Nine-member committee to review SA Senate finance rules

Jennifer Bryan, a sophomore and the vice president of the Black Student Union, and Eric Darnell, a senior and co-chair of the Black Heritage Celebration committee, attended a meeting with Student Association President Andie Dowd and Executive Vice President Casey Syron, where they discussed race on college campuses. Madeleine Cook | Hatchet Photographer
Jennifer Bryan, a sophomore and vice president of the Black Student Union, and Eric Darnell, a senior, attended a meeting with Student Association President Andie Dowd and Executive Vice President Casey Syron, where they discussed race on college campuses.
Madeleine Cook | Hatchet Photographer

Updated: Dec. 9, 2015 at 7:29 p.m.

The Student Association Senate voted to create a committee to examine its financial bylaws Monday night.

In one of its most productive meetings of the semester, the SA Senate unanimously passed an act which created a committee to examine the senate’s financial rules. The group, which will be made up of three senators from the student life, academic affairs and finance committees, will be required to hold two open sessions, research other institutions’ student association financial bylaws and write a report by the SA Senate’s Jan. 25 meeting.

The chair of the senate and the chair of the finance committee will also serve on the committee as non-voting members, although the finance committee chair will be able to vote in the case of a tie.

Sen. Paden Gallagher, SoB-U and the chair of the finance committee, said he expects members of the committee to reach out to every student organization to discuss the best ways to improve the bylaws, which will determine how those groups are funded by the SA next year. Gallagher will serve as a non-voting member of the committee.

“So the final takeaway from all of this is that a lot of people agree the bylaws are in a poor state and we’d all like to fix them,” Gallagher said.

The senate also passed an act which changes language in the official SA Senate bylaws to make certain terms more gender inclusive, like changing “chairman” to “chairperson.”

The act passed unanimously, but Sen. Erika Feinman, CCAS-U, said she was “disappointed” that members of communities that those changes reflected were not consulted about the change to the SA rules.

“I’m also disappointed, after voicing these concerns, these groups were not reached out to. I’m especially frustrated that as the only out, non-binary student on the Student Association, I was not talked to about this bill or my opinion, and my concerns were ignored,” she said.

The group also unanimously passed an act which formally supported the addition of detailed student support services to Blackboard. Phone numbers for the Sexual Assault Response Consultative team, Mental Health Services and Disability Support Services, as well as a link to the CARE Network form, are located on the right side of the Blackboard screen after students log in.

Feinman and Sen. Evan Bursey, CCAS-U, sponsored the act. Feinman said she heard “positive feedback” when links to the CARE Network were posted on Blackboard last semester.

“Evan and I have basically been working on this all semester and we were so glad to have it done right before finals season,” Feinman said.

SA President Andie Dowd said in her remarks that she and Executive Vice President Casey Syron on Friday attended a closed-door meeting with University President Steven Knapp, Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick and American University President Cornelius Kerwin to discuss race on college campuses.

“It was one of the best events I’ve attended at GW,” Syron said.

This post has been updated to reflect the following correction:
Due to a reporting error, the Hatchet incorrectly stated that members of the senate’s leadership committee will be part of the committee to review the senate’s financial rules. Members of the finance, academic affairs and student life committees will be chosen for the committee. We regret this error.

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