Green fee and graduation accessories discussed at SGA meeting

On Thursday, Oct. 5, the Student Government Association held their third senate meeting of the semester.

This meeting proceeded like most do with executive reports, advisor reports and committee reports. No old business was brought to the table but new business included two bills. A resolution to have non-academic stoles, cords and pins at graduation; and a resolution to establish a green fee to create a UTM center for sustainability.

The first resolution, S.R. 1702 was a resolution written by Lora Moore, committee chair
for the Student Affairs Committee. The resolution asks for students to be allowed to wear
stoles, cords and pins at graduation. Currently, only academic accessories are allowed at
graduation. However, many other schools allow non-academic accessories and UTM SGA
members concluded that in college, it’s not just the academics that earn your degree.
Senators argued that college is also about the experience you gain in the non-academic
organizations that you participate in during your time as a student. S.R. 1702 had some debate but was passed and will move on to faculty senate for further consideration. Please remember that a resolution does not create action but is merely a statement of the majority opinion of senate members.

The second piece of legislation discussed was S.R. 1703 which was written and
sponsored by Jade Bleskey, chair of the Academic Affairs committee. The resolution
serves to establish a green fee to be applied to student tuition which would be applied to
creating a UTM center for sustainability. The proposed green fee is a $5 fee added to a
student’s fees each semester. This fee will go towards the development of a new center for
sustainability. SGA surveyed students last semester and concluded that the majority of those surveyed were in favor of a small green fee. The fee must be approved by the board of trustees which meets next in June.

Every student is a member of SGA and is encouraged to attend senate meetings. The
next senate meeting is scheduled for Oct. 13 in the University Center’s Legislative Chamber, Room 111. Questions can be directed to student body president, Jordan Long at
sga1@utm.edu.

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