SGA Passes Bill Defining Communication With Board of Trustees
The 54th legislature of the Student Government Association (SGA) passed a bill to change how members of the legislature are notified of communication with the University Board of Trustees. The bill modifies the SGA code so that if the Board of Trustees communicates with any member of the SGA, that member is required to inform the rest of the SGA of the communication.
The bill was presented in response to the Board of Trustees’ reduction of the Student Activity Fee (SAF) on the advice of SGA in July. SGA’s recommendation was made by the Executive Branch without, as the bill states, “adequate consultation of the Legislature.”
The bill was sponsored by College Council (CC) Junior Representative Mo Singhal (22C), Oxford-Atlanta Liaison Alyssa Stegall (21Ox), Residence Hall Association President Akash Kurupassery (22C), CC President Aditya Jhaveri (21C) and Oxford SGA President Eleanor Liu (21Ox).
“If the Board of Trustees were to talk to a specific person, that person would have the responsibility internally and ethically to discuss with the legislators or anyone else this might be referring to,” Singhal said.
According to Singhal, the bill would ensure SGA’s recommendations to the Board regarding “large changes” are not made by “one or two people.” Issues of significance normally require a student body-wide vote, as was the case with the SAF increase in November 2019.
Nine legislators voted for the bill and three abstained.
CC Supports Election Day Policy, Considers Anti-Racism Fund
Joy Emenyonu (22C), a member of CC’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, presented a bill to create an anti-racism fund on Sept. 30.
This fund will be used to help multicultural organizations, such as Emory NAACP, and support campus resources for education about antiracism.
Money that CC typically spends on yearly experience shuttles that help students explore Atlanta will be diverted this year to the anti-racism fund since shuttles are not running due to the pandemic.
“If this bill is passed, there will be a task force created with leaders from multicultural organizations on campus,” Emenyonu said. The task force will determine the distribution of funds.
In an email to the Wheel, Emenyonu said that the fund would be temporary, and that CC would have to apportion money to the fund next year if it were to continue.
“If I am on CC next year, I will lobby for that fund to be made more permanent,” Emenyonu wrote.
The exact list of organizations included on the task force has not been finalized yet, but Emenyonu said that any leader from any multicultural organization on campus is welcome to be a part of the discussion regarding distribution of funds.
The bill will undergo a vote on Oct. 14.
CC unanimously passed a resolution on Sept. 23 in support of the Time Off to Vote policy initiated by Every Vote Counts (EVC), a student-led nonpartisan organization that aims to expand voter access nationwide.
Time Off to Vote encompasses a range of policies from making Election Day a holiday and granting paid leave to faculty and staff, to making more moderate changes short of an Election Day holiday that would still make it easier for students, faculty and staff to vote.
The resolution includes a letter drafted by EVC advocating the time off policies.
A similar resolution supporting an Election Day holiday was passed by CC in February this year. The University transferred the decision-making power for an Election Day holiday to the deans of each school after CC presented a petition to the administration.
Oxford SGA Passes Student Activities Committee Budget, Revises Monetary Code
The Oxford SGA Senate passed a $30,248.90 Student Activity Committee budget that will be used to fund Oxford events this fall, including HalloWeek, Murder Mystery Night and Fun Before Finals. This budget will cover costs including T-shirts, online events and packages sent to students before finals.
Oxford SGA also passed amendments to their COVID Monetary Code, which was created at the beginning of the semester. Under the new amendments, the SAF will not fund care packages to club members. Additionally, there is a maximum of two shipments permitted per club for the fall semester. Oxford SGA will not fund events that are solely on campus.
Nicolette Ilic and Genevieve Schaeffer contributed reporting.