Liz Hornyak: On this week’s episode, EMU’s student senate had its first meeting since EMU was forced to shut down in March due to the coronavirus pandemic; and the Holy Bones Festival continues to raise funds to create a creative space for the Ypsilanti Community. I am your host Liz Hornyak, and this is the Eastern Echo Podcast.
EMU’s Student Senate meetings reconvened on Oct. 20 at 7:00p.m. At the meeting Student Government Vice President Colton Ray swore in new senators and appointed Student Government’s new executive board. The new senators are:
The executive board of Student Government is appointed by the President and Vice President, and are the only paid positions within Student Government besides the President and Vice President. Here is the new executive board of Student Government:
Myles Campbell: Director of Business and Finance and the Chairmen of the Senate’s Business and Finance Committee
Daezja Giles: Director of Student Services
Donacal Clemons: Director of Diversity and Community Outreach
Joci McMicheal: Senate Clerk and the Director of Internal Relations
Tiana Stewart: Director of Media
Also during this meeting, student Senator Tyler Kochman brought to light an incident from the previous year, in which former Student Body President Hajer Abuzir had hung a Palestinian flag in the Student Government offices. The flag may be representative of both the Palestinian–controlled territories and the Palestinian people.
A student who was a member of Hillel, an international collegiate Jewish organization with a chapter at EMU, saw the flag. According to student Senator Amanda Fox, while the flag represented one thing for Abuzir, it symbolized another for the student. After listening to what the student had to say, Fox had recommended that all the flags in the office be taken down.
The flag was eventually removed by Student Government advisors, who had intervened to enforce Student Center policy regarding political neutrality.
The next Senate meeting will be today at 6:30p.m. via Zoom. All meetings can be accessed through Student Government’s website.
The Student Senate Internal Affairs Committee held its first meeting on Oct. 27. This meeting was interrupted by an anonymous caller who displayed an uncensored pornographic video. The act is known as “porn-bombing.” The incident lasted for eight seconds.
Despite this intrusion, a new senate application was created. With this new application, students interested in running for a senator position will no longer need to collect the 50 signatures that were required previously. For more information about the new senate application, you can go to the Student Government website.
The Holy Bones Festival: “Fundraise the Dead Project” was held virtually to raise awareness and funds to continue to build the Ypsilanti Performance Space Inc. This space, also known as The YPSI, is being created to serve as a community creative safe haven for all artists. The former First Congregational United Church of Christ in Downtown Ypsilanti serves as The YPSI’s home.
Renovations for this project began in April 2018. At the fundraiser, there were auctioned items, donated artwork by local artists, and public domain works. The fundraiser ended Oct. 31, but Holy Bones will continue to support The YPSI as it develops. For more information about Holy Bones, you can go to their website.
As Election Day is quickly approaching, Ypsilanti Township Clerk Karen Lovejoy Roe is confident that Ypsilanti Township will be able to count all of their absentee ballots. Due to grants and loans from Washtenaw County, Ypsilanti Township was able to get an additional ten scanners, for a grand total of thirty-two ballot scanners. Each scanner will be able to scan 250 ballots every hour.
The Ypsilanti Township Clerk Office, has received 18,000 absentee ballots, which is 89 percent of the 22,000 absentee ballots that were sent to Ypsilanti Township residents. Townships across the state will be able to begin processing absentee ballots on Nov. 2, due to Senate Bill 757. This bill was signed by Gov. Whitmer on Oct. 6, and allows for cities and townships that have a population of over 25,000 to start processing ballots prior to election day. Absentee ballots can only be counted from 10a.m.-8p.m.
Absentee voters have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to drop off their ballots. Within Ypsilanti Township, there are two dropboxes. One dropbox is located at the Ypsilanti Township Fire Department located at 222 S. Ford Blvd, and the second dropbox is at the Township Civic Center located at 7200 S. Huron River Dr.
Tomorrow is Election Day,so don’t forget to vote! If you have an absentee ballot you have until 8:00 p.m. tomorrow to drop it off at your clerk’s office. For Ypsilanti City voters, there is a dropbox located inside the Circle Drive entrance to the Student Center. If you’re dropping your ballot off there, today is the last day to do it!
Reported: Cameryn Eberly, Juliana Lumaj, Kennedy Robinson
Script: Jasmine Boyd, Ronia Cabansag
Host: Liz Hornyak
Produced: Ashlee Buhler