Council Clippings, 04/08/11

GT Leaks

An email sent to members of the campus community from a group calling itself “GT Leaks” drew strong rebukes from members of Undergraduate SGA on Wednesday. The email “graded” several events and organizations on campus, including giving the Technique a “B-” for placing third in a state newspaper competition, SGA an “A+” for their Progress and Service awards and SGA an “F-” for the number of uncontested spots in this year’s elections.

“We entrust SGA with the allocation of several million dollars worth of funding and the result is a mockery of the democratic standards that the organization claims to uphold. Don’t run an ‘It’s Your Voice’ campaign if it’s not even possible to offer a choice when it comes to electing the student body president,” the email said.

Vice President of Communications Brooke McDaniel responded over Facebook and email to GT Leaks.
“Complaining about things you aren’t personally willing to change is pathetic. Run for president next year, GT Leaks,” said McDaniel.

McDaniel also responded directly to GT Leaks in an email.

“…it isn’t SGA’s responsibility to provide options of different tickets. It is the responsibility of the entire student body to take interest in their representation enough to get involved themselves…. The fact that the elections are not more popular is a negative reflection on the entire campus,” said McDaniel in the email, provided to the Technique by GT Leaks. Acknowledging that having the same people run year after year is as undesirable as SGA failing to provide candidates, McDaniel said, “Taking things at face value and manipulating the opinions of others does nothing good for this campus. Doing so anonymously is even more lamentable.” She then encouraged the members of GT Leaks to interact directly with the organizations they mention, rather than simply writing emails.

GT Leaks responded by claiming that several of its members are also members of SGA and that it is SGA’s responsibility to come up with candidates.

“The point of the email you received was to create the aware and active student body that you hope for,” the group said.

Sustainability altered

On the advice of the Undergraduate Judiciary Cabinet, Undergraduate SGA will alter the proposed sustainability referendum which will go before the undergraduate student body on Friday, April 8.
The referendum, which asks voters if and in what way sustainability initiatives on campus should be funded, originally gave students the option of recommending that Student Activity Fee (SAF) funds should be allocated to such projects. That option will be stricken from the referendum.

Graduate Student Body President Anthonty Baldridge raised objections to that particular option during UHR’s March 29 meeting, saying that the SGA constitution forbids directly asking students how SAF funds should be allocated.

The referendum will now ask students if sustainability initiative should be funded through a mandatory fee, a voluntary fee or not at all.

Budget passes Senate

The Graduate Student Senate voted 26-1-3 to pass the $4.3 million SAF budget during their Tuesday meeting. The version passed was unamended from the version decided upon during the Senate’s March 30 budget meeting.

The Undergraduate House of Representatives postponed discussion of Tier III-Special Interests organizations until their April 12 meeting. If the House passes the budget then, it will go to a conference committee where Senators and Representatives will seek to reconcile the two different versions. Final votes on the bill would occur on April 19.

Human trafficking resolution

In a resolution unlike any that they have passed this year, the Undergraduate House of Representatives condemned the practice of human trafficking.

“[We] take a stand against human trafficking, and support the endeavors of our constiutents and campus organizations in combating this atrocity and social injustice,” said the resolution, adopted with a vote of 45-2-1.

Authored by Internal Affairs Chair Mike Mosgrove, the resolution was prompted and supported by Brittany Mays, a member of OneVoice, a student group opposing human trafficking. Pointing out that the areas just north and south of Atlanta are areas of increased trafficking activity, Mays presented to the representatives on the severity of the issue.

One Voice will be holding campus-wide events during the entire week of April 11, with the kickoff event featuring Undergraduate Student Body President Corey Boone.

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