Legislative body votes down Kearns’ vetoes

USG adopts four new resolutions, one tabled

Written By Jordyn Hronec, Co-News Editor

This week, the United Student Government (USG) overturned two vetoes put forward by President Kaylee Kearns.

The first veto applied to Resolution 03182019.1, which created guidelines for the redaction of information in meeting minutes. In a letter to all USG members, Kearns cited her concerns regarding a timeline for when redacted information would become public. During last week’s meeting, a motion to overturn the veto failed during a vote in the legislative body. However, members of Rules Committee recommended the resolutions be discussed in legislative body once again. President Pro-Tempore Megan Ortego cited senators’ confusion during the vote last week as a reason to discuss the resolution further.

The resolution came under scrutiny, specifically by Senator Hattie Charney. Charney, who had been working to implement Pennsylvania’s already-standing Sunshine Act into USG legislation, stated that she was more interested in passing a more comprehensive resolution that would define privacy.

“I just don’t feel comfortable passing something that we have to add on to in the future,” Charney said. “I’d rather have something that we can set, rather than doing something, and excuse my language, half-assed at this point.”

Senator Jess Wrzosek spoke on behalf of the Rules Committee in defense of the resolution.

“As far as putting something down and then adding to it and saying that’s not the way to do it, that’s literally the way to do it,” Wrzosek said. “All of our bylaws start with a heading, and then there’s 101.1, 101.2, 101.3, 101.4, whatever it is, we fine-tune everything.”

Wrzosek also argued that the current student body has reflected its desire for more transparency, so by passing a resolution now, USG would be better serving its constituents.

The legislative body ultimately voted to overturn the presidential veto of Resolution 03182019.1, with 10 senators voting in favor and four opposed.

Later in the meeting, the legislative body moved to discuss Kearns’ veto of Resolution 03252019, which would grant the President Pro-Tempore the power to sign off on the closing of meetings. The veto was sent to USG members via email earlier that day.

“It is my duty to challenge what I believe will hurt the organization,” Kearns wrote in the veto email. “I believe this resolution, along with the resolution that was vetoed last week, go hand in hand and should be reconsidered.”

Resolution 03252019 was discussed at length by the legislative body. Charney, once again, raised concerns with the resolution.

“I didn’t want anybody to sign off on it [closing meetings], just to make that clear,” Charney said. “I think we’re all adults and we all understand the difference between something that is private and public, and I get that it’s checks and balances, and we need that. But at the same time, I just think it’s ridiculous.”

Senator Mathew Johnson argued against Charney.

“Senator Charney said that it [Resolution 03252019] was ridiculous because we’re all adults, and to allow people to deem the information that they see fit as private information, but I think it’s ridiculous to assume that,” Johnson said.

The legislative body moved to vote on the veto and whether or not to overturn it. The body voted 10 to four to overturn the veto.

Since both vetoes were overturned, Resolution 03182019.1 and 03252019 are now in place.

The legislative body also voted unanimously to adopt two other resolutions brought forward by the Rules Committee. One resolution was tabled back to Rules Committee for further explanation.

Resolution 04082019, which was tabled due to the need for further explanation, was drafted in order to increase the office hours of the Parliamentarian, Communications Director and Recording Secretary positions’ office hours from four to five. This decision follows an audit done by USG, and the results of the audit garnered an increase in the office hours to better reflect the officers’ compensation. The resolution also outlines new guidelines for the Treasurer position’s office hours. The new resolution changes the Treasurer’s USG office hours from four to two, in addition to eight office hours served in the office of SAIL, which is a result of a previously adopted resolution. Following the potential addition of information to the resolution, it will be voted on again next week.

Resolution 04082019.1 adds a deadline for the President and Vice-President’s monthly reports. It states that monthly reports are due on the first of every month, and that the summer report is due by the first of October.

Resolution 04082019.2 adds the Dean of Student Life as an official advisor. It allows both the Dean of Students and the Dean of Student Life to appoint a representative to attend meetings that they may be absent for.

Finally, Resolution 04082019.3 removes part of the existing by-law 603.31, which outlines what club budget statements must include. The resolution states that the section is unnecessary due to the fact that the APF form for club funding is now completed online versus on paper.

The meeting wrapped up following an hour of discussion and a total of four new resolutions adopted.