USGA Gets Pushback on Proposed Changes

USGA Gets Pushback on Proposed Changes

Everett Bishop, Contributing Writer

A new proposal brought forward to the university’s Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) has the potential of creating an entirely new position within the student government. If the proposal is passed, USGA’s constitution will recognize the Vice President of Programming and Campus Relations, as a new and legitimate position within the student government.

The changes were announced in a USGA meeting on Friday (Oct. 6), allowing time for students in attendance to voice their opinions in an open discussion.

“[The] Vice President of Programming and Campus Relations shall be responsible for…planning events to promote the Undergraduate Student Government Association as a mean’s to familiarize the student body with USGA’s mission,” states a revised proposal of USGA’s constitution. “In doing so, the Vice President of Programming and Campus Relations shall aim to maintain positive student relations and increase participation in student activities.”

The Vice President of Programming and Campus Relations will act as USGA’s “point of contact” in large scale university events such as Welcome Week, Family Day, Homecoming, and Midnight Madness. They will also be expected to collaborate with student inclusivity organizations on campus such as the Title IX Office, the Myatt Center for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Accessibility Resource Center.

However, this proposed new position has been met with backlash from senators in USGA.

“I personally do not feel that this is a necessary change for USGA,” said Senator Katie Herzberg. “As a senator, it is our jobs to represent the student body and voice their concerns, but also voice concerns to us.”

Jordan Green, a USGA senator, expressed that she could see the need for this position, but not at this time.

“I personally feel that if they changed some of the parameters of the position, making it more focused on working on the climate of our campus it would be much better,” said Green. “As the chair of the inclusions committee currently, I can see the need for this. But right now, the focus should be on building what we have.”

Not only do senators feel that this is an inappropriate time to implement such a change, but they also believe that this change may even conflict with committees already set up within USGA.

“Currently, I think that the position may step on the toes of a couple of committees, as there has not been enough time to let them function and see what they can do,” said Green. “As I said, the position may be necessary as the university grows, but now it is not entirely needed.”

“Planning events and working on diversity is why we have committees within USGA,” said Herzberg. “We have a Diversity and Inclusion committee, but also Student Affairs and subcommittees such as Charger Spirit that plans and executes events.”

The proposed Vice President of Programming and Campus Relations will receive a stipend equal to that of 35 percent of their tuition. This is the amount the Vice President of Operations also currently receives.

Voting for the new proposal will be happening soon and USGA wants to remind every undergraduate student they do have a say.

“If anyone is very against it, they should express their feelings or discomfort with the position,” said Green. “I would even go as far as to…tell people to reach out to me (as well as any senators) if there is something they would like to see come from the proposed change, whether it’s a new position, or just a change in our current committee structure to strengthen our USGA.”

The USGA executive board declined to comment on Monday.