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Saturday, June 25, 2022


Senate ends year by passing three bills about itself

The senate passed three bills in its final meeting of the year.

The Senate passed three bills in its final meeting of the 54th Administration. A new crop of senators and executive board members will take office in early April. | Michael Slaten/The Cougar

At its last meeting of the semester Wednesday, the Student Government Association Senate passed three bills about itself. One of the bills will open a more consistent line of communication for students to reach out to their representatives on the Senate.

The Standardized Senate Communications Act will create email addresses for each college represented within student government solely for the purpose of creating an easier line of communication between senators and other students. Every senator will have access to the email address.

Currently, individual senators emails are listed on the SGA Senate Directory alongside the college they represent.

“Sometimes students feel uncomfortable directly emailing one person that they don’t know,” said Carlos Iniguez, a College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics senator and the author of the bill.

He said the bill will prevent interruptions between students and their colleges’ representatives as senators come and go. At least 10 senators left SGA before the official end of the administration on March 31.

The Senate also passed a bill titled Website Responsibilities, which specifies that the director of public relations update several pages up to date on the SGA website throughout the year, including the rosters for the Senate, executive and judicial branches.

Graduate-at-Large Senator and President-elect Cameron Barrett said several justices are missing from the judicial branch page because no one was specifically responsible for updating it.

“In the past election, people were like, ‘How many justices even are there? I think there’s seven, but there are only four people on (the website),’” Barrett said.

If there is no director of public relations, the duty of updating the website will fall to the vice president. The speaker of the senate will also update the legislative page of the website, under the Speaker Responsibilities Reform Bill, which also passed Wednesday.

The bill also outlines that the speaker must post the Senate meeting agendas, the dates of upcoming meetings and current legislation on the SGA website. The speaker will also be responsible for booking rooms for standing committee meetings each semester.

President Winni Zhang will need to sign Wednesday’s bills before the current administration ends in 10 days or the bills will expire.

Zhang did not attend the Senate meeting due to academic responsibilities. Vice President Adrian Hernandez delivered a message on her behalf, issuing congratulations for the Senate’s accomplishments.

Political science senior and former SGA presidential candidate Christopher Caldwell attended most of the Senate meetings this year. He said he told the Senate during its first meeting in 2017 that the meeting was terrible, but he thought the senators turned it around.

“You really embodied service above self, and I’m really proud of each of you,” Caldwell said.

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