By the people, for the people: CSG weekly update

In an effort to pique student interest in the New Leadership Conference, which will be held at Chatham University from May 31 to June 5, Annie Guadagnino, Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics (PCWP) Program Coordinator, came to the Chatham Student Government (CSG) meeting on Thursday, March 26 to speak about the program.

“The conference addresses the underrepresentation of women in politics,” she said, explaining that it focuses on politics, public speaking, advocacy, networking, lobbying, and campaigning.

The weeklong initiative, which is free for Chatham students, also includes a trip to Harrisburg, a social action project, and mock city and county council meetings, where students learn to, “speak clearly and succinctly,” and have to opportunity to meet representatives in the field of politics.

Guadagnino also made it clear that everyone is welcome to apply for the program, saying, “We’ve had people all across the board attend. This is not just for political science majors.”

After Guadagnino’s presentation, the CSG proceeded to the other items on their agenda, including the Undergraduate Budget Committee report from Sam Elbaz, CSG Vice President of Finance.

The committee began their last meeting with $9,930.31. The Student Activities Council requested $329 and were granted $230.30, and the Apartment Residence Hall Council (RHC) requested and was granted $160. However, it was later determined that the Student Activities Budget covers the Apartment RHC, meaning those funds were added back to the UBC budget, leaving $9700.01 for the rest of the semester.

The CSG also voted on whether or not to accept proposed changes to their constitution, which were discussed at length in previous meetings. The vote passed in the Senate with a   two-thirds majority.

At their next meeting the CSG will vote on their code of conduct–a document, separate from the constitution, which outlines such things as dress code and attendance policy. The document also includes a list of the Chatham traditions that CSG members are required to attend.  This list was shortened from previous years–a decision that some members of the Senate questioned.

“These [student run] events are generally under attended,” Elbaz said. “We should still make an effort to be there.”

The CSG also discussed the presentation on sustainability from Mary Whitney, University Sustainability Coordinator, the previous week.

In regards to the issue of composting at the apartments, Senate members were weary of Whitney’s suggestion of worm bins (composting bins with live worms in them that require a great deal of upkeep). Eir Rivera, a Class of 2015 representative, expressed the opinion that it is not a viable option at the moment, saying, “We cannot just keep saying, ‘Oh, Facilities will take care of it.’”

Others suggested giving incentives for people who do compost or simply promoting the composting options that are already available at Chatham by putting up posters with pictures that make it clear what is and isn’t compostable.

Additionally, the point was made that the focus does not have to be on the Shadyside campus.

“We already have a culture here where people take their trash and throw it in a dumpster,” Skylar Wilcha, Class of 2015 president, said. “But Eden Hall will be immersed in a sustainable culture.”

Other items of note from the meeting included brief discussions about the exorbitant service charges at the carriage house ATM, which CSG Advisor Heather Black said would be looked in to, and student complaints about the Wi-Fi, which Sarah Jugovic, CSG Executive President, said IT was addressing, so students should, “stay tuned for an update.”

The final point of discussion was regarding the rumored location changes of on campus student resources like the post office and bookstore, none of which were confirmed at the time of the meeting.

“Why should we cause all this extra unrest,” Chloe Bell, Class of 2016 Representative, said. “Image how returning students will feel next year when they come back, and there are boys everywhere, and everything has moved.”

Elbaz agreed, saying, “I just don’t understand why there needs to be so much movement right now.”

Upcoming events at Chatham include Spring Carnival on April 4, the in-person Student Organization Forum meeting on April 7, Closing Convocation on April 14, Senior Coffee Hour on April 16, and a possible early screening of “Pitch Perfect 2” during Maymester.

The CSG meets every Thursday, and all meetings are open to the student body.

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