SGA votes no to eliminating free printing

Erika Ward

The Western Illinois University Student Government Association (SGA) ended the semester voting on multiple pieces of important legislation.  One of the biggest topics of discussion:  free printing potentially being almost completely eliminated at Western.

 Esmeralda Moreno, SGA cabinet member that attends Faculty Senate meetings, discussed the Leadership Team’s approval of Western almost completely limiting the free printing that student’s currently use.  The proposal asks that printing be limited to 300 pages per person each semester and charging $0.05 for each additional page and would go into effect during the summer of this year.

 Moreno explained the reasons behind this proposal.

 “They said if we limit our pages, it will make us more fiscally responsible, that’s why we’re actually in the hole is that we’re printing too much,” Moreno said.  “Then they said that if we actually do switch to this printing proposal, it will save us money because they’ll put the funds towards the Internet and make it better.”

 An additional reason given was that this would help with sustainability – being more eco-friendly.

 Michael Quigley, student member of the Board of Trustees, was one of many who spoke out in opposition of this proposal.

 “First and foremost, as Student Government Association our job is to protect the best interest of the students,” Quigley said.  “They are literally asking us to vote to take away a student service, or at least to minimize it.  So, let’s think about that.  The objective of Student Government Association: protect students in general.  Now, they’re coming and asking us to take away a student service.  Not OK in my eyes.

 “This is not about saving energy or trees – this is about saving money and/or generating revenue,” Quigley continued.  “They want to charge you after you hit a certain number of pages – it’s really about revenue generation – not about being eco-friendly.  That’s how it’s trying to be packaged.  That’s not the point of this resolution.”

 Quigley also mentioned that he does not believe that the revenue generated from the extra pages would go to improving the Internet on campus.

Francesca Hamm, a double major in political science and English, used her experiences in print-heavy majors to show her opposition to this proposal.

“I think it harms the students who are really trying to be super involved,” Hamm said.  “I don’t think these students are printing things off just to print them off – they have a purpose.”

SGA voted and unanimously denied approval of this proposal and multiple members plan on attending the IT Governance meeting on Monday at 3 p.m. in Room 180 of the library.

SGA members also voted unanimously in agreement with a piece of legislation that states that the students of Western Illinois University are against the end of a service that is “vital both to Western Illinois University as well as the greater Macomb community,” in opposition to the proposed Amtrak cuts in Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget.

Wil Gradle, SGA president for next year, spoke to encourage members to vote in favor of this legislation.

“This is something that could have enormous ramifications on Western Illinois University, as an institution, but also Macomb and McDonough County,” Gradle said.

The unanimous agreement means that SGA stands against the proposed Amtrak cuts. 

SGA members also voted and elected Esmeralda Moreno to be the student representative on the search committee for a new provost.

William Digger-Oster, the vice president of administrative services, came to speak about a new proposal that would submit all employees as well as student employees working with minors to be subject to background investigations.

Current employees would not be subject to the background investigations, however, they are required to self-disclose anything that would come up in an investigation.  If it is found out that the employee did not disclose pertinent background information, a meeting will be held to determine further action.  

The speech did not require any action.

SGA members also voted on many other pieces of legislation to end the semester with new actions ready for the fall semester.