GA Report

Illustration by Joaquin Kunkel

The General Assembly Report

Discover what was discussed in last week's General Assembly.

Oct 1, 2016

The General Assembly on Sept. 25 centered on committee dissolution and the Student Government budget. A second iteration of Keeping up with Kelly was conducted and there was discussion concerning a new Board of Appeals position. During the new business section, there were updates on the emergency doors, the new air hockey machine and garbage separation.
Student Government Treasurer Cyril Cuda gave an overview of the 2016-17 Student Government budget. This year’s budget is around 460,000 AED for some 1000 students. This is a decrease in the Student Government budget as Student Government was allocated less money by the university while serving more students.
tentative allocation
Courtesy of Cyril Cuda and Student Government
The budget reduction was due to many Student Interest Groups under-spending their allocated budgets in the last academic year and comes after years of funding increases for Student Government. Of the 312,003 AED requested by 54 SIGs for the Fall semester, 129,311 AED, approximately 41 percent of the annual SIG budget allocation, was approved.
requested budget x approved budgets
Courtesy of Cyril Cuda and Student Government
This year, Student Government also upgraded their budget allocation system using OrgSync, allowing them to dynamically reallocate resources throughout the semester if needed.
Cuda is currently working on building a bank of data from previous Student Governments to better predict budget allocations for SIGs in the coming years, centralizing historical budget data in an accessible and analyzable format.
Following Cuda's presentation, Vice-President Maitha Al-Memari motioned to present the dissolution of several Student Government Committees. According to Al-Memari, committees were being dissolved due to extended period of inactivity. This motion was approved by two thirds of the General Assembly — a constitutional requirement — and the following committees were dissolved:
Interfaith Committee Representative Committee for Academic Divisions Rules and Procedures Committee Student Life Advisory Committee Bookstore Advisory Committee ARC Advisory Committee Art and Exhibitions Advisory Committee
During Keeping up with Kelly, Junior Representative Kelly Murphy continued with her drive to revise the constitution. This week she proposed to create a de jure Student Activities Officer after a de facto position had existed and was voted upon for years. The amendment will go to the General Assembly floor next week. Last week’s motion to amend the BoA was not voted upon or discussed.
In the last structured segment, the BoA proposed to add a clerk to its group of three. This proposal is due to their heavy workload and the disruption caused by members leaving. Further discussion of the position is expected after the writing of the rules and procedures documents of the BoA is completed.
Several committees informed the GA of their work during new business at the end of the meeting. The Campus Life Policy Committee updated the Assembly on their meeting with the Office of Residential Education and Public Safety. According to its committee members, sophomore Nela Noll and junior Max Eckert, administration has decided that the current emergency doors policy specifically for student dorms will remain in place.
If any student violates these new security measures and uses the emergency doors outside the 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. period, the office will change the policy and set alarms 24/7. Repeated violation by individuals will result in punishment, but the exact level of punishment is still to be determined.
The Sustainability Committee checked with the university on how to separate garbage among cans, plastic, paper and general waste categories. The committee explained that pizza boxes and Tetra Paks such as milk containers are classified as paper, while plastic Starbucks cups, tissues and paper towels are general waste. The committee also urged students to rinse any liquid and food from containers before dispensing and to wrap broken glass in paper before throwing it away.
Senior Belmin Mostic claimed that the Convenience Store is no longer able to deliver large water containers to student dorms because of Public Safety, and suggested that the new policy should be amended. Junior Max Eckert also proposed to keep the air hockey table at the Baraha pay for play, and to donate the money to charity. This proposal received mixed responses. Currently, the Office of Student Life is working to make the game free.
Ken Iiyoshi is a contributing writer. Email him at
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