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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

April 26, 2018   |   Ithaca, NY

News

SGC passes bill on carbon monoxide transparency

The Student Governance Council passed a bill that requires the college to be more transparent with students about carbon monoxide exposure in dorms during its last meeting of the semester, Dec. 11. Sophomore Gabrielle Picca, Class of 2020 senator, was elected as the new vice president of business and finance.

The Carbon Monoxide Bill was sponsored by  junior Transfer Sen. Jessica Gallagher and sophomore Sarah Horbacewicz, Class of 2020 senator. It passed 110 with 2 abstentions.

The bill recommends that resident assistants and resident directors learn how to respond to carbon monoxide in the dorms as part of their training. It also recommends that the resident directors on duty should email relevant information to residents when such a situation occurs.

Horbacewicz said the bill was inspired by sophomore Matias Weilmann, who complained to her about how a carbon monoxide situation was handled in Terrace 3 on Sept. 26, 27 and 28. The carbon monoxide alarms went off faintly during that time, and the residents had very little information about what was going on.

Sophomore Marissa Proulx is an RA in Terrace 3. She said there is no specific protocol for when an alarm goes off because of carbon monoxide, as RAs are trained to treat all alarms the same. The protocol for when an alarm goes off includes evacuating the building and meeting with officers from the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management outside, she said.

The Office of Residential Life could not be reached for comment.

The Public Safety Logs published by the college include the Sept. 26 and 27 incidents of the carbon monoxide alarms going off in Terrace 3.

Horbacewicz said that Weilmann became sick shortly after the carbon monoxide incident and that while it was never proven that the two were connected, he had no idea how to get additional information about why the carbon monoxide detectors went off and if the incident posed any health risks.

“We thought it was important to get that information out there, to get people trained,” Horbacewicz said. “We wanted to [make] students feel safe.”

Gallagher said it took time to do research and figure out what the SGC could do to address this problem.

“We had to meet with Res Life, facilities and maintenance,” she said. “We had to learn about the whole process from facilities and maintenance so we could have an accurate representation.”

Picca, who currently serves as the assistant to the vice president of business and finance, will replace Conor Friend as the vice president of business and finance.

Friend said that Picca deserves the position and that she was the most qualified individual to take over because of her experience as the assistant. The transition will take place Jan. 1, 2018.

Picca said that she is excited to take the position and that she hopes to work toward helping clubs better understand the allocations process.

“I have grown a strong passion for the role and impact the Appropriations Committee and the vice president of business and finance have on this campus,” she said.

With Picca transitioning out of the Senate, there will be nine vacant seats in the SGC heading into next semester. Sophomore Senate Chair Farwa Shakeel said the SGC will release information to the student body during break about how students can apply for a position on the SGC.

The SGC is set to reconvene Jan. 29. Prospective candidates for vacant senate seats must submit a judicial release form to the Student Activities Center by Feb. 2. Confirmations for those positions will take place Feb. 5.

During the meeting, Shakeel said the SGC is hoping this timeline will help streamline the process of filling senate vacancies and create more competition for senate positions.

Ryan King can be reached at rking5@ithaca.edu