New culture in Student Government passes less legislation, makes bigger projects


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Student Senators listen to Senate Leader address them on how to fill out a Senate Report in the Lake St. Clair room of the UC on Oct. 17.

Only one piece of legislation has been reviewed and passed by the Student Government Association this semester since they held their first meeting in September.

Last year, the organization had reviewed two by this time. The year before, they had reviewed three.

SGA Vice President Jazmin Biernat said most of the upcoming legislation includes "super big projects." They also have a new focus on large-group activities besides legislation, like the Diversity Committee's "Culture not a costume" campaign, and a large-scale event for students this coming February.

"This year we are kind of changing our culture to not be about just legislation, because it's not everything SGA does," Biernat said. "We have been pushing our team to get legislation out there."

Legislation, or a resolution, is a senator or house member's plan to change an aspect of campus for the better.

No legislation was reviewed at Monday's meeting. Instead, the house reviewed how SGA meetings are run and asked for updates on what sub-committees have been working on.

SGA will not meet on the Monday of Halloween. SGA President Ian Elliott said he gave the organization the day off to celebrate the holiday.

"What really tipped it for us is that there are a lot of students who are parents," Elliott said. "Family obligation is to be trick-or-treating with your kids, and we don't want to penalize for that."

The next SGA meeting, Nov. 7, will present legislation from the Academic Affairs Committee asking to give veterans priority registration for classes. Nicholas Badgero, president of the Student Veterans Association, said there is a need because the GI Bill will not pay for classes outside of veteran's majors.

"There are time constraints," he said. "You can't take classes outside of your major without footing the bill."

The only legislation previously passed this semester was also a bill on the behalf of veterans, which asked for a veteran-specific orientation to be hosted in addition to normal student orientation. It was also presented by Badgero. The bill will be deliberated in Academic Senate at a later date. 

One of the biggest projects this week that isn't legislation is the Diversity Committee's "Culture not a Costume" campaign to ask students to be respectful with their Halloween outfit choices. 

Traverse City sophomore Ji-An Lee, committee chair, said depictions of someones culture can be "disrespectful" and should be avoided. The committee will be campaigning from noon to 5 p.m. on today outside of Anspach Hall, the Bovee University Center and inside the Charles V. Park Library.

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