The Undergraduate Senate passed several bills during its final meeting of the academic year, including a bill to increase the student activities fee and a bill to request that professors post their syllabi online.
“A Bill to Request an Increased Student Activities Fee,” which the senate passed 18-0-0, calls for a $6 increase in the student activities fee - from $73.50 to $79.50, according to the bill’s text.
Class of 2011 Senator Andrew MacCracken, who co-sponsored the bill, said the suggested increase would provide an additional $25,000 to the Student Government’s budget, which receives a percentage of the total student activities fee.
MacCracken said the fee increase would allow for more money to go toward the Kennedy Political Union and Student Union Board’s budget allocations, which have to deal with the rising cost of hosting speakers and music artists.
The senate also passed “A Bill for Online Posting of Syllabi,” which requests that deans give professors’ syllabi to the Office of the Registrar for them to post online by August 2009, according to the proposal.
Class of 2010 Senator Julie Mills said the Academic Affairs Committee considered this bill last year, but worked to pass it this year so that students know what the topics and assignments will be in classes before the add/drop period ends.
Also, the senate passed “A Bill to Ensure Fiscal Transparency,” which requires that the SG publish its budget allocation and account information, including all expenditures and revenues, for all SG accounts at the end of each semester on its Web site.
The senate also passed “A Bill to Request a Report on Tuition,” which asks AU President Neil Kerwin to publish a report that details exactly how students’ tuition is being spent - both in dollar values and percentages. This report would be published when the yearly budget proposal is released.
SG President Seth Cutter signed all four bills into law at the end of the meeting.
The senate also passed “A Resolution in Support of the Jewish and Muslim Communities,” which calls on the university to create more on-campus Kosher and halal dining options for Jewish and Muslim students.
The senate transitioned their new officers in an official transition ceremony Sunday morning, where they recognized outstanding SG programs, students and faculty members.
The outgoing SG executive branch acknowledged the work done by several of the graduating seniors in the senate.
Class of 2008 Senator Charlie Biscotto won the Senator of the Year Award. This was the first year the SG gave out the award, which they named after Biscotto for his four years of dedication to the senate and student body.
Class of 2008 Senator Barron Weyerhaeuser won the Tradition Award for his work for the Arts Council. Also, Student Trustee and graduating senior Marc Tomik won the Service, Tradition and Unity Award for his work as the only student member of the university’s board of trustees.
The Student’s Bill of Rights Referendum goes up for a vote today between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on my.american.edu. Students can also vote on the referendum at the Board of Election table during the barbecue on the quad today from noon until 2 p.m.
Correction: A bill the Undergraduate Senate passed April 27 did not raise the student activities fee; they do not have the power to raise the fee. The bill called on the university administration to raise the fee.