By Mike Sherr
Student Government (SG) began their Sept. 30 meeting by swearing-in 26 newly elected members, 11 of whom were elected during the summer. The swearing-in over Zoom was somewhat dysfunctional due to issues with Internet connections.
Executive President Suchir Govdinarajan opened the floor to discuss new business and debate business from the week before.
The first piece of new business brought to the floor was a bill that would change the constitution by requiring an absentee ballot to be filled out to be able to vote on a motion if not present in the General Body meeting. If members do not fill out an absentee ballot their name would be taken off the ballot.
The second piece of new business proposed was the creation of a new organization called Lions of Wall Street. The organization would assist students in finding internships in the financial sector.
Both pieces of new business will be voted during SG’s Oct. 7 meeting.
The group then heard a proposal for a new organization called the Collegiate Recovery Community. The organization has been operating since the semester started despite not being recognized by SG.
The organization would provide aid to those dealing with substance abuse and mental health concerns.
“This is a really good support group for students who may feel distressed either at home or have been getting services on campus but are not able to now,” said Senator of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science and sophomore public health major Santiago Salinas during the debate session. After a short debate the group was then recognized by SG with a majority vote by the General Body.
Govdinarajan then brought forward a resolution that would request excess money from the Office of Student Affairs to create a Student Union Emergency Fund. This fund would give aid for all students with a priority for undocumented or international students who need financial aid due to economic effects from Covid-19.
Members of the general body had some concerns about how the money would be rewarded to students. In the original proposal, a committee was made up of staff, faculty and student representatives from SG.
The primary concern was with how financial information of applicants would be shared with the students that sit on the committee. Some felt that it was not ethical, and an amendment was added that made this information unavailable to the students.
A motion to table the vote on the resolution was introduced and passed. The resolution will now be voted on at the Oct. 14 SG meeting.
Govdinarajan reported that two members of the Freshman Class Council (FCC) resigned and that the executive president would not be filling those positions. On Sept. 23, a bill was voted on that would remove these positions from FCC, but did not pass.
This action is acceptable under the SG Constitution but had some backlash from the general body. The executive president told the organization that the action could be discussed and, if decided that the FCC positions should be filled, an election would be held.