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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

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USG Brief

On Tuesday, April 16, the General Assembly of Case Western Reserve University’s Undergraduate Student Government held a brief moment of silence for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings before beginning the meeting.

The first issue on the GA’s agenda was mass funding for fall semester 2013. This year, over 140 student groups requested a total of over $367,000 in funding. The GA heard appeals from two student groups: the Case Footlighters and the water polo team.

The Case Footlighters requested that the GA grant the organization the originally requested funding of $4,600 in full. The reasoning behind the Finance Committee’s decision not to allocate full funding to the Case Footlighters was that the group was still uncertain of the show when they submitted the application for mass funding.

However, the representative of the organization assured its audience that all of the money requested was needed and will be used. This proved to be enough to convince 81 percent of the GA members to vote for the amendment of the mass-funding bill, granting the Case Footlighters full funding.

The GA also decided to grant the water polo team the $1,189 the group originally requested with 83 percent affirmation. After hearing from team representatives, the GA discussed granting the funds for the team to acquire lane lines, a scoreboard, and allowing them to make some minor pool modifications. It was also reasoned that allotting the money would allow the water polo team to host tournaments and raise funds.

After the amendments were made, the sum allocated to student groups came to $189,012.73. This caused some concern among the GA as the budget for mass funding was originally planned to total at approximately $175,000. The GA was not able to vote on the mass-funding bill because the Finance Committee still has to review some student groups for official recognition. The bill was tabled until the next meeting.

The assembly then moved into a discussion of Bill B. 22-35, a bill to amend elections bylaws. The purpose of the bill was to establish the constituency of undeclared students and to rename the position of the parliamentarian to the chief judicial officer. Both issues were on the ballot in last week’s elections. There were disagreements within the GA about the voting eligibility of graduating seniors.

The new amendment proposes that all students who are enrolled and pay the student activities fee are allowed to vote for representatives. This would exclude graduating seniors, which prompted a debate among the assembly. The GA ultimately voted on amending the section in question and decided to include graduating seniors in the amendment. This bill was also tabled.

President James Hale introduced another bylaw amendment to the GA. Bill B. 22-36, a bill to amend funding bylaws, would change the procedures under which the Finance Committee operates, giving student groups more funding flexibility. Like with the previous bills, this was also tabled and will be up for discussion next week.

Additionally, the GA had to discuss a rolling funding bill and a recognition bill. Since the Finance Committee still has to review recognition requests from several student organizations, the recognition bill could not be passed and will be voted on at next week’s meeting.

While most of the votes were tabled for next week, Bill B. 22-33, a bill to allocate additional funding to student organizations, was passed with 96 percent affirmation. This guarantees a total of $5,575 out of the requested $9,695.02 to student groups.

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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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