ASG

Associated Student Government senators proposed a bill Tuesday night supporting an annual report on ASG member demographics as a way to evaluate diversity within the organization.

Sen. Kianna Sarvestani, Associate Member Nyasha Bgoni and Tommy Davis, the ASG director of special events, proposed Senate Bill No. 22, which supports conducting a census that will gather demographic information about all ASG members.

If the senate passes the bill, the Code and Constitution Committee will update the ASG Constitution, requiring the secretary to conduct an annual survey of all standing ASG members. The survey will include questions on their branch, college, year by credit hour, Greek affiliation and traditional or non-traditional student status, according to the resolution. The resolution does not specify when the secretary will conduct the survey.

Additionally, the secretary will request protected information through metadata from UA officials to get statistics on ASG members’ race, gender, birth year, ethnicity and international student status, according to the resolution.

Sen. Daniel Webster proposed Senate Resolution No. 24, which supports ASG sponsorship of the “How To Be at UARK” living document, which will serve as student guide with information about resources that can help them improve several aspects of their college experience.

“A living document is a document that is constantly being built upon and edited by the study body,” Webster said. “Very basically, it is a Google Doc that everyone on campus can make suggestions on, and then the suggestions will be reviewed and added by myself and a group of three other students.”

The “How To Not Be Rich at UM” document that University of Michigan students created inspired Webster’s proposal, he said. Similar initiatives at other universities have appealed primarily to first-generation, non-traditional and other disadvantaged student groups, he said.

Webster introduced the “How To Be at UARK” document in a presentation at the Diversity Leadership Institute on April 6. It will go into effect April 16.

Thirty-eight senators voted unanimously in favor of Senate Bill No. 18, which provides senators with money for Scantrons to pass out to students at David W. Mullins Library during finals week.

The senate will allocate $728 from the Senate Legislative Allocations Budget to purchase two packages of Scantron 100AS, two packages of Scantron 882 E, two packages of Scantron 4521 and two packages of Scantron 6703.

Senators still have six packages of DataLink 1200, less than half a package of Scantron 4521 and five packages of blue books left from a previous stock, according to the resolution.

Sarvestani and Senate Chairman Colman Betler proposed Senate Bill No. 21, which supports updating the ASG Code to remove any reference to the Graduate Student Congress.

Graduate students voted to separate the GSC from ASG in 2017 and form the Graduate and Professional Student Congress.

Mariam Siddiqui, ASG director of municipal relations; Samia Ismail, ASG co-director of diversity and inclusion; Ben Cameron, ASG deputy director of external relations; and Sens. Will Baker and Daniel Webster proposed Senate Resolution No. 25, which supports adding the Palestinian and Holy See flags to the International Connections Lounge in the Arkansas Union to comply with United Nations’ standards of recognition.

Sen. Collin Petigna proposed Senate Resolution No. 26, which supports an exterior renovation of Mullins Library and the central quad to enhance the outdoor aesthetic of campus.

Thirty-nine senators voted unanimously in favor of Senate Bill No. 19, which will provide $500 from the Senate Legislative Allocations Budget for ASG Senate Day on April 15.

The event will serve as an opportunity for ASG senators to meet, interact and brainstorm with students, according to the resolution.

Senators will use the money to rent a snow cone machine and distribute snow cones to students who stop by their table at the event. The money will also go toward supplies for college caucus promotional posters, which will be on display at the event.

Senators voted to table Senate Bill No. 20, which would provide $1,700 from the Senate Legislative Allocations Budget for the resodding and remodeling of Humphreys Hall lawn, until April 16.

Sarah Werner, the Residents’ Interhall Congress vice president, and Webster, co-author of the bill, will amend it to propose a functional replacement for the sand volleyball court, Webster said.

Senators voted Warrington Sebree as senator of the year. Five senators were nominated for the honor.

 

Katelyn Duby is a news editor for the Arkansas Traveler, where she previously worked as a reporter in 2018 and a senior staff reporter in 2019.

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