Jack Carroll ’24
On Sunday, Nov. 8, the Student Government Association (SGA) met in a virtual meeting via Zoom to hold elections for the Judicial Commission, as well as to discuss budgetary plans for the remainder of the semester and recent payment issues that have developed amongst student workers on campus.
In a vote conducted by the entire SGA body, Joshua Jacoves ’23 was unanimously declared the Parliamentarian of the Judicial Commission. In two additional rounds of voting—one of which was conducted by the Senate and the second by the Executive Board—the following students were elected to serve as the four general members of the Judicial Commission: Clare Donohoe ’22, Renita Washington ’22, Shawn Olstein ’22, and Camille Valentincic ’22.
It appeared that the SGA Constitution, which had been put to a referendum vote early last week, had passed, though the SGA did not immediately respond to requests on the number of those in the student body who had voted in favor or against the Constitution.
As previously reported, the Judicial Commission would serve as a “fact-checker” and provide procedural guidance during all SGA meetings. The commission would also be responsible for reviewing violations of procedures and rules after they occur. After making a binding decision—which is agreed upon by a 3/5 majority of the members of the commission—regarding the interpretation of a rule or procedure that was violated in a meeting, it would then be presented to the SGA through the Executive Board.
The Judicial Commission was officially adopted under the new SGA Constitution which was sent out to the student body via email by the SGA Constitutional Revisions Committee for a vote earlier this month.
SGA had previously indicated that it would eliminate the Parliamentarian position, and it was not immediately clear what had accounted for the shift in thinking. Students had also previously expressed concerns about the decision to eliminate the Parliamentarian.
SGA President Giovanni Jones ’21 discussed his recent contact with Dean of Admissions Adrienne Oddi after incidents in which students were not able to work their weekly hours and receive pay while the College was operating under an “orange” COVID-19 Campus Alert Level. Jones reported that Oddi’s department has partnered with student work supervisors to ensure that students who have been awarded federal work study are paid for their scheduled work hours amidst the coronavirus outbreak on campus in October.
In an email sent out to the College community on Oct. 7, Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management Joe DiChristina and Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for External Relations Jason Rojas first reported the College’s entrance into alert level orange with 21 active COVID-19 cases amongst the student body. On Monday, October 12th, the total number of active cases rose to 47 and then to 56 three days later.
Under an orange alert level the following conditions apply: all classes are held remotely; all dining is to-go; all athletic facilities are closed (aside from the COVID-19 testing center in Ferris); students can access the library only by appointment; Cinestudio is closed; access to student residence halls are restricted to the floor of one’s own residence; and student workers are to remain off campus.
Also, in the time that the College was under an orange alert level, it was reported that 15 students were removed from campus for violating COVID-19 policies.
SGA Vice President of Finance Camille Valentincic ’22 reported that the SGA has a budget total exceeding $3,000 and encouraged campus clubs and organizations to responsibly spend their allotted budgets.
Valentincic warned that if this money is not spent, the College is going to “reabsorb” it, and that the SGA has no control over how it is later spent by the administration. Valentincic also noted that the Budget Committee will be considering appropriating some of the unspent money from the budget to the COVID-19 relief fund for students who may need financial assistance during the winter and after the semester ends.
Camille Valentincic also announced that Thursday, Nov. 12, will be the final day that campus clubs and organizations can meet with the SGA Budget Committee to request funding. The committee will be available from 6-7:30 P.M. and any groups that are interested in meeting at that time to gain further information can email email@example.com.