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New IUSG congress members learn the ropes at Saturday retreat



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Student Body Vice President Matt Stein describes his job in IU Student Government on Oct. 2 in the Lee Norvelle Theater. IUSG this year is focusing on equity and inclusion​ and is already in the process of trying to make changes. Claire Livingston Buy Photos

IU Student Government congressional elections took place from 10 a.m. Oct. 1 to 10 p.m. Oct 2. Around 2,700 students voted, and 32 people were elected as congressional representatives, according to the election commission.

All members attended a mandatory retreat Saturday, where new representatives learned and returning members reviewed information about what the IUSG congressional branch is and how it operates.

Returning members Cassiday Moriarity and Dominic Thompson led the retreat and presented on topics such as relationships between the branches of government, leadership in Congress and parliamentary procedure.

To review parliamentary procedure, the group ran through a mock meeting in order to demonstrate certain mannerisms and rules for meetings. Specifically, they discussed topics such as the importance of an agenda and how to properly ask to go to the bathroom during a meeting.

Moriarity said knowing parliamentary procedure is important because it allows meetings to be more effective and to run faster.

“Parliamentary procedure is a fairly simple set of rules, however there are a lot of them,” Moriarity said. “It slows down the meeting process if people aren’t knowledgeable enough.”

To help guide new and old members, at the first full IUSG congress meeting tonight there will be a printed list of common mistakes of parliamentary procedure. One of these mistakes is a representative making a motion without waiting for the IUSG Speaker of the House to call on them.

In addition to IUSG information, those who attended the retreat also received Step Up! IU training, which taught the IUSG congressional members how to intervene in situations such as sexual assault and mental health issues. This training is now required for all IUSG members.

Attendees also listened to a presentation on how to work with administrators given by Jim Johnson, IUSG Congress staff advisor and associate director for Student Involvement and Leadership.

Thompson said even though he helped put together Saturday’s retreat, he learned a lot from Johnson’s presentation, including the different positions and the hierarchy in administration.

“There are so many different levels, and you need to make sure that you are going to the right person to get the right thing done," Thompson said.

Although 32 people were elected into positions, there are over 20 open positions in congress that were not filled. Moriarity said she is working to see if the application to join IUSG congress can be reopened.

If it is reopened and people apply, they will not go through another election. Instead, they will go through a verification process which will begin with applications being reviewed by IUSG congressional executives and end with a final confirmation hearing with all of congress. 

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