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February 22, 2024

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USG reinstates single-use bag ban resolution

usg 9/27 – Photo by Nia Lambdin

BGSU’s Undergraduate Student Government unanimously passed a resolution reinstating the single-use plastic bag ban in favor of reusable bags.

USG worked with BGSU’s Environmental Action Group on this step toward a “more environmentally-friendly campus.”

The ban was previously implemented in 2018 in accordance with BGSU’s Climate Action Plan, until the CDC banned reusable bags in 2020 for COVID-19 safety.

The reusable bags are already available for purchase on campus. S.R. 04’s goal is to phase single-use bags out by the end of the semester.

Director of Campus Sustainability, Cesar Arellano said the resolution will allow students to make more environmentally-friendly decisions on campus.

“I believe a bunch of students are starting to care about the environment and the impact we have on it,” he said. “I hope to see a bunch of students carrying (reusable bags) around.”

Prior to voting on the resolution, non-traditional student senator, Matthew Hill motioned to amend the resolution, adding that USG should continue to search for alternative options to the reusable bags.

USG “will continue to search for and support the most sustainable and environmentally conscious bag on campus,” the amended lines 20 and 21 of the resolution read.

Hill continued to advocate for single-use hemp-based plastic bags instead of reusable bags, claiming they have better durability than the single-use bags BGSU will be phasing out.

Military student senator Grant Rospert and Falcon Heights senator Connor Winke supported the hemp bags, which Winke passed out to everyone at the general assembly.

Hill clarified they voted for the resolution because they support the reusable bags over the current single-use bags. But they proposed the amendment to eventually advocate for the hemp bags.

When asked if the hemp bags would be handed out for free or require a purchase, Hill avoided answering the question, pivoting back to his earlier talking points on the hemp bags’ durability.

Rospert also claimed the current transportation used for the single-use bags.

USG had a first reading for proposed revisions to their bylaws, which means they were discussed but not voted on.

The revisions include two new positions: Multicultural/Accessibility Advocate Senator and Student Labor Senator.

Multicultural/Accessibility Advocate Senator is not limited to people with disabilities. Director of Campus Safety and Wellness Abby McNichols clarified the position is “a specified version” of the Director of Diversity Affairs position.

Another revision was $500 scholarships for the Academic Affairs, Internal Affairs and Student Affairs Chair. If passed, the scholarships will not take effect until next academic year.

One new officer was sworn in:

  • Noah Hausman: Kreischer Compton-Darrow senator

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Joe Whitehead was scheduled to speak at open forum, but had to cancel.

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