Bill limiting committee’s power dropped

Senate President Pro Tempore Jeremiah Pederson dropped his sponsorship of Bill 58 Tuesday night at the Student Government senate meeting. The bill would have amended the controversial new Special Projects Committee created by Bill 53 on Oct. 25.

The SPC hears ideas from senators for various projects around campus and decides whether they are practical enough to move forward. Since the committee’s inception, the executive branch has opposed it, claiming it gives the senate an excess of power and that special projects are the domain of the executive branch.

Pederson had originally proposed Bill 58 as an appeasement to the executive branch and worked with a handful of its members while writing it. The bill added numerous bureaucratic steps to the process of approving committees and was the target of criticism.

“When I originally wrote the bill, I knew that I was adding in a lot of bureaucracy, a lot of things that were just going to delay the process,” Pederson said. “I generally submit work that tries to make the process more efficient and more effective, and what I wrote in this bill made it neither more effective nor more efficient.”

He added that the future of the SPC is still not finalized.

“I realize now that after reviewing it with the executive branch that there are more efficient solutions to please everyone,” Pederson said.

One of those ideas is to turn the committee more into a “think tank,” that will work on coming up with ideas. He mentioned that nothing regarding the future of the committee is near finalization.

Student body President Maxon Victor said he was unaware of Pederson’s plans to do away with the bill, but he plans to continue to work with the senate on a solution to the issues raised by the SPC.

“I don’t feel it’s something to say ‘OK, hip-hip hooray;’ it’s something to say ‘Let’s go to the drawing board, and let’s make something work for both branches and all of Student Government, period.'”

Some examples of projects the senate is already working on include posting campus maps in parking lots, posting information about campus events in bathroom stalls in the Phyllis P. Marshall Center and getting large electronic signs around campus that would broadcast information about campus events. If these projects were still in their idea stage, the SPC would be responsible for their approval before work on them could begin.

USF men’s basketball coach Robert McCullum came to Tuesday’s meeting to drum up support and attendance for the upcoming season, which starts Friday against Alcorn State at 7:30 p.m. at the Sun Dome.

Glen Besterfield, the assistant dean of undergraduate studies, also spoke to the senate. He was spreading the word about the new Tracking the Academic Progress of Students program, commonly referred to as TAPS. The program is geared towards keeping students on the right path toward graduating in four years.