USG finishes year, looks to summer government to bridge semesters

Reporter and Reporter

In their last meeting of the semester Monday night, members of the Undergraduate Student Government passed a resolution in support of including gender-neutral bathrooms in the planned Falcon Health Center.

The resolution, which is the first piece of legislation from this USG term and was passed unanimously, urges the University and the Wood County Hospital to include gender-neutral restrooms as they build the new health center this summer.

Gender neutral bathrooms have not been designated in the building plan yet, said Jeff Deveraux, USG academic affairs chair, who wrote the resolution. Deveraux said the resolution seeks to meet the needs of all students, regardless of their gender identity.

“This resolution was written instead of having verbal, vague agreement,” Deveraux said. “This is a way for us to proactively say this is something the undergraduate students need.”

The Falcon Health Center is slated to open for the upcoming fall semester and is located off Wooster street.

USG also voted in support of the meeting dates for the summer government. There will be three general assembly meetings on May 20, June 17 and July 15.

USG members are not required to be part of summer government, but 10 have signed up as of Monday’s meeting, said USG Speaker Katie Post.

“A lot of times, people will come over summer … without officially being part of summer government,” Post said.

In addition to issues that come up during summer, student government members will also plan what they want to accomplish come fall, she said.

“It’s a really good way to have continuity between semesters,” Post said. “I think we can really be productive and get a lot done this summer.”

During lobby time, the Environmental Action Group sought USG support in the form of a resolution for the “100 Percent Clean Bowling Green Campaign.”

The goal is to transition the University to 100 percent clean energy by 2020, said Josh Chamberland, EAG president.

The group has a petition signed by 3,313 people and a coalition letter signed by 17 student organizations in support of making this a top priority, Chamberland said.

“Going to 100 percent renewable energy is really ambitious and it’s a unique opportunity for BGSU to take,” he said. “We’d probably break national headlines with this.”

EAG members have met with University President Mary Ellen Mazey and other administrators, who have voiced skepticism with the plan.

“She felt that the University wouldn’t be able to do this,” Chamberland said. “She also stated concerns for funding.”

A complete switch to clean energy by 2020 would cost somewhere between $165 to $225 million, according to an independent engineering firm’s report commissioned by the University, The BG News reported Monday.

Chamberland has not seen this research yet, but said he plans to on Tuesday.

“This is going to cost us a lot of money,” Chamberland said.

The solution to financial constraints proposed by Chamberland would be to reach out to alumni and major donors, the University Green fund and apply for government grants and tax breaks.

“We would love to see this be a top priority for the University,” he said.

USG President Alex Solis said he was glad EAG spoke to the general assembly.

“I think it’s an issue coming to summer government,” he said. “It’s not dying anytime soon.”