LSU’s Student Senate tackled several issues including a resignation, a ride-share initiative and legislation about sexual assault in a four-hour session on Nov. 19.
Claire Parish resigned as commissioner of elections in light of the bill of impeachment the Senate brought against her. She said she felt forced to resign due to “being targeted by members of the Senate who have not gotten their way.” She said she was harassed and mistreated by “disgruntled members of the Senate” including Senate Speaker Justin Martin and Senator Drake Brignac.
She said the claims against her are foundationless, and she resigned to show she will not “subject herself to their continued harassment” during the impeachment hearing that was scheduled to take place at Wednesday’s meeting.
Senators Olivia Taylor and Harris Quadir introduced a finance bill to allocate $15,000 from the Senate surplus account to fund a ride-share program that would operate in a 15-mile radius around campus. The ride-share program would allow LSU to enter into negotiations with ride-share companies to get students a 10% discount on their rides in a 15-mile radius around campus. This is a pilot program for which the executive branch of SG would be providing $10,000.
When the finance bill moved to a vote, it failed 24-14 with seven abstaining. Similar ride-share bills have been voted on under several SG presidents’ administrations dating back to 2017.
There was a unanimous vote to pass legislation authored by Martin to update SG policies addressing harmful behavior. The policy would set rules for behavior that is not allowed and how SG would handle such behavior.
A resolution was introduced to urge the University to make systemic changes to the procedures for handling sexual misconduct, sexual assault, sexual violence and rape. It would urge the University to fire employees who mishandled reporting to Title IX. The resolution to urge LSU to make systemic changes to how it handles sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape on campus passed unanimously through Senate.
Senator Xander du Plooy introduced a bill to urge student organizations to present a PowerPoint including resources for sexual assault and violence in order to receive Senate funding. The bill came in response to a similar bill that SG President Stone Cox vetoed Nov. 6 regarding sexual assault training.
“This is a Great Value version of the bill that was recently vetoed,” Senator Harris Quadir said. “Sometimes Great Value is great, but I don’t think a PowerPoint would be effective.”
du Plooy said the PowerPoint in question would be created by sexual assault survivors and reviewed by the Student Health Center and advocacy groups before being given to student organization to present. The bill passed 17-8 with 11 abstentions.
Senators Angel Puder and Matt McClure introduced a bill that would require student organizations that come to Senate for funding to receive sexual assault training from one of several programs, not just TigerBITes or STAR, like SGB 13 (the vetoed bill) offered. Puder and McClure’s bill passed unanimously.
In his last remarks as a senator, Senator Jack Green addressed a clandestine issue he claims the Senate is aware of regarding a secret organization at LSU.
“If you have to keep it a secret, it is not democratic,” Green said. “Secret organizations, we all know they exist. If you know about them and you stay quiet, you need to reassess why you’re in [Senate]. GLOCK, I’m looking at you.”