The Undergraduate Student Government meeting Tuesday night will feature an open letter to senators for a call to provide better transparency and accountability between USG and the student body.
Sen. Jordan Hibbs authored the letter to senators as a call to action and is proposing the creation of an Oversight and Government Reform Ad-Hoc Committee.
“I want the senators to read this letter before the meeting, so we can all be on the same page for when this issue arises during the meeting,” Hibbs said.
The issue causing the most division among senators is that some of them just don’t want to be there anymore, she said.
“I think the senators don’t really want to do more work than they have to,” Hibbs said. “We think they are just there for the money that they get at the end of the semester now because during meetings people are just sitting there and are closing the speakers list and never really want to talk about anything.”
Creating transparency is a key issue that USG has been speaking about since last semester, and Hibbs wants it to finally become a reality.
“Students should not have to rely on the State Press to get information regarding USG and the senate,” Hibbs stated in her letter.
Accountability is the other major issue Hibbs said she hopes will get fixed during Tuesday’s meeting.
“The Executive Board, USG staff and senators need to remember that they act on behalf of their constituents — not on behalf of the University Administration or solely on personal viewpoints,” the letter said.
These are things USG needs to work on and do and why it needs an oversight committee, Hibbs said.
Out-of-order issues have been growing over the past few weeks during USG meetings, and Hibbs said she hopes these problems will be addressed also.
“Alexis (Gonzalez), the senate president, needs to be more assertive about the out-of-order problems,” Hibbs said. “I think Alexis really needs to play a bigger role in following the rules, but I also think a lot of the senators don’t know the rules, and we are trying to get them to see what they are doing isn’t right.”
Addressing these issues now will help future senates be more productive and not have to deal with the same issues over and over again, Hibbs said.
“One thing I want the committee to work on for future senates is to have them have to take a test on the constitution, bylaws and Robert’s Rules of Order, and I think going forward, this will help future senates not have to deal with the issues we are dealing with,” she said.
Sen. Gina Gurtler said she is hopeful the letter will bring some light to the issues but isn’t sure what will happen after.
“Whether it changes anything or not will be up to the senate, and I’m not sure if it will solve anything,” she said.
Tristian Trevino, senate president pro tempore, said he doesn’t understand how Hibbs will accomplish the goals she put forth in her letter.
“I’ve read the letter, but I don’t really understand how she wants to get these things done and how it would continue on to a whole new senate next year,” he said. “I’m interested in hearing how she wants to implement these ideas, and I am pretty sure she will have a plan.”
Hibbs said she is hopeful students and organizations will attend Tuesday night’s meeting and let their senators know they want changes to be made.
“Myself and Sen. Nicolas Parra will be asking students in our classes to come out to the meeting, and we will be calling organizations to come also,” she said.
The USG Tempe meeting will be held Tuesday night at 7:15 p.m. in Memorial Union room 207.
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