USGT addresses financial aid, seat allocation

In their first meeting back since winter break, USGT discussed student funds, spring break and upcoming events

The Undergraduate Student Government Tempe announced legislation dealing with financial aid and further discussed opportunities that are available to students surrounding the issue in their first meeting of the spring semester. 

Senator Nathaniel Anbar, a first-year student majoring in chemical engineering, discussed a bill that would redirect $200,000 to a fund geared towards helping students get discounts at ASU bookstores. Assuming the bill is passed in its entirety, textbooks will be sold at a discount for several semesters. Specifics such as the source of the funding, what the exact discount on textbooks will be introduced and discussed at a later date.

The Student Crisis Fund, offered by the ASU Foundation, is open with around $90,000 left and is still accepting applications, Senator Daiva Scovil said. Students suffering from food and housing insecurity, unanticipated medical expenses, family emergencies, fires, broken down cars, rising rent, theft and any sudden financial stress can apply to receive aid.

“It’s money for students that are at a point where they can’t go anywhere else,” said Dan Laliberte, a regional board member of the Sun Devil Family Association in a video promoting the fund. “Most people can go to their family, friend or relative but sometimes people from out of state or country that just can’t do that.”

When asked about days off during the semester after ASU canceled spring break, Dean of Students Cassandra Aska restated that students would not have their break.

"It is not a reflection of your voice not being heard," Aska said. "It is a reflection of all voices coming to the table and then making an informed decision."

Senator Cameron Decker, a sophomore double majoring in global agribusiness and civic and economic thought and leadership, proposed to remove the senate seat that represented the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions

The number of seats held by each college is determined by the number of students enrolled with the respective college on the Tempe campus. The Senator believed that the seat held by Watts did not accurately represent the student body.

READ MORE: ASASU announces USGT executive runoff and misappropriated senate seats

"After further investigation the one student on our list from Watts is actually living on the downtown campus, so the seat is not legitimate and should be removed," Decker said.

The proposal was approved without objection from any other senator.

Complete list of the Senate seats that will be held by each college in Tempe is displayed on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.

Finally, the University Affairs Committee announced a Title IX project consisting of two main events aimed at addressing sexual assault.

The first is a PowerPoint presentation that will include different ASU clubs advocating against sexual assault on campus, however the dates have yet to be determined. The second is a monthly resource spotlight that will be posted on Instagram. The posts will provide information about handling a case and resources for help on campus.

READ MORE: ASU’s sexual assault investigation processes leave survivors traumatized, often without justice

Vloggers and social media buffs also had news to get excited about since Vice President of Services Joshua Freid revealed that USGT is planning to include YouTube personality David Dobrik in a student engagement event in the near future.

The next USGT Senate meeting will be held on Feb. 2. 

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