SGA pushes reforms for health center

A subcommittee of the Student Government Association (SGA) approved a bill last night calling for a speedy replacement of University Sexual Assault Coordinator Laura Weiss and increased student representation on a special committee examining the issues at University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS).

The Student Services Committee was charged with the task of rewriting and finalizing the “Sense of the Student Senate” after lengthy debate when it was submitted to the senate last Thursday.

The bill outlines the main concerns of student government in the areas of “student healthcare, sexual assault, availability of health services [and] student entitlement to services.”

In response to Weiss’ resignation, the bill encourages the university to fill the position “with a qualified and capable applicant with the utmost urgency.”

The bill also requests representation from the Graduate and Professional Student Association and increased SGA representation on the Special Committee on Enrollment and Admissions, a subcommittee of the Faculty Senate that was convened to review the issues surrounding UHCS.

Instead of a resolution, in which SGA demands action, a “Sense of the Senate” expresses SGA’s official opinion on an issue and encourages the university to take action to resolve the problems.

Vice President for Student Services Rogan O’Handley, who sits on the faculty subcommittee, said SGA is trying to convey that the senate doesn’t feel enough is being done by administration to address UHCS concerns.

“We are making a statement loud and clear that this issue needs to be put on the forefront of the administration’s agenda, because the student body’s healthcare is not a matter to be taken lightly,” O’Handley said.

Michael Benson, former SGA president, wrote the original draft of the bill and brought it to the attention of the senate last Thursday.

Benson said he thought it was time for the senate to take an official stance because of an “apparent depreciation in services” and the importance of healthcare for students.

The bill was referred to the committee by a majority vote of the senate, after the senate decided it needed to be edited and updated.

With the approval of the Student Services Committee, the entire senate will vote on the bill at Senate tomorrow.

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