UHR and GSS failed to pass a bill funding Georgia Tech Student Hospital Connections during their Nov. 23 meetings. UHR passed the bill 34-10-0, but GSS failed it 8-21-2 preventing the bill from meeting the required enactment ration.
This bill asked for $516.82 to pay for Zip-Cars to transport students to two service projects per week for eight weeks. Previously, JFC policy prohibited funding for any travel to locations closer than 150 miles. This changed when GSS and UHR amended the policy to allow for service organizations to apply for funding if the travel is recurring and happens over a period of 10 weeks. However, because the funding was only for eight weeks, the bill did not meet policy.
Also Senators debated whether the service projects counted as professional development activities, something they believed violated JFC policy. However, in a clarification released on Nov. 30, Graduate Executive Vice President Kathy Schnure said that professional development activities are only prohibited for non-Tech students.
Also, several Senators expressed concern over the way Hospital Connections had spent their budget, in particular over the fact that half of the organization’s dues had been spent on T-shirts.
In UHR, several representatives raised concerns over the ambiguity of the line items which only asked for transportation. They also raised the option of using MARTA or another lower-priced alternative.
Many other representatives spoke in support of the bill, however, pointing out that it is an ideal use of the amended JFC policy, despite being in technical violation of the policy. In contrast to GSS, the undergraduates welcomed the organization’s potential to encourage the professional development of its members.
Because of the wide margin by which GSS failed the bill, UHR needed 36 votes to pass the bill, two more votes of support than the bill eventually received.
Graduate Student Body President Anthony Baldridge announced a new initative to reevalute the use of JacketPages for bill submissions to SGA on Nov. 30.
First brought up in a meeting between members of the graduate executive branch and new Senators, this ad-hoc committee will seek to decide whether to continue to use JacketPages and explore alternatives such as a student design competition for a replacement.
JacketPages was first implemented in the spring of 2009 as a platform for organization funding requests and as a method to facilitate communication between SGA, Student Involvement and various organization presidents members.
Tech paid $20,000 to develop the platform and pays $10,000 each year to maintain the site.
SGA sends BME to conference
Both UHR and GSS approved a bill on Nov. 30 providing $200 to Olivia Burnsed, third year BME, to attend TERMIS, a conference focusing on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
While GSS has a dedicated fund to provide conference monies, the undergraduates do not have a similar fund. CHEM & BCHEM Sen. Aaron Washington, also the Director of the Graduate Conference fund, expressed regret that there was no dedicated mechansim for undergraduates like Burnsed to recieve funds and spoke in strong support of the bill.
GSS and UHR passed the bill by large margins, 24-1-1 and 39-2-1, respectively.
GT Day at the Capitol
Undergraduate Director of Academic Affairs Elle Creel and Student Lobby Board Chair Kristen Grieg submitted a bill on Nov. 30 to provide funding for the GT Day at the Captiol to be held in January. The bill requested $486 to pay for transportation and a Technique ad.
The transportation portion of the bill did not meet JFC policy, but for the third time this year, both UHR and GSS voted to waive policy and fund the bill regardless. Like the GT Night at the High and Six Flags Night, students will be transported across town via Stinger.