Need a study break? Join us this finals week at Up All Night! We’ll be in the Student Center and the Library passing out free doughnuts and orange juice at 12 AM from Sunday Night/Monday Morning to Thursday night of Finals Week.
Declarations of Intent to campaign in the spring elections are due November 20th by 5 PM on AU Involve.
Major/Minor Candidate Info Sessions
Wednesday, Nov. 12 @ 8:00pm
- Major candidates – SC 2216
- Minor candidates – SC 2218
Monday, Nov. 17 @ 8:00pm
- Major candidates – SC 2216
- Minor candidates – SC 2218
Congratulations to the Miss Auburn Top 5 Candidates!
Auburn’s SGA Senate met Monday night to debate a resolution calling for an increase in the number of unisex restrooms available on campus to students and visitors. The bill’s sponsor, Senator India Napier, opened debate on the bill by saying, “A unisex bathroom is pretty much just a restroom that everyone regardless of gender or gender identity can use… We don’t want someone who wants privacy not have it…Unisex restrooms provide full privacy in a large space to small families, disabled persons, and any other individuals seeking such conditions on Auburn University’s campus.”
Currently, there are 178 unisex restrooms on campus. However, according to Senator Jeremy Wiley, the majority of these are for faculty use only and not available to the student body or the general public.
The resolution (if passed) would signal the SGA Senate’s support for expanding the number of unisex restrooms on campus; however, the resolution does not have the power to effect a substantive change on its own. Additionally, Senator Napier clarified that this resolution would only apply to buildings constructed in the future – no modifications are being proposed to currently-standing buildings.
However, there was some opposition to the resolution. Senator Aaron Daniel Hess explained his reservations by saying, “To me this bill seems like a solution in search of a problem. It talks about families and disabled persons. But there are no numbers to support whether this is actually demanded by families and the disabled.” Senator Hess also raised other potential issues with the resolution: “At most places, there are strict building codes, so this may be out of our hands. There is no information on cost and what this would do to tuition.”
Later in the debate, Senator Brandon Honeywell articulated the opposition’s position by saying, “It’s easy to get emotional about this topic. Nobody in this room is saying we don’t care about handicapped people…. The people who have concerns about this resolution do not hold anything against people who would need unisex restrooms. We just believe this is not the right way to address the issue.”
After debate lasting approximately one hour, the Senate voted narrowly (15-14) to table the resolution. A majority of senators wanted more time to investigate a technical question regarding whether unisex bathrooms are already mandated in Auburn’s building codes. The Senate will take back up the resolution next week.
The Senate met Monday night to pass a resolution supporting the alteration of Auburn’s final exam schedule. Despite being the most hotly debated measure in recent weeks, the bill eventually passed unanimously.
Senator Walker Byrd, one of the bill’s sponsors, said, “We feel strongly this is what is best for Auburn. It will improve retention rates, graduation rates, and 4-year graduation rates.”
Senator Byrd went on to say, “There’s a lack of a definitive cut-off for regularly administered tests, and right now teachers use that day to the last second. There will now be a university-wide cut-off for when the last test can be given.” In discussing the benefits of the proposed schedule, he said, “Students will have more time to prepare – I think we can all agree we need more time to prepare.”
The revised final exam schedule endorsed by the Senate would extend the academic calendar by three school days, but would also place three reading or review days (not including weekends) between the last day on which regular tests are allowed and the beginning of finals. Any proposed change to the academic calendar could only take place after 2017, as the academic calendar has already been finalized through that date.
The bill is a resolution affirming the Senate’s support for a change – Auburn University administration holds final authority over the academic calendar. In explaining the process, Senator John LeMaster said, “Here’s what happens: students….will go in front of the calendar committee and say the student voice supports this and we are representing them. This is Auburn University. This is for students. This is our opportunity to make this a student-led drive.”
In other news, the Senate also unanimously passed a measure to temporarily increase Organization Board Funds by $25000. One of the sponsoring senators, Kohl Weir, said, “Through reaching out to our constituents, we saw a great need for greater funding to these different organizations and we felt this money could be spent wisely.”
Finally, Senator India Napier introduced a resolution to call for more unisex bathrooms on campus. “There are not unisex restrooms in Haley, Lowder, or Parker, areas heavily trafficked by visitors and the student body. There is not an updated interactive campus map that reflects all restroom facilities on Auburn University’s campus.” The bill will be opened for debate next week.
Auburn’s SGA Senate met on Monday night to pass significant new legislation and introduce future bills to be considered next week.
The primary piece of legislation passed this week was a resolution endorsing the creation of diversity learning communities on campus. Senator Dillon Nettles explained he sponsored the legislation in order to recognize student interests in increased diversity and also to promote administration goals of enhanced diversity on campus. “This was birthed out of student interests… But more importantly, it promotes Auburn’s diversity initiatives. I wanted to bring this bill to the floor…because I felt diversity is an important aspect of the collegiate experience.” When asked about his long-term hopes for the bill, Senator Nettles said he anticipates “the student body will become more aware of these issues…and they’ll see that Auburn can progress beyond where we’ve been.”
Also, Senators Walker Byrd and Caroline Beauchaine introduced a proposal to endorse a modification of the final exam schedule. Senator Byrd said, “This marathon test week we have now is a struggle and doesn’t benefit our grades…Sixty percent of students believe the current model significantly affects their preparedness for finals. In contrast, ninety percent believe that a modification in the current structure would benefit their grades.” The proposed modification would make Monday through Wednesday of the current finals week into review or reading days. Final exams would begin on Thursday and Friday (of the current finals week) and conclude on the following Monday through Wednesday. In total, the proposal would extend the semester by three school days, but students would also gain three additional days for reading or review before finals (not including weekend days). Auburn’s academic calendar has already been finalized through 2017, so any proposed changes would occur after that date. Debate will begin on the proposal next week.
Finally, the Senate also passed a resolution recognizing Auburn’s listing as a Green Campus by the Princeton Review and a bill finalizing SGA election dates for the upcoming year.
The SGA Senate on Monday night opened its meeting by passing a bill officially welcoming freshmen senators to the senate body. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Brandon Honeywell, said, “We’re glad to have our freshmen senators. This bill is to acknowledge them…” The freshmen senators will attend senate meetings for the rest of the school year and serve as representatives of their freshman class. The bill was the only new legislation passed by the Senate on Monday night.
However, several new bills were introduced. Senator Dillon Nettles proposed a bill to be debated next week concerning the creation of diversity learning communities. Describing the proposed diversity learning communities, Senator Nettles said, “They’re groups of twenty-five students in freshman class… A Diversity Learning Community will provide first-year students interested in matters of culture, religion, gender, race, and inclusion an opportunity to better facilitate discussion and pursue coursework alongside peers with similar interests.”
Along with Senator Nettles’ proposed bill, the Senate has a broad range of new legislation to consider at next Monday night’s Senate meeting. Proposed legislation includes a measure to set the calendar for next year’s SGA elections, a bill to change how Senators’ absences are evaluated, and a resolution recognizing Auburn University’s placement in the Princeton Review’s list of Green Colleges.
At the most recent meeting of the Senate, there were a number of administrative bills passed. First, the Senate unanimously passed revisions to the College of Business school constitution. One of the sponsoring Senators, Abby Lemons, said, “This is our constitution that our school’s council…worked hard on to update…” The measure passed without further discussion.
The Senate also unanimously passed a bill introduced by Senator Patrick Michael to reflect an adjustment to the salary of the Black Student Union administrator. “This…is just reflecting the accurate salary in our budget allocation. It’s primarily just to make sure our numbers are reconciled,” Senator Michael said.
Finally, the Senate welcomed new freshman senators on Monday night. Vice President Olabode Anise welcomed the new members to the body, saying, “We are pleased to have the freshman senators…” Although they have no official vote in Senate proceedings, freshmen senators act as representatives of their freshman class and attend all Senate meetings.
Auburn University’s Student Government Association hosted Hey Day, a long-standing tradition designed to promote unity and a spirit of friendship around campus. Students were encouraged to come to the Green Space, grab a name tag and say “hey” in every way!
Volunteers were set up around campus and on the Green Space handing out name tags and greeting students throughout the day. Food and entertainment were available to students, including appearances from Aubie, the Cheerleaders, Tiger Paws, AU Cappella, AU Rhythm and Zoe, a baby tiger cub. This year’s theme, Saying “Hey” In Every Way, emphasized the diversity of Auburn students, as well as the many ways students can greet one another. Students were encouraged to branch out, mingle and meet other students from different backgrounds.
This year’s Hey Day continues a long-standing tradition dating back to World War II. Hey Day was originally created to raise the spirit of Auburn’s campus and to promote unity among students. SGA was proud to continue this cherished Auburn tradition. We would like to thank all the students who joined us this year in saying “hey” in every way!
Congratulations to all of our new Freshman Forum members!