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Half of senate absent from meeting, hindering progress

Despite a brief interruption in the senate session March 19 because there were not enough voting members in the senate chamber, Associated Student Government (ASG) passed two resolutions. One supports financial assistance to cover break housing costs, and the other is a bill that would give municipalities, like the city of Oxford, the authority to require liquor providers to implement software that scans IDs to ensure only those 21 and older are permitted to drink.

Senators Adrian Radilla, Shelby Frye, Henry Xu and Antonio Vasquez-Lim authored the resolution to support aid for students unable to leave campus during breaks and unable to pay the residence hall break fees. The senators felt that these fees disproportionately affected international students and students from states far from Ohio.

Through meetings with the Campus Services Center, the senators determined that the break housing survey sent to students living on campus could include an option for students to state that they need to stay in residence halls over the break and require financial assistance to do so. Funding would come from Miami Cares Resources, a program that supports Miami students with unexpected financial difficulties.

Senate voted unanimously to approve the resolution.

ASG also continued its push to reform the Oversight Committee with a proposed amendment to the bylaws that would add the Secretary of Diversity and Inclusion to the committee as a nonvoting member.

After senate debated the amendment, Senator Brandon Small called for a quorum check-- a count of the senators in the room-- and it was revealed that because too many senators had failed to attend the meeting or left early, ASG would be unable to continue proceedings. Senate requires a quorum of 23 voting members -- half of the senators -- to conduct business.

Senators called those who had left the chamber most recently, as well as roommates and friends, to come and serve as alternates to establish quorum. After ten minutes, enough people were gathered to resume business, and ASG approved the amendment unanimously.

Secretary for Governmental Relations Cecilia Comerford explained the key timing of the resolution in support of ID check software as students involved with Miami's Government Relations Network (GRN) were traveling to the Ohio statehouse over spring break to advocate for similar legislation. The GRN hoped that a demonstration of student support through ASG legislation would bolster their case.

The resolution passed with 26 in favor, one against and one abstention.

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