SGA passes more than 24 pieces of legislation this fall

Staff Writer

The Student Government Association has passed more than 24 pieces of legislation this semester, making this the most productive administration in the past three years.

 “We’re trying to manage all of the students’ needs that we’ve heard so far,” SGA Vice President Michael Cimino said.

One of the resolutions that SGA is working on is the implementation of a bike share program on campus. This program would bring approximately 50 bikes to campus to be rented by students with their Topper Tender for a maximum of three hours.

Sen. Andy Hirschfeld is currently working on this project. It is still in the research phase, which includes getting quotes from vendors and receiving student input.

“I’d hopefully like (the bike share program) to be implemented before spring break,” Hirschfeld said. “That’s a little ambitious, but it’s definitely something to work for.”

Hirschfeld also recently worked on legislation that would allow SGA to work with the University Police Department to enforce the Austin Ordinance that prohibits smoking within 15 feet of any building entrance.   

This bill was recently passed by SGA and is currently being implemented.

“We’re trying to respect the health and safety of students while respecting personal liberties,” Hirschfeld said. “We also have to uphold the integrity of the university by actually following city laws.”

SGA will be adding permanent signs around campus to remind students of this ordinance. Although mainly warnings will be issued this semester, student ticketers and UPD will begin issuing tickets next semester.

Another resolution that SGA is working on is a Religious Accommodation Bill, which would accommodate the needs of students of various faiths who often have to miss class for religious events or holidays.

“Other universities do (have this accommodation), and it’s just one of those things that we should get behind as a Catholic University,” Cimino said.

SGA Senator Jacqueline Schicker is working with Campus Ministry and the Faculty Senate to implement this. 

“If this bill is passed, teachers can’t be forced to follow it, but if they don’t use religious accommodations, it will appear on their syllabus so that students will know that when signing up for classes,” Cimino said.

Other pieces of legislation currently being researched by SGA senators include working with campus administration to change the university’s email and file-sharing system from Zimbra to Gmail and working with St. Mary’s University SGA to design and buy a “Battle of the Saints Cup” to be won at Battle of the Saints competitions.

“I definitely feel like we’ve started on more projects this year than last year, and there are more voices pitching in to projects,” Stonecipher said. “But the struggle will be having the senators coming together to accomplish these goals. There are a lot of ideas on the table, but there haven’t been a lot of solid things accomplished yet.”