The General Assembly (GA) of Case Western Reserve University’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) met in the Toefper Room of Adelbert Hall on the evening of Feb. 14. Keeping with the spirit of Valentine’s Day, each representative received a few treats. They also participated in an activity in which they were given half of a paper heart and had to find and sit with the owner of the other half.
Former speaker of the assembly Anthony Radencic had stepped down for the semester, so president Divya Aggarwal assumed his duties for the GA. The first order of business involved elections. Two new representatives joined the College of Arts and Sciences caucus; JinJoo Ha and Anna Cunningham. Moriah Watts joined the Francis Payne Bolton School of Nursing caucus. Finally, parliamentarian Matthew McKee was elected as the new speaker of the assembly. However, he performed his parliamentarian duties for the duration of the meeting.
The GA then moved into discussion of Resolution R. 21-16, A Resolution to Support an Open Letter Defending Freedom of Expression on Campuses, which had been previously tabled. The resolution references freedom of speech and expression and the student protest incidents at the University of California Berkeley and Davis. It further endorses a letter, sent by Northwestern University, which calls for transparency from the nation’s colleges on how they deal with student protest and freedom of assembly.
The GA found that there was too much dissent among students that they spoke to, and within the GA itself, so the resolution was not passed. Main talking points included the actions of the student protesters, the general spirit of the letter, and language in the letter that did not reflect the campus of CWRU in its entirety of opinion.
In Committee reports, president Aggarwal of the Executive Committee reported that a press release for the Student Life Improvement Grant would be sent out to CWRU undergraduates after the GA. The release will publicize the grant program and the status of student group funding.
President James Hale of the Student Life Committee said that his committee is continuing to address complaints about smoking on campus. He was pleased with the feedback his committee received – 726 responses – from a survey on the issue.
The GA also decided to implement its plan to start meeting every other week. During the weeks when GA does not meet, the committees will meet instead. They will continue to do so in the Toepfer Room, which would allow the GA to meet in the case of pressing business. The Executive Committee will decide whether next week’s meeting will be for committees or GA.