Senators to fill vacancies, vote 3 bills
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 01:03
The 65th Session of Student Senate will swear in 24 newly elected senators to fill vacancies that opened throughout the session. At the Wednesday meeting, Senate will also vote on a short list of legislation.
Senators who placed highest in their caucuses in the election and are not currently in Senate or otherwise ineligible will join the 65th Session for the five remaining meetings before being sworn in with the rest of the 66th Session on March 27, according to Speaker of Student Senate Scott Bowen.
The three bills up for consideration are the Go Google Bill, Fairness and Equivalence in Make-Up Responsibilities Bill and the Hazelwood Act Lobbying Bill.
The Go Google Bill states that “the Texas A&M University student body supports the speedy adoption of Google Apps for Education university-wide” and requires that a copy of the bill be sent to various University officials, including University President R. Bowen Loftin.
The premise behind the bill is that the University could save money while improving the quality of the student’s University email experience by changing to Google services. The bill states that the University has an obligation to spend tax dollars effectively and that the University spends unnecessary money maintaining the Zimbra system, which doesn’t offer the same quality of services as Google.
The bill cites the successes and financial benefits of other universities such as the University of Texas, the University of Notre Dame and Vanderbilt University in making the jump to Google.
The next bill on the docket, the Fairness and Equivalence in Make-Up Responsibilities Bill, seeks to fix a perceived source of discrimination between students and instructors when it comes to make-up work. The bill states that “while the instructor is required to provide a make up for the work that students miss for [excused] reasons, there is no further protection in place to keep them from discriminating against these students.”
The last bill to be voted on this meeting will be the Hazelwood Act Lobbying Bill, a bill that requests increased lobbying for veteran funds on a state level in light of proposed cuts to the Hazelwood Act.
The Hazelwood Act provides veterans and veteran dependents up to 150 hours of tuition exemptions at Texas institutions of higher education, including A&M. According to the preamble of the bill, the A&M Veterans Task Force has recently raised concern over the future of the Hazelwood Act.
Because of the close relations between the Veteran Task Force and Student Senate, if this bill is passed student government would lobby in conjunction with the Veterans Task Force.
A bill to increase communication between the Senate and the student body by making senator contact information readily available is expected to be introduced during open session, but will be voted on after spring break.