SGA Senate says free STI testing not possible

SGA Senate says free STI testing not possible

The SGA Senate passed several pieces of legislation during its meeting on Thursday, and it also discussed entering the controversial debate on whether Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore should continue running for senator in the Alabama special senate election.

At the beginning of the senate session, Vice President for Financial Affairs Charlie Steinmetz and Vice President for Student Affairs Mollie Gillis presented a report on the feasibility of providing free or reduced-cost STI testing to University of Alabama students. After meeting with several members of University faculty about free STI testing, Steinmetz and Gillis asserted that they did not believe free STI tests would be feasible.

“Based on the meetings and experiences we have had over the last few months, we find it unlikely that free STI testing through The University of Alabama will be a reality during this administration,” read the report compiled by Steinmetz and Gillis.

After senators broke into committees, First Year Councilor Caitlyn Johnson took the podium to advocate the passage of an act (A-14-17) that would allow the Frist Year Council to hold a trial run of “Come See FYC” stations one week next month. The “Come See FYC” stations would be set up throughout the freshman residential community and would allow First Year Councilors to engage with their constituents and would increase the visibility of FYC, Johnson said. The act also requested for a budget of $350 for supplies to host the stations. The Senate voted that the act would be sent to finance committee for consideration.

Next, Senator Michael Smith lobbied for a resolution “Demanding Roy Moore withdraw from the Alabama special Senate election” to be added to the session docket. Several senators expressed their opinion on adding the resolution to the agenda.

“I personally would say that a senator impacts our funding as a University, impacts our representation as alumni, or future alumni of Alabama,” Smith said. “We represent the students of the University of Alabama and Roy Moore is disgracing us as students.”

After pleas for and against hearing Smith’s resolution during the meeting, senators voted not to add it to the docket. Smith plans on adding the resolution to the agenda for the Senate meeting on Nov. 30.

Later in the session, an Act (A-13-17) to contribute $250 to the fundraising efforts for the Tuscaloosa SAFE program was passed unanimously. The SAFE program will provide resources and advocacy to victims of sexual assault in the Tuscaloosa community. The SGA Senate will also be forming a team that will compete in the SGA powder puff football game on Friday to demonstrate support for the SAFE program. The Act was passed unanimously.

A Bill referred to as the “No Suits Bill” was hastily added to the docket and approved for passage unanimously before the meeting was adjourned. No information was given regarding the nature of the bill. 

Order of Events:

1.  Report on the feasibility of free or reduced cost of STI testing by VP Charlie Steinmetz and VP Mollie Gillis

2.  Break for committees to meet

3.  Act A-14, which will allow the First Year Council to begin a trial phase of hosting “Come See FYC” stations across campus.

4.  A motion to discharge Act A-13, which resolved that the 2017-2018 Senate will contribute $250 to the fundraising efforts for the Tuscaloosa community SAFE program. Along with the monetary donation, the Senate has formed a team to participate in the SGA powder puff game to show support for the event.

5.  A “No Suits Bill” was added to the docket and passed unanimously.

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