The Undergraduate Student Congress passed an act allowing the Student Legal Services program to be funded by SGA, among other pieces of legislation, at its Sept. 17 meeting.
The act allows for a Student Legal Services staff attorney, previously funded by student fees, to be paid via SGA funding. It also establishes the rights of students using the services — according to the legislation, students are entitled to “legal advice, education and guidance, (and) consultations” free of charge, as well as confidentiality through the program.
Chair Emma DeAngeli said a similar bill was originally proposed last semester, but representatives from the Student Legal Services program didn’t like parts of it, so the legislation was rewritten and tabled until this month.
“It is technically under SGA, and it is an SGA-started program — and funded, now — but we’re trying to get that to go under Student Affairs, just to be like the Gender and Equality Center,” DeAngeli said.
SGA President Adran Gibbs said the Student Legal Services program was established by former SGA President Daniel Pae and has actually been a part of SGA for several years.
The purpose of the act passed in the meeting was to bring awareness to the program, as well as establish SGA funding for it, Gibbs said. He said he hopes the Student Affairs office will eventually take over the funding of the program, and he anticipates the transition may happen between now and May.
The congress also saw the Auxiliary Act 3 of 2019-2020 and the Auxiliary Act 4 of 2019-2020, which both allocated funding to student organizations.