Student Association’s Government Operations Committee (GOC) has recently passed several bills through SA.
These bills affect financing of organizations, impeachment processes and guidelines.
GOC recently gained a new chairman in Conner Wurth. A bill affecting secretaries was the first bill passed during his chairmanship.
Wurth said this bill intended to “establish clear terms for how the secretary records minutes and how outside organizations can record at the Senate body.”
Senate can now allow outside organizations to record meetings with a 2/3 vote.
The bill also allows the SA secretary to record the president and vice president’s reports.
Another recent bill will affect compensation for student organizations. In the past, organizations received $7 dollars per person for food.
For example, Wurth said, “if the organizations go to Senate after their event, with five less [people] than projected, they get $35 dollars less.”
This way of funding led to some problems, according to Wurth. Organizations either spent out of pocket or chose to spend less than the maximum amount so as to not spend out of pocket.
GOC’s bill created a bracket system. “Instead of having to have exactly 25 people,” Wurth said, “organizations now can get a bracket of 23–28 people.” This change allows organizations more “wiggle room” in their planning of events.
Changes from this bill will not take place until next year. Any changes to the maximum funding caps must take place next fiscal year, according to Wurth.
The bill addresses a common complaint, Wurth said. The traditional system “put SA in a bad position,” he said, as it had to take money away from students. GOC hopes that this change will fix such problems.
Another recent bill, written by GOC member Steve Harsha, cleaned up judicial guidelines.
According to Harsha, if an SA member believes another member has behaved improperly, that member can sue the other.
Harsha’s bill updated some “outdated terminology.” This terminology includes references to Senate advisors, which no longer exist. Otherwise, the bill makes “no major changes,” according to Harsha.
Another recent bill clarified the impeachment clause of the judicial branch. The previous clause included two methods for impeachment: someone could recommend to the President that another member be impeached, or a Senator could impeach a member.
GOC decided to clarify the matter “just in case,” according to Caitlyn Slattery, a member of GOC.
While no justices have been impeached in recent history, GOC wanted to “proactively look at guidelines and try to fix them,” said Wurth.
Several Senators have been removed, however, for not satisfying their duties, such as going to meetings. Wurth said GOC has “realized this is not the best way to do that according to constitution.” He hopes to fix this in coming weeks.
On another financial matter, GOC is reviewing financial guidelines. The word “discretion” occurs in many clauses regarding finances, and Slattery said GOC wants to make “sure all places it appears are appropriate.”
Reviewing these clauses could affect organizations’ financial bills, as it could give Senate “wiggle room” to compensate organizations that don’t meet exact guidelines. If passed, this bill would take effect immediately.
Future GOC plans include a number of issues. GOC plans to look into funding non-consumables, or things organizations could use again. This could include “power strips, ethernet cords, or soccer balls for the soccer club,” Wurth said.
If members of the GOC decide to attempt to fund these sorts of items, Wurth said they “need to make sure it doesn’t become embezzlement … We don’t want people to just use SA to buy things they want.”
Wurth said GOC will also continue to do “a lot of things that will have effects on the student body.” If the Senate becomes divided on an issue, lacks a precedent, or needs clarification so all organizations are treated fairly, GOC will step in.