USG Brief

Joseph Digby, Staff Reporter

Case Western Reserve University’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) began its weekly general assembly meeting with an announcement regarding a Case Crew Club-sponsored fundraiser to benefit Relay For Life. USG was asked to help with the event; the representatives will operate a stand providing Gatorade and other snacks to participants.

The Student Sustainability Council addressed the assembly to discuss the Recyclemania event and recycling at CWRU in general. Currently, CWRU consumes considerable energy and produces enough waste to account for 20,000 U.S. households. In 2008, it cost the university nearly $50,000. On a positive note, CWRU gains around $15,000 yearly in revenue from companies who buy some of the school’s recycled materials. Recyclemania, a nationwide collegiate sustainability competition, will take place from Feb. 5 to March 31.

One new member was elected to USG: Nicole Cornelius, who joined the Francis Payne Bolton School of Nursing Caucus. She and five other representatives enjoyed a formal swearing-in presided over by USG president Divya Aggarwal.

Aggarwal announced in her Executive Committee report that the Student Life Improvement Grant (SLIG) application will be online effective Wednesday, Feb. 8. Students and faculty who would like to request funding for projects that improve student life may do so on CollegiateLink. Those with a vision for change in the undergraduate experience are encouraged to apply for funding.

Vice president Jesal Shah of the Finance Committee reminded the GA that any disbursements that were denied last semester could be re-submitted for evaluation by her committee. However, they must be filed before the end of February.

Treasurers Ellen Schloff and Colin Williams reminded students who need to file a disbursement form to remember to fill out the form on CollegiateLink, print it out, and drop it off in the USG Office.

In the legislative part of the GA meeting, two bills were passed. One gave official USG recognition to the Case Lunabotics Club and the Case Graphic Novels Club. The second bill approved $4,848.79 in rolling funding to student organizations.

Resolution R. 21-06, entitled, “A Resolution to Support an Open Letter Defending Freedom of Expression on Campuses,” was debated and then tabled for further discussion for the second straight week.

The letter addresses the actions of police who used aggressive means to move students from areas on the University of California Berkeley and Davis campuses, and calls for universities across the U.S. to engage in discussions with students and faculty to design and review fair, transparent policies regarding freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.

The sensitive nature of this letter provoked a serious discussion and considerable feedback from students. Main points of contention concerned the culpability of the U.C. students, and whether the letter would serve to encourage progress or to simply stir up more controversy.