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USG Brief

At the final general assembly of the spring semester on Tuesday, Apr. 23, the Undergraduate Student Government had more topics to discuss than previously this semester. The GA had to vote on five bills and one resolution, and in addition, they had to elect a new secretary, internal development chair, speaker, elections commissioner, and three treasurers.

For starters, the GA had to make its final decision concerning the new funding bylaws that were introduced in a bill tabled at last week’s meeting. President Hale, who, among others, has been involved in the drafting of Bill B. 22-36, informed the GA that generally, student organizations have received the new possible changes in the funding process positively.

However, there was a guest at the GA who wanted the members to clarify some elements of the bylaws. A significant concern involved the authority of the USG treasurers to approve disbursement requests. There was discussion among the GA about whether this section of the bylaws would give too much power to only a few people.

Some suggested that the section should be amended to include the vice president of finance as well. However, the amendment did not pass and the bill was passed unchanged with 97 percent affirmation.

The GA then proceeded to the largest portion of Tuesday’s meeting and elected the new members for the remaining open executive positions. Each position had at least two candidates with some candidates running for multiple positions. There were no nominees for representatives in the College of Arts and Sciences or the freshman caucus.

Current treasurer Laura Payne was elected the new secretary of USG. She will replace Emily Assaley starting next fall. The new speaker of the assembly will be representative Peter Choi, who will take over the position after Matt McKee. McKee, who has served in his position for over a year, will fill the position of internal development chair, a title that was added to USG only recently.

The GA also decided to add one more position for treasurer elections. Currently, two treasurers serve in USG. After a discussion that divided the GA into proponents of continuing with two treasurers and proponents of adding a third treasurer position, the assembly voted in favor of the latter with a close 57 percent affirmation.

The new treasurers will be Connor Toomey, Emily Assaley, and Xiaoyu Li. Michelle Kaumeyer will be the new elections commissioner next fall.

Bill B. 22-37, which was also among those tabled at last week’s meeting, was re-introduced to the GA. The assembly was to pass the bill in order to put the amended bylaws into effect as a part of the USG constitution.

In order to ratify the bill, the GA did not only have to pass it, but it also needs to be passed in a campus-wide referendum during USG elections. There were disagreements over whether the amendment should be on the referendum in the freshman caucus elections next fall or in the spring 2014 elections.

The GA finally reached an agreement and decided to move the issue to be on the referendum in 2014. However, the new funding bylaws will still come into effect starting this summer. The bill was passed with 93 percent affirmation.

The student life committee introduced Resolution R. 22-03, a resolution to encourage collaboration between Case Western Reserve University and University Circle Inc. in the development of a bike-sharing program. The service would allow CWRU students to pick up a bike at a designated bike-share station and drop it off at another one after use. The resolution was passed with 93 percent affirmation.
The GA also passed Bill B. 22-34, a recognition bill tabled at last week’s meeting, Bill B. 22-32, the mass funding bill, and Bill B. 22-35, a bill to amend all the bylaws, which put into effect the amendments that were passed in the referenda during the spring elections. They were passed with 96 percent, 100 percent, and 97 percent affirmation, respectively.

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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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