Widgets Magazine

Senate passes three bills

The ASSU Senate passed three bills Tuesday evening: one to add an advisory question on ROTC to the April ASSU general elections ballot, a second involving significant special fees reform and a third to fund Green Events Consulting.

The Senate also discussed a bill to revise the rules of order for the Constitutional Council.

ROTC

The Senate passed a bill authored by ASSU President Angelina Cardona ’11 to include “advisory referenda” on the spring 2011 ballot. The bill would gauge student opinion on the potential return of ROTC to campus.

“Hopefully there’s enough time…for people to educate themselves” on ROTC before the vote, Cardona said.

The advisory question will include three response choices. Students will be able to vote to support the return of ROTC to campus, oppose the return or abstain from the question.

The measure to include the advisory question on the ballot will require majority approval by the Graduate Student Council (GSC).

Special Fees

The GSC rejected a bill last week passed by the Senate to allow student groups receiving special fees to grow their budgets by up to 10 percent without having to petition for student signatures. But Tuesday saw the Senate passing a new, more comprehensive version of the bill.

Last night’s bill includes the change to the 10 percent budget growth and stipulates that the chairs of the funding committees of the two legislative bodies must meet during the fall and winter to decide special fees policies. This change will be added as an appendix to their joint by-laws. The bill also clarifies the policy governing reserve funds of the student groups and the release of the names of students who petition for special fees refunds.

“It’s a big bill. I find it surprising that we’re not discussing this in any way,” said Will Seaton ’13, expressing his disappointment as the senators moved quickly toward a vote at the end of the meeting without discussion.

Senate chair Michael Cruz ’12 then offered to outline the most important components of the bill, which was later passed unanimously.

One of the GSC’s main complaints about the first version of the bill “was that it wasn’t a robust bill,” Cruz said after the meeting. “Coming back to the drawing board, we wanted to address all of the problems in the special fees process.”

Last night’s bill will require majority approval by the GSC.

Constitutional Council

The Senate discussed a bill co-sponsored by the Constitutional Council to establish more codified rules of order for the council, whose members were present to discuss the measure.

Previously, very little documentation existed to determine the Council’s structure, “to the really serious detriment of the ASSU,” said council member Mateo Willmott ’11.

The aim is to make the Constitutional Council’s work an “expedient, efficient and really transparent process,” Willmott said.

“All of this is to the benefit of the student” over the council, said council member J’vona Ivory ’11.

Other items of importance

The Senate also passed a bill to financially support Green Events Consulting (GEC), a program founded last year to encourage student groups to make their events more sustainable. The Senate allocated $1,500 from its advocacy and programming budget to GEC, an amount that will be matched by the ASSU Executive discretionary fund, Cardona said. ASSU executive chair of sustainability Theo Gibbs ’11 heads Green Events Consulting.

On the agenda for next week is a bill formalizing the transition process from one Senate body to another, after the spring election. Cardona also announced that she plans to announce her nomination for ASSU vice president, who will replace Kelsei Wharton ’12, at next Tuesday’s Senate meeting. Wharton recently stepped down from his position due to an injury.

Cardona’s State of the Association speech will take place in the eighth week of the quarter.