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New SGA resolutions target paper towel dispensers, building hours, right to join RSOs

SGA senator Sarah Bidgood answers questions about her resolution to replace some paper towel dispensers on campus with Dyson Airblades at a Student Government Association meeting, Monday, March 2, 2020.

New legislation introduced to Central Michigan University’s Student Government Association March 2 sought to replace paper towel dispensers with hand dryers, lengthen the hours in some university buildings and protect students’ rights to freely join extracurricular groups.

Since SGA cannot vote on resolutions the same week they are introduced, these resolutions will be available to vote on the week after spring break.

"A Resolution in Support of Replacing Paper Towel Dispensers with Hand Dryers"

Written by senator Sarah Bidgood and sponsored by SGA’s sustainability committee, the first resolution proposes replacing paper towel dispensers with hand dryers in high-traffic restrooms, such as those in Pearce, Moore and Anspach halls, where there are no hand dryers.

The resolution claims that installing Dyson Airblades – high-powered dryers that dry hands in as little as 12 seconds – in these bathrooms would reduce carbon emissions by a factor of more than four, reduce maintenance costs and be more hygienic.

Discussion centered around some representatives’ qualms with hand dryers, saying they are loud and possibly less hygienic than paper towels. Though Bidgood cites a Mayo Clinic study from 2000 that found no significant difference between the two methods, some representatives remained unconvinced the study was conclusive. 

Ultimately, one representative reminded the room that none of them are experts on the subject, and House Leader Anna Whitwam encouraged everyone to focus on the “green” aspect of the idea rather than hygiene.

"A Resolution in Support of Extending the University Center, Student Activities Center, and Dining Halls (Hours) Longer"

A resolution written by governmental affairs committee chair Ashlyn Pinter seeks to reinstate last year’s hours for the Bovee University Center, the Student Activities Center and the on-campus dining halls.

Sunday through Thursday last year, the University Center and the Student Activity Center were open until midnight, and now close at 10 p.m. Likewise, the dining halls were open until 8 p.m. and now close at 7:30 p.m.

The resolution generated little discussion aside from noting a typo which called for the Student Activity Center to close at noon. Before the vote, errors in the resolution will be addressed and SGA will look into having a university representative visit to speak about the changes in hours, Whitwam said.

"A Resolution in Support of Students’ Choice of Campus Involvements"

Co-authored by academic affairs committee chair Brandon McDonald and On the Rox A Capella representative Chloe Ilacqua, the final resolution seeks to ensure CMU students can’t be stopped from joining registered student organizations by faculty or staff.

According to the resolution, several music faculty members started enforcing an “unwritten rule” last year that first-year vocal students could not join any a capella organizations on the grounds that it may hurt their voice. The resolution states that groups such as On the Rox A Capella have faced recruitment challenges because of the rule.

Other business

Sustainability committee chair Kalli Walz’s resolution to replace plastic silverware in the Down Under Food Court with compostable and metal silverware was tabled by SGA’s House again. A representative from Campus Dining will visit SGA March 16 to inform their vote. The resolution passed in the Senate last week.