USG Brief: Jan. 22, 2013

Noora Somersalo, Student Affairs Reporter

At the first General Assembly of the semester on Tuesday, Jan. 22, Case Western Reserve University’s Undergraduate Student Government already had important issues to discuss.

One of them was Resolution R. 22-01, a proposal requiring background checks for faculty hires. Currently, CWRU necessitates background checks for new staff only. If passed, the new policy would make new faculty undergo a background check, but would not necessarily prohibit a person from being employed by CWRU, depending on the nature of the crime and the time passed since the crime was committed.

Current faculty and staff members will not have to go through background checks if the policy is passed.

The resolution was brought to the USG by Flora Stone Mather Center for Women. It was made clear that the USG does not have the authority to decide whether the new policy will come into being. However, by voting on the matter, the USG as a representative organization will have influence on the issue.

After hearing from President James Hale, who expressed his support for the policy, the GA passed the resolution with 80 percent affirmation. No speakers stepped up to oppose the resolution. However, some representatives were concerned that the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women asked USG to approve the policy without providing much background information on the issue.

It was also noted that the Faculty Senate has yet to approve the policy.

The GA also had to elect a new secretary to replace Joseph Digby. After hearing from three candidates, the GA elected first-year student Emily Assaley for the position with 65 percent affirmation.

Positions were filled in the college caucuses as well. First-year student Kassie Stewart was elected Representative for the College of Arts and Sciences with 97 percent affirmation. The School of Engineering caucus got a new addition when third-year student Kerry Martenis was elected Representative with 77 percent affirmation.

First-year students Kathleen Brennan and Soonji Yi became Representatives for the School of Nursing caucus with 100 percent and 91 percent affirmation, respectively.

Vice President of Finance Colin Williams introduced Bill B. 22-14 to the GA. The bill recognized three new student groups: the Quidditch Team, the Holistic Health Club, and the Undergraduate Macromolecular Student organization.

The GA considered removing the Undergraduate Macromolecular Student Organization from the bill because the organization’s statement of purpose was vague for some representatives. The GA proceeded to vote on keeping each organization individually, and then finally approved the bill as a whole with 84 percent affirmation.

The GA will not vote on any rolling funding until the next GA meeting. Vice President Williams clarified that currently $33,000 is available for student groups in rolling funding.