Student Government Update

BY DAVID RUSSELL-JENSEN
For the UAS Whalesong
UAS Student Government met for our annual retreat the last weekend of September – in a nutshell it was a fun-filled and let’s-get-down-to-business meeting, where we discussed our goals for Student Government, our goals for ourselves, and we worked on editing our Constitution. The Constitution will take a little more time to work through at an upcoming planned special meeting, but we are all on board for keeping the most important people up to date with everything we do – the student body. Be sure to like us on Facebook at University of Alaska SE Student Government, and check out our portal on the UAS website (uas.alaska.edu/juneau/activities/student_gov) or by just googling UAS Student Government.
On our UAS website, students may find information about everything we do, including who each Student Government representative is, what we do for students (including providing grants and scholarships for travel – check them out!), our UAS Student Government sponsored events calendar, our meeting minutes, and our current Constitution. Our Constitution will be changing this semester, so we encourage students to review it and provide constructive ideas to any Student Government representative.
At our Student Government retreat we changed our Friday meeting time from 1:00-2:00 PM to 11:30AM-1:00PM due to schedule conflicts, so please be sure to look for us on the second floor of Egan in Egan-224, 225, or the Glacier View room at that time and get involved.
We haven’t yet passed any new bills or resolutions, but are working on carrying out what we’ve passed so far – bringing back coffee services and recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day. We’re considering creative ways to provide students with coffee services that can be balanced with a tighter budget, and we would appreciate any and all feedback from students. UAS  Student Government is collaborating with Wooch.Een, an inclusive student leadership club promoting culture and language, to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Monday, October 12, 2015. During the week of October 12, Wooch.Een will anonymously receive feedback from the public about the importance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day and the controversy Columbus Day has created. Wooch.Een is grateful to the Egan Public Library for allowing us to utilize a portion of the library to display a poster, a copy of the UAS Student Government Resolution 1516-01 Recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and an anonymous submission box which members of the public can submit feedback to a question. After Friday, the submission box will be closed and Wooch.Een will convene to review the feedback, whether it’s thoughtful or  supportive, or whether it’s challenging and potentially offensive. An open-door public discussion will occur on Saturday November 7, 2015 in the Egan Library at noon, where Wooch.Een will facilitate discussion around some of the especially challenging feedback received. Food and light refreshments will be provided, courtesy of PITAAS, the NRSC, and Wooch.Een.
Some bills and resolutions which have been introduced but not yet passed: Resolution 1516-02 Gender Neutral Bathrooms, recognizing UAS Juneau Campus’ long overdue need for all gender bathrooms so that students, staff, and faculty of all genders can have access to a safe bathroom. This resolution will be voted on Friday, October 9. We are also looking at how to appropriately support UAS Juneau Campus’ long-standing department Halloween costume contest.
Be sure to come to our Friday meetings, 11:30AM-1:00PM, Egan building!

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