USS continues discussing new positions

Kelly Pickerel

Opinions flew across the table yesterday at the Undergraduate Student Senate meeting while the senators continued work on the new Undergraduate Student Government bylaws.

Tricky conglomerations of new directors’ tasks were at the heart of the discussions.

Megan Lynn, senator for student advancement, presented her work on three new director positions: director of student advancement, director of student involvement and director of communications. All three include duties already performed by four current senators: senator for student advancement, senator for student relations, senator for research and development and senator for university affairs.

First, the director for student advancement will perform tasks already established by the senator for student advancement and senator for university affairs. Such possible duties include being a liaison between representatives of Mobile Campus, sitting on committees that foresee construction and renovation projects, organizing the Student Advocate program and nominating students to the All University Hearing Board.

Jonithon LaCross, current senator for university affairs, said this new director’s position has a lot on its plate.

“I guarantee (the director) is not going to do all of this – it’s too much,” he said.

The Advocate program is a lot of work in itself, he said.

Second, the director of student involvement combines the senator for student relations and the senator for university affairs into one position. This person will assist in planning Meet Your Dean Week, nominate students to standing committees and coordinate monthly student leader luncheons.

Lynn said the senator will maily work on getting people involved with USG.

Third, the director of communications will take the knowledge of the senator for research and development and the senator for student relations and work as one. He or she will conduct polls and research, oversee USG advertising and promotion and disburse passed resolutions to the university community.

Michael Hammond, current senator for research and development, said his work with the USS Street Team should continue next year.

The street team could fall under the director of student involvement or the director of communication’s workload, Executive Director Katie Hale said. A decision about the street team won’t be made until all the directors are established.

Besides the confusing director positions, LaCross presented two new, also confusing, senators.

The senator for diversity and the senator for international students introduced problems with being similar to the previously presented senator for non-traditional students.

LaCross said he had trouble establishing what a diversity senator’s duties entail.

“Anyone can be diverse – any minority, ethnicity or background is diverse,” LaCross said.

John Wetmore, senator for governmental affairs, agreed that defining guidelines for the senator may be difficult.

“We’re trying to define something with no definition,” Wetmore said.

LaCross said his main goal was to provide the diverse population a voice, and they can do with it what they want in USG.

“Kids that aren’t normally heard have a chance to step forward and have an aspect in government,” he said.

LaCross’ second presentation was the senator for international students. The senator is required to have attended the university for at least a semester and continue attending for the next year and fulfill the term.

The senator’s main task is to work with the Office of International Affairs and bring concerns and suggestions to the USG.

Hale said the senate’s last meeting of the semester will be Wednesday, and the two final director positions, director of programming and the executive director, will be presented. Then, during winter break, all of the official bylaws will be assembled.

The first meeting of the spring semester will start discussion on all of the presented bylaws, and the senators hope to have an official vote by the second meeting in January.

USS meets for the last time this semester at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Student Center Governance Chambers.

Contact student politics reporter Kelly Pickerel at [email protected].