The following covers the meeting on April 1.
Adviser David Tuttle asked if any SGA members had thoughts, questions or concerns regarding the university’s decision-making during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tuttle said he thinks many students are curious about commencement and said there will most likely be an announcement about it this week.
Junior senator Leopoldo Perez said he’s heard a few students bring up concerns about what will happen in August if stay-at-home orders aren’t lifted in Texas.
Tuttle said the university is working one step at a time and that they’re working on summer sessions first.
SGA members also raised concerns about Zoom and whether the platform is beneficial to students who may not feel as comfortable speaking up in class.
A couple senators mentioned their experiences with the difficulty of learning topics of math and economics, for example, over Zoom. Tuttle suggested SGA members reach out to associate vice president of Academic Affairs Michael Soto, who mentioned helping professors get tablets from the library.
President Claire Carlson, junior, asked if anyone felt the deadline to switch classes to pass/fail was too soon. Senators suggested it be pushed to April 15, as opposed to the April 3 deadline.
SGA has amended its elections to account for the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, there will be no formal campaigning. Applications for Senate positions opened March 30. Voting will occur April 7–10.
Sophomore senator Noor Rahman asked whether it’d be possible for the timeline to change since students who intend to study abroad in the fall will find out whether their programs will continue after voting begins.
Jamie Thompson, SGA adviser, went through a presentation about University-Sponsored Organization (USO) funding. In the next two SGA meetings, the Senate will hear USO budget requests for the upcoming year, and in the final meeting, they will vote on how much money is allocated.
The process has been modified due to the new remote nature of SGA meetings, the budget funding meetings will be held over Zoom and there will be no preliminary meetings prior to the budget request meetings.
Members of Outdoor Recreation asked SGA if they could keep the money allocated to them for trips to buy new gear. Since trips were canceled, like most things this semester have been, OREC asked if they could spend the extra money on kayak paddles, tents, water jugs and backpacks. SGA was OK with OREC spending the money on new equipment.
Student Programming Board (SPB) asked if the money they were allocated for this year could stay in their budget for next fall’s Welcome Week Concert, saying they were excited for a collaboration between the performer they booked for the newly- announced Spring Concert and the artist they expected for the fall. SGA approved that they keep the amount in SPB’s budget as rollover for next year.
SGA re-raised the question of whether to keep the university’s New York Times subscription, currently paid for by SGA. Recently, the publication stopped paying for the paper to be passed out daily, so SGA is now trying to decide whether to have a student pass the paper out on a week-day basis. After some discussion, they decided to run the idea of paying a student to do the job past the Business Office.
| Class of 2020 | Major: English