Council Clippings

This edition of Council Clippings covers the UHR and GSS meetings from Feb. 5, 2008.

Bill of the Week: Briaerean Honor Society

FAILED: Joint allocation to Briaerean Honor Society, requesting $11,650 for the Division of Professional Practices spring banquet (failed GSS 1-26-4, withdrawn in UHR)

The Joint Allocation to the Briaerean Honor Society bill was intended to help fund the organization’s 4th annual Division of Professional Practices Spring Banquet. Representatives for the organization indicated that this year they expect roughly 400 people, double the usual attendance. Previously, they had been able to handle organizational costs, but with such a large membership, they decided to look for SGA help.

Originally, the GT Hotel & Conference Center was specified in the bill, but the JFC pointed out that the GT Ballroom is available for free and proposed removal of allocated funds since there is a cheaper alternative. However, the GT Ballroom is already rented on the requested day, which is why the Briarean Honor Society requested funds from SGA.

“This is not something we pay for,“ said Senator Keller, as food is wrapped up in requested funds. “It would set a very bad precedent.“ Senator Adam Brancato agreed, saying that continuing to not fund organizations for rental space will cause the organizations to have better planning.

“We need some type of reform for policy on funding rental spaces,“ said Grant Farmer, the bill’s GSS author. “There is a problem with the GT Ballroom[… and] I can’t endorse this bill.“ Senator Linda Harley agreed with reforming policy, suggesting a rental fee cap. The bill failed in GSS and was withdrawn from consideration in UHR.

A similar situation in which a student organization lacked adequate planning occurred with the Joint Allocation to GT Students Organizing for Sustainability bill. The bill was written only two weeks before funds were required and a student representative for the organization was not even present at the GSS meeting. The bill was postponed for one week despite the fact that the group’s trip that needed funding takes place this weekend.

Guest speaker: Dana Hartley

Dana Hartley, director of undergraduate studies, spoke about the Sophomore Year Task Force, which was formed to weigh the pros and cons of housing all sophomore students in one location. Hartley discussed issues that face the average sophomore like academic “burn out,“ trouble committing to a major, and lack of fresh relationships. She likened them to transfer students and pointed out that programs similar to what they desire to establish exist for both transfer and freshman students. Utilizing responses from focus groups of students from different academic levels and backgrounds, the Sophomore Year Task Force resolved to promote the establishment of “living learning“ communities and out-of-class faculty-student involvement. Pilots for what Hartley referred to as the GT Quest program are planned to begin in fall 2009. The program plans to incorporate up to 1000 Tech students in communities of 30-100 each.

Next week

The UHR will consider several bills calling for the impeachment of representatives for neglecting their duties and absence from UHR meetings. These bills have been introduced in the wake of last week’s meeting in which the UHR was several members short of quorum at the beginning of the session and had to wait for some more people to arrive before they could reach quorum. Also, the houses will consider several joint allocation funding bills. Engineering Students Without Borders is asking for funding to attend their national conference in Seattle, WA. Students Organizing for Sustainability is asking for funds for some of their members traveling to the Annual Southeast Student Renewable Energy Conference. The Sailing Club is asking for funding for two boats. The Taiwanese American Student Organization is asking for funding to attend the Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Student Association Conference.