Consensus Opinion: UHR ineffective

Recent sessions have been disappointing displays of conduct by the SGA’s Undergraduate House of Representatives (UHR). With this past meeting’s actions, we feel we must speak out. UHR has been hypocritically using loopholes in the rules for themselves but abusing student organizations that follow the rules and get things in on time. These abuses seem to happen only for the sense of power rejecting a bill gives them.

The Archery Club allocation this past week serves as a prime example. The Archery Club could not submit a budget this year to SGA because they were formed in March, months after the Oct. budget deadline. They instead went through the correct channels to submit a bill for funding. UHR, despite full bill approval in Joint Finance Committee (JFC) and Graduate Student Senate, denied full funding, without full clarification as to the motives for denying it. It is not SGA’s job to decide if a club is good enough to exist, especially a club that wrote out a thorough and reasoned request, and gave all UHR members ample time to respond to personal emails from club organizers, emails which no UHR members responded to.

What was passed in UHR last week was a last-minute bill advanced to new business without the required week’s consideration and funded through the Undergraduate Legislative Reserve (ULR). This SGA-sponsored bill also ultimately approved funding for food. This is egregiously hypocritical for several reasons. The ULR is a reserve for UHR to fund projects specifically for undergraduate issues, not a way to fund pet projects of the UHR in such a way that goes around the standard JFC policies. Just because the freshmen representative did not submit the bill far enough in advance to get it through proper channels of JFC does not justify accelerating it through new business and the side fund of ULR. It is unreasonable that the ULR can be used to circumvent JFC policy. This perverts the true reason for that fund.

UHR also chose to ignore the bylaw that explicitly forbids funding transportation to events within 150 miles of campus. They waived that in order pass a bill to fund transportation of students to Grady. UHR has bylaws for a reason and must follow them.

SGA exists to address the concerns of the students on campus. If UHR cannot pass their own bill requiring SGA representatives to attend two outside events a year to reach out to constituents, perhaps they are no longer even pretending to be our voice, but rather enjoying the position of power without responsibility.