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Senate GBM Feb. 25 recap

The Student Senate's fourth general body meeting on Feb. 25 addressed an override of fiscal policy to allow a club to purchase personal t-shirts, a proposal to give Carnegie Mellon students unlimited digital access to The New York Times, as well as the vision of the new President's Cabinet.

The Triple Helix at Carnegie Mellon, a STEM policy club publishing annual journals created last year during the pandemic, asked the Joint Funding Committee for funds to purchase merchandise such as t-shirts, hoodies, and masks for the club. This request went against Article IV Section C4 of the Student Senate Fiscal Policy, which prohibits the use of funds to purchase personal equipment. However, representatives for The Triple Helix expressed that they could use the clothing to promote their club, as they had not had the same marketing opportunities that clubs created before the pandemic had, such as booths at fairs. The Senate voted 17 to 2 to override the fiscal bylaw, but also voted 12 to 3 with one abstain to require the club to only give clothing to club executives and members who had been with the club for one year.

The Senate also deliberated on a proposal to use media fee funds to purchase unlimited digital access to The New York Times. The school already has paper access to 24-hour academic passes for The New York Times through the Collegiate Readership Program, but some students requested digital passes as well. After The New York Times reached out to the student government to discuss digital passes for all Carnegie Mellon students, Carnegie Mellon University Libraries offered to pay one-third of the $13,400 fee, while the student government proposed using media fee funds, paid for by the student body, to pay for the rest of the fee. The proposal passed 18 to 0 with one abstain.

In addition to the earlier votes, the Student Body President's Cabinet presented their goals for the school year. They mentioned working with the Career and Professional Development Center to improve Carnegie Mellon's rankings among students and employers, working with housing to implement more sustainable practices while also cutting down on costs, and finding better ways to evaluate the wellness of the student body. They suggested creating a wellness survey or including wellness as a question on the Daily Self-Assessment.