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COVID-19 testing update, new legislation and members for SGA

COVID-19 testing update, new legislation and members for SGA

COVID-19 testing update, new legislation and members for SGA
October 16
18:20 2021

The Student Government Association received an update on the university’s second phase of COVID-19 testing and voted on legislation pertaining to braille replacement and Canvas shortcuts during Wednesday night’s meeting.

Elizabeth With, senior vice president for Student Affairs, said 1,301 testings had taken place last week. This denotes the first update since the university began the second phase of COVID-19 testing wherein 2,000 individuals will be randomly selected for voluntary participation, regardless of their vaccination status. 

“As you can see on the [COVID-19] dashboard, cases are lower now than they have been previously,” With said. 

At the time of publication, there are 46 total active COVID-19 cases on-campus. 

The senate went on to unanimously pass a resolution to join the Texas Student Government Coalition, an organization of other student governments from Texas-based colleges. Membership costs $50, which SGA President Devon Skinner said would not be exceeded. 

“We can opt-out of the TSC at any point with additional legislation,” Skinner said.

Further legislation discussed included is the Introduction of Shortcuts for All UNT Computers, which resolves to include a quick-access shortcut to Canvas from all university-based computers. The bill was introduced by Grant Johnson, a senator for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, who said a similar initiative “is already in the works” from the university.

“I think this will really speed things up for students who rely on UNT’s computers,” Johnson said. “This will give them more time for their projects, discussion, what have you.”

As to when the Canvas shortcuts could potentially be implemented, Johnson said it could be accomplished during an academic break or a planned day with little to no discomfort for students. 

Also read was the Paulina Diaz Resolution, introduced by Beige Cowell, a Senator for the College of Music. It intends to replace and improve a number of braille signs in various buildings, such as the Music Building and the Music Annex Building, after the student for whom the bill is named reported misleading signs created navigation difficulties.

“There were a couple [of] signs with incorrect or missing braille in the music buildings, where she needs to attend,” Cowell said. “This made navigation for her unnecessarily difficult. We’ve also noticed a lot of missing braille in a number of buildings which need to be replaced.”  

For further progress, Cowell said she had been in contact with Maria Angel, a senior design specialist for the university, for future plans. 

Senate members also elected Gracy Schulte, a senator for the College of Science, as secretary after the previous secretary Maria Velasco changed her major, a move which required her to resign from her position and seat. 

Another appointee was linguistics major Lauren Allen as senator for the Honors College. Allen represents the latest addition to the SGA after seven members have previously resigned, bringing the total of senators to 17 out of 45. 

At the end of the meeting, the Senate opted to move into executive session to debate a breach of conduct brought by Jady Brown, a senator for the College of Engineering,  regarding the last senate meeting

Featured Image: SGA senators and students sit in the audience of the State of the Undergraduate Student Body on Oct. 13, 2021. Photo by John Anderson

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Will Tarpley

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