Despite the race against time nearing the end of the semester, Monday night’s TSG senate meeting, the last of the semester, ended the year by passing a number of anticipated bills.
The Jeff Dempsey Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency in Government Act of 2010, a second-read legislation, was the first order of business.
This bill, introduced by Senate President Colin Saltry and Senator for the College of Liberal Arts Kevin Gerard, aims to remodel the organization and require its workings be put in “plain English” for students.
The bill, named after former Senate President Jeff Dempsey, who resigned at the end of last semester, includes other changes to the organization such as requiring senators to maintain two office hours every week and requiring 30 non-TSG student signatures in support of a bill before it can enter first-read legislation.
The bill, among other things, calls for the organization’s support of sustainability — not to be confused with the current push for the green fee — through paper reduction, recycling and other efforts.
The bill passed after a 35-minute debate, during which some argued to change the title and others disputed the office hours rule.
Perhaps one of the biggest student issues of the year, the demand for gender-neutral bathrooms on campus, which has mustered much support over the past few months, was given much attention during the meeting.
Bill S10-11, introduced by Malcolm Kenyatta and Maggie Thompson, senators for the School of Communications and Theater the Fox School of Business, respectively, demonstrates TSG’s official support for this cause.
Senate members discussed the campus’ current gender-neutral bathrooms and the growing support for them.
Student body President Kylie Patterson stated that some plans for future buildings that
she has seen, including the new residence hall, have incorporated gender-neutral bathrooms.
After a short debate and some clarifying details, the senate passed the bill.
Ash Yezuita, president of LGBTQA organization Purple Circle, said this is the start to a gradual, but quickly approaching, process.
“I think it’s great that TSG heard what was going on and did something about it … students raised this issue and brought it to the administration and to [TSG],” Yezuita said.
Another LGBTQA-friendly bill, S10-12, pushes for LGBTQA classes to fulfill the Race and Diversity requirement under the General Education program.
This bill, also introduced by Kenyatta, was passed by the senate as well.
Other bills discussed and passed include S10-10 and U10-8.
S10-10, a bill introduced by Jeffrey Torchon, senator of Boyer College of Music and Dance, states the organization’s support of Temple’s Adjunct Faculty.
Bill U10-8, introduced by Senator for School of Communications and Theater Dusha Holmes, encourages the university to request that cafeteria foods that contain genetically modified organisms, the topic of an ongoing controversial health issue, be labeled accordingly.
As the meeting was forced to an end a few minutes after 6 p.m., the senators hastily and verbally re-elected an unchallenged Saltry as next year’s senate president.
“It feels good being elected and not taking someone’s place,” said Saltry, who assumed the office after Dempsey resigned. “We’re going to try to do a culture change. New people, new blood.”
Saltry added that he looks forward to working with next year’s executive office ticket BreakThru TU.
This being the last senate meeting of the year, the next point of interest on the TSG to-do-list is next Monday’s 4 p.m. state of the campus address, during which BreakThru TU and the senate will be inaugurated. President Ann Weaver Hart will be in attendance.
Angelo Fichera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.