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In its first meeting of the semester on Sunday, Sept. 23, the Undergraduate Student Government discussed task force proposals, the Vote100 initiative, and the commencement of the Central Task Management system. The USG also approved a budget request to account for an extra $15,000 spent funding fall Lawnparties.

Vice President Nate Lambert ’20 announced that Senate members can now propose and join task forces freely. Previously, members were assigned to a task force. Following his announcement, Lambert welcomed seven Senate members to the front of the room to speak on their respective proposals.

“[Assignments to task forces] feel more like an obligation rather than an opportunity, so this year we did it as if you wanted to take the initiative in creating a proposal,” Lambert said.

U-Councilor Morgan Carmen ’21 presented on a Sustainability Task Force, which would focus on fostering collaboration between the Sustainability Committee and environmental student groups. University Student Life Committee Chair Tania Bore ’20 further introduced the Eating Options Awareness Task Force focused on the creation of a comprehensive guide that would break down each meal option and distribute informative pamphlets to sophomores.

U-Councilor Yousef Elzalabany ’20 discussed a Meditation Space Task Force that would seek to repurpose spaces for prayer and meditation in the Engineering Quad for those who cannot walk to Murray-Dodge. Next, Executive Secretary Chitra Parikh ’21 talked about the Design Thinking Task Force to advance an innovative culture on campus. The group would also function as an advisory body for USG members.

Class of 2021 Senator Kevin Zheng ’21 and Class of 2019 Senator Michael Asparrin ’19 introduced the Menstrual Product Task Force to work toward stocking academic buildings’ bathrooms with free menstrual products. Asparrin also presented on the Sexual Misconduct Task Force, planning to work with the University and student groups to ensure students’ safety.

Campus and Community Affairs Chair Caleb Visser ’20 then spoke about the Vote100 initiative, which would encourage student participation in elections through the signing of a pledge to vote.

“Vote100 is an initiative that ODUS is sponsoring to increase voter turnout and engage students,” Visser said.

Following a video in which ROTC challenged USG to take the pledge, the Senate members further nominated Class Government, Community House, and Whig-Clio.

President Rachel Yee ’19 and Lambert then introduced the Central Task Management. This system aims to aid the Senate in navigating what each task force was working on and would serve as a record of events and projects for future Senate members.

“I think that this will really help to maximize our efficiency,” Yee said.

Social Committee Chair Liam Glass ’19 submitted a request for additional funding to cover the $15,000 extra spent on headliner production details and food during fall Lawnparties. In total, the USG commitment to fall Lawnparties would increase to $123,000.

The Senate approved the budget request.

The next USG meeting will take place on Sept. 30, 2018.

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