USG Chairs deliver end of semester reports

USG hosts it's last senate meeting of this semester in the Student Union Ballroom on Nov. 30, 2016 and explains their plans for this upcoming spring semester. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

USG hosts it's last senate meeting of this semester in the Student Union Ballroom on Nov. 30, 2016 and explains their plans for this upcoming spring semester. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

Chairs of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) delivered their end of semester reports at the Senate meeting Wednesday night, detailing what they’ve accomplished this semester and their plans for the spring.

President Dan Byrd said USG gave the most money to the most amount of groups in its history.

“We have funded over 850 funding requests this semester and we have already given out about $800,000 and that number continues to grow as we go through the end of fall funding,” Funding Board Chair Lysette Johnson said.

Johnson also said that the Funding Board saw fewer errors in funding requests after establishing mandatory funding workshops for all Tier II organizations.

In his state of the campus address, Byrd announced that the University Senate will be reviewing a bill introduced by USG at their upcoming meeting that would announce USG’s support for UConn becoming a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants.

Byrd also said that himself, Vice President Irma Valverde and Sen. Lauren Oldziej (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) would be meeting with administrators next week to discuss establishing UConn as a sanctuary city.

Byrd also talked about the success of the open source textbook initiative that he personally has been heavily involved with. Recently, an open source textbook was introduced for introductory chemistry courses. According to Byrd, 2,000 students used the book, saving a total of $600,000.

“That was one book in one class… Imagine the savings we can have with even more open source textbooks,” Byrd said.

Byrd estimated 10 open source textbooks used in 10 classes could save a total of $6 million per year.

Student Services Chair Eliza Conrad detailed the many initiatives the Student Services Committee is working towards, including improving the spotty Wi-Fi on campus, free feminine sanitary products on campus and equalizing the number of female bathrooms in the Engineering 2 building.

External Affairs Chair Haley Hinton affirmed her committee is working to protect the rights of students living off-campus in Mansfield and making sure they aren’t unfairly treated by the town.

“We are trying to work with groups such as the Mansfield Neighborhood Preservation Group, who are largely in favor of having student living on campus… we’re just protecting students who live off campus,” Hinton said. “They have rights, they’re members of the town.”

This meeting was USG’s final Senate of the semester.


Schae Beaudoin is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at schae.beaudoin@uconn.edu.