Temple Student Government’s senate passed a slue of bills at their meeting on Monday. The topics ranged from mandatory office hours for senators to allocations to amending general education requirements.
Conflicts arose as the senators debated between two bills the Government Operations committee proposed. The bills dealt with whether senators should have mandatory office hours or if instead there should be mandatory public relation hours required per month. The majority of the senators expressed their aversion to office hours because they felt that it would actually hinder their ability to reach the students.
“We have to reach out as opposed to making them come to us,” said Alex Barnett, Fox Business School senator. “It’s up to us to make the first move.”
Most senators preferred the fourth senate bill, which stated that the senators were responsible to complete four hours of PR work a month. Some senators still had issues with making any amount of time mandatory. They also debated the idea of having the sergeant at arms Lauren Griffith check up on them to make sure they were completing their office hours or their PR work.
Kym Bays, senator for the School of Communications and Theater, expressed her distaste for having Griffith check up on them. She said the time wasted on checking up on people could be spent on “projects that actually mattered.”
Kylie Patterson disagreed on this point because she said the actual recording of the time spent dedicated to students “creates a sense of credibility.”
After much discussion and calls to limit said discussion, the Senate passed bill four without any amendments. The senators are responsible for holding at least four hours of PR work within their school/college each month. They must hand in a PR form stating the time and place of their event to Griffith a week before the event.
The senate continued their meeting by quickly passing two more bills. The first dealt with the duties of the senate clerk, Emily Daniels, while the second outlined the duties of the new Student Life committee.
The Student Life committee, formally known as the Internal Topics committee, is “responsible for, but not limited to, investigation and legislation concerning the well being and involvement of students, residential life, community affairs, multiculturalism, and the arts.” This differs from the University Affairs committee that deals with academics, facilities, sustainability, finances, and admissions.
Conflict appeared again as the senators passed 41 allocation bills. The senators were unable to look over the bills before the meeting and therefore had to approve them blindly.
Eventually all 41 bills were approved, but some audience members did feel discomfort over this process. In previous years, each bill would be debated at the meetings, but now most of the debate is done during the Allocations committee meetings, which are open to any student to attend.
“The Senate is about bigger things. It’s not just allocations anymore,” said Jeff Dempsey, TSG Senate President.
The final proposed bill dealt with the race and diversity Gen. Ed. requirement. The student organizations Common Ground and F.M.L.A wrote the bill and it was sponsored by Dempsey. The bill calls for the race and diversity classes to be split into three subsections: race, socio-economic status, and gender/L.G.B.T rights. Incoming students will be required to take one class from any two of these subsections. The bill was sent to the University Affairs committee where it will be worked on.
Despite the struggles of the meeting, Dempsey had a positive outlook.
“There were some things I didn’t like about the meeting and some things I did like. I think this meeting really showed growth,” Dempsey said. “There was a lot of growth in the right direction.”
Rebecca Hale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.