This edition of Council Clippings covers the UHR and GSS meetings from March 4, 2008.
UHR considers election code changes
The UHR faced two proposed changes to the election code meant to open up eligibility for executive positions and major representative positions to more students.
The first was to change the wording of the election code that currently forces representatives of the various majors to “Have obtained Sophomore standing, as defined by the Registrar,” to “Have obtained at least Sophomore Standing by hours in progress.”
The proposal met with some debate. Supporters pointed out that the freshman representative races are the most hotly contested, leaving many eager would-be representatives unable to participate, while many of the major representative positions go unfilled.
“It seems to me [SGA] is desperate for student interest. I don’t think excluding people is the way to go. [However,] bending the rules to let [certain things occur] is a bad precedent,” said junior representative Forrest Abouelnasr, who then mentioned he was leaning towards supporting.
Opponents of the amendment argued that experience in the major is integral for the major representatives to do their job properly and cannot be reduced as a requirement to hold the position.
“If we [pass this], we’re basically admitting major representatives don’t represent their major. If that’s true, why do we need major representatives at all?” said Carola Conces, MATH representative.
Kaitlyn Frazier, BME representative and author of the resolution, responded that the rules still require prospective major representatives to have completed two courses in their major, minimizing the risk of students eventually changing their major.
“By then, people will be past the point of ‘Wow, this [major] wasn’t what I was expecting,” she said.
The change ended up being approved 26-9-1.
The other proposed change was to permit students who anticipate reaching junior status to run in executive elections. Currently, students must have already reached junior standing by the time they enter into the election. The bill was proposed by freshman class president Brian-Paul Gude. The UHR did not consider the bill, however, as executive vice president Matt Peeples decided that the late submission of the bill did not permit the representatives adequate time to review it. As a result, the UHR will consider it next week.
Bill of the Week: Culture Tech
PASSED: Joint allocation to Culture Tech, providing $3,454 for its 25th annual Performance Night, and $3,382.40 for its Food Fair.
Culture Tech’s mission is “to promote Georgia Tech’s diversity of students on campus and increase cross-cultural interaction through activities, discussions, and events.” Normally JFC funding guidelines discourage SGA from funding organizations’ requests for food, which would have presented a problem for the Food Fair event for which food is the most important expense. Both houses agreed that the popular event’s food costs should be covered regardless, since denying food costs would effectively deny funding for the event.
Next week SGA will consider several joint allocation bills with a large amount of money at stake: the Cordão de Ouro Capoeira Club is requesting $17,260 from Prior Year for their Batizado event; GT Motorsports is requesting $69,374.90 from Capital Outlay to install machines in the Student Competition Center; Hillel and IIE are requesting $2,092.00 for their joint casino-themed social event; the Mars Society at GT is requesting $1,500 to rent a truck while training for a Mars Desert Research Station mission.
The UHR will also consider the bill that would change the wording of the UHR bylaws to permit students to run for executive positions who will be juniors by the time they take office.