Student government closes semester, legislation to be revisited in spring

The Student Government Association closed out the semester with resolutions to expand bookstore merchandise and build a track.

Sen. Jack Leon authored S.R. 8, living wage products in university bookstore, which proposes to begin a discussion with the managers of the university bookstore to add products from Alta Gracia, “the only apparel company in the developing world that is independently certified in paying a living wage,” according to the company’s website.

Leon’s resolution proposes to keep the use of merchandise from companies such as Nike, Jansport and Under Armour but have the option available to students to buy apparel from factories that pay their workers a “living wage.”

“When we talk about a living wage, we talk about factories that are certified through fair trade, that they pay their workers a wage that goes above just scraping by,” Leon said. “They also provide health care, child care, education for children, all these amazing things that developing nations need to grow and become a better place for citizens.”

Concerns were addressed about whether the bookstore has enough space to accommodate a section in the bookstore for Alta Gracia products, as well as the quality and cost of their products.

“Currently, the suppliers of the university bookstore’s clothing items — be it sweatshirts, t-shirts, backpacks — do not purchase their products with factories that pay their workers a decent wage,” Leon said. “As a social justice university, it is our mission to recognize the problems of our world and work to address them.”

Senators voted in favor of the resolution with the exception of Sen. Oliver Guerra, who abstained. The resolution will face a final passage vote in the spring. Store manager Tim Jackson did not immediately respond to requests for a comment.

Another piece of legislation that was voted through first passage was S.R. 5, authored by Sen. Victoria Mayorga, which pushes to build a track.

If the resolution moves through final passage, then SGA would move to propose to the university to fund the track, through a method such as incorporating the idea into the master plan, which has not yet been presented to the university.

Mayorga said that the cross country and track team uses the track at Travis High School, but that the track is equipped for high school, rather than the collegiate athletes.

“[The track] is a lot of money, but it is for the growth of the school,” Mayorga said.

Senators discussed possible locations of the track, such as around the soccer field and behind the university apartments before unanimously voting the resolution through first passage.

Parliamentarian Zwiesineyi Chindori-Chininga addressed internal workings of SGA with two bills that, if approved, would create the position of an election commissioner and address administrative procedure regulations.

As of now, the parliamentarian has the duties of elections commissioner. If passed, the bill would create a new position in SGA.

The bill about administrative procedure regulations seeks to document various committees within the association and their goals. “I think the intent (of the bill) is admirable because it speaks to our ability to keep records of what was going on in the student government association in the past,” Vice President Carlos Martinez said.

Though senators are typically given 10 minutes to have pieces of legislation proposed to them due to time constraints, additional minutes were requested. When put it up for vote, the bill was approved through first passage.

Legislation that could potentially bring a farmers market to campus in the spring semester was voted through final passage during the meeting as well.

Interest in a farmers market was gauged through a survey that had about 200 participants, 98.8 percent of which said they would go to a farmers market on campus.