USG leadership called into question by RSO leaders

Daily Egyptian file photo

Daily Egyptian file photo

By Marnie Leonard

Members of the Graduate and Professional Student Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to investigate allegations of misconduct within Undergraduate Student Government if leaders from Registered Student Organizations can raise support from the student body.

During GPSC’s regularly scheduled meeting, representatives from five RSOs presented various objections with current USG leadership that ranged from procedural errors to outright violations of the governing body’s constitution.

Upon hearing the allegations, GPSC president Brandon Woudenberg asked RSO leaders to present the issue to the council at its next meeting on Oct. 4. He said GPSC would form an investigative committee if the student leaders could garner a minimum 300 petition signatures from students.

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The allegations of mismanagement come after USG President Jared Stern pulled funding for the student organizations because of mistakes made in Spring 2016.

Funding for RSOs is usually approved during a USG meeting at the end of each academic year through a voting process. In one of his first actions as president, Stern declared funds allocated for RSO operational funding in Spring 2016 to be “null and void” after it was discovered that some of the attendees at the meeting were not authorized to vote.

The organizations were required to re-submit requests for operational funding in early September.

Yahaira Heller, a representative of Saluki Rainbow Network, said her organization has faced problems because of insufficient funding and members have been unable to contact Stern to discuss their concerns despite several attempts.

Stern did not respond to request for comment as of Wednesday evening.

Other representatives raised concerns of USG’s ability to function properly.

Model UN President Justin Barnett said USG is ill-equipped to conduct meetings because senators have not been trained in parliamentary procedure, and have refused offers from Model UN to be trained.

“How will [senators] fulfill their duties to their full potential if they haven’t the slightest clue on how their own operational procedures work?” Barnett asked.

Other business discussed focused on plans for the next GPSC meeting, which will be attended by the chairman of the Illinois State Senate Higher Education committee Pat McGuire.

The council meets again at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4 to discuss with McGuire about higher education funding and Monetary Award Program grants.

Staff writer Marnie Leonard can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @marsuzleo.

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