Student Senate Postpones Debate on Bible Study

November 22, 2005

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UW Eau Claire has come under scrutiny lately about a policy banning resident assistants from holding Bible studies in their dorm rooms.

The issue is being researched by Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager and has drawn criticism from U.S. Representative Mark Green.

The UW-Eau Claire Student Senate was scheduled to discuss and vote on a resolution about the ban, but that didn’t happen.

More than 40 students came to Monday night’s Student Senate meeting to hear discussion on the issue.

A resolution before the Senate would have given Senators the opportunity to support or oppose the ban, but the Senate decided to do neither.

After hearing testimony from many students and R.A.’s in attendance, the senate voted to postpone the resolution indefinitely by a vote of 13 to 12, with President Aaron Olson as the deciding vote.

“We felt the need to hear back from the Attorney General. We’re not above the law and we need to make recommendations from that standpoint,” Olson said.

The decision to postpone effectively kills the resolution in front of the Senate Monday night requiring new resolutions to be proposed.

A decision that angered the crowd and even some Student Senators.

“I came to discuss and learn about what they were going to talk about but they didn’t even do that,” Student Stephanie Erickson said.

“It’s not whether or not the resolution would’ve even passed, but our ability to vote was taken away. It does a disservice to the students who came out today,” Resolution co-author Brandon Buchanan added.

Olson added that he hoped this wasn’t the end of discussion in the Student Senate, but the beginning.

An Assembly Committee in Madison will also be discussing the issue on Tuesday.

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Schools: University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Cases: University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire: Ban on RAs’ Leading Bible Studies