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The Executive Cabinet of the University of Georgia Student Government Association held its second meeting of the semester on Aug. 27, 2019. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

Transportation, homecoming court and public forum discussions were all on the docket for Tuesday night’s University of Georgia Student Government Association Executive Cabinet meeting.

SGA Vice President Melissa Hevener started off the meeting with a general explanation of Senate meetings.

“SGA recognizes Senate as an open public forum. That means technically any student can come and attend senate because we are being held accountable by the student body through that mechanism,” she said.

Hevener explained that it is the student body’s responsibility to come to SGA members and voice their concerns, but it is additionally the representatives' duty to respond to their needs.

Next on the docket were “housekeeping” topics, including homecoming court nominations and the First-Year Connect mentor program. SGA Executive Cabinet Chief of Staff Hayden Kolodziejcyk explained the details of what was expected.

Hevener discussed plans for The Georgia Way, a new initiative designed to create an honor code for the student body that will help “to ensure that we are holding ourselves to certain community standards that may not be enforceable.”

As an organization, SGA wants every member of the community to feel valued, Hevener said. Concerning The Georgia Way, members are responsible for “pushing out this idea that as a student body, we stand behind these ideals of respect, honesty and integrity.”

The Georgia Way will accumulate to a week of programming in November after an initial planning meeting for members in mid-September. SGA will be designing the creed in a way that is inclusive of the student body as a whole. In an effort to represent the campus, Heavener encouraged members to use their voices to interact with as many student organizations on campus as possible so students feel that their voices matter.

President Rachel Byers opened the floor to an open discussion where members had an opportunity to express concerns they have heard from other students around campus. The most pressing issue was transportation complications.

Specifically, students discussed the UGA bus system and its effectiveness. Many members weighed in on the issue of overcrowding at bus stops, especially at the East Campus Village stop.

Hevener addressed concerns and said she, along with Byers and SGA Treasurer Nav Singh, have already met with UGA Transportation and Parking Services to discuss the issue.

Hevener said the housing of first-year students in the University Village graduate apartments has led the university to anticipate overcrowding in East Campus residence halls. According to Hevener, alterations were made to the stops and bus routes to make the bus system more efficient.

Byers added that UGA TPS mentioned making a change to the bus stop by Ramsey Student Center. While she said that option had been discussed, no official plans have been announced.

SGA will hold an open forum discussion for all students to attend on Tuesday, Sept. 3. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Miller Learning Center.

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