Student Government approves new budget, hear new legislation for school year

Van Nguyen

Student Government approved the 2016-2017 budget at Tuesday’s meeting, and representatives presented legislation for the upcoming school year.

Members of SG approved the budget unanimously. Legislation presented at the meeting proposed adding a political debate for the general election, syllabi access for students and gender-inclusive bathrooms.

The proposed debate would be held on Sept. 28, and SG will reach out to the Austin-American Statesman and The Daily Texan for moderation. SG will also reach out to political groups on campus like College Republicans and University Democrats to participate in the debate. 

“We thought it’d be a good idea for SG to continue tradition of hosting a debate [for the general election] and we want to include actual state party representatives,” SG communications director Colton Becker, SG communications director said.

The debate will be focused on issues in the presidential race, not on the candidates. A question committee will prepare questions for the debate. Organizations involved in the debate will be offered opportunities to table to advertise the debate.

Bishop Wash, Senate of College Councils policy director, introduced legislation created in collaboration with SG to add a tab for past syllabi near where classes are shown on University websites. According to Wash, past syllabi are currently hidden and this legislation will move them to the front, allowing students to access them more easily. 

“It’s too important a tool not to have,” Wash, an advertising senior, said. “We think this will ease the process of registration.”

University Wide Representative Ashley Choi presented Assembly Resolutions 6 and 7, which both support adding more gender inclusive bathrooms on campus.

There are currently 40 gender inclusive bathrooms on campus, and the ultimate goal is to have a gender inclusive bathroom in every campus building.

A.R. 6 would support gender inclusive sign changes for all single use and unisex bathrooms on campus. According to Choi, the term unisex is transphobic because it implies there are only two genders.

“The sign changes will be inclusive to not conform to the gender binary,” Choi, an international relations and Arabic senior, said.

Choi said the University should change these unisex signs to be respectful of all genders.

A.R. 7 will add gender inclusive bathrooms to buildings that don’t have single or unisex bathrooms. This addition of gender-inclusive bathrooms will require additional construction from the University.

Both A.R. 6 and 7 were voted for unanimously. SG representatives will approach building managers across campus to ask for compliance with the legislation.

According to Choi, similar legislation was passed in previous years, but not all University building managers complied with the SG suggestions.

The Gender and Sexuality Center is currently in possession of the new signs and will distribute them to buildings that comply with the legislation.