SGA Passes Legislation to Increase Counseling Services, Provide Menstrual Products in All Female Bathrooms, and Launch The Water Sustainability Project

Photo courtesy of Thomas Holmes

By Catherine O’Grady

The Student Government Association Senate voted to increase counseling service for the student body during its second to last meeting of the year. During the meeting, senators also worked to pass resolutions concerning availability to menstrual products for female students on campus, updates to be made on water fountains throughout campus, and a request to Facilities Maintenance and Operations to provide students with a time frame to expect their repairs to be made.

The Senate began discussion on “A Resolution to Increase Counseling Services for the Student Body.” This resolution was sponsored by Cecilia Bracey and co-sponsored by Anthony Vincent. The resolution was presented as a solution to the lack of accessibility to counseling services on campus, as the Counseling Center is currently no longer taking any more appointments. Walk-in appointments are the only service students currently seeking counseling are able to access.

“More students are seeking counseling for a longer period of time,” said Bracey.

This resolution asked the University to expedite the process to replace the full-time staff member in the Counseling Center who left before spring break, to resolve the lack of counseling services available to students for next semester, and to institute a crisis plan for times when there is a crisis on campus that affects a large group of the student body.

The counseling services resolution passed the senate unanimously by the present senators.

Resolution 020, sponsored by Aaron Mackisey, focused on the launch of Catholic University’s water sustainability project.  The resolution called for repairs to all damaged water fountains or fountains producing cloudy and/or dirty water, the addition of water bottle filling stations in academic buildings and student centers, and the addition of biennial audit of water fountains. The resolution was passed unanimously by senators.

Resolution 021, a resolution to provide greater access to free menstrual products in female restrooms around campus, sponsored by Gemma del Carmen, was also unanimously passed by the senate. The resolution called for access to menstrual products in all bathroom for emergency purposes so female students won’t have to run back to their dorm room and miss class for unexpected circumstances.

Resolution 022, sponsored by Rachel Garfield, requested Facilities Maintenance and Operations (FMO) give students a date and a time frame when they can expect requested repairs to be made in their dorm rooms. Senators voiced their support for the resolution by sharing their own horror stories with FMO. Resolution 022 was passed unanimously.

Resolution 023, that called for the addition of security cameras in the hallways of Opus Hall, Millennium North Hall, and Millennium South Hall as a way to punish those responsible for opportunity theft, was defeated on the senate floor. Every senator except the two sponsors voted against the bill. Senators opposed the resolution because they viewed this security measure as an invasion of students’ privacy.

“This just really seems like a bit of an extreme measure,” said Kaitlin Shanahan. “Opportunity theft happens in every residence hall. I really think we just need to be educating students on why you should be locking your doors.”

The final SGA meeting of the semester will be held April 29 in the Pryz Great Room.

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