The Student Governance Council (SGC) is in the research phase for several bills such as a physical and mental health bill, a bill that would extend library hours, a bill on Meals and an initiative to update the Campus Lighting Improvement Bill, which the SGC passed. in the fall of 2021.
The SGC often creates internal committees when working on bills and areas of student interest that any student can participate in. Junior Senate President Austin Ruffino said members of the SGC, like junior Tessa Kurtz, a senator from the School of Health and Human Performance Sciences, have begun the process of creating the Mental Health and Wellness Committee at the fall 2019. The first meeting of the committee took place on February 25 and he plans to meet with the Center for Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) soon. Freshman Noah Richardson, a senator for the class of 2025, discussed his idea of bringing a bill for a mental and physical health day to the committee, but said the idea was in its very first stages. steps.
“COVID[-19] knock and then everything became very difficult, but he finally had his first meeting,” Ruffino said. “This is an internal committee of the SGC open to the public, so that students can come and register. We also try to create new committees for relevant topics, like the social justice and sustainability committee which is also new.
Kurtz said she has also been working on a bill with other SGC students since the fall of 2021 to have at least one gender-neutral bathroom in every college building. There are currently no gender-neutral bathrooms at Phillips Hall, The Natural Science Center, Friends Hall, the Hill Center, Superior Quads, the Lower quads and the Terraces University residences.
The college has a list of all gender neutral bathrooms and their locations on the LGBT Center webpage. She said the goal was to convert some gender-responsive bathrooms into all-gender bathrooms rather than building new ones. Kurtz said the bill is still in the research phase and she is looking at what other schools have done to make gender-neutral bathrooms available on their campuses.
Junior Lauren Hitesman, varsity athlete senator; junior Harley Grossman, senator from the School of Humanities; and sophomore James Zampetti, Vice President of Communications are in the early stages of a bill that Hitesman says will hopefully extend the hours of Ithaca Ccollege library services. Zampetti said he had spoken with students who worked in the library and that they wanted the library to be open all day because they would like to work more hours.
“The beauty of recommendations is that you’re standing up for the student body and therefore asking because there’s a specific need that’s not being met,” Zampetti said. “We believe that funds should be allocated to achieve this.”
Senior Letícia Guibunda, vice president of campus affairs, said she noticed at least six broken lights along the garden walkway Apartments that exceed Z Lot. The council first presented Campus Lighting Improvement Bill December 6, 2021, which has since been implemented by the Facilities Office. The bill resulted in the repair or replacement of more than 80 light fixtures on campus with mostly LED lights, that last longer and are shinier. The bill is now resolved, but the Facilities Office has committed to fixing more devices in the spring of 2022 when the ground thaws, allowing better access to underground infrastructure. Guibunda said she plans to meet Tim Carey, associate vice president of the Office of Facilities, to add the newly broken lights to the bill., so that they can be repaired this spring or summer.
Guibunda is also a member of the SGC working on a bill to reassess options and costs for college meal plans. She said part of the bill would seek to expand the number of meal plan options while also considering affordability. She said the bill’s idea is rooted in upper-class concerns about being forced to choose between the Unlimited Meal Plan, which includes unlimited meal sweeps and $230 in Bomber Bucks for each semester, or the transportation plan, which includes five meal sweeps each week and $400 in Bomber Bucks for the semester. The other part of the bill is to find a way to have more flexibility or accommodations for students with religious food-related needs or students with dietary restrictions and allergies. All students who live in residential accommodation – with the exception of students living in the Garden Apartments and Circle Apartments – are required to participate in the college meal plan.
“It doesn’t necessarily make sense for someone who doesn’t have access to most things the dining room offers to pay the same price as someone who could eat it all,” Guibunda said. “We’re still clarifying that and hopefully something will be done soon.”
March 9, SGC members will be at the Campus Center to recruit students for SGC committees and general participation. The SGC saw a decreased student engagement and currently has 17 of the 25 vacant senatorial positions and is still in the process of electing a president.
Zampetti said via email that SGC is the sole representative body of the vsmiddle Schoolit’s student community.
“SGC is working with the student community to implement changes on campus and improve student life,” Zampetti said via email. “SGC is always looking for student feedback, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] You can also find more information about us at https://www.ithaca.edu/student-governance-council.”