SGA votes on adjunct, butterfly bills during special session

The hilltop could experience a change in the butterfly population to go along with the changing of the seasons.

In a special session called by Vice President Carlos Martinez, the Student Government Association voted unanimously on a resolution for an Earth Day project to plant more milkweeds in the grass area between East and Teresa Halls. Caterpillars of monarch butterflies are able to thrive in areas in which milkweeds are available for them to reside in and feast on.

The project will require facilities to mow the perimeter where the milkweeds will be planted, as well as volunteers to water the milkweeds in the weeks following.

“Monarch butterflies are an endangered species and we ought to protect them,” said Sen. Carlos Alpuche, who authored the resolution.

Approximately 970 million monarchs have vanished since 1990, according to the Washington Post, but the species has yet to be classified as endangered.

Another green oriented piece of legislation passed, and it aims to bring a blue recycling bin to dorm rooms in all residence halls.

Currently, students are supplied with two beige colored bins, which are implied to be used for trash. While students have access to recycling bins in their residence halls, the resolution would ensure that a bin is easily accessible.

“When you’re thinking, ‘well should I take this little bottle down to the second floor in my pajamas? No.’ But if there was one right there, then [students] would be much more likely to use them,” Sen. Jack Leon said.

Moving forward with the resolution will require feedback from Residence Life, though Leon has collaborated with Students for Sustainability on the idea of the additional bin. Advocating for his resolution, Leon noted that one of the four pillars of student government this year is sustainability.

The special senate session March 2, also featured a resolution authored by Sen. Jovahanna Avila to incorporate an adjunct appreciation day into the school calendar.

Alpuche inquired whether there is an appreciation day for full-time professors, which there is not.

“I wanted to focus on adjunct professors because in the past they’ve always gotten the short end of the stick in terms of how much they get paid or the benefits they get,” said Avila. “They also don’t have their own office.”

The annual Christmas party hosted by St. Edward’s University in the past included adjuncts. However, four years ago, it was changed for benefits-eligible professors and staff only. However, in a reversal, adjuncts were invited to the Christmas party in 2016.

Avila has spoken to adjunct professors, but has not determined what the appreciation day would entail.

Each of the resolutions are expected to be voted on for final passage at the next formal senate meeting March 9.