James Black, Graduate Student Body President, introduced a Joint Resolution to Express Condolences last Tuesday in order to formally recognize the suicide of a PhD candidate last week. Nimrod Rooz was an AE PhD candidate who passed away on Monday, Oct. 17.
The bill was immediately moved to a vote and passed unanimously. The Senate is also in talks with Dr. Ruperto Perez, Director of the Counseling Center, to pursue new avenues to promote mental health among students.
In UHR, the bill was also motioned to a vote after its arrival to the floor and passed unanimously by the representative body present at the time.
Because of the continued problems with the old PRS system used for voting procedures and attendance, both houses have begun using a new PRS system for tallying votes.
The GSS aims to eventually allow constituents to view their senators’ voting records via an online database, made possible by the PRS software.
“Sharing this data with our constituents is critical to ensure that proper communication is taking place around campus and truly the best decisions are being made for the student body,” said Mihir Pathak, Graduate Executive Vice President and ME PhD student. “All things considered, these new systems help conduct business more efficiently and provide us with data that SGA was not able to collect in the past.”
The new clickers also increase voting facilitation by a countdown timer and the presentation of the breakdown of the votes on a large presentation screen, which is available for all members to see.
So You Think You Can Dance?
Morgan Arnold, chair of Arts and Culture for the Student Center Programs Council, appeared to defend a bill introduced by John Semmens (ME) to fund the third annual “So You Think Tech Can Dance (SYTTCD)?” competition. “SGA’s assistance is helping to cover the cost of the Ferst Center for our dress rehearsal and for the actual event,” said Arnold. Due to a recent change in the SGA’s policy where organizational discounts to rent Ferst were discontinued because of an end-of-the-year accumulation of a lump sum, SGA was forced to ask money for SYTTCD’s rental of the theatre for two days. The competition will be held on Feb. 8.
Another bill that was passed in UHR was the approval of funding for six new magazine racks for The Tower, Tech’s undergraduate research journal, which would aid in the distribution of the publication to a wider audience. There was contention in the GSS regarding this issue, however. Some senators were concerned that the purchasing of additional racks was unnecessary to develop a wider circulation. They recommended that the existing racks simply be replaced. The organizational representative from The Tower explained that the existing racks were being effectively used and that new racks were indeed necessary to reach new readers.