On Wednesday, March 22, 2021 at 9:15 p.m. CST, the Illinois Tech Student Government Association (SGA) held their weekly Senate meeting. The meeting was led by SGA Executive Vice President Derek Rhea. To view the recorded livestream of the meeting on SGA’s Facebook page, go to https://bit.ly/3rvcNeC.
Senator Ben Barber presented the SGA Legislative Guide to the Senate. Due to the Finance Board Accountability, Communication, and Transparency (FACT) Amendment discussion in fall 2020 (see SGA recaps for December 2, 2020 and February 10, 2021 at https://bit.ly/3vZSc5w and https://bit.ly/3fmZzOO, respectively), there was a movement to document the legislative process. This created a special committee, which Barber led to produce a document about the legislative process. The committee made a 40-page document showing all the SGA legislative aspects, and had asked the Senate and SGA prior to the meeting for feedback and corrections.
The document was approved by the Senate.
Judicial Board Legislation
Barber also started a discussion on the idea of implementing a “Judicial Board liaison” who helps petitioners understand the overall process of Judicial Board hearings. This person would be appointed by the Chief Justice and would not be associated with SGA judicial board, the petition, the respondent, or anyone else involved. They would merely be a guide without any senatorial oversight. The role is very ad hoc in nature and is decided based on the input of the petitioner and the Chief Justice. Judicial Board Chief Justice Shawna Jumper said that the Judicial Board met last Sunday and they all accepted this proposal.
SGA Executive Assistant Joel Kelsey is working on a project to list all active student organizations on campus and create a database for them to use for reference. Kelsey is looking for feedback on what data to focus on. If you are interested in learning more, contact Kelsey at [email protected]
Senator Sameer Sheikh gave a lengthy update on behalf of SGA Vice President of Student Life Jeannina Villalobos about all the things that Villalobos and the Student Life committee have been doing over the past few weeks. SGA had previously met with the Food Advisory Board and discussed student feedback on the Commons via the Campus Dining Focus groups. Chartwells is working on a project for donating guest meals, called "Swipe It Forward." Several SGA members had also attended the monthly Campus and Student Life meeting the week prior (see more at https://bit.ly/2QPzspv), where more updates were shared. Commencement will be based on individual colleges and each college should have an option but that’s not confirmed yet. Dean of Students Katherine Stetz is planning an event called “Coffee Talk” so she can talk face to face with students on their ideas. Stetz is also working with SGA and the Female Empowerment Movement Organization to establish a Women’s Center/Multicultural Center. Some other projects in progress from the Student Life committee include putting up new flags in the Hermann Hall lobby for countries not previously there (the flags will be delivered and put up during the summer) and the Diversity Mural project, where a painted mural is being planned for the space under the Lou Jones Metra station/ Bridge (33rd & Lasalle), since a lot of people walk to the CTA Red Line this way. SGA will be applying to get a permit for it. A mural in the Bog currently exists but needs updating, and it is going to be painted by the Illinois Tech Art Club.
Rhea announced that recordings of the SGA Executive Election debates are posted on the SGA website (sga.iit.edu). Go to https://bit.ly/3u06yRF for the Vice Presidents of Events, Student Life, Communications, and Academic Affairs debates, and https://bit.ly/3dfp0Pj for the President, Vice President, and Finance Board Chair debates. Voting will be on Wednesday, March 31, from 12:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CST. Results will be announced the same night during the Senate meeting. The official transition will be during the Senate meeting on April 14, 2021.
SGA President Alex Kern talked about upcoming Senate elections, where students will nominate and run for Senate positions. These will take place shortly after the executive elections.
Director of Campus Life Rachel Hirsh announced several exciting new updates. A formal school-wide awards ceremony will be organized on April 21 in conjunction with a roast of Illinois Tech President Alan Cramb, in good fun. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the Office of Campus Life (OCL) will be planning a month of events for it. The final week of April is Mental Health Awareness Week and Illinois Tech is partnering with Xfinity. The Academic Resource Center (ARC) will be holding an event on April 26 and a coffee bar on April 27. Furthermore, the OCL is planning Welcome Week for fall 2021. Currently they are not sure what COVID restrictions are going to be by then, but they're thinking that an outdoor comedy show will be possible. OCL is open to input from the student body and SGA. Additionally, Illinois Tech is opening up for small in-person events (up to 6-8 people) next week. If we can keep cases down, then the school might increase the cap. Lastly, Hirsh raised a possible concern that it might be difficult for commuter students to get to the SGA meetings if they return to in-person at the usual Wednesday 9:15 p.m. CST time.
Barber emailed Gary Walley of the Student Health and Wellness Center to get him to present about Illinois Tech's current affairs regarding COVID-19 policy.
Vice President of Communications Jason Scott reported that Spirit Week was a success and the residence hall decoration event was fun.
Finance Board Chair Anwesha Roy awarded this week's SGA Spotlight to Finance Board Advisor Francisco Barba for his hard work on the Finance Board. Barba created the total leger for many different organizations on campus and also created an email list for many organizations.