The Undergraduate Council of Students discussed how to transition away from its virtual rules of operation at its first in-person meeting since the beginning of the pandemic Wednesday evening.
After students were sent home in March 2020, UCS transitioned its meetings to Zoom to continue working in the virtual environment necessitated by public health regulations. To clarify virtual meeting conduct expectations for members, the Council created a set of virtual procedures to govern its meetings, The Herald previously reported.
Now that student groups are able to participate in in-person activities, Chief of Staff Samra Beyene ’22 and Parliamentarian Elaine Wang ’24 proposed an amendment to the virtual rules of operations that would make them more fitting for the current hybrid environment.
Some rules, such as how to participate during synchronous Zoom meetings, are no longer applicable. But guidelines governing the recording of meetings and allowing virtual members to vote outside of meetings should be maintained, Wang said.
While members generally agreed that the rules should be adapted to the new meeting environment, many members felt that a better path forward would be to create a new set of hybrid guidelines rather than amending the virtual ones.
“The point of creating virtual rules was so that they could be accessed later” in case of another completely virtual environment, said Zane Ruzicka ’23. “It makes more sense to create hybrid rules of procedure.”
After an in-person vote about whether members preferred to amend the virtual rules or create a new set of hybrid rules, the Council decided to create a set of hybrid rules to introduce at next week’s meeting.
At the meeting, the Council also introduced a resolution to add the Class Coordinating Board to the Student Government Ethics and Accountability Board. The SGEAB is a new student government entity created last spring to govern and resolve conflicts between UCS, CCB and the Undergraduate Finance Board.
The amendment to add CCB to the SGEAB came about due to CCB’s new status as a branch of student government, Beyene said.
Committee chairs present at the meeting also had the opportunity to speak with Council members about their committees’ plans this year. Committee initiatives presented included working to ensure that dining halls meet the needs of students with dietary restrictions, creating mental health weeks and promoting the use of composting in dining halls.