khan, and Mick Miyamoto from Recreation & Wellbeing gave a presentation to Student Council on how it aims to better serve students.

The mission of Recreation & Wellbeing is to “move Badgers to play hard, get fit, and live well.” Recreation & Wellbeing shared how there is a high correlation between a student’s GPA and active lifestyle. This is why it aims to not just offer facilities, but also services to improve a student’s overall wellbeing. 

The name “Recreation & Wellbeing” was chosen through a vote by students. It was stated that the name change is to better reflect student experience. The vision behind this new name is to create a brand “to build a movement of healthy habits through inclusion, education, innovation and connection.” 

Recreation & Wellbeing explained how its focus will be on services that support student mental health, as well as improvements to food and nutrition services. It sees mental health as a multifaceted affair. 

Regarding the Nicholas Recreation Center, Recreation & Wellbeing shared how the expectation is to open it this spring. As the fall semester progresses, a hard date will be announced. The plan is for there to be restrooms located on every level that are 100% inclusive, as well as a 50 meter pool and indoor windows with a view of the capitol. It was also stated that the Nicholas Recreation Center will have an air filtration and pool heating system designed with a sustainable focus in mind. 92 to 95% of materials from the previous Southeast Recreation Facility were recycled. The Nicholas Recreation Center is designed to last 50 years at a minimum, but additionally be adaptable to change. This project will cost $96 million to build.

Finally, Recreation & Wellbeing detailed the preliminary outline for the $110 million Natatorium renovation. The design process will be entering into its fourth workshop of the design process, which will conclude in Fall 2020. In Spring 2021, construction will break ground. The anticipated opening date is January 2023.

Recreation & Wellbeing staff members encouraged Student Council members to voice their opinions about universal locker rooms, preferred building entrances, how wellbeing services should be integrated into the facility, and where the locations of mental health services should be placed. Recreation & Wellbeing is open to student feedback.

In open forum, Robert Christl and Adria Brooks, two TAA representatives, spoke about their ongoing campaigns. Robert Christl expressed TAA’s discontent with mandatory fees, which are on average roughly $600 per semester, with international students paying about $100 more. Additionally, Adria Brooks detailed administration’s out of date policies regarding graduate teaching assistants. Both speakers expressed how TAA is looking to find a way for the university to cover fees as a condition of their employment.

Chair Malloy introduced new legislation to increase student voter identification card accessibility. This would remove the two-year expiration date requirement on student voter identification cards from Wisconsin State Statute 5.02(6m)(f), call on UW-Madison to add student signatures to Wiscards in an effort to allow them to become valid means of voter identification for students, and ensure that voting processes are accessible to all students.

Chair Malloy motioned to vote on the legislation. With a vote of 19-4, the body voted to suspend the rules to allow for debate and a vote on the legislation. The legislation passed with a vote of 18-4-4.

Chair Malloy introduced a piece of legislation regarding the University of Wisconsin related Bills in the Wisconsin State Legislature, which speak upon segregated fees, student debt, and voter accessibility. The legislation called on the Associated Students of Madison to seek bipartisan solutions with the Wisconsin State Legislature and address student priorities as chief areas of concern. There was no motion to vote on the legislation.

Chair Downer introduced legislation to adopt the written legislation from the summer conference for the Association of Big Ten Schools. Vice Chair Grunow spoke upon discussed conference topics, such as increased resource sharing, connectivity with all students, issues students face across all Big 10 schools, and ways to continue to support the Association of Big Ten Schools. No motion was made to vote on the legislation. 

Student Council will meet next on September 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the SAC Hearing Room.

-- Associated Students of Madison: Matthew Mitnick