UHR VP summarizes fall legislative activity in report

This week the Undergraduate House of Representatives released the first half of the annual report for the Undergraduate House of Representatives (UHR), describing the governing body’s activities from last fall.

The report was authored by Matt Peeples, undergraduate executive vice president. UHR is required by their bylaws to release a summary report every year, and according to Peeples, they decided to release a report after every semester to make it easier to write a detailed recap.

In the report, UHR provides information on the current status of the body and highlights some of the important business tended to by the UHR.

UHR convened 13 times over the fall semester every Tuesday night from August 28 to November 27, with the exception of fall break.

The UHR annual retreat took place the Saturday before the first meeting. At the first meeting, over 50 representatives took the oath of office, and house committee chairs and members at large were elected. The majority of the body was composed of representatives who were in their first term, with only eight of the representatives returning.

Beginning with the second meeting, UHR made the move to begin using a new online bill submission system and a PRS electronic voting system.

The bill submission system, viewable at www.gtsga.com, allows students to post, review and discuss bills that are going through UHR, while the new PRS system allows faster and more accurate votes to be taken.

At the second meeting, the UHR also passed the Joint Resolution to adopt the Joint Finance Committee Policy, which placed Joint Finance Committee (JFC) policy into the bylaws of the Undergraduate Student Government Association. This adoption was a culmination of efforts that dated back to the 2005-2006 academic year.

On Sept. 23, UHR and the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) both passed changes to the Joint Campus Organizations Committee policy, which helped to streamline the chartering process for student organizations.

On Oct. 16, quorum was missed, and the chairman of the house increased emphasis on beginning meetings on time.

On Nov. 6, the UHR debated and approved an amendment to strike the two-third capital expenditure funding rule in JFC policy. The GSS defeated the bill, but debate in the UHR led to the passage of a bill that created a Joint Ad-hoc Committee to examine funding limitations. The committee is scheduled to report their recommendations to the UHR and GSS by April 1.

During the Nov. 30 meeting, UHR elected the members who would fill the positions on the Ad-hoc Committee examining funding limitations.

UHR also passed the Joint Allocation to WREK Radio. Over 20 representatives debated the bill, and in the UHR report, this was stated as an important demonstration that many representatives had become comfortable speaking and were confident in their duties.

Over the fall semester, UHR and GSS jointly passed 35 financial allocation bills to over 30 student organizations across all three of the funding tiers described in the JFC policy. Money was also allocated to large-scale campus events like Georgia Tech Night at Six Flags, One Night Stand and the Musician’s Network’s fall concert, as well as to many smaller student organizations.

Other than allocations of funds, 15 appointment bills and three resolutions were also passed by the UHR during the fall semester.