By Grace Gottschling
Student Government passed a new bill regarding its dress code, discussed several resolutions including one about gun control support and approved three new clubs during its meeting on March 28.
SG passed a new bill, B-S2018-05, which clarified requirements for SG general body meeting attire, both for SG members and open session guests. The bill was born out of controversy regarding potential inadvertent socio-economic discrimination of students who may not be able to afford “business casual” clothing that most members wear to the meetings. The new bill states that “Student Government members, guests and attendees are not required to dress in business professional attire and may differ to dressing to their own level of comfortability.”
It is also noted that during events such as elections, informationals and other general advertisements of SG meetings, it will be stated that attendees and members should dress how they like. In the past, these advertisements instructed attendees to dress business casual. This also extends to groups making club presentations, as well as special guests.
A second bill, B-S2018-07, was also discussed. If passed, it would clarify certain changes in the SG elections packet. The bill would remove bylaw Section 5 in the SG constitution — an outdated section — and replace it with the official SG election packet that has already been used during SG elections this academic year.
The bill specifies the restriction of mass emails of any type from candidates during elections. It also prohibits candidates and supporters from directly soliciting votes from students while they are in the process of voting. Also, any person sitting at the SG table on election day cannot advocate for a specific candidate or campaign in any way as the table serves as a “neutral area.”
The elections packet bill has been moved to the next SG meeting for further discussion.
Three student organizations were also officially recognized at the meeting. The Investments Club, Philosophical Society and Disabilities PRIDE all presented their organizations’ goals on campus.
The Investments Club explained that it aims to teach students more about investments and how to analyze the market in a low-stress environment. The group plans to host semester-long investment-related competitions, invite speakers and engage in simulated investment activities.
The Philosophical Society seeks to promote the study of philosophy and give students opportunities to explore philosophical arguments in a relaxed setting. The group plans to invite guest speakers, present philosophical works and host discussions on philosophical topics.
Disabilities PRIDE seeks to create a community on campus of students with a broad range of disabilities. The group hopes to foster self confidence as well as encourage leadership and self advocacy events within the disabled community.
Disabilities PRIDE plans to host discussion-based meetings about issues that pertain to the disabled community, such as body acceptance, autism awareness and mental health within the LGBTQ+ community.
SG’s resolution R-s2018-02 currently acknowledges that SG believes the sale of semi-automatic weapons should be outlawed throughout the U.S. due to the prevalence of gun violence throughout the nation.
The resolution states that SG “prompts the federal government to ban the sale of all semi-automatic firearms and assault weapons” and urges the federal government to take further strides to ensure that stricter gun control laws are passed.
Such laws suggested in the resolution includes making it impossible for a person to own a gun if they are placed on the terrorist watch list, the installation of mandatory mental health evaluations, background checks on all citizens who wish to purchase a gun and required training before a citizen is allowed to purchase a gun.
The resolution raised concerns from several SG members who pointed out the broad approach the resolution takes. One SG member pointed out that the term “semi-automatic weapon,” as defined in the resolution as “self loading” and “designed to fire as rapidly as one can pull the trigger” is misinformed.
Technically, the resolution’s definition of “semi-automatic weapon” would include all handguns, military-style assault weapons and several rifles. Essentially, the resolution, as currently written, resolves that the College supports banning the sale of virtually all modern guns.
Some members who opposed the resolution in its current state encouraged the resolution’s principles of gun regulations, but not its execution. The resolution was tabled for further review in order to take student feedback into consideration.