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Courtesy of Brad Spicher '20

At their weekly meeting on Sunday, Oct. 8, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Senate heard a presentation on Wintersession 2021 and a proposal for a transportation task force, confirmed a new senator for the Class of 2021, and voted on a resolution that established a new USG Senate Ad Hoc committee.

Judy Jarvis, the inaugural Director of Wintersession and Campus Engagement, began the evening with a presentation on Wintersession 2021, a two-week period in January that will allow students to pursue academic interests outside of the traditional class schedule and even teach their own classes. The shift to a two-week Wintersession came into being after 81 percent of students said that the current placement of finals in January was taking a serious toll on their mental health.

“Wintersession 2021 gives a space for oxygen to be breathed during the semester,” said Jarvis. 

According to the working mission statement, Wintersession will be “a two week space to experiment and explore through unusual, active, and exciting non-graded learning opportunities,” and will be open to undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, and faculty. It will run from Monday, Jan. 11, to Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021.

The presentation was followed by an interactive poll where students were able to submit their hopes and fears about the new Wintersession. 

Following Jarvis’ presentation was an additional 10-minute presentation on the previous Wintersession from Isabella Faccone ’21. 

Elizabeth Bailey ’21 briefly introduced her transportation task force proposal, which aims to improve three main areas of student transportation: on-campus transportation such as BikeShare; near-campus transportation such as providing students access to grocery stores; and off-campus transportation such as the Thanksgiving break buses. 

USG then confirmed a new class of 2021 senator, Kelton Chastulik ’21, by a unanimous vote.

Ben Press ’20, Olivia Ott ’20, and Bozhidar Stankovikj ’20 introduced their resolution to establish a new Ad Hoc Committee of the USG Senate “to provide support to students involved in academic integrity proceedings,” according to the resolution. Although the honor committee Peer Representatives have existed for some time, they had yet to be an ODUS-recognized student organization. 

The resolution passed unanimously. 

The night ended with a presentation from Jonah Hyman ’20, who outlined USG procedures, tracing the history of the USG back to 1927 and listing the documents that outline USG procedures. He also introduced all members of the USG and informed the group about what to expect at meetings. 

USG President Zarnab Virk ’20 also gave the “President’s Report,” where she announced that the report from the Title IX joint committees will be released in the following weeks. She also said that USG office hours will begin in Frist on this Wednesday from 8:30–9:30 p.m., and named a couple of developing projects, including a first-year advisory program and the idea for an app that would allow students to order food from Nassau Street ahead of time and pay with their prox. 

The meeting was open to the public and took place at 8 p.m. in Lewis 138. 

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