ASG elects new members, talks security

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Discussions about sustainability and campus safety continued during Allegheny Student Government’s weekly general assembly meeting.

With no guest speaker, ASG’s general assembly began promptly with cabinet reports at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, in the Henderson Campus Center room 301/302. 

Director of Communications and Press David Roach, ’21, initiated the cabinet reports with a few short announcements, including T-shirt completed order forms and a website update after a cabinet member and new senators were approved.

After Roach, Director of Diversity and Inclusion Taylor Marzouca, ’20, began her report by notifying the attendees that the Council of Diversity and Equity discussed and endorsed the ASG decision to pass Resolution 19-06. 

“The group is going to write a memo of agreement and support for the ASG resolution and the Faculty Council decision,” Marzouca said. 

Marzouca also expressed concern about how the recommendation would be handled by the taskforce and said that they were not aware if the head of the taskforce would make the decision independently or if the members would decide with a vote. 

The next report came from Ashley Leonard, ’20, vice president of the class of 2020 and secretary of community relations, who announced that the committee would be holding a tabling event in the  campus center lobby on Friday, Jan. 31.

“(We’re going) to talk with students about how they feel about the relationship between the campus and Meadville and their experiences with Meadville,” Leonard said.

To complete her report, Leonard said they would look into whether or not Dunkin Donuts would be open to providing student discounts. 

An interjection was made into the cabinet reports by Vice President Elyse Cinquino, ’20, to announce the nomination of Owen Jacobsen, ’23, for the position of director of community relations. The vote on his nomination passed unanimously amongst the Senate.

Continuing with cabinet reports, Attorney General Brandon Zabo, ’22, announced that the Senate would be deciding whether or not to approve the creation of the Robotics Club of Allegheny College. The founder of the club, Nathan Karom, ’23, explained the importance of a robotics club before the Senate cast their votes. 

“(Our goal) is to have a bunch of diverse people from Allegheny from different majors, engineering, computer science and other things like that,” Karom said. “(Then we’ll) work together on a project of robotics, which there aren’t many here at Allegheny.”

The Robotics Club of Allegheny College was approved for their first week by the Senate. 

Following Zabo, Chief of Staff Jared McHale, ’20, announced the nominee for the Academic Standards and Awards Committee, Hannah Sharp, ’23, and the Senate voted to approve her. 

After a few announcements by the Directors of Student Affairs Kelsey Evans, ’20, and Genesis Pena, ’22, the Director of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs Caitlin Lord, ’20, began her report. She said the committee wanted the green boxes found in Brooks Dining Hall and McKinley’s Food Court to be more widely used by students, to a point where compostable boxes are phased out completely. 

“(We could do) some brainstorming to come up with an incentive or incentives to really push them because we’ve been in our transition period for two years now,” Lord said. “It’s really time to start moving over to (only using) green boxes.” 

Both the Senate and the Cabinet discussed ideas for potential incentives, including an upcharge for whenever a compostable box is used or having only green boxes be available at stations in McKinley’s. 

President Jason Ferrante, ’20, reminded the attendees that sustainability should not be forced; rather, sustainability should come from mindful changes in behaviors and habits. 

“What we want to do is try to get people thinking ‘I need to get my green box,’” Ferrante said. “We want people to get the sustainability mindset.”

Following the discussion on green box incentives, ASG transitioned into class reports. Some of the announcements included Class of 2020 planning an appreciation day for workers and Class of 2022 electing their new senator, Kahlil Taylor, ’22.

During her vice president’s report, Cinquino announced that ASG would be thinking about potential action they could take in response to the sexual assault in Ravine-Narvik Hall last semester, including meeting with Why Not Us and Title IX peer educators. 

After Cinquino’s report, Ferrante began his president’s report announcing that ASG would need as many volunteers as possible to prepare for the major concert on Friday, Feb. 15. 

Ferrante closed his report by disclosing that the Chair of the Curriculum Committee Harald Ellers, informed Ferrante that he received a proposal by students to move Gator Day in the fall 2020 semester one week later to coincide with Election Day. 

Senator for the Class of 2021 Emma Godel, ’21, proposed social groups coming to campus to talk about the importance of voting if the date change were to be approved. 

“I know it’s such a tall order because there is so much being scheduled for Gator Day,” Godel said. “That being said, if we have tables going from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., people can just stop by and get some information, and voting takes all of 10 minutes.”

Moving into unfinished business, Cinquino encouraged the Senate to share their constituent comments they have acquired over the past week on whether or not to install security cameras on campus in a five-minute discussion. 

The majority opinion, as expressed by the senators, was to oppose security cameras on campus in fear of loss of privacy and the potential policing and profiling of students. However, President of the Class of 2023 Peter Alegre, ’23, said that some constituents favored cameras outside of dorms and more lighting in dimly lit areas like parking lots and side streets. 

“(My constituents) thought that focusing on lights would be more important, especially in dimly lit areas,” Alegre said. “Basically everything besides North Main Street is not well lit.” 

After the discussion about security cameras, Ferrante clarified that in the third page of the 19-06 Resolution document that the use of the word “Judeo-Christian” was not the correct terminology. The Senate then voted to strike out the word “Judeo” and passed the 19-06 Resolution for a second week. 

ASG ended the meeting with a discussion about the unavailability of the blue courts in the Wise Center for practicing clubs and varsity sports. The meeting was adjourned at 8:08 p.m.