Friday, May 24, 2019

SGA Advised by Administration to Delay Churchill Vote

Kip Lynch ’22

Staff Writer

The Student Government Association convened on Sunday, Apr. 14 in order to discuss an Amnesty International resolution, constitutional amendments, and the Churchill Club. The SGA also heard committee updates and a presentation by ConnPIRG.

The Trinity College chapter of ConnPIRG, an organization that focuses on consumer and environment protection, presented a resolution on textbook transparency. Noting the oligopolistic market and high prices of textbooks, ConnPIRG advocated for the increased use of textbooks that are published under an open copyright licence, allowing for easier accessibility by lowering costs for students. With that, ConnPIRG is looking for a vote of support from the student government for a textbook transparency program that would list classes with open or low-cost textbooks.

The Student Government Association heard updates from the Student Life and Food Committees. The Student Life Committee reported its progress in receiving feedback on its initiatives from the Women & Gender Resource Action Center (WGRAC). The Food Committee described its plans to meet with Dan Hitchell, the Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, in order to discuss the future of different meal plans at Trinity College.

The problems encountered during the approval process of the Churchill Club have prompted the SGA to discuss possible amendments to the constitution of the student government. The student government debated the future of the positions of Secretary and Parliamentarian, and discussed amendments to the Articles pertaining to the Executive Board.

The SGA discussed changing the election of the representative of the Multicultural Affairs Council so that the position is elected by the entire student body. The Student Government Association also discussed codifying an impeachment process for members of the Executive Board and releasing of SGA voting records.

The SGA discussed changing the election of the representative of the Multicultural Affairs Council so that the position is elected by the entire student body. The Student Government Association also discussed codifying an impeachment process for members of the Executive Board and releasing of SGA voting records.

The student government discussed the Churchill Club and the effectiveness of the Town Halls in hearing the concerns of students. The student government debated its role in representing the views of students or acting in the interests of the overall student body. Dean Joseph DiChristina read a letter from the President’s Cabinet that acknowledged the significant amount of pressure on the SGA from both inside and outside the Trinity College community, the lack of safety that students feel, and the highly charged campus climate. Observing a breakdown in communication on campus, the President’s Cabinet reiterated its role in providing a space where students can feel safe and express their views. With that, the President’s Cabinet recommended that the SGA consider delaying the vote on the Churchill Club so that the administration could bring in an outside consultant to discuss the situation and ways to resolve it. With questions over whether the opinions of SGA representatives are open to change, the student government is considering either voting on the approval of the Churchill Club in the next two weeks or delaying the vote indefinitely. The administration and the President of the SGA also received a letter from the non-profit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). However, the letter was not shared over concerns that the letter may sway the vote of SGA representatives.

The SGA also discussed endorsing a resolution from Amnesty International that expresses support for refugees and immigrants on college campuses.

Leave a reply