Head meets table: Student Government Senate confused on bill procedures


Senators discussed the potential for solar panels on the Mundat Library, but say more research is needed.

At the most recent Student Government Association meeting, the senate focused on safety and solar panels, but were unsure what it meant to table a bill.

On March 9, a senate bill was tabled to be proposed again and two referendums were tabled until the next formal meeting. The legislature admitted they were unsure whether tabling a proposal meant it would be cut completely.

“Tabling does not mean killing, which I thought it did,” Vice President Carlos Martinez said.

The senators were told to postpone a vote for a specific time if they were not tabling to kill the proposal, after Senate Bill 11 had already been tabled.

Senate Resolution 12 regarding solar panel research was approved for first passage. SR-12, authored by Sen. Miguel Escoto, who was not present at the meeting, and titled the “solar panel report,” will investigate the costs and benefits of powering the Munday Library with solar panels.

Sen. Jack Leon presented the proposal that aims to approve the research needed for final passage and to present that to the university for consideration.

SGA President Jamie Cardenas explained that the library was chosen because similar reports have been shut down by the university in the past when proposed for red-roofed buildings.

The cost of the solar panels is yet to be determined since the company still needs to provide a quote for the building. Internal Affairs Director Ben Griffith mentioned the “Charged Up” bill that was voted down last year, stating that one of the issues was who would pay for the panels.

 Leon said it will be the school’s decision, while Sen. Jovahana Avila suggested SR-12 should be funded through student donations.

Escoto included the library utility report in his proposal, which showed that 26,600 KWH are used a month costing a total of $2,447.49. According to the senators, the solar panels would cut down the cost as well as the kilowatts used.

Martinez, who is also part of the Master Plan committee, said he has not seen anything of this scale be presented.

“This is totally within our mission as a social justice university,” Leon said.

The report was approved; Sen. Carlos Alpuche and Sen. Oliver Guerra abstained.

SB-11 would make the Senate Safety Committee a permanent standing committee. The bill was met with criticism for its word choice from several senators as well as SGA members.

In the end, a motion was made to table the bill before clarifying whether that meant it would be scrapped or postponed, resulting in the killing of the bill. 

Martinez confirmed the bill can be presented again, but he and parliamentary Zwiesineyi Chindori-Chininga will have to decide whether the name will need to be changed.  

In the final comments, Sen. Cameron Galvan and Sen. Jade Patterson made a motion to reconsider SB-11, but the motion failed to pass the legislative vote.

After clarification by Chindori-Chininga, the two referendums in question were tabled until the next formal meeting.