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ASG elects a new Speaker Pro Tempore and passes 3 resolutions

Secretary of the Treasury Venus Harvey gives an update to ASG stating student organization funding is returning to pre-pandemic levels.
Secretary of the Treasury Venus Harvey gives an update to ASG stating student organization funding is returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Miami University’s Associated Student Government (ASG) elected a new Speaker Pro Tempore, passed three pieces of legislation and heard three committee updates during its weekly meeting on Nov. 28.

Senators Olive Abram, Kirsten Osteboe, Nicholas Barry, Gracie Grady and Jeffrey Koch were nominated for the Speaker Pro Tempore position. Each nominee gave a two-minute speech about qualifications and what it would mean for ASG if they were elected. Then, they were given one minute to answer questions.

Ultimately, ASG elected Osteboe. In her speech, she said she would update the senators’ canvas page and ensure a clean office space upon receiving the position. 

Osteboe spoke about transparency. She plans on having bi-weekly oversight meetings. 

“With senators that might end up with an oversight referral, [we want to] get ahead before oversight and [be] proactive,” Osteboe said.

The first resolution ASG passed encouraged Miami to include a clause about composting in the next dining contract, following Aramark’s departure. Senator Abram helped author the resolution.

“We just want to make sure that there is some sort of clause in [the contract] that enforces composting, specifically in the back of the house,” Abram said.

Senator Kiser Young expressed support for the resolution.

“[The Sustainability Committee is] already trying to make strides in how we reduce food waste on our campus,” Young said. “By locking Miami into that, that's a really smart idea.”

Senator John Day co-authored the second resolution passed. ASG will encourage Miami to institute a sustainability fee. Students would pay a mandatory $15 per semester. The legislation was based on other schools with similar fees. Day referenced the $50 mental health fee students pay for campus services.

The last piece of legislation, co-authored by Senator Daniel Martin, aimed at updating the role of the Secretary for Safety and Wellness. The resolution changed certain language around mandatory duties. Instead of being “required” to hold an event during both semesters, the Secretary is “encouraged.” ASG unanimously passed the resolution.

Secretary of On-Campus Affairs Grace Payne reported that 9,222 meal swipes were donated over Thanksgiving break. Students set a new record for the highest amount of donations. The previous record was set before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“What a way for me to go out,” Payne said.

Secretary of Communications and Media Relations Sydney Marcum gave ASG an update. She discussed working with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee on inclusive communication training. Marcum thanked those who helped with the Power of Words campaign. She talked about the ASG newsletter, which shares information about upcoming events. Students can subscribe to the newsletter on the ASG website

Secretary of DEI August Ogunnowo gave an update on their committee’s progress. March 11 to 16 is DEI week. There are various events being held from 3 to 8 p.m. like honoring the Myaamia tribe March 11, cultural food showcases on March 13 and an art show on March 15. The committee will request funding from ASG for this event, but Ogunnowo said they will reach out to other potential sponsors as well.

Secretary of the Treasury Venus Harvey gave an update on the decrease in organization funding requests. However, ASG gave out $64,000 more than last fall. Harvey said funding for student organizations is returning to pre-pandemic levels.

“That's what we want to see,” Harvey said. 

The next ASG meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Feb. 6 in the Joslin Senate Chamber.