Tempe Undergraduate Student Government meets for first time this semester, discusses eight bills

The Tempe Undergraduate Student Government met for the first time this semester on Monday to swear in various new members and discuss its elections code as well as Arizona Board of Regents new funding model.

The senate discussed a resolution to support the concept of providing medical amnesty to individuals under the age of 21 who were intoxicated and called paramedics to aid others under the influence.

Senator Felix Herbst of the University Affairs committee clarified that the USG bill is not supporting a specific state senate bill, as no such bill currently exists, but rather the general sentiment behind such a bill. 

There was considerable discussion about word choice in the bill, but it was eventually passed. 

Senate Bill 44, also proposed by the University Affairs Committee, is a resolution to support an Arizona senate bill that would consider veteran health insurance IDs and student IDs as valid forms of identification, along with a piece of identification displaying an address, for the purpose of voting. It was also moved back to committee. 

Monti Alvarenga was confirmed as the University Affairs director and Abigail Metzger was confirmed as the Spring 2016 Internal Operations director.

Government Operations Committee chairman Kanin Pruter announced the committee's plans to host town hall-style sessions to aid organizations and clubs around campus in creating their constitutions and bylaws in an effort to increase engagement with the community. 

He also discussed his desire to have USG senate meetings recorded.

"In the name of accountability and transparency, it would be really good if we could record our senate meetings, so that way we could post them on our website ... and show our student body what we actually do as senators," he said. "One of the challenges we face as senators is how do we engage our constituency as best as we can."

USG Appropriations Committee chair Aundrea DeGravina encouraged clubs and organizations to apply for money through USG.

"Our goal is to reach $0 (in the appropriations fund) by the end of the year," she said. 

She said the committee's appropriations decisions will be released on either Feb. 3 or 4. 

The senate also passed a bill to commemorate ASU student Jelissa Ruiz, who recently passed away. After it passed, a moment of silence was scheduled for the end of the meeting. 

Reach the reporter at Arren.Kimbel-Sannit@asu.edu or follow @akimbelsannit on Twitter.

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