student senate graphic

Graphic by Noah Weaver

At the March 17 Student Senate meeting, the winners of this week’s spring 2021 Student Government (SG) elections were acknowledged and several pieces of legislation, including The Census of Agriculture LGBTQ+ Inclusion Act, were passed. Additionally, nominations for the Jenny Chang Award, Faculty Open Resource Award and various Senate awards were discussed and voted upon. 

In his report, Board of Elections (BOE) Chair Bankes Peete, a third-year studying nuclear engineering, acknowledged the conclusion of the spring 2021 SG elections. Molly Vanhoy, a third-year studying microbiology, won the Student Senate presidential race. McKenzy Heavlin, a third-year studying electrical engineering, and Natalie Bress, a third-year studying electrical engineering, will be the next student body president and vice president, respectively.

Acts such as R 133 - The Census of Agriculture LGBTQ+ Inclusion Act passed during the second reading of legislation. R 133 was created to include questions about gender identity and sexual orientation in the 2022 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture. The Census of Agriculture LGBTQ+ Inclusion Act was inspired by the “Rural Pride'' initiative established in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Rural Pride” sought to “elevate and address the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people living in rural communities across the country.” Additionally, R 133 requires that the bill itself, as well as a letter written by the corresponding senator, the Student Senate president and student body president, be submitted to the solicitation of input for the Census of Agriculture. 

There was a significant amount of mixed debate regarding R 133. Sen. Omar Jaramillo, a third-year studying agricultural education, raised a concern in the form of negative debate.

“The problem that I have with [R 133] is giving the federal government information about your sexual orientation,” Jaramillo said. “I don’t believe it’s their business to know what a person’s sexual identification is.”

Sen. Thomas Jackson, a second-year studying horticulture, countered the negative debate.

“As a queer person in agriculture, I’m fine with the federal government knowing my sexual identity and orientation, specifically if it means I’m gonna be visible in the industry and in the whole realm of agriculture,” Jackson said. “There is not visibility in the domain of agriculture.” 

The Census of Agriculture LGBTQ+ Inclusion Act ultimately passed 48 affirmative votes and one negative vote.

Following the second reading of legislation, nominations were made for awards including the Jenny Chang Award, the Faculty Open Resource Award and various Senate awards, such as Outstanding New Senator, Outstanding Senator and Outstanding Committee.

Legislation Passed

BB 125 - FY21-FY22 Budget Act - Passed

BB 125 was created to update and establish the budget for the fiscal year of 2021-2022. The act passed with 50 affirmative votes and zero negative votes.

FB 135 - Hillel Funding Act - Passed

This legislation was created to allocate $1,000 for Hillel to fund their Shabbat and holiday bags. The Finance Committee Disbursement line item confirmed this allocation of funds with a stipulation that the Shabbat and holiday bags be distributed in a way which follows COVID-19 guidelines. FB 135 passed with 51 affirmative votes and zero negative votes.

SR 136 - Buck Reprimand Act - Passed

SR 136 was created in response to Sen. Hannah Buck, a first-year studying engineering, accruing nine absences during the 100th Session. This act passed with 49 affirmative votes and two negative votes.

R 133 - The Census of Agriculture LGBTQ+ Inclusion Act - Passed

This legislation was created to call for the inclusion of questions about gender identity and sexual orientation in the 2022 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture. After mixed debate, R 133 passed with 48 affirmative votes and one negative vote. 

GB 137 - Statutes Organizational Record Keeping Codification Act - Passed

This act was created to amend the Student Body Statutes to institute guidelines for record keeping and maintenance of current and past sessions of SG records and documents. This legislation passed with 48 affirmative votes and zero negative votes. 

GB 138 - Alumni Network Establishment Act - Passed

This legislation was created to establish an SG alumni network. GB 138 would replace the advisory council by connecting alumni of NC State’s SG. The act also introduced an SG LinkedIn account in which students and alumni can connect professionally. With 50 affirmative votes and zero negative votes, GB 138 passed.

GB 139 - Chapter for Ceremonies and Awards Act - Passed

This legislation was created in order to create a new chapter of the Student Body Statutes to house SG ceremonies and awards. Included in this act are chapter number and title updates that will be added to the statutes. GB 139 passed with 50 affirmative votes and zero negative votes.