SGi Discusses Newly-Signed Bills At Nov. 14 Assembly Meeting (With Little Student Attendance)

Burrell confirms assembly meetings are open to all students, but they haven’t been publicized amid a “slow start” this year.

Photo Courtesy / Student Government, Inc.

St. John’s University’s Student Government, Inc. (SGi) held their assembly meeting at St. Albert’s Hall on Monday, Nov. 14. The meeting began at 5:06 p.m. in Room B75, where executive committees discussed recently-signed bills, campus dining options and RedZone programming.

The SGi assembly meetings occur biweekly and are open to St. John’s students, but the meetings have not been publicized on social media. “We are going to be publicizing it as well for students to know more about it,”said SGi President, Ethan Burrell. “Especially next semester, we are definitely going to make it more publicized for students to come.”

The SGi website contains an “Events” tab, which does not contain any upcoming events, showing a bare calendar. “We decided it was not the most feasible thing. We are going to be removing that from the website,” Burrell said. 

“The University is going to be launching a new platform on SignOn called Pathify.” Burrell explained how Pathify would be a platform where organizations can post their upcoming events, keeping students updated. “It would probably be more efficient than our website.”

Burrell admitted SGi was “slow in the beginning,” but they “encourage students to come.” Without social media posts or an updated website, it is unclear how Burrell and his executive branch encouraged students to come to the biweekly assembly meetings.

A large turnout is expected for the Spring 2023 elections, according to the SGi Elections Committee. SGi Treasurer and RedZone Committee Chair David Diano spoke on plans for shuttles to the Barclays Center for the Empire Classic tournament, spanning Nov. 21-22. “We’re working on getting shuttles for the Monday night game at 9:30 p.m.,” Diano stated. Student tickets for the game will be sold for $10.

The Flo committee — created to provide students with access to menstrual products, sanitation facilities and education concerning menstrual health — discussed organizing donations of care packages. They also have been reaching out to the University’s facilities services department, aiming to frequently restock the menstrual product baskets in the restrooms.

SGi Secretary and President of Student Ambassadors Julianna LoMonte announced that the Spring 2023 Accepted Students Day will take place on April 15.

Burrell went on to review three recently signed bills: an act to provide students a limited number of prints per semester, as well as expanding printing stations for resident students; an act to establish more effective communication between senators and their respective student bodies and an act to establish monthly emails sent to all students to inform them on the latest legislative changes, as well as provide a form for students to send their own ideas for changes.

The first bill does not have any immediate effect on the student body. It serves as a formal request to the executive board by the student senate to initiate a dialogue with the University regarding student printing. No plan has been solidified, but SGi intends to move to secure free print points for students or remove course requirements for printed copies of work.

Bills are first voted on by the student senate. If the bill is approved by a simple majority, it is presented before SGi’s president to be signed or vetoed. If a bill is vetoed, the bill can still be passed with a two-thirds majority in the student senate.  

A new bill was presented to introduce food options in the first floor of the D’Angelo Center, mentioning the chaotic lines in the Marillac Cafeteria due to a great number of incoming students. “We need more food options on campus, especially DAC, because it’s a hub for commuters and residents alike,” said Paul Gaylor, sophomore senator of the Peter J. Tobin College of Business. 

Regarding current on-campus food options, Gaylor mentioned that the RoboBurger was a good start. “I thought [RoboBurger] was a great start to where we need to go,”  he stated, “but at the end of the day, we still got to pay for it and it’s not part of my meal plan.” 

He explained how the first floor of DAC used to be “lively” pre-pandemic. Gaylor was accompanied by Emma Cavalli, sophomore senator of the School of Education, and Jessica Lim, junior senator of St. John’s College. The bill was passed following a vote.

The next SGi assembly meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 28 at 5 p.m.