This article was updated to include the correct number of gender identity options available on the Reported Student Experience survey.
Allegheny Student Government held its first meeting of the 2015-16 academic year on Tuesday, Sept. 1. The meeting focused on getting freshmen students acquainted with ASG.
The meeting began with a welcome for the roughly 20 freshmen students who attended, some in the hopes of being elected to the senate as representatives of the class of 2019. Each prospective senatorial candidate must receive 25 signatures from students in their class before they can be placed on the ballot.
ASG President Haley Riley, ’16, addressed the class of 2019 and encouraged them to not be afraid to seek an elected position.
“If it makes you feel any better, I lost the election my freshman year,” Riley said in the meeting.
Riley also explained to the class of 2019 the constituent comment section of ASG’s annual meetings in which students may voice any concerns they wish to bring to the attention of student government.
“We want to give them time in Roberts Rules to let them say what they want to say,” Riley said.
Riley said that one of her goals this year is to make ASG more accessible to students. She said that she hopes that she can work to overcome the apathetic view that many students have of ASG.
“I really want to make ASG a more inclusive space,” she said.
Riley also hopes to make changes within ASG to encourage senators to put forth their own projects and initiatives. She said she is optimistic about the potential for the upcoming year.
Also discussed in the first meeting was the new ASG constitution, which was adopted last year. Attorney General Eric Chang, ’17, who is responsible for enforcing the new constitution said that he looks forward to seeing how the document will function.
“We’re going to have a lot fun testing out what works and what doesn’t,” he said.
The Sept. 1 meeting was ASG’s first since its final meeting of the 2014-15 academic year on April 28, at which the senate approved two resolutions which dealt with the issue of gender identification and inclusivity.
Resolution 10-05 called for the college administration to include more options for gender identification on the annual end of semester Reported Student Experience survey. The RSE currently only offers male, female and transgender options.
Resolution 10-06 called on Allegheny to “improve accessibility and visibility of all-gender bathrooms on campus.”
While neither resolution is binding and it is up to the college to take action, the two resolutions were seen as major steps for gender inclusivity on campus.
“I feel that it is really important that all genders are represented on campus,” said Amy Currul, ’17, one of the senatorial sponsors of the two resolutions.
Connor Racine, ’16, who served as a constituent sponsor on both resolutions and is now the ASG director of diversity and inclusion, said at the Sept. 1 meeting that gender inclusivity is still an issue which ASG will work to further address.