USC's student senate passed four pieces of legislation and confirmed two new elected officials at its weekly meeting on Wednesday.
The four pieces of legislation passed were a recommendation to permit the senate finance committee to allocate funds to student organizations, a bill to amend chapter three of the codes to promote equitability and clarity in fund distributions to student entities and a bill to reform the duties of the comptrollers.
The fourth piece of legislation merged two bills into one through an omnibus vote, meaning when the separate pieces of legislation came up for a vote, senators voted on them together as one. These pieces of legislation, both introduced by Senator Mia LaPinta, were recommendations to clarify the utilization of "lab fees" in courses with additional fees as well as ensure students are informed about any additional fees during the registration process that may be associated with a course.
The first piece of the omnibus, SBL11549, was about specifying what those miscellaneous lab fees are used for, LaPinta said.
"I know a lot of us have math lab fees and language lab fees, but we're not really sure what they're going toward because a lot of the programs we either have to pay for already or are free to the university," LaPinta said.
The second piece of the omnibus, SBL11552, was to add a section to the course information tabs when registering for classes that serve as fee indicators.
"There are some students who are living on a semester-to-semester basis and cannot afford to pay for required fees at the time that the class is required," LaPinta said.
The two pieces of legislation passed as one by a unanimous voice vote.
Another piece of legislation, SBL11556, was a recommendation to permit the senate finance committee to allocate funds to student organizations, which allowed the finance committee to allocate $6,666.45 to the Association of African American Students (AAAS). The legislation passed by acclamation after a voice vote.
Additionally, SBL11553, introduced by senators Camden Kaye and Jacob Vaught, was a bill to amend chapter three of the codes to promote equitability and clarity in fund distributions to student entities.
"It really allows more equitable distribution of funds to all the students and allows us to give funds throughout the whole year without having to worry about running out of funds," Vaught said. "(It) allow(s) us to manage our funds more equitably and more fairly balance our checkbook like every other person can do."
The bill passed by acclamation after a voice vote.
The other bill, SBL11554, also introduced by Kaye and Vaught, was a bill to reform the duties of the comptrollers. When organizations request funding, comptrollers guide them on necessary procedures, documentation and, if the request surpasses a set limit, assist in preparing for a hearing. They also help organizations in cases where funds were not spent as intended, reporting such instances to the treasurer's office.
"(The legislation) was something that we were asked by the comptrollers themselves to reform, mostly because as — and we also changed some pieces of the legislation based off of what we had changed in it. As procedures change, processes changed and as language gets changed, and it's just natural that we adopt other pieces," Kaye said.
The bill passed by acclamation after a unanimous voice vote.
An additional piece of legislation included a recommendation to name the press box at Founders Park "The Tommy Moody Press Box."
Senator Chandler Caulder, who introduced the recommendation, said that Moody was the voice of Gamecock baseball team from 2000 to 2023. Moody passed away in September.
Two new cabinet members were also sworn in at the meeting. Chairman Samuel Bryant resigned from the position of student speaker so he could occupy the office of associate justice. Corri Dunn was also sworn in as an associate justice.
The executive candidate debate is scheduled for next Wednesday after the senate meeting, taking place in the Russell House Theatre. The election results will be announced on Greene Street the following Wednesday.