Courtney Day, Campus Editor

Miami University Associated Student Government (ASG) passed four bills and resolutions Tuesday that established additional structure for Miami ASG and for an association of 13 student governments in Ohio.

Each piece of legislation lays out rules that student senators believe will provide clarity for future senate members and their constituents, and each passed with unanimous consent.

The Finalized Funding Act of 2010, authored by first-year senator Michael Sinko, adds details and clarifications to the rules for student organization funding. The changes reflect the processes and precedents that have been set by the funding committee. Senators hope the clarifications and rules will help student organizations in their requests for funding.

The changes also include a formal penalty structure to be added to the funding committees rules. Recent audits of student organizations have led to sanctions for misuse of funds. The new policy sets guidelines for major and minor violations and establishes penalties for each.

ASG also passed a resolution to ratify the constitution of the Ohio Student Government Association. According to Adam Harris, student body vice president, this makes Miami the first of the 13 state universities involved to ratify the constitution.

The document sets the framework for the member schools to gather as “unified representation of student governments advocating and working for the betterment of the student experience at Ohio public universities.”

Harris said together, delegates from the 13 universities represent a large group of students.

“We have incredible pull,” he said in reference to the association’s potential impact on Ohio lawmakers.

The association, Harris said is also a way for student governments to help each other improve. “The 13 state-supported schools come together and do a lot of benchmarking,” he said.

Harris said he and others from Miami and Ohio University have been working on the bylaws of the association for the past four months.

“This is great; this really pushes us forward,” Student Body President Jonathan McNabb said.

He added Miami ASG could have a strong impact on the future of the group.

“We need to promote leadership from within,” McNabb said.

Harris agreed Miami could have a positive impact in leading the association. Each of the member governments will rotate to chair the group, meaning that Miami’s student body president will be the chair once every 13 years. But Harris outlined for senators other opportunities for leadership within the association.

A third bill, humorously entitled “A Bill to Finally Make Someone in Charge of On-Campus Elections” names the president of student senate as the facilitator of the fall on-campus election process. Randi Keefer, Residence Hall Association president and author of the bill, said the amendment clarifies the responsibilities of the senate president and will help make the elections a smoother process in the future.

A fourth bill established a permanent Committee on Environmental Sustainability to replace the former adhoc committee.

Senators hope the passage of these various pieces of legislation will help ASG to retain the benefits of precedents and improvements they have made in recent months.