Senate votes against playoff ticket purchase, encourages student leadership

Claire Fodell

Grand Valley State University’s Student Senate voted down the athletic department’s request for $13,200 to pay for some of the student tickets at upcoming GLIAC and NCAA playoff games for soccer, volleyball and football at its Thursday meeting.

For home playoff games, the athletic department has to charge at least $3 for tickets, even for students. The senate was asked for funding because the athletic department can’t legally pay for the tickets, itself, but it wants to decrease the amount students need to pay to encourage greater attendance.

The Senate Finance Committee originally approved a resolution that would allow enough money to pay for the tickets, at about 15 percent of the senate’s financial reserves, but the resolution was denied by the general assembly.

The discussion was mixed among senators, with strong opinions stated both in favor of and opposed to the resolution. Those who disapproved said the $3 ticket price wasn’t too expensive.

“If students want to go and are committed to the athletics of the university, they should be willing to go whether it’s $3 or free,” Executive Vice President Stephanie Ewart said.

On the other hand, some senators thought it would be a great way to promote Student Senate.

“Students will see that we are here to support them,” said Yonathan Mengsteab of the Finance Committee.


Ewart addressed the senate not as executive vice president, but as an advocate for the program Leadership University (LU), which is a new way for students to document the leadership skills they received during their college careers.

According to the page on GVSU’s website, “Leadership University is a public forum for students to plan and showcase their development as leaders.”

Ewart said the program works through a mentorship system. Students choose a mentor, who works to reflect, guide, listen, help, educate and inspire them.

LU works with events that students are already participating in. After students attend a leadership event, they write a professional reflection about the experience that is marketable for their portfolio. Students then send their reflections to their mentors, who either approve or deny the reflection for the student’s LU webpage.

The LU program is open to all GVSU students, no matter what year. If upperclassmen are interested, they will be able to add all of the leadership events they have already participated in.

For students interested in joining LU, there is an interest form on the program’s OrgSync page under the “forms” tab.


Student Senate also passed its resolution in support of the creation of an ombuds office on campus. The resolution does not ask to create an ombuds office, it only voices Student Senate’s support of the faculty task force, which was organized by the Executive Committee of the Senate, that is working toward the creation of the office.

An ombuds office is a place where students, faculty and staff members who have felt discrimination or need a dispute resolved can go to voice their opinions and get advice from a neutral source.

In the next few weeks before winter break, Student Senate will host a tissue box drive in order to equip campus with enough tissue boxes for the upcoming winter season. There will be a bin for tissue boxes in the Student Senate office in the Student Organization Center in the basement of the Kirkhof Center. The drive is open to anyone who wants to donate. Tissue boxes will be distributed all over campus after the winter break.