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Thursday, May 19, 2022

The Reitz Union has been around for more than 40 years, but for Student Government senators, discussions about its renovation and expansion never get old.

Senators voted Tuesday night to postpone voting on a bill that would add a question about the Reitz Union expansion fee to the spring Student Government election ballot.

The question, which consists of two parts, will allow students to express whether the fee should be implemented, and if it is, whether it should be used to cover expansion as well as the repairs in the Reitz Union.

Senate President Ashton Charles, a member of the Unite Party, said the vote is being postponed so that several student organizations and the Reitz Union Board of Managers can review the legislation.

Charles, one of the sponsors of the bill, said students have attended forums about the fee and deserve the opportunity to review a bill related to it.

“It is something that everyone has been working really hard on, and we owe them the chance to see it and have their input,” Charles said.

Charles said postponing the vote on the bill may not change the legislation at all.

She said there will still be time to put the question on the ballot for the upcoming elections.

“We’ve already set the precedent for communicating with people and we’re being consistent with the policy,” Charles said

Although the vote is being postponed, Charles said the Unite Party is pleased with the compromise senators reached with members of the Orange and Blue Party and the Progress Party while they were drafting the bill.

Orange and Blue Party Sen. Jonathan Ossip, who represents the Murphree Area, agreed that the bill satisfied both parties but encouraged senators to vote on the bill this week rather than next week.

Ossip said the past two months of debate have finally yielded a solution acceptable to both sides of the issue.

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He said the bill should not be dictated by outside parties such as the Reitz Union Board of Managers.

“The Senate needs to act on behalf of the students, not on behalf of the Reitz Union Board of Managers,” Ossip said.

Former Progress Party Sen. Dave Schneider agreed that the bill was designed to benefit students.

“When we pose a question to students, it needs to be for the students,” Schneider said.

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