The 52nd student senate passed their first bill of the semester and amended their first bylaw on Tuesday, Oct. 25, after hearing an appeal from Shades Step Team.
During the meeting, Student Association (SA) President Terrell Coakley and the senate discussed the consequences of a sexual harassment claim made against a student. While no legislation resulted from the conversation, the discussion resulted in a review of rules and regulations from the Student Code of Honor Handbook and the Housing Handbook.
The legislative body also heard an appeal from the Shades Step Team. The club was represented by Christlie Julien, who was there to appeal the denial of funds to pay for the transportation of a marching band from the city called Youth Arts for their first annual step competition that would cost $1,000. Last Thursday they were approved for $3,201. Julien said that without the marching band her club would not have a routine to perform at the show.
The Shades Step Team was approved $600.
Meanwhile, the Constitution and Rules Committee (CRC) wrote a bill regarding the Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) and the appealing process that will affect school clubs’ and organizations’ ability to appeal BFC’s decision in front of senate.
This bill amends one of student senate responsibilities listed in article 6, section 3 in the SA Constitution which allowed the student senate to review and approve appeals after they’ve been rejected by the BFC. The bill now states that “in cases of breaches in procedures or ethical dilemmas [the senate] shall hear appeals review, and/or approve and event or expenditure has been disapproved by the programming board and BFC only under the discretion of the senate chair and the vice president of finance.”
Senate Vice Chair Yaritza Diaz said that the only thing that would allow clubs and organizations to appeal a decision made by BFC would be if there was a flawed procedure or ethical dilemma during the club or organization’s presentation to BFC.
This means that the only time the senate will hear appeals is when it meets certain criteria including approval of the senate chair and the vice president of finance.
This bill was voted on and passed by the legislative body.
SA Advisor and Director of Student Activities and Union Services Michael Patterson said that highly supports this bill and expressed his concerns.
“BFC spends hours hearing these cases and making thoughtful decisions based on lots of factors and it can be very demoralizing for those BFC members for this body to overturn a decision that they spent hours and hours upon.”
Patterson recommended that the CRC committee write a notice to student clubs about this decision.
Since a bill only lasts an academic year, SA’s Vice President of Academic Affairs and Governance Ayanna Thomas and the CRC plans on including this piece legislation as a constitutional amendment during constitutional review next semester.
The CRC also amended an SA bylaw in article 5, section 2 so that it would not conflict with the new bill.