The United Student Government (USG) discussedstudent representation and student organizations during Monday’s Legislative Body Meeting.
Also discussed was an opportunity for USG members to serve on committees at Faculty Assembly meetings.
Concerns about the Faculty Assembly meetings ranged from the ban on non-USG members to serve on the five committees, to scheduling conflicts with USG Legislative Body Meetings, as the Faculty Assembly meetings take place on the third Monday of every month. USG Legislative Body Meetings require a certain minimum number of senators to be in attendance in order to vote on issues. This is known as quorum.
Senator Montana Gabriele expressed concerns over how USG senators’ participation in Faculty Assembly meetings could cause quorum at USG Legislative Body Meetings to not be met, thus adversely impacting the student body.
“We have to take into consideration what’s more important to us, our representation on our own right here like these meetings or representation on those committees,” Gabriele said. “Because we have votes every week here, but what are we going to do if say our funding meeting comes up and we can’t meet quorum, then what?”
Gabriele raised concern for student-run clubs and organizations, their chance of possible funding issues and their chance of deactivation if USG were unable to meet quorum, emphasizing the importance of the weekly meetings.
To meet quorum and still send more than one senator to Faculty Assembly meetings, as was considered ideal by faculty members, Senator Mathew Johnson suggested the idea of filling senatorial vacancies to acquire the maximum number of senators. To facilitate this process, a special election would have to be held.
According to President Kaylee Kearns, the special election would not yield an equal mix of senators from all the schools or even the maximum number of positions USG has to offer due to lack of interest.
“We did hold a special election in the beginning of the year, and as you can see it didn’t fill all the seats,” Kearns said. “We’re not just going to fill seats just to fill seats. People have to want to be in these positions.”
USG did, however, fill a seat at this week’s meeting. Senator Jessica Wrzosek was sworn in at the Legislative Body Meeting. She is a junior transfer student and a political science major. She intends to go to law school and possibly run for public office. Wrzosek sees USG as a potential learning experience for a career path in civil service that she plans to follow.
“I don’t know how many times it got mentioned that there are how many open seats,” Wrzosek said. “Not many people step up to do this sort of service. I feel like there’s kind of a conundrum where it’s 10 percent of the people tend to do 90 percent of the service work. I just want to be one of those people, and I want to leave a positive change and I want to leave a positive impact.”
Wrzosek was one of the senators who took issue with the way USG rejected Point Park Cares’ request to be recognized. Six senators opposed and two abstained, which was enough to deny the request. Some senators cited the vagueness of the organization’s purpose for swaying their vote although others believed that more discussions should have been held with the proposed president, Lauren Reuther. President Pro Temporo Megan Ortego was adamant that a recall vote not be held at that week’s session.
USG also approved funding for 26 student clubs and organizations. Clubs can file appeals.