June 2, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 86°F


SGC discusses DegreeWorks and amendment to Code of Conduct

The Ithaca College Student Governance Council met Feb. 13 to pass the Code of Conduct Amendment bill, report on an upcoming update to DegreeWorks and discuss a planned conversation with the Office of Residential Life about residential cleanliness March 13. 

The meeting began with senior Grace Madeya, president of the student body, going over the proposed Article III Code of Conduct. The bill was previously tabled once before because of confusion around phrasing in the text. This amendment to the SGC constitution would lay ground for an established set of conduct rules that must be followed by members of the SGC. 

The concern with wording in the original bill focused on the second point in the list of members’ rights, which some senators worried about the clarity of the wording.

“The right to be free from all forms of intimidation,” the former Code of Conduct amendment stated. 

Many members of the board felt the term “intimidation” was too specific and gave a sense of inducing fear to be the only basis it covered whereas some felt a much broader and more encompassing term could be used. The new bill changes the word intimidation to domineering. 

“Some of the senators wanted us to look into a different word so it didn’t have any connotation with it,” Madeya said. “We did research on what word we wanted to use; we felt [domineering] did a good job of making sure that everyone felt comfortable.”

Domineering refers to insisting your beliefs onto others in a non-constructive way. Madeya re-presented the bill with improved wording. This updated terminology was received positively by the board, with no further questions asked about the bill. First-year student Matthew Williams, senator-at-large, motioned to pass the bill. 

“I think it’s very important to lay down the laws of the behaviors we find acceptable,” Williams said. “We want there to be an open space where everyone can express their opinions, so I think it’s important to have something like [the Code of Conduct bill] so people can refer to it for how senate meetings are supposed to go.”

The amendment passed unanimously in favor with nine votes. The Code of Conduct Amendment is the first bill passed this academic year and semester. Madeya said she sees this as an excellent way to start the coming months for the SGC.

“The board is already respectful, but we want to lay down foundations for senators and executive board members so they have a respectful environment in the future,” Madeya said. “It is important for me because I want to make sure SGC is an inclusive environment where everyone has the freedom to speak freely.” 

Madeya said this is one of many bills that are expected to pass this semester. The board is looking to add a first-generation seat and to add a fourth ex officio member from the Students of Color Coalition. An ex officio is someone who has membership to a board by being a representative of another association. 

“I’m hoping [the bills] can be presented in March,” Madeya said. “We have a couple of very important meetings coming up.”

Madeya also led officer reports where she opened the senate floor for topics to be brought up at the ResLife meeting. Senators listed their grievances with residential living on campus and issues they would like to see solutions to. This includes a lack of vending machines in Towers, students not attending events held by residential assistants and a lack of water bottle refill fountains in Lower and Upper Quads. First-year student Lili Chalfant, School of Communications senator, shared their perspective about how the water pressure from shower heads is inconsistent between bathrooms. 

“It’s just really sad, depressing and cold,” Chalfant said. “The showers could be a happier place.”

After attending the Educational Technology Advisory Committee, Senior Senate Chair Austin Ruffino reported that DegreeWorks will be getting a major overhaul, modernizing the user interface, reworking features and making it compatible with mobile devices. This update will improve security and allow the college to implement any future safety updates easily. 

“The main purpose of the update is based on the fact that the version of DegreeWorks we use is outdated,” Ruffino said. “The update is not so much a feature update, it is a facelift. The whole interface looks nicer and will continue to be updated with all the software we use.”

The SGC is the sole representative body for the Ithaca College student community. The SGC can be contacted at sgc@ithaca.edu.