On Tuesday, The University of Texas at Austin’s Student Government met for their weekly assembly meeting. The attendance was relatively high, and there was a Zoom option for those wishing to attend online. The meeting was rather short, with only one resolution being considered, however, there were oaths of office conducted for multiple positions. The following is what the Student Government talked about for their October 5th Student Assembly meeting.
The meeting began with the Land Acknowledgement, which is a statement read at the beginning of each in-person meeting to pay respects to various indigenous peoples and communities who had previously occupied the land of Texas. Next, there was a moment of silence for a student who had recently passed away. Afterward, special guests were acknowledged. The Longhorn Legislative Aides co-directors came to introduce their program, a mentorship type program for freshmen who want to be involved in Student Government, and they encouraged general assembly members to spread the word to others interested. Next came the Open Forum where one student spoke about scholarships available for student advocates. Finally, oaths of offices were conducted for the new Parliamentarian, Helen Getachew, and the new Clerk, Adrian Tristan. The Chief Justice of the UT Supreme Court, Isaac James, conducted the oath.
After the oath of office was completed, final deliberations were conducted for AR 06: In Support of Housing in the Campus Area. As discussed last week, this legislation “calls for lowering the percentage of median family income that UNO S.M.A.R.T. housing is tied to, no longer restricting supply in the most affordable parts of West Campus, legalizing the building of student housing next to the university outside of West Campus, and updating the city’s Land Development Code to solve Austin’s housing crisis and take pressure off student neighborhoods.” The resolution passed with minimal Q&A. The map below was provided in the legislation for the outline of the UNO S.M.A.R.T. housing districts:
Next came the executive updates. The Advocacy Director will be meeting this week with Dr. Brownsom and Dr. Craig to discuss the MHART Oversight Committee. She is also working on legislation to increase LGBTQ access to Student Government and the assembly. Next, the Financial Director advertised the Carreon Scholarship which closes on October 11th and is open to all students, and Fund Your 40, which is a database of all scholarships offered by UT, is now available. The Chief of Staff once again advertised the Blood Brigade blood drive on October 13th. The Vice President advertised the Texas Fight rally and mentioned that he is currently working on a sustainability project to create a community garden at the Outpost. Lastly, the President advertised specific positions looking for applicants, such as the Student Regent for the University Texas Board of Regents application opening soon for a two-year position on the board. Also, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is looking for non-voting student representatives (one-year position). And finally, there are five positions open on the THECB Advisory Committee (one-year positions).
Lastly, the committee announcements took place before adjournment. The Rules and Regulations Committee will be introducing an Elections bill next week and they are working with Student Government and the Gender and Sexuality Center on a joint initiative. The Government Affairs committee is working with the Student Government housing director on a housing initiative to create equitable housing on campus, reduce student deposits for economically disadvantaged students, and work with leadership staff in Dining for collaboration. The Student Assembly was then adjourned not long after the completion of committee announcements.
Sterling Mosley is the Managing Editor of The Texas Horn. He is from Prosper, Texas, and currently attends the University of Texas at Austin as a junior. He is getting a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, History, International Relations & Global Studies, and Government and is minoring in Portuguese, Business, Spanish, and Security Studies. Sterling is an officer at the Young Conservatives of Texas chapter at UT, the Vice President of International Relations & Global Studies, co-president of Intercultural Conversations, Internal Director of Students for Central and Eastern Europe, a member of the Senate of College Councils, an officer in UT Young Historians, a co-team lead for the Innovations for Peace and Development Research lab's Governance Team, and a member of the lab's Political and Economic Sovereignty Team. Outside campus, Sterling has worked with the Borgen Project as a political intern and volunteered with the David Purdue campaign in the Georgia 2021 runoff elections. Currently, he is an intern with the Leadership Institute’s development department in Arlington, Virginia, and is participating in the Heritage Foundation's Academy program.