SGA meeting 3/30/21

University of Georgia Student Government Association Chief of Staff Matthew McDaniel speaks at the SGA meeting on March 30, 2021. (Photo/Screenshot captured by Ellie Shafer)

The University of Georgia Student Government Association passed 15 pieces of legislation in the 33rd administration’s final Senate meeting on Tuesday. Legislation passed includes a plan to add the bus stop on Finley Street to the East Campus bus route and encouragement for the creation of a university-wide grade forgiveness policy,

According to a survey sent out by SGA, 87.36% of students surveyed use East Campus’s facilities at least once a week, with an average of 3-4 times per week. 75.48% of the students surveyed said they would be extremely likely to use the new bus stop.

First-Year Sens. Joseph Fredeman, Yuag Shaparia and Matthew Jue authored the resolution regarding the creation of the additional bus stop, and it passed unanimously through the Senate.

A resolution that advocates for the creation of a university-wide grade forgiveness policy also passed unanimously in the Senate.

A grade forgiveness policy allows for students who have taken the same course twice to omit the first grade if the second is higher.

Sen. Jeremiah de Sesto authored a proclamation that denounces all acts of discrimination towards Asian American Pacific Islander and the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American communities, both on and off campus.

According to an analysis by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, there was a 150% increase in Asian hate crimes in 2020. On March 16, a series of shootings in Atlanta left eight dead, with six of the victims Asian women, further escalating the push to create anti-discrimination efforts for the Asian American community.

The piece of legislation also serves to affirm SGA’s support for students, faculty and staff in these communities and stand in solidarity with those affected by any and all hate crimes. The proclamation passed unanimously.

Sens. Will Harris and de Sesto spoke on a resolution that urges UGA to open the diversity, equity and inclusion EVERFI module so all incoming members of SGA can complete it as a prerequisite to be in SGA.

The Senate also passed six bills unanimously –– four of them codifying various aspects of SGA. These aspects are the Senate page program, the Senate procedure, the communication procedures of SGA and the Professional Clothing Closet, which is an independent agency under the legislative branch.

The other two bills are to promote the transparency of the amounts the president, vice president, treasurer, president of the Senate and president pro-tempore of the Senate are paid, and to modify the language within SGA statutes to make them more comprehensible for future Senates to use.

Other legislation passed unanimously includes a resolution to create an informational resource about the basics of Zoom and a resolution to continue to promote free access to the Wall Street Journal through the Collegiate Readership Program.

Proclamations to enhance the relationship between the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government’s Office and UGA’s SGA through open discussion and feedback and supporting the funding of the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators and other preparatory exams in the Mary Frances Early College of Education were passed unanimously.

First-Year Sen. George Moore also led a project to implement scooped ice cream back into dining halls, which will be in place by this Thursday in Bolton, Oglethorpe and Village Summit Dining Commons.