Miami University’s Associated Student Government (ASG) unanimously passed five bills at their last meeting of the semester on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
A group of senators proposed legislation during the meeting that would expand accessibility to the dining halls, particularly by adding automatic door openers to Maplestreet Commons and Western Dining Commons.
The dining halls are in compliance with minimal American Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, which do not require the buttons if doors are within a certain size and weight. Despite this, the senators said some students are still unable to open these doors without automatic buttons.
The senators expressed that this is just the first step towards making dining halls more accessible, and they hope to expand access even further in the future.
ASG also passed a bill to encourage University President Greg Crawford to sign the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. ASG’s ultimate goal is for Crawford to set a carbon neutrality date for Miami of no later than 2050.
In contrast, the UN climate report gave 12 years to accomplish the same task.
When student concerns were presented at Tuesday’s meeting, ASG voted to form an ad hoc committee tasked with reforming the Oversight committee. The suggestion to do so was a result of last month’s controversy within ASG over their handling of a video shared internally that contained a racial slur. The ad hoc committee will be led by off-campus senator Monica Venzke.
Also during student concerns, RA senator Mariana Niekamp suggested ASG needs to act in a more professional manner. The suggestion was given to the Administration committee to be looked into.
Two of the other bills passed focused on amending the ASG bylaws. The first one made the document gender neutral, replacing all of the gendered pronouns with they/them to be more inclusive to people of all gender identities.
The other change to the bylaws established a procedure for a second election in the case of a tie when electing senators.
The fifth piece of legislation changed the status of the geography major within ASG from a hard science to a soft science for the purpose of the College of Arts and Science academic senate seats. After analyzing the geography curriculum and determining that it relates to how people interact with their environments, the senators decided it would be better classified with the soft sciences.
ASG will hold a special election on Feb. 5 to fill the five seats that were recently vacated. Application packets will be available online Jan. 26.