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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

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USG Brief

At the General Assembly meeting on Tuesday, Mar. 5, the members of Case Western Reserve University’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) had a number of issues to discuss. Perhaps the most significant concerned the inclusion of the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of each assembly, an issue that caused a stir among the GA at the Feb. 19 meeting.

During the meeting, the GA had informally voted on removing the Pledge from its agenda, and the issue was now brought up again in the form of Bill B. 22-23, a bill to end the practice of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the GA meetings.

The bill was justified on the premises that not every CWRU student or member of USG is a citizen of the United States. It was also stated that neither USG nor CWRU are entities that require service to the United States, which would make the recital of the Pledge unnecessary.

Contrary to the prior discussion on the issue, this time there were no speakers strongly against the ban. It was noted that USG is a non-governmental organization and can choose how it runs its meetings. The bill ultimately passed with 67 percent affirmation. The Executive Committee informed the GA that it would explore the possibility of replacing the Pledge with an alternative oath more relevant specifically to USG.

Another important topic the GA discussed was the frequency of its meetings. During the 2012-2013 academic year, USG has implemented a new system of biweekly meetings instead of meeting every week. The purpose of Bill B. 22-22 was to retroactively establish that the current system is indeed formalized among the GA for this academic year – a procedure which would normally be undertaken at the beginning of the academic year.

Along with the bill, the Executive Committee also stated that it would explore possible means for the Finance Committee to allocate funds for student organizations without being obligated to wait until the biweekly meetings to make its final decision. The idea was a result of discussion over the efficiency of the Finance Committee under the current biweekly system. Bill B. 22-22 was passed with 61 percent affirmation.

The GA also voted on Resolution R. 22-02, which concerned supporting the university’s new posting policy. The Student Life Committee emphasized that the new posting policy has already been passed by the university administration, but was to be endorsed by USG. By passing the resolution, USG would agree to abide by the policy and encourage other organizations to do the same.

Why the posting policy is being implemented without the consent of the GA was questioned, but the Student Life Committee noted that the policy is a university policy, not a USG policy. The resolution passed with 94 percent affirmation and it came into effect on March 18.

Per usual, the Finance Committee introduced Bill B. 22-20, which recognized the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Bill B. 22-21, a bill to allocate additional funding to student organizations, ruled that out of the $13,443.30 requested, $7,736 would be allotted. The former bill was passed with 97 percent affirmation and the latter was passed unanimously.

With officer elections approaching, USG also appointed representative Tom Dooner as the Elections Commissioner.

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About the Contributor
Noora Somersalo, Opinion Editor
Noora Somersalo is a third-year English and chemistry double major currently serving as the opinion editor of The Observer. In the past, Noora has worked for the news section as a staff reporter. Noora is also a tutor on the SAGES Peer Writing Crew.
In her free time, she likes to drink coffee (preferably alongside some tasty treats), watch movies, and, when her finances permit, explore the Cleveland food scene.

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