UVUSA to convene hearings on academic calendar changes, votes on Judicial Council

UVUSA met on Oct. 28 to discuss myriad topics, including systems thinking, proposed changes to academic breaks in the fall and spring, as well as philanthropic work. Photo by Matthew Drachman.

Utah Valley University Student Association (UVUSA) conducted its weekly council meeting in the student council chamber, decorated for Halloween, to carry out various business, made major announcements, and to hear from UVU’s Center for Social Impact (CSI).

Conducted Oct. 28, the council was eager to get to business with the Halloween spirit in the air and the weekend being near.

CSI Presentation

Cassie Bingham, an advisor for CSI and a faculty member, gave a presentation to the council about systems thinking and its role in creating social change. Systems thinking is described by Steve Brown of Southern New Hampshire University as, “investigating what set of factors and interactions are contributing to or could contribute to a possible outcome.”

“Just like a doctor you have to spot the symptoms of certain problems,” remarked Bingham. “You can’t just slap a band-aid on something and say that it is fixed.”

Bingham stressed to the council how they can be a force for real change, saying, “There are so many ways that you can be an agent for social change.”

Academic Calendar Committee Hearing

There were several important announcements for students during the meeting, including a hearing at the next council meeting concerning the potential shortening of spring and thanksgiving breaks going forward.

Ethan Morse, vice president of academics, stated that the council will be hearing from members of the Academic Calendar Committee on proposed changes to Thanksgiving and spring break to improve academic engagement with students.

The proposed changes wouldn’t take effect until 2025, and would shorten Thanksgiving break by 2 days and would amend spring break to be two shorter breaks: one 3-day break in March and one 2-day break in April. These proposals are preliminary, and have not yet been finalized.

Danielle Corbett, senator for the school of the arts, joked that any vote brought to the student council would be “dead on arrival.”

Judicial Council Vote

The student council voted unanimously in favor of the confirmation of the Judicial Council. 

As outlined in Section 13 of the UVUSA Constitution, the Judicial Council is tasked with: interpreting the constitution, to review resolutions in accordance with the constitution, to recommend punishments to constitutional violations, and to administrate impeachment and recall proceedings.

The council consists of the student body president, head parliamentarian, and four associate justices; one from each branch of UVUSA and one student at large. Members of the council include: Karen Magaña-Aguado, Daniel Clothier, Jose Rodriguez, Ella Quealy, Demmi Nava-Zapien and Emmanuel Omaria.

Election Packets

As mentioned in the previous meeting, the student government election packets are undergoing updates. Student body president Karen Magaña-Aguado announced that the revised packet will be voted on in the next council meeting, and if passed will be available on Nov. 8.

This revised packet contains a removal of the $50 deposit required for potential damages, along with a refined process of addressing grievances by student campaigns, and a process to appeal complaints against an individual campaign.

Cookies for Clothing Drive

UVUSA hosted a clothing drive in a collaboration with the student club A Hand Up, which was, according to the student council, successful.

At the time of the meeting, Bryson Finley, executive vice president, reported that the council had already seen, “about four bins of clothes donated.”

The drive has been extended through the end of the semester, and students will be able to donate until that time. “[Students] can find bins at the Loose Center, LA Concourse, and the UVUSA office,” said Finley.

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