USG discusses changes to student activity fee, constitution

Franklin Hagler, Staff Writer

The United Students Government meeting on Sept. 29 had an unfortunate turn of events as a student was attacked near the Science Complex while the Senate was in session.

Two suspects robbed a female student of her jacket at knifepoint as she was walking alone. This incident only highlights the importance of every student walking with a friend, especially at night.

There were also talks of increasing the student activity fee. While the fee may increase, it might turn into an increased fee for the fall semester only and erase the spring semester fee charge.

The Budget Committee believes it’s too early to comment on what the actual hike in fees might be, but said they are still pretty early in the planning process.

The Senate also announced they will be attempting to draft new bills and amendments to make changes to the constitution. Student input is welcomed and students are advised to see Senator Abass.

Chief Justice Yaniris Ramos sat in on the meeting and presented a rough draft of three proposals. These changes would affect the entire Student Government body.

The first proposal is an addition of two more seats to the Judicial Council, raising the total from seven to nine. These “members in waiting” will be trained like full members, as well as attend all meetings. They will not have any voting privileges.

This announcement comes at a prudent time as a justice has recently resigned. It also allows for freshmen to try out and see what they are getting into before having real responsibilities.

The second proposal was to allow public comments to be heard during a Judicial Hearing. The normal procedure is that the public can view but not speak, although the recent hearing against the African American Students Organization (AASO) has brought up arguments for change.

“The recent hearing versus AASO made us realize as a council that the students can bring perspective, so we just want to make it official,” stated Ramos.

A three year ban from camp weekend against AASO was being upheld. While a five percent cut to the AASO’s budget was unexpectedly announced, which left the Budget Committee with a few questions.

It was made clear that the budget cut was the only punishment being handed down by the council. The appeal of the camp manager’s banishment was a real blow to AASO with the council coming to their own separate conclusion.

Ramos stated that the cut “probably never would have happened because there was no original hearing.”

The third proposal was to raise the academic standards for both the Senate and the Judicial Council. Bringing them up from 2.25-2.5 to a 2.75 GPA. Any active member that is below those standards will be removed from their positions.

All of these proposals are not final, and there will be a chance for the Senate to review and make suggestions. The final votes should not take place for another couple of weeks.

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