Miami University's Associated Student Government (ASG) heard from University President Greg Crawford and passed two bills, establishing a Secretary of Safety and supporting a more flexible swipe meal plan at their meeting Tuesday, Jan. 29.
The meeting began with a presentation from Crawford, in which he discussed highlights from the past year in terms of Miami's rankings and student involvement.
Sophomore RA senator Mariana Niekamp ran against first-year On-Campus Senator Chelsea Kao in an election held to fill an open seat on ASG's steering committee, which manages the agenda for ASG's weekly meetings. Kao won the seat.
After the election, senators discussed a bill to create a Secretary of Safety position. Academic Senator Shelby Frye explained that she wrote the bill because the duties of the safety committee chair (a seat held by a senator) are equivalent to those of cabinet secretaries (a paid executive position), yet the safety chair position is unpaid.
Many senators agreed with Frye that since safety is a priority for many students and their parents, the position should be paid. The bill passed with 23 senators voting for, six against and two abstentions.
A bill to ensure respectful debate within ASG was tabled until the Feb. 12 meeting to allow time for the 11 elections that will take place during the meeting next Tuesday, Feb. 5.
ASG also passed a resolution for "dining equity" that expresses support for a flexible swipe program. The program would assign a dollar value to a swipe so that students could use that money at a la carte dining locations.
Though the resolution is very similar to a bill passed last year, senators clarified that they believe this resolution would be more successful because the language focuses on the differences in food quality and healthiness between dining halls and a la carte locations. Frye said that after conducting a poll, the senators found the majority of students prefer places where they can use their declining balances and also think those places are healthier.
The resolution passed unanimously, and senators from the on-campus affairs committee plan to visit the Campus Services Center to discuss its implementation.