Initiatives

USG Initiatives -- What are we working on?


2020-2021 USG Initiatives & Priorities

President: Harrison Carter | Vice President: Xavi Boes

  • COVID-19 Response for Students
    • Providing Flexible Grading Policies for the 2020-2021 Academic Year
      • Fall 2020 S/U grading policy amended to accommodate undergraduates.
      • Spring 2021 S/U grading policy amended to accommodate undergraduates.
      • Summer 2021 S/U grading policy amended to accommodate undergraduates.
      • Working with Chief Health Officer Ben Batey and other campus stakeholders to create a Forward Falcon Plan
    • Provided feedback and recommendations on the Falcon Forward Committment before returning to campus for in-person learning experiences.
    • Provided student communication on what it means to Stay Safe while also Staying Social in conjunction with CHO Ben Batey to the BGSU community.
  • Title IX - Summer 2020 Dear College Letter Policy Changes
    • In conjunction with the Office of Title IX at BGSU, USG representatives provided student input on the Title IX Action Team which was developed to review and update policies, codes, and processes for BGSU. Changes were required following federal mandates outlined in the Spring 2020 Dear Collegue Letter. USG representatives ensured that the student voice was represented as important policy changes were made for Sexual Assault, Sexual Harrassment, and Title IX investigation processes while remaining in compliance with federal standards.
      • USG representatives served on the following committees within the Title IX Action Team:
        • Policy and Code Team
        • Process Team - Actual Knowledge through Investigations
        • Process Team - Formal Hearing through Appeal
           
  • Student Data Protection
    • In Fall 2020, the General Assembly of USG passed S.R. 02 -- A Resolution formally supporting the Universal Access to Software Licensure Information
    • Following its passage, the Office of the Chief Information Officer and Information Technology Services began developing a "one-stop-shop" for each Software Licensure Agreements, Privacy Policy, and Data Policies that will become easily accesible for all BGSU community members to access.
      • As we continue to push the boundaries of technology, the personal data attached to each of us becomes more and more valuable. As students, this ease of access to each agreement BGSU has made with software companies provides another layer of transparency.
  • American Sign Language / Accessibility Accountability
    • In early Spring 2021, BGSU made the decision to terminate the American Sign Language (ASL) minor and its connected courses beginning in Fall 2021. Student and BGSU community member disapproval on this action was heard immensely by the Undergraduate Student Government.
      • S.R. 04 -- A Resolution Formally Requesting Bowling Green State University Reverse Their Decision to Terminate American Sign Language Course Offerings was passed by the General Assembly.
      • The Faculty Senate also acted on the decision, passing a resolution that called for the Reinstatement of American Sign Language Courses. 
      • Ultimately, a decision was made to fully reinstate all ASL courses for the 2021-2022 academic year, and beyond. We are grateful for the passionate student body who truly made their voices heard on this issue. 
    • On March 8th, 2021, the Undergraduate Student Government passed S.R. 07 -- A Resolution Formally in Support of the University Chosen Name Policy.
      • As an institution aspiring to build a campus climate that fosters an inclusive environment, empowers and supports people, and builds up a community where all are welcomed, valued, and affirmed, one of the first steps is in allowing people to express who they are. Names are an important part of our identities and being referred to by anything other than our chosen names can be a disempowering moment for some. 
      • With this proposed change, people will not have to look for the chosen name as it will appear on rosters, BG1 cards (if a person requests a new card), various records, and yes, even on Starbucks labels. 
        • We want to thank Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer, Jennifer McCary, for her work in bringing this policy proposal to life and action.  
  • Hazing at BGSU & Beyond
    • On March 4th, 2021, second year undergraduate Stone Foltz was incapacitated by an alleged hazing incident in our campus community. On March 7th, Foltz tragically passed away and offered others a second chance at life by being an Organ Donor. 
      • During the weekend of March 5th and 6th, 2021, Undergraduate Leaders from the Board of Trustees, Undergraduate Student Government, Inter Fraternity Council, College Panhellenic Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Multicultural Greek Council met to begin providing student recommendations to BGSU on what steps needed to immediately be taken. Here are some of the direct actions that have been taken thus far:
        • Following our recommendations, On March 6, 2021, President Rogers and Provost Whitehead communicated the suspension of all Fraternity and Sorority Life activities, excluding chapter meetings and executive board meetings. 
        • Pi Kappa Alpha was placed on interim suspension on March 5. Given that Pi Kappa Alpha is not currently recognized as a registered student organization, the fraternity’s Greek letters were removed from its on-campus residence on March 7. Housing offered alternative accommodations to individuals living in the on-campus facility on March 8.
        • Counseling Services provided extended hours starting the week of 3/8/2021 and offered to be available for group counseling sessions.
        • Undergraduate Student Government coordinator of vigil to honor Stone Foltz on March 14. Additionally, USG hosted a town hall and invited university administrators to participate on March 15.
        • Knowing that hazing can exist anywhere, the student leader team recommended that third party investigations take place. BGSU has engaged an expert, independent third party to assist with the conduct investigation. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has approved the appointment of special counsel David DeVillers, a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio at the firm of Barnes & Thornburg. BGSU will complete a thorough and fair investigation, seeking the truth and facts, and holding all students and groups responsible.
        • In an effort to increase accountability and transparency, the University is also finalizing a partnership with Dyad Strategies to conduct a broader review of fraternity and sorority life and other student organizations and activities. Dyad will begin the quantitative data collection on 4/11/2021 and have an onsite visit from 4/22-23/2021.
        • On March 16, 2021, a recommitment plan was communicated to FSL Chapter presidents. Chapters are beginning to work through that recommitment plan. When necessary steps are completed, chapters can resume new member processes and some chapter activities. Events with alcohol and siblinghood events are not approved events.
    • The Undergraduate Student Government passed two resolutions supporting legislative efforts in both the State of Ohio and the Federal Government to address hazing:
      • S.R. 08 — unanimously passed by the General Assembly on March 8th, urges our elected official delegation to bring forth Collin’s Law back to the statehouse. Collin Wiant was a Ohio University student who died from a hazing incident in 2018. Collin’s Law would make hazing involving drugs or alcohol a felony offense in Ohio. It would also require public institutions of higher education, and the State of Ohio, to develop statewide educational plans regarding hazing and greater transparency for institutions. Collin’s Law now sits on the state senate floor as Senate Bill 126.
      • S.R. 09 — unanimously passed by the General Assembly on March 29th, urges for the swift passage of the End All Hazing Act within the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. Recently reintroduced in both bodies of congress as U.S. Senate Bill 775 and U.S. House Bill 1933, the End All Hazing Act brings transparency and accountability to all institutions of higher education across the country. It serves as a first step in a very long road ahead, and we must urge our elected officials to consider this legislation moving forward.