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SGA approves inclusive door decoration legislation, election code amendments

SGA approves inclusive door decoration legislation, election code amendments

SGA approves inclusive door decoration legislation, election code amendments
March 11
10:50 2022

The Student Government Association met Wednesday where senators approved a resolution addressing residence hall door decorations, amended its election code and discussed personnel concerns in a closed session.

After being tabled during the senate’s last two meetings, S2022-R4, or “Door Decoration Policy Within Residence Halls” was brought up for the third time. College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Senator and co-author Ethan Gillis led the discussion by thanking the senate for its feedback.

“When we ended the very first discussion period about three weeks ago, I made a promise to everybody that I wasn’t going to continue talk about this unless I felt that it was ready,” Gillis said. “I’m talking about it now.”

Gillis explained he had met with housing representatives since the previous meetings.

“I have made it my effort to continue running this by as many people as possible,” Gillis said.

In a meeting with Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life Gina Vanacore, she had said housing needed to move “into the 21st century” and supported the legislation, Gillis said.

“[Vanacore] was happy to see this legislation brought forward,” Gillis said.

Some senators felt the resolution was unnecessary because there were existing processes for students with preferred names to take through the eHousing website. The issue was not a lack of options but instead students not knowing about them, said College of Information Senator Rachel Lee.

College of Music Senator Beige Cowell felt the resolution was needed for campus housing as a preemptive way to prevent a student being deadnamed.

“I would have loved this when I was coming to housing,” Cowell said.

The resolution, which acts as a recommendation to housing, would continue to be discussed as a “main priority” even if the senate voted against it, Gillis said.

“We are the voice of our constituents,” Gillis said. “It’s on us to express to the administration what we want to see.”

After a period of voting, the legislation was approved.

“I think it’s going to do a lot of good for a lot of people,” College of Engineering Andy McDowell said.

The senate also welcomed two new members into the organization: biology junior Mustafa Syed and entrepreneurial and finance sophomore Zain Bhaiwala.

Syed had worked with the senate previously as a co-author of S2022-R3, the “Food for All Students” legislation, which is currently being reviewed by the SGA’s legislative affairs committee. Bhaiwala is currently the only senator representing the College of Business.

Including Syed and Bhaiwala, the senate now has 22 members. Vice President David Muñoz-Sarabia stated there are more senate applications being sent in.

“Hopefully, we’ll have another appointment after spring break,” Muñoz-Sarabia said.

While the senate reviewed its weekly executive reports earlier in the meeting, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Co-Director Alexis Hawkins announced her resignation, citing communication issues in the organization.

“Long story short, communication is a big issue,” Hawkins said. “I need to better myself. Not only me, but other people in the executive, too.”

In her short announcement, Hawkins stated she would not name the alleged other members.

“I’m resigning, Friday, end-of-day,” Hawkins said. “I want to thank y’all for sticking around SGA and watching me grow.”

Other minor staff changes included Student Allocations Director Bella Armenta being promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff. Armenta will also remain SGA’s student allocations director.

After approving the “Door Decoration” resolution, the senate also went into a closed “heart to heart” executive session for more than one hour to discuss personnel matters. Afterward, the senate resumed the meeting to briefly discuss amending its election code.

The amendments, introduced by Election Board Commissioner Bakhtawar Yasir, would extend appointment deadlines for senators and give the election board commissioner more power under the current circumstance — there are no other election board members.

“It’s just me,” Yasir said. “I’ve been taking on a lot of the responsibilities.”

If there were no people on the election board, the election board commissioner would be able to assume its responsibilities and tasks, said Yasir.

“I just wanted more clarity,” Yasir said.

The senate approved the amendments and then quickly adjourned. The next meeting will be held after spring break on March 23.

Featured Image: SGA senators work on laptops during the meeting on March 2, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

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Alex Reece

Alex Reece

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