Student Council passes appointment bill and approves new CIOs at semester’s last meeting

Student Council passes appointment bill and approves new CIOs at semester's last meeting
Student Council passes appointment bill and approves new CIOs at semester's last meeting

The measure appointed Isaac Glasser to the Student Council’s Audit and Management Board.

Valentina Mendoza Gonzalez, Student Council president and third-year Batten student, gave an update on numerous current executive board initiatives at the final Student Council General Body meeting of the Spring 2024 semester. Student Council also passed two bills, one finalizing the appointment of fourth-year college student Isaac Glasser as a new director within the organizations branch, which oversees and supports student groups on campus, and the other recognizing eight new student groups as contracted independent organizations.

In the administrative reports segment of the meeting, Mendoza Gonzalez, president and third-year Batten student, presented on various current executive board initiatives.

Because the Student Council is still working on establishing and managing programs for the fall semester over the summer, various discussions about new projects have taken place with university management.

According to Mendoza Gonzalez, these initiatives include the creation of a prospective grant for student leaders, which has been explored with University President Jim Ryan. A second task committee has been exploring with Dean of Admission Greg Roberts the possibility of developing a new visitation program for high school seniors that would allow prospective university students from underrepresented backgrounds to explore the campus.

Mendoza Gonzalez also stated that she will meet with Kenyon R. Bonner, vice president and chief student affairs officer, to explore future ideas for the Student Council Endowment Fund, which will provide $750,000 to Student Council over the course of three years. Mendoza Gonzalez further stated that the endowment has had a substantial impact on Student Council operations thus far.

“This is real money, and that’s a lot of money that students are handling,” Mendoza Gonzalez said. “That’s super cool about student self-governance.”

Ryan announced the endowment in Fall 2023, which would fund Student Council programs like those given by the Support and Access Programs branch. Mendoza Gonzalez’s campaign for the spring 2024 elections focused on two important issues: establishing a visitor program and growing the endowment fund.

During the legislative session, the Student Council unanimously approved SB24-25, which established eight new student groups as CIOs. Student groups who receive CIO accreditation are eligible for specific advantages on Grounds, such as the opportunity to reserve university locations for organization meetings and seek financial support from the Student Council’s Student Activities Fund.

The Spectra: The Virginia Engineering and Science Research Journal, the Cosplay, Costuming, and Crafts Club, the Cricket Club, the Asian American Pacific Islander Nursing Student Association, the Civil Discourse Initiative, the College Companions and Compassionate Connections Initiative, Night Train B, and the Graduate Sports Club were among the new CIOs recognized. Andreas Masiakos, representative body chair and third-year college student, stated that the student clubs met the requirements for CIO approval.

“Our job is, again, not to vet the organizations based on their purpose,” Masiakos was quoted as saying. “[Our job is to ensure] just whether they are satisfying the objective requirements that we set.”

These five criteria include having at least ten members, more than half of whom are students, having student officers lead the organization, maintaining and updating a constitution, signing a CIO agreement and non-discrimination policy, and developing a proposed plan to ensure the organization’s longevity.

The Student Council also passed a second bill appointing a new director to the Board of Audit and Management Committee. Ryan Bowers, vice president for organizations and a third-year Commerce student, selected Glasser for the role, which is in charge of auditing the Student Council’s appropriation distributions of SAF monies.

The BAM Committee’s mission is to perform audits to ensure that SAF funds and Student Council allocations are distributed fairly and appropriately.

BAM selects CIO funding requests at random from each rolling round of applications, investigates how allocations were decided, and reports any potential concerns or notes to the Appropriations Committee.

Glasser’s responsibilities will include managing these activities and acting as a liaison between organization leaders and the representative body. Bowers was unable to attend the meeting, so Mendoza Gonzalez spoke on his behalf.

“Ryan has waited to ensure that this person is the best fit for the position,” Mendoza Gonzalez explained. “He is very confident in Isaac.”

Masiakos stated that the Student Council may meet with administrators over Zoom this summer to consider new projects. They will resume general body meetings beginning with the next academic semester.

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