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Senate passes legislation promoting student health

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Senate passes legislation promoting student health

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Kayla Smith, Contributing Writer

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The Student Government Association (SGA) Senate passed the Health Act on Nov. 29, supporting the physical, mental and emotional health of students through various programs set to take place during a three-day period in January.

Sen. Jason Rothfarb, a sophomore majoring in political science, and Vice President of Student Affairs Clay Martinson, a junior majoring in history, authored the act.

According to the act, approximately one in five adults has a mental health illness.

“Physical, mental and emotional health are all entwined,” Martinson said. “I think it is important that we focus on all three.”

Rothfarb said he believes maintaining healthy behaviors is important for the student body, and that this legislation allows the SGA to reach out to students.

The goal of the program is to increase student awareness of health-related campus resources.

“UA is a big campus that has a lot of resources,” said Martinson. “I think that a lot of students come in and don’t realize that we have these resources, and this is a fun way for them to learn about them.”

The University of Alabama will partner with University Recreation to promote physical health on Jan. 9. Students will be able to participate in cycling, yoga and kickboxing classes throughout the day.

The West Alabama Humane Society will provide dogs for students to play with to relieve stress on Jan. 10. SafeZone and the UA Counseling Center will offer free Safe Zone Training and counseling sessions so students can learn more about mental health.

B Positive, the Center for Advanced Public Safety, UADM and Fresh Foods will host events on Jan. 11 that allow students to take a break from stress and create a positive environment on campus.

Sen. Key Lamberth, a junior majoring in marketing and a sponsor of the bill, said she hopes that people will think of this project as a “mental health week.”

“We are trying to start this as a [program] that reoccurs each year,” Lamberth said.

The Senate also confirmed Sen. Grace Burnett as the pro tempore for the Secretary of the Senate, and it passed an act to establish a student-based committee for the recently opened SAFE Center.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill to modify the First Year Council’s funding approval process and an act to cover the administrative costs of Beat Auburn Beat Hunger.

The dismissal of Sen. Rebecca Lutonsky was brought before the Senate, and the floor unanimously voted against her dismissal.

Order of Events

  1. Sen. Grace Burnett was confirmed as the pro tem for the Secretary of the Senate.
  2. The Senate broke for committees.
  3. Act A-38-18, meant to cover the administrative costs of Beat Auburn Beat Hunger was passed without opposition.
  4. The Senate passed Bill B-01-18 to modify the First Year Council’s funding approval process.
  5. Sen. Rebecca Lutonsky was not dismissed from the Senate.
  6. Act A-40-18 to establish a SAFE Center committee was passed.
  7. The Senate passed Act A-41-18, or the Health Act.
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Senate passes legislation promoting student health