SGA: Senate fails green fees resolution, Diversity Committee honors Transgender Remembrance Day
The "green fees" proposed last Monday at the Student Government Association meeting failed to leave the Lake Michigan room in Bovee University Center due to the Senate not passing the vote.
On Nov. 13, Joint Resolution 1 was proposed with revisions to the House of Representatives and Senate simultaneously. This resolution aimed to introduce sustainability fees, or green fees, to students' tuition in order to fund the Central Sustainability and future sustainability projects for the university.
The two branches took individual votes from members to either pass the bill, deny the bill or sustain from voting altogether. While the House passed the resolution with a vote of 74-4-7 accordingly, the Senate had a vote of 5-2-7.
"There was heavy contention in the room," Mitchell Basham, the director of operations for the Senate said.
Resolution writer Lauren Dey was present for both votes to answer questions. The Senate asked if it is possible to opt-in to pay the fee instead of opting out, but Dey said Central Sustainability found that method ineffective in their research.
"Only students who are hyper-passionate about sustainability would opt-in," she said.
Information on how the green fee money would be spent would be available on the Central Sustainability website, Dey said.
SGA President Tyler Zimmerman said that advertisement of the fees should be considered. He also said making students aware of the opt-out feature would be important.
"Without it, it could affect the federal standard of the University," he said.
When discussing the failure of the bill, senate members said that accountability and clarity was missing from the legislation in regards to where the money would be spent.
Dey's next steps are to rewrite the bill and propose it to SGA again at a later time.
Transgender Visibility Week
Additionally, the Diversity Committee acknowledged Transgender Visibility Week, which is running from Nov. 13 to Nov. 19. After that week ends, Nov. 20 is Transgender Remembrance Day, a day that recognizes the transgender people who have lost their lives to discrimination.
To honor previous transgender students of Central Michigan University who have lost their lives to discrimination, the Diversity Committee had members write their names along with two deceased students names on a paper candle.
The paper candles will be assembled by committee chair Lucía Domínguez and put on display outside of the Center for Student Inclusion and Diversity room in the UC.
Domínguez shared the list to committee members via a QR code, as well as displaying the list on screen for them. The victims spanned from 2020 to 2023.
"It's a very, very long list, especially for just four years," she said. "And this isn't even all of them."
Domínguez also said there would be a candle vigil held the night of Nov. 20 at the CMU seal, where a transgender pride flag will be raised and the names of the students will be read out in remembrance.
In Other Events:
- The House passed their first legislation, House Resolution 1, with a vote of 63-1-6. The bill outlines the goals of the House for the 2023-24 school year. The bill was signed by House Speaker Josh Boman after the meeting adjourned.
- Melissa Hutchinson from the CMU Counseling Center spoke to students about the Healthy Minds survey and encourage students to take the survey if they haven't already. The survey closes on Nov. 20, and all students should have it in their university inbox. Those that participate are eligible to win an Amazon gift card. Hutchinson said the survey is to gather data so the center knows what students need on campus in regards to mental health services.
- Ethan Alwardt spoke about the Leadershape event happening from Jan. 3 to Jan. 7. Leadershape is a four day retreat offered every year that helps students find their passions and a vision they want to pursue and improve at CMU for CMU. The event costs $25 to attend but the fee can be waved for students. Those interested can register here.
- There will be no SGA meeting next week, as the Town Hall is taking place at the same time and location as SGA usually does.
- Mitchell Basham spoke to members about improving communications between cabinet members, SGA members and regular students. He said those interested in scheduling a meeting with a cabinet member or just asking questions about SGA can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.