By Thomas Holmes
The Student Government of Catholic University held senate session 5-5 in which the senate debated a bill to change the voting process for SGA and a piece of legislation brought forward by Senator Sharpe to include Catholic University in Capital Bikeshare’s University Membership program. The meeting took place on Monday, November 18 in the Pryz great room.
After the standard reports from each of the Committee Chair Leaders, the next thing on the agenda for the senate meeting was the approval of the revised Treasury Board bylaws. In order for the senate to make an informed decision on the revision, Vice-President Shanahan first needed to read all twelve pages of the revised bylaws, many of which contained no more than simple grammar corrections.
Following the fifteen minute readthrough of the entirety of the Treasury Board’s bylaws, SGA Treasurer Wallace explained that the changes in the bylaws would add more clarity to the treasury appeal process. The senate vote was unanimous in favor to adopt the changes.
Senator Del Carmen presented Bill 001, a bill that she hoped would promote informed voting in campus elections. The proposed bill would allow students to select an abstain option in place of voting for a second candidate in the SGA senate elections.
Del Carmen felt that this step would provide the students with the ability to make more informed decisions in student elections. Students would no longer be obligated to vote for more than one candidate if they wanted to vote in the elections. The bill passed with a vote of twenty-two “ayes” to one “nay” and one absent. Senator Lucardi of the Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art was the sole senator to vote “nay.”
One of the last items on the agenda was Sharpe’s resolution 007, a resolution to increase affordability of the Capital Bikeshare program. According to the resolution, the D.C. Department of Transportation offers students enrolled in D.C. universities discounted annual memberships to Capital Bikeshare.
A normal annual membership to Capital Bikeshare costs $85. Universities who are a part of the CaBi University Membership Program offer a $25 annual membership to students. The Department of Transportation works directly with the university to provide marketing materials for the program.
Sharpe also mentioned that the program would not cost the university any extra money; the cost would fall on the student if they choose to opt into the membership.
During the deliberation period, many senators expressed their support of the resolution. Senator Haggerty called the resolution a “no brainer.” Catholic University becoming a part of the CaBi University Membership Program would provide students with more affordable, sustainable, and healthy means of transportation. Resolution 007 passed unanimously after a short period of discussion regarding the program. The senate’s last meeting is Monday, December 2.