Former Student Body Treasurer Kate Turner stepped down from her position ahead of the student senate session. Current secretary of finance Laney Quickel has been nominated by Student Body President Alex Harrell as Turner's replacement.
Turner is the last student body treasurer to be elected by students to the position; henceforth, the position will be appointed by the student body president.
Following Harrell's nomination, Quickel will be interviewed by chairman John Hladun, chairman Nytavious Bennett and chairman Dylan Peddemors. Quickel must be deemed favorable by these chairmen and confirmed by the student senate in order to become student body treasurer, Hladun said.
Dr. Jason Stacy, interim vice president of health and well-being, and Rebecca Caldwell, assistant vice president of health and well-being, attended the session to speak about mental health services on campus.
"We are experiencing some of our largest requests for mental health support, and we've been working as a campus community and as a culture to really try to minimize the stigma about reaching out for mental health support," Caldwell said. "But I also think maybe we have fallen a little short on helping people understand there's lots of ways to get help."
Dr. Stacy pointed to the mental health hub on the USC website as a tool for students, faculty and staff to navigate the different options for mental health assistance.
In response to the presentation, chairman Anna Kelley asked, "Would you (Dr. Stacy and Caldwell) say that USC's mental health services are designed for long-term care, or would you say that it's more of a bridge to other services outside of the university?"
Caldwell said USC's mental health services are designed to address traditional collegiate concerns with short-term care models.
A recommendation to institute two mental health days into the academic calendar for the 2022-2023 school year and beyond was introduced by student senators Cameron Eubanks, Taylor Harris, Anna Kelley and Noah Glasgow.
Eubanks and Harris also proposed a recommendation to require departments to use major maps when advising students.
"Currently, we have 30 ... University Advising Center (UAC) undergraduate academic advisers here at the University of South Carolina, all of which are trained and hired directly for advising," Eubanks said. "We also have 366 faculty advisers ... who are not required to undergo any type of training, advising training, that the UAC advisers are required to undertake."
Eubanks said that this imbalance of advisers leads to possible mismanagement of students' degrees.
"This (legislation) is a first step into trying to solve the advising crisis that we have on this campus," Eubanks said.
The recommendation passed unanimously.
Glasgow proposed a bill to establish a secretary of disability services position. The bill was tabled last week and faced questioning.
"The secretary of disability services can work on communicating with the facilities, services that need to implement range in every building," Glasgow said. "A secretary can be working with the university human resource department to implement ableist language training modules for faculty, so we can avoid ableism in the classroom and in the syllabi. The secretary can program social events and panel discussions so as to create safe spaces and support groups for disabled communities on campus, and so much more."
Following the period for questions about the bill, the student senate entered into a period of debate about the passage of the bill.
The bill passed with a vote of 23 to 17.