The Daily Gamecock

Student senate passes 4 pieces of legislation, confirms 2 new senators

USC's student senate passed four pieces of legislation and confirmed two new senators in its last meeting of the semester.

The new pieces of legislation included a recommendation to fix the Wi-Fi on campus, a bill to permit the senate finance committee to allocate funds to student organizations and a bill to both clarify the financial codes and make them more equitable. 

Senate finance committee Patrick Koon introduced a code change for the finance committee that will go into effect beginning next year. One of the changes is that student organizations will only be able to request up to 5% of the entirety of the student activity fund each year because the Student Government budget is running out of funds. A period of debate followed the introduction of this bill to the senate floor. 

"I think it provides an equitable experience for all clubs on this campus," Koon said. "I know with our current budget that we have, as well as the current rules surrounding it, I thought that 5% cap would be a great way to make it more equitable for all clubs on campus to have the possibility to request funding."

Senator Camden Kaye, who motioned for a period of debate, said he has mixed feelings about the bill.

"This bill is more of a Band-Aid to fix immediate problems, and we're planning on doing massive restructuring. I'm really opposed to a 5% cap," Kaye said. "Limiting people for basically any reason is problematic, and there's just some language in it that I think is very detrimental to the body. I think it won't do what it's intended to do. That being said, there's a lot in the bill that I do like."

The bill was unanimously passed by a voice vote.

Another piece of legislation, SBL11544, allowed the finance committee to allocate $3,306.08 to three student organizations and passed unanimously by acclamation

Student Body Treasurer Hannah Augsbach-Lamma said that although the finance committee has allocated all of the student activity fund, student government will retrieve unused money to re-allocate to student organizations during the spring semester.

"Over winter break, the internal finance and faculty side is going to go through and reconcile a lot of the funds that we've allocated to bring back any of the money that hadn't been fully used," Augsbach-Lamma said. "Basically, what that means is that there are some orgs who requested an amount but didn't end up using all of it, so that money will be put back into the pot towards students to pull from."

On request from Student Body President Emmie Thompson's office, Senator Maura Hamilton also introduced SBL 11543, a joint recommendation by the Residence Hall Association and student senate to receive funding from USC to improve Wi-Fi infrastructure on campus.

"We would like to have this legislation ready so that, when President Thompson goes to the board of trustees next week, she can show them this paper and say, 'Look, the students have advocated and asked that we get some more money to work on our Wi-Fi infrastructure,'" Hamilton said. 

The senate also confirmed two new senators to its body — first-year management student Natalia Byer and first-year international business and finance student Joshua Wahl. 

Byer said she is excited to improve her leadership and communication skills while being a part of the student life and diversity and inclusion committees.

Wahl said he wants to join the finance and student life committees.

"I have a couple friends that talked about (Student Government), and it just seems like a really fun way to get involved and see change throughout your college," Wahl said. 

Student senate meetings will resume on Jan. 10, 2024, in the Russell House Theatre at 5:30 p.m. All students are welcome to observe these meetings.


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