ASG makes last votes, finance approvals

The Allegheny Student Government held its regular General Assembly on Tuesday, April 11, in room 301/302 of the Henderson Campus Center. The catch: This GA was the second-to-last meeting under the cabinet of ASG President Veronica Green, ’23, meaning any item requiring a vote would need to have passed its first round that night in order to receive its second round of voting at the April 18 GA.
The Senate was called to order at 7:37 p.m., seven minutes later than the scheduled time, as only 11 senators were present. ASG has a quorum of 12 members, Green said before the call to order, meaning that the meeting’s proceedings would not be valid should there not be another senator present. Director of the Treasury Adriana Solis, ’23, took to the halls and returned with Shawntea Mahdi, ’23, Skaina Pierre, ’23, and Nya Vason, ’23, who served as proxies for three absent Class of 2023 senators.
The portion of ASG’s constitution on attendance policies states that Senators who must miss a meeting and “have reasonable knowledge” beforehand may appoint “a student from their respective class to serve as a proxy” at GA or a committee meeting. When Madhi, Pierre and Vason entered the room, Green forwarded them the meeting minutes, and Class of 2023 President Shira Haus gave a quick summary of GA procedures.
One Senator who has not attended GA this semester or ever sent a proxy was represented by one of the proxies Solis brought in.
While the use of proxies is common in GA, they are usually sent to the meeting by the absent senator to represent their vote, not appointed by a cabinet member.
ASG officials were not immediately available for a response before print on Thursday evening.
Once the three proxies were settled, the meeting was called to order.
Four votes were called forward during the 36-minute meeting, the first of which was a resolution on dining brought forward by Co-Director of Student Affairs Cam Lesher, ’24.
“Part of what we have discussed — we the dining committee — is how we’re able to express the worries of the dining services staff without speaking for them and how it would be best to do what we’re capable of doing,” Lesher said during a five-minute discussion which ensued after the resolution was brought to the attention of the Senate. “A lot of the communication that we were having with dining staff was just that this is probably what we would be capable of getting done and it’s not what everyone wants the most, but these are changes that we’re probably able to ask for.”
Lesher explained that the proposed resolution asks that the Board of Trustees make a statement to address the frustrations students have had with Aramark and requests the formation of a college committee of “representatives of the student body, faculty, administration, and dining services staff” to address concerns.
The original idea for a resolution of this sort came after Class of 2025 President and ASG President-elect Nicole Recio Bremer called attention to complaints of poor working conditions, poor hours and health care, and workplace harassment that were made to her privately.
“I was a little confused because this differs from what we discussed last week in GA,” Green said during the discussion. “Because last week, I think we were talking more about the treatment of the workers rather than the frustration with the services.”
Green also was unsure about the procedure of adding a new committee and deferred to Dean for Student Life and ASG adviser Trae Yeckley.
“I don’t know entirely how that works, but there would have to be amendments to the faculty handbook because the faculty handbook, I believe, states what committees faculty are required to be a part of as part of their appointments,” Yeckley said. “So I know this is just a resolution, and it’s not saying ‘this is what’s going to happen,’ but it could be difficult to try to incorporate that into our existing committees, or add a new committee, I should say.”
A motion for a vote was brought to the floor, and passed with 13 in favor and one abstention.
Director of Diversity and Inclusion Jaelyn Valentin, ’25, brought the revised Culture, Identity and Leadership Coalition constitution before the Senate for a vote. The revision, Valentin said, modified the constitution in such a way that it now served as a “bridge connecting CILC and ASG” to make both organizations feel more like a community.
Senator V Belcher, ’26, made a motion for a vote by ballot, which passed. The revised constitution was not approved, though, receiving nine votes in favor and four against. A supermajority of 10 votes was required to approve the changes.
“Can we get a clarification for what that means starting for next year?” Lesher asked once the results were revealed.
“It means that Nicole and Sam’s (Class of 2026 President and Vice President-elect Sam Ault) administration will have to, once again, review the CILC constitution if they choose, or they can keep the one that Noah and Sophie (2021-22 ASG President Noah Tart and Vice President Sophie Adams) had,” Green responded.
The first of two clubs to be voted on was Geology Club, which faced its second round of voting after initial approval last week. The vote passed unanimously, and Geology Club once again gained official club status.
The second was Water Polo Club, which came seeking a vote of approval for a chance to be deemed an official club before the academic year’s end. Representative Daniel Jackson, ’25, told the Senate that Water Polo Club hopes to “encourage water safety on campus.”
“Water polo, for those who don’t understand what it is, it’s actually very similar to handball if you’ve ever played that in high school, or soccer, just with your hands and in the pool,” Jackson said. “We have Marko Sadikovic, who works in Res Life, is actually very interested in coaching the team. He’s very experienced in water polo, played all throughout his life.”
Jackson explained that the club already has a lot of equipment and the club requires a very minimal budget. He explained that the club would be recreational and intramural.
Water Polo Club passed its vote unanimously, and will return to GA next week for its second round of voting. Should it be approved, it will be the last club added to Allegheny’s ever-growing list of student organizations during the 2022-23 academic year.
All cabinet members mentioned that their transition reports were in progress or completed. The official transition of power will take place at the April 25 GA.
Solis presented a hefty weekly spending total of $24,426.31, as it was the last week for organizations to make finance requests — club budgets remain open and available to their respective organizations until April 25. $12,599.94 came out of the General Fund this week between requests from ASG, the African Student Association, Fishing Club and Latinas on the Rise. $9,523.37 came out of the Surplus Fund between ASG and the Food Recovery Network. $2,303 came out of the CILC Fund between the Islamic Cultural Association, the Association of Caribbean Students and ASA.
Green made brief mention of Springfest during GA, as the festivities are to begin Friday, April 21, and last through the weekend. Yeckley reiterated a sentiment Green briefly touched on during the mention.
“If it has alcohol, it is not an official college Springfest event,” Yeckley said. “So keep that in mind.”
The meeting closed at 8:13 p.m.