USG 12th session recap: five pieces of legislation pass

Undergraduate Student Government senators introduced and voted on multiple pieces of significant legislation and discussed potential campus policy changes during its 12th senate session at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Kendall Cram Lecture Hall in the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life.

Office of Student Conduct Director Vanessa Rodriguez spoke at the beginning of the session about a proposed revision to the student conduct code which, if approved, would be implemented for the fall 2017 semester. One notable change that the revised code proposes is the introduction of an educational conference for students seeking guidance or for the resolution of behavioral concerns. The educational conference concept would mean that students facing sanctions for behavioral violations could resolve the violation without further conduct action.

The revised code also proposes that a full-time investigator be responsible for final determinations regarding sanctions for students or organizations that face sanctions. This single-person adjudicator would be a change from the current process which involves a student or organization facing sanctions to appear before a hearing board.

USG members voted to pass a resolution for transportation to off-campus medical appointments. The resolution was authored by School of Public Health senator Caroline Scott and has been promoted by the student-led TU and FROM campaign. It moves to collaborate with the university to provide transportation to students who are referred to or who choose to go to off-campus health care providers.

Legislation was also passed to change the Awards and Elections Committee bylaws to clarify voting and vote-counting procedure for USG. The law, co-authored by USG President Autumn Gibbons and 11 other USG members, states that only the USG advisor will have access to real-time election results prior to AEC certification and will release the percentages of total votes and the exact number of votes cast following the election. According to the legislation, results of elections will become final when they are posted on the USG door, social media and The Hullabaloo. 

A resolution to create an outdoor classroom, co-authored by A.B. Freeman School of Business Senator Rebecca Evans and Vice President for Academic Affairs Chesley McCarty, was introduced and passed at the meeting. The resolution calls for an outdoor classroom to be implemented between Tilton Memorial Hall and Norman Mayer Building and has support from the Office of the Architect and the University Planning Office.

Director of Student Safety Michelle Story and School of Public Health Senator Caroline Scott co-authored a resolution to re-evaluate emergency mass notifications based on concerns following the severe weather on Feb. 7. The resolution passed at the meeting and calls upon the Office of the Provost to use more direct language in emergency messages regarding the suspension of classes. Additionally, it recommends that Housing and Residence Life educate resident advisors and students on appropriate responses to emergency weather, and for Emergency Preparedness and Response to train faculty.

A finance recommendation was introduced and passed which grants Tulane Debate $1,117 for transportation purposes and WTUL New Orleans $22,990 for equipment.

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