Spirit of Alabama Act fails in SenateBy Alessandra Delrose | 03/12/2015 10:23pm
Debate raged over the Spirit of Alabama Act at Thursday night's SGA senate meeting.
Senator Patrick Fitzgerald, a sophomore majoring in international marketing, originally proposed the bill to the senate in with the intent to create additional SGA funds to support the Financial Affairs Committee and other student well-being initiatives.
“When I ran for this legislation I always wanted to give the students of this campus the SGA they deserve,” Fitzgerald said.
This act would charge students $12.50 per semester, money which would go toward causes that support the campus community, such as providing meals to students who do not have sufficient funds.
Fitzgerald said the University has a reduced meal plan program, but that only 48 students on campus participate. Additionally, he said, this plan consists of just 15 meal swipes per semester.
“When you see that there are students living in extreme poverty on this campus and there's only a program out there to help 48 of them to 15 swipes, there needs to be something done,” he said.
When the bill was brought up, Fitzgerald took the stand and posed a clear message to the senate.
“We have a clear choice to make today," he said. "Whether this was going to be a clear passage of an SGA that's going to act the same way they did the first 100 years, or a new and improved SGA for the next 100 years, that is completely up to you all.”
Senator Andrew Cicero took the opposing side of the act.
“Almost every single person in the financial committee will be voting no. Why? Because we know what we are talking about, and this bill is not practical,” he said.
The debate went back and forth for an hour until the Speaker, Branden Greenberg, brought the bill to a vote.
The Spirit of Alabama Act was denied with a vote of 21-10.
“I'm very disappointed that this bill did fail, especially because all the support it used to have fell through," Fitzgerald said. "But I am determined to have this or something like this pass in the near future.”
At the end of the meeting, Greenberg took told the senate how proud he personally was of them.
“As a Speaker, I cannot tell you how excited I was to see what happened tonight happen. I am very proud of the senate," he said. "This senate has been the most productive senate and administration and I am proud of each and every one of you.”