The Undergraduate House of Representatives (UHR) held their inaugural weekly meeting of the 2008 Fall Semester on Tuesday. The UHR meetings started off slow, as there were many new members present at the meeting. The normal meeting pace was slowed to allow these new members to get accustomed to the proper rules and format of the sessions.
The UHR did not have any new bills listed in their Old Business and New Business for this week’s agenda.
However, officer position elections were conducted in this first session of UHR. Nupur Patel, ECON representative, was elected as Treasurer. Anne Campeau, PFE representative, was elected for the Secretary position. Carlos d’Almeida, Sophmore representative was elected to the Elections Nominations Chair and Brian Paul Gude, Sophmore President, was elected to the Nominations Committee Chair.
During the meeting, several UHR traditions were explained to the new representatives. These included the UHR Brass Bucket and knocking on the table instead of clapping in applause.
Finally, John Stein, Dean of Students and SGA faculty advisor, informed the UHR about two students who passed away over the summer semester.
The Graduate Student Senate (GSS) and held their inaugural weekly meeting of the semester on Tuesday. The GSS meeting began slowly to get new representatives used to the session formats, just like in UHR.
The GSS had several bills up for consideration in this first meeting of the semester. These bills were part of their Old Business agenda.
The first bill up on the docket was for the GSS Fall 2008 picnic. The picnic is a tradition that the GSS has been holding for several years. Graduate SGA President Aaron Fowler explained to the GSS session the details about the picnic.
In a mistake, the fourth line item stated that food for the picnic would cost $20,400. A correction to the bill was proposed by Mitch Keller, MATH representative, who stated the correct amount was $3300.
The funds allocation bill was passed without opposition, which allowed the transfer of a total of $3708 from the Graduate Legislative Reserve Account to the GSS in order to pay for the necessary food, facilities, and other necessary items for the picnic.
Another bill was for the appointment of Austin Rahn as the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) Chair. Fowler personally vouched for Rahn credentials as a suitable chairperson for the JFC. The bill also passed without any opposition.
What are the GSS and UHR?
The GSS and UHR are the two legislative branches of the SGA. They deal primarily with the consideration and approval of any SGA bills.
Each is composed of graduate students and undergraduate students, respectively, who are chosen to represent a certain part of the Tech community. These parts can include representing one of the many academic departments at Tech, like mathematics or aerospace engineering, or other positions including class representatives and co-op program representatives.
The senators and representatives bring to the attention of the SGA, the thoughts and concerns of their particular constituency.
These two groups meet every Tuesday, with the GSS meeting at 11am and the UHR meeting at 7pm.
A majority of the bills that come to the attention of the GSS and UHR deal with funding requests from student organizations.
Student organizations will many time ask for money to travel to conferences, or they will win entry into a competition and request entrance fee reimbursement.
The funding for these expenses comes from the Student Activity Fee (SAF). Many times, a decision is required jointly by both the GSS and UHR to pass a funding bill. It is these two organizations are entrusted with the appropriate and just allocation of the SAF.