Three American Sign Language (ASL) related bills were passed in the student senate at its meeting on Feb. 2nd.
The bills recommended ASL fulfill the Carolina Core foreign language requirement and recommend the university hire permanent faculty for ASL classes. The bills also recommended the official terminology be changed from foreign language to global language.
Kristen Carney brought the ASL question to the senate for consideration. She said her advisor told her that while ASL is accepted as an admission requirement and the university offers two course levels, it does not fulfill the foreign language requirement.
“I've spoken to a lot of people and I've spoken to the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind; they said that they don't like how University South Carolina does not acknowledge American Sign Language as a true language as it is, which I completely agree with,” Carney, a second-year public health student, said.
A bill to amend the grounds for impeachment to include student conduct violations was amended to require senators to report any violations to the Student Government Advisor. According to the amendment, these violations would have to be reported, “within 10 university days."
The amendment also recommended senators consent to routine conduct checks and that any senator found to have a violation could be asked to resign by the advisor.
The bill was tabled indefinitely due to senators’ concerns that there is no proposed course of action if a senator is asked to resign and then refuses to do so.
Another concern was issues of privacy around sharing conduct violations with the student senate in case of an impeachment hearing.
“I personally think that it is inappropriate to ask students to forfeit their right to privacy for an entire year to serve in a service-oriented organization,” student senator and second-year political science student Maeve Smith said.
Student senator and bill sponsor Noah Glasgow said he thinks the bill promotes accountability.
“I don't think we should wait for somebody to get hurt or some ethics to be bent or some shady situations to come about for us to find and react. This is about being proactive,” Glasgow, second-year international studies and African American studies student, said.
Another bill introduced was a recommendation to permanently make standardized testing scores optional for admissions.
Co-sponsor of the bill Jada Hudson, a second-year honors college political science and philosophy student, said she was discouraged from applying for the honors college due to her test scores.
“When I was applying to college, I took the SAT a lot because I wasn't good at it,” Hudson said. “I wanted to apply, but the portal didn’t open for me — my SAT score wasn't good enough. And then when I sent in the email to say, 'hey, can I apply to this?' They said sure, but you're not likely to get in.”
The bill was passed on to the senate academics committee.