USG discusses proposed resolution backing Oakland shuttles

Written By Jordyn Hronec, Co-News Editor

The United Student Government (USG) met on Monday, March 25 and engaged in a conversation surrounding a resolution drafted and proposed by both Vice President Brittany Arp and Recording Secretary Sophie Burkholder. The resolution, titled resolution 03252019.1, was drafted in order to demonstrate support for retaining shuttle service to Oakland.

Several concerns regarding the wording of the resolution were brought up by Senator Alexa Lake and Senator Mathew Johnson. Their concerns specifically addressed the inclusion of grammatical errors within the resolution, including run-on sentences and the presence of both passive and active voice.

Their concerns were met with hesitation by several other senators, including Senator Dennis McDermott, who stated that previous resolutions were worded in similar fashions. This statement was agreed upon by Parliamentarian Matthew Spadaccia.

Senator Wrzosek expressed a separate concern regarding the resolution, stating that the subject matter may not necessarily constitute a resolution in order to be addressed. Wrzosek instead suggested that a letter to administration be drafted in support of the Oakland shuttles.

Senator Jacob Berlin then clarified the necessity of clarifying the wording of the resolution, stating that typically Rules Committee would discuss the clarity of resolutions, but resolution 03252019.1 had not been sent through Rules Committee before being brought to the floor.

Ultimately, the resolution was tabled at the recommendation of Spadaccia and will be sent to Rules Committee for further consideration.

However, the discussion regarding the future of the Oakland shuttles extended beyond the context of the resolution.

During open floor, students asked Dean Gieseke about the role he had in planning for the future operations of the shuttles.

“It is my understanding that transportation provided the senior administration with the use of shuttles over this year and whether or not they were continuing to be utilized at the same rate as they have been in the past,” Dean Gieseke said. “The other part of the conversation was, now that all university business is being conducted in Downtown, one of the questions is, why is Oakland the only area that the shuttle would go to? Is that because the history has been, it was originally to be a Playhouse shuttle and to take students from here to down there so they can get to class? Over time, it has definitely warped into an Oakland shuttle that is used for many different things. So now that everything is here, the question became, is Oakland the best place for it to be? Or, given the opportunity, are there other places where it will be just as used or utilized?”

According to Dean Gieseke, the upper administration plans to ask students where shuttle service should be expanded.

In addition to the shuttles, the legislative body meeting also hosted a discussion regarding election proceedings.

Senator Grace Tyler Frank-Rempel approached the body with concerns regarding the use of the official USG seal on Arp’s campaign materials that were distributed around campus. The seal was present on business cards that were stapled to the back of hand-outs outlining Arp’s campaign.

Dean Gieseke assured the legislative body that the Elections Board was looking into the issue.

Present at USG’s meeting were representatives from both the Black Student Union (BSU), as well as Point Blank Comedy Collective. The two organizations worked in collaboration to plan a debate for presidential candidates, Arp and Berlin. 

During open floor, Senator Cole D’Alicandro inquired about the logistics of the debate. Chris Copen of the Point Blank Comedy Collective discussed the process of obtaining space for the event, specifically the process of working with Sydney Keller of Conference and Event Services. Copen discussed how the two organizations were unable to secure the GRW Theater for the event, thus, the debate was scheduled to take place that evening in Academic Hall 302 at 9 pm.

D’Alicandro also asked a question regarding the ethicality of the event, seeing as Berlin has several ties to Point Blank Comedy Collective. Berlin assured the legislative body that both he and Dean Gieseke looked into this concern. It was decided that the event would occur given that both candidates attend the planned debate as well as the USG sponsored “Meet Your Candidate” event. It was also pointed out that the Meet Your Candidate event faced similar concerns. This is due to the fact Communications Director, Shelby Fink, who serves on Executive Cabinet with Arp, was tasked with organizing the debate. Meet Your Candidate is scheduled to occur on Wednesday, March 27 at 9:30 in the JVH.

The meeting ended after approximately one hour. Next week’s legislative body meeting will take place in the JVH. Amanda Anderson from the Office of Student Life will be speaking.