The Daily Gamecock

Student senate introduces 1 new piece of legislation, outlines remaining goals before spring elections

USC's student senate introduced one new piece of legislation at its first weekly meeting of the spring 2024 semester on Wednesday.

The legislation introduced, SBL11546, is a bill to hold committees accountable to nominees.

The proposed bill was drafted to ensure that once a nomination is introduced to the senate, "there is a 48-hour time period that the committee chair or committee must reach out to the nominee for an invitation to come and interview, or have a hearing with them."

Senator Samuel Bryant, who wrote and introduced the bill at the request of Student Body President Emmie Thompson, said that nominees should be able to come, have their due process and get where they need to go in terms of their jobs.

"I just think it's important. The president and I want to ensure that we're being accountable to everyone across the government and just being transparent with people. And that accountability goes both ways. We want to make sure that we're doing our due diligence to get people to their jobs," Bryant said.

Senator Tyler Morgan said that Bryant's bill "absolutely" needs to be passed.

"Actions (such as not addressing nominees quickly) have consequences, and what's the point of putting something in the codes if there's no consequence for it?" Morgan said. 

Bryant said he hopes that the Student Government will continue to pass reliable legislation that serves students in productive ways.

"I just want to make sure all the codes are structured the way that they should be, and to make sure that we are running an efficient, transparent and accountable government that will continue for generations to come so we can be the best government we can be," Bryant said.

There is a limited amount of time for legislation to get passed under the 115th student senate, as Student Government has under two months left before the next election season begins. Students of different positions have various goals to accomplish before the end of the term.

Senator Ian Herd said that the current Student Government will look to pave a way for the next cycle of student leaders.

"We're hoping to make sure that the election rules are clear and concise, and to make the election process fair for our next generation of student leaders," Herd said. "What's most important to us now is making sure that we're handing off the torch in a responsible way so that the next senators, the next student body president can pick up where we've given them a strong foundation."

Speaker of the student senate Cameron Eubanks said that the Student Government is still working on many significant projects.  One of these projects includes a financial reform package, which will be presented on Jan. 31.

"Senators and myself and execs have been working on a way to make sure our financial process, in terms of allocating to student orgs, is equitable and concise. And so we've got a lot of big changes in terms of that, and we're super excited to present that on the 31," Eubanks said.

Student Government was expected to run out of funds in December, but Student Body Treasurer Hannah Augsbach-Lamma said that $10,000 to $15,000 will be back in the student activity budget as early as Friday.

"My staff is working on a list of alternative resources to get funding other than just Student Government,"Augsbach-Lamma said. "If you know of anything within your particular school or anything like that that may be in the university, please feel free to reach out to me. I just want to get an extensive list to give to student orgs, because obviously it gets tight this time of year when the majority of the funding is coming from us."

Eubanks said he hopes to see various other projects completed, including legislation for expanding the campus activity fee to offer more money to student organizations, making sure that classes disclose information about expensive lab fees before registration and working with different inclusion and equity organizations on campus to make sure that every process and service on campus is inclusive.

"We should see a lot of positive change for the student experience and for the student body before the end of February," Eubanks said.