Auburn’s SGA Senate met this week, passing several bills in the final meeting of the semester.
At the beginning of the meeting, Senator Betsy Jackson sponsored a bill to allocate additional funding to IMPACT, a student volunteer organization. The current system of recording volunteer hours is tedious and prone to human error, according to Senator Jackson. However, “V3 Media Group has created a program…that will better serve them. It would organize Banner IDs, volunteers’ names, and project coordinators’ information. It makes recording hours more accurate. Everything is online so you can easily verify hours for classes. This application will allow less time to be spent on paperwork and more time to be spent volunteering in the community,” Senator Jackson said. The bill passed by unanimous vote.
After approving that bill, the Senate heard a request for funds for The Plainsman, Auburn’s student newspaper. According to Senator Justin Mathews, “They have never requested money from the Activity Fund. They’ve been completely self-sufficient all these years. This year for the first time, their budget was cut by $100,000 (from $350,000 to $250,000).” Senator Mathews went on to say that while the newspaper generally dealt well with the budget cuts, it was unable to retain an editorial advisor to guide the paper through legal issues. The proposed bill, which was swiftly approved by the Senate, proposed to allocate sufficient funds to The Plainsmen to retain an editorial advisor.
In the final significant piece of business for the semester, the Senate passed a resolution supporting the College of Engineering’s reducing its Core Curriculum requirements by six credit hours. All majors in the college exceed 123 required credit hours, with many surpassing 130 required credit hours. The extra length of an engineering major is causing some students financial hardship, explained Senator Lucas Tribble, who represents the College of Engineering: “A lot of students only come to Auburn University because they can afford it… we [may] have to take an extra semester [of classes] that we were not expecting to take and may not be able to afford. It is important.” After protracted debate, the Senate did pass the resolution, although not without dissent.
With that, the Senate’s work as a legislative body was finished for this school year. The Senate will next meet in August, at the beginning of the semester.