Student Senate creates student accessibility advocate position

Ryan P. Cruz, Staff Writer

The Associated Student Government created the position of student accessibility advocate at its meeting Friday, and will appoint someone to that position at its next meeting. 

Alex Morris, who attended the meeting, will likely be appointed as the eleventh member of the senate.

“Accessibility should have a voice on the board,” said Morris.

The advocate would have the same power and responsibilities as all other members of the senate and would focus on making sure events and materials are accessible and inclusive for all students.

“There is a definite divide here on campus between able and not able,” Morris said. “There is a severe lack of support for disabled students.”

The vote to create the position passed 6-2. 

The vote passed after much discussion in which some senators questioned whether it was necessary to create a new position, or if this could fall under the responsibilities of Student Advocate Syd Abad.

The two members who voted against the creation of the new position voiced concern around appointing a new officer so late in the semester, with Vice President of External Affairs Lucas Perry adding that he was “not sure exactly what the responsibilities would be.”

Vice President of Internal Affairs Kenyon Newhouse, who also voted against creating the position, said he was supportive of appointing Morris as student accessibility advocate but suggested that the senate wait until its next meeting when language for the position and its duties would be ironed out.

“I think we should put this off until we decide what the position is,” Newhouse said.

A majority decision was made to officially create the position, as well as a subcommittee which will write the language before the Dec. 6 meeting, when Morris would be appointed.

Abad, who will be one of three in the subcommittee, said Morris would be a great addition and that he “has never met somebody as knowledgeable.

“I think if we are going to claim that we are one of the top schools in the country, we should start to act like it,” said Abad.

The Academic Senate also discussed this topic in its most recent meeting, and how this would be a relief for disabled or special needs students like Morris who feel that their voices have not been heard.

Also during the meeting, three of the four clubs asking for club grants from the student fees budget were denied after Commissioner of Clubs Weisen Ji pointed out that the clubs were “not in good standing with student government.”

The Entrepreneurship Club, Charity Club and Competitive Programming Club all failed to have representatives attend the monthly Inter-Club Council meeting, which is a requirement for all 68 clubs on campus.

“There were over 30 clubs absent at the meeting,” Ji said.

The clubs can regain good standing by participating in two different club meetings and can ask for the grants at the next student senate meeting.

The Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics was found in good standing and rewarded a $400 grant in a unanimous decision. This was the only money allocated from the meeting.

The Associated Student Government will reconvene at its next regular meeting on Dec. 6.