Monumental act placed into effect by USG with no dissenting votes
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 00:09
At Wednesday’s meeting, the Undergraduate Student Government placed into effect what USG President Stephen Petkis called a monumental act. An Act Regarding Tier II Funding Policies, which passed with no dissenting votes, puts in place new Tier II organizations funding policies that focus on clarifying the procedurals and policies, allowing for easier money management by USG. The new procedures are active today, and will go into full effect next semester.
“What you’re looking at right now is the most comprehensive funding policy this school has ever seen,” said Petkis, a 7th-semester political science and human rights double major.
“The current polices are kind of a slap-dash document; there are lots of clauses that don’t make a lot of sense or are not very specific in circumstances, which makes it very difficult to navigate,” said Comptroller Edward Courchaine, a 5th-semester structural biology and biophysics major. He added, “We can’t actually plan with the current policies.”
The new policy document is significantly shorter than the previous document, as much of the unnecessary and procedural information was removed or moved to more appropriate documents, according to Courchain.
Funding Board Chair John Giardina said designing more efficient operating procedures and ways to prioritize funding were the major concerns behind the new policies, with the main goal being for USG to manage its money better.
The actual application process has not changed dramatically, although organizations will now have to submit a more detailed description of money use.
Tier II organizations seeking funding will have to undergo training about new policies before applying. Members of USG will be available to aid organizations in the application process.
Giardina was hopeful for the policy’d future.
“We realize now that USG has a very concrete structure we can hand out money through.” He continued to say that he believes as students discover how much easier the new policies are to navigate, more people will apply to USG for funding.
Financial Operating Policies and Procedures, another financial document that had been planned to be presented, was postponed due to recently raised issues. This document sets forth changes in USG itself regarding the use of money for the operation of USG and USG events.
While an Act Regarding Tier II Funding Policies passed with little debate, an Act Concerning the Senate Operating Policies and Procedures, which seeks to improve the conduct and image of the Senate, was subject to extensive debate over gender neutrality in the dress code outlined in the new Senate proposed by Speaker of the Senate Shiv Gandhi. The act was created in response to previously lax policies in the USG by laws.
Under the act, the presiding speaker of the Senate set forth a set of policies regulating the conduct of the senate after the fall elections. Those guidelines are then put before the Senate for, questions and debates. The Senate then votes to approve, amend or reject the speakers proposed guidelines.
The guidelines set forth by Gandhi address dress code, professionalism and Senate spirit. Those senators not in compliance with the guidelines, including the dress code, lose their ability to be recognized at Senate meetings and are subject to warnings from the speaker. If multiple violations occur, the Senator faces review and possible removal from the Senate. Due to prolonged debate over the dress code policies, the act was tabled until the next Senate meeting.