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UGA Student Government Association vice president, Melissa Hevener, addresses the senate body. The University of Georgia Senate met on Oct. 15, 2019, in Athens, Georgia to discuss possible legislative motions and general check ins to each committee. (Photo/Kathryn Skeean, kskeean@randb.com)

On Oct. 15, the University of Georgia Student Government Association held Senate and Executive Cabinet meetings. In cabinet, the executive officers discussed upcoming initiatives such as the student honor code, as well as the organization’s budget. The senate confirmed two new senators and passed legislation concerning accessibility for students with disabilities and course credits.

Vice President Melissa Hevener has been working on a new, comprehensive website that will act as “a one-stop-shop and central location” for links to all of the resources that UGA offers students. Hevener said the website is now in its beta testing stage and its focus is on “the mobile interface first, and then we’re going to the [desktop] website.”

Hevener also promoted “It’s On Us” week, a national initiative started in 2014 under the Obama Administration to address sexual assault awareness and prevention on college campuses. Over 550 colleges have held informative events through It’s On Us.

“It’s On Us” takes place next week — SGA plans to share a video about the initiative before the Homecoming football game on Oct. 19. SGA will also use social media to remind students of resources on campus such as The Fontaine Center and Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention.

SGA implied it has the funds to promote more student outreach initiatives in the future. Treasurer Nav Singh reported there is about $23,300 remaining in this year’s SGA budget. Singh encouraged members to “keep the ideas coming in, because we have the money and we’re willing to spend it.”

SGA will begin tabling on Nov. 4-8 to talk with students around campus about their thoughts on the language for its new student honor code initiative. She is working with UGA students to design a code of conduct that outlines community standards about how members of the community should treat one another. Hevener hopes the initiative will have an impact on future students of the university.

“This is a slow process of planning and drafting because we want it to last,” Hevener said.

The fourth senate meeting of the year began with the confirmation of two new senators. Alejandro Collins filled the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources seat and Jameson Gaddis, a junior sport management major, is the new representative for the College of Education. Collins, a junior parks, recreation and tourism management major, applied to represent his school after learning about the position through an email. He said that joining SGA will give him an “opportunity to make a difference.”

Looking to the future, Collins said he hopes to be a liaison between the College of Education and SGA. He hopes to introduce “more sustainable legislation” seeing that it relates to his area of study.

SGA members also unanimously voted to pass Proclamation 32-06. This legislation aims to improve accessibility at the Tate Student Center Print & Copy Services. First year senators Calvin Rausch and Michael McDevitt sponsored the proclamation after they met with Jody Hall, P&C administrative manager.

Currently there are four printing kiosks that are wheelchair accessible, although they only allow for cardstock printing, McDevitt said. When they discussed this with Hall, she changed the kiosks to allow for multi-type printing, which includes regular printing. The proclamation will serve as a “thank you” for her work to implement the change, McDevitt said.

“We hope that this bill will improve accessibility for maybe some future departments down the road so that all UGA students can feel like there's a place for them and that they can have access to all the same resources and not feel as if they're different,” McDevitt said.

Another item on the docket was Resolution 32-05 to make the Advanced Placement Statistics exam count for the MSIT 3000: Statistical Analysis for Business I credit required of students in the Terry College of Business. The standardized test currently counts for STAT 2000: Introductory Statistics, although Terry students are not required to complete this course. Senator Zane Placie from the Committee on Educational Affairs introduced the legislation.

“Terry students cannot get credit for MSIT 3000 by taking the AP exam even though the AP exam is almost identical to the content of the course and the content of STAT 2000,” Placie said. “The only MSIT 3000 topic not covered in the exam is also covered by another class that Terry students have to take.”

Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Chair Allison Fine supported the work of Senator Lauren Franklin, who worked with dining services to label the dining hall food for all main allergies.

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