USGD tables bill, approves funding requests

USGD members debated over amending Senate bylaws to include a time cap for government officials' event attendance requirements. Two appointments were made and several funding requests for conferences were approved. (Connor Radnovich/DD)
USGD members debated over amending Senate bylaws to include a time requirement for government officials’ event attendance and two appointments were approved. (Connor Radnovich/DD)

USGD debated and tabled a bill to change its event attendance requirements, appointed a new director of local affairs and approved a total of $5356.55 in budget allocations Friday.

Members were divided over Senate Bill 12, which proposed an amendment to bylaws that require government officials to attend five USGD-sponsored events. It does not set a time requirement per event.

The concern is that this allows members to walk in and out of an event and still count it as part of the requirement. The amendment would set an hour minimum on the length of attendance.

Proponents argued a cap would stop members from attending one all-night event — the ASU Dance Marathon fundraiser for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, for instance — and claiming that as his hours requirement. Opponents saw the cap as “kicking them out” after two hours because of the wording. The bill was held for further discussion.

Senate Bill 11, a subsidy of the Fitness Center’s $1 equipment rental fee, passed unanimously. The resolution received its first mention at the August 30 meeting, when President Frank Smith III announced the initiative. The bill allocates student fee money to the prepayment of rental charges normally billed to individuals.

Smith said in an email that subsidizing the cost would encourage students to use the new facility. He added that the other campuses pay for the equipment charges.

“In speaking to students, I found that many would not use the equipment if they have to worry about payment,” he wrote.

After discussing the bills, USGD appointed a new senator and director of local affairs. College of Public Programs Sen. Frank Vasquez nominated Joselyn Bustillos as a College of Nursing and Health Innovation Senator. The executive branch nominated journalism freshman Becca Smouse for director of local affairs. Both appointments were unanimously approved.

Smouse said she was working on picking a topic for the New York Times Cafe event both semesters. Before she could elaborate further on her plans as director of local affairs, Director of Public Relations Daniela Nepita interrupted Smouse and led her away, telling her not to talk to the press.

Smouse introduced herself, listing participation in her high school’s mentor program and editorial positions at three publications among her qualifications.

Smith proposed a broader student-needs survey for undergraduates and plans for a post-game concert after ASU faces Oregon to lower the number of students who leave at half-time. Smith also introduced a bicycle co-op initiative.

Vice President of Policy Melber Macainan announced plans to begin voter registration.

USGD will decide topics for the New York Times Cafe by Tuesday, according to Vice President of Services Marcus Dudas.

The College of Public Programs and Barrett, the Honors College will participate in Activation Day, according to the respective schools’ Sens. Maria Rico and Hattie Hayes. The Sept. 21 event will turn an empty lot into a community garden, Hayes said.

The Public Relations Student Society of America received $1,800, the full requested allocation, to cover the costs of a regional networking and development conference. While primarily geared toward PR students, anyone interested may attend, according to the society’s president, Brett Nachman.

The Senate approved the Student Nurses Association’s full request of $1,600. The money will be used to send a 20-member delegation to a Scottsdale conference.

Religious group Arise Ministry received $900, the complete requested allocation. The group, which according to its president has 20 consistent attendees, will also use the funds to attend a conference focusing on effective ministry and leadership skills.

The Social Work Student Organization received the full requested amount of $500 to attend a national conference. The volunteer work the group will perform at the conference offsets the cost, bringing it to $50 per person, a member said.

Student government downtown approved Downtown Devils’ Advocates for the full requested budget allocation of $450. The group conducts tours and orientation events on the Downtown Phoenix campus. The funds cover the cost of a Devils’ Advocates workshop, a representative from the organization said.

Student government downtown approved the full requested budget allocation of $156.55 for the Exercise and Wellness Organization to host a “Pie the Professor” fundraiser. The funds cover the cost of whipped cream, tablecloths, spatulas and other supplies. The event targets School of Nutrition and Health Promotion students, according to a member. Last year, the club raised $500.

All funding request votes were unanimous.

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Correction: Sept. 16, 2013

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Vice President of Services Marcus Dudas introduced the bicycle co-op initiative. President Frank Smith III introduced the initiative.