Questions surround legislation by SG candidates

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Kallen Dimitroff, SG presidential candidate, authored legislation regarding the creation of an Executive Oversight Committee.

Photo Credit: Mariana Gonzalez | Daily Texan Staff

Candidates in the executive alliance race participated in passing several legislative resolutions for Student Government over the past year, but few have been fully implemented. 

Of the 18 pieces of legislation passed that were available online at the time of publication, nine were authored or sponsored by at least one of the presidential candidates, except Daniel James Chapman, who sits on the executive branch. Kallen Dimitroff authored two pieces of legislation and sponsored three, Jonathan Dror authored one and sponsored two, and Kevin Helgren authored none but sponsored several resolutions. 

Dimitroff authored legislation to create transparency in executive board appointments with an Executive Oversight Committee, but SG President Xavier Rotnofsky said the committee never convened. 

“Technically, the committee does exist because the legislation passed, but it was never staffed,” Rotnofsky said. 

Dimitroff said specific people were not assigned to the committee. She said timing was the issue because the committee is only needed once a year during appointments and her legislation passed toward the end of last year’s executive appointment period, and Rotnofsky’s administration was the first to have an open-door policy where anyone could sit in during appointment interviews. 

“Xavier and Rohit made the policy open door, where anyone could come, but my legislation was not in response to their administration,” Dimitroff said. “In past years, no one has had an open-door policy. I think it’s an incredible thing their administration did, but [the legislation] was to make sure, in future years, to institutionalize a committee to make sure SG has inclusive representation.”

Outside of the 18 pieces of legislation available online at the time of publication, Dimitroff has authored two additional resolutions and sponsored one.

Resolution A.R. 8 passed last year with hopes to increase on-campus discussions about race and culture through speaker series and other initiatives. Helgren co-sponsored the legislation that was forwarded to the Multicultural Engagement Center (MEC), but MEC program coordinator Rocio Villalobos said SG has not provided a path for action. 

“As far as I know, nothing was implemented,” Villalobos said. “It wasn’t co-authored with MEC. We’ve gotten no clear path or direction on how the process would happen.”

Helgren said he acknowledges few pieces of legislation are fulfilled. He said, however, the A.R. 8 resolution has moved forward with some initiatives to create a week-long series of informative activities.

“An event timeline has been put together, but I’ll be completely honest. Because this campaign process has taken a few unanticipated turns, I have not had a ton of time to dedicate,” Helgren said. 

Helgren and Dimitroff both sponsored A.R. 13, which intends to implement sexual assault prevention education initiatives. Grace Gilker, director of the Women’s Resource Agency, said the legislation is still ongoing. 

“The legislation was passed, and through the women’s relations agency, I have been continuing to work with all my stakeholders on implementing that,” Gilker said. “So far, I think it is going to be the inclusion of more consent education, and that’s still very much in process.” 

Dror authored legislation to amend rules in the election code. 

“The main changes were meant to clarify the code,” Dror said. 

Dimitroff, Helgren and Dror sponsored a joint resolution in support of creating a service flag. The resolution aims to implement service learning outside of the classroom. The School of Undergraduate Studies oversees the program, which has six undergraduate studies flags. 

“Basically, the status of the service flag resolution is that we have passed it, but that it’s being worked on with Dean Iverson on implementation,” Dror said.

Chapman, who oversees several agencies as advocacy policy director, said he hasn’t written or sponsored legislation since people involved in the executive branch typically do not.

According to Tanner Long, Speaker of the Assembly for Student Government, 33 pieces of legislation have been passed in the 2015-2016 Assembly, even though only 18 were online at the time of publication. The website was updated with the rest of the legislation on March 24. 

This article has been updated since its initial publication to correct the name of the Executive Oversight Committee and to include a comment from Tanner Long regarding additional legislation passed, in addition to clarifying that more legislation exists written by Kallen Dimitroff. The article also reflects new updates to the SG website.