In addition to the established committees of the Illinois Tech Student Government Association (SGA), including Academic Affairs, Communications, Events, and Student Life, the organization can also create temporary ad hoc committees for special purposes, as deemed necessary by the organization. Section 8.7 of the SGA constitution states that “a special committee shall be created temporarily by a majority vote of the Senate as the Senate deems it necessary to carry on specialized tasks of the SGA.” Thus, by a prior vote earlier in the fall 2018 semester, SGA created the ad hoc Governmental Affairs Committee to carry out a number of functions for the organization.
More specifically, this committee was created, in the words of Senator Matt Chavera, for the purpose of emulating the internal and external affairs committees of SGA equivalents at other universities. SGA President Eric Scott further explained the rationale behind this committee as serving two needs: assisting the organization in formulating a process for amending its governing documents and giving the organization a formal outlet for coordinating with external organizations and coalitions.
In particular, Illinois Tech’s SGA hopes that this committee will give the organization a more established method for interacting with the Coalition of Chicago Colleges and Universities (CCCU), a regional organization consisting of representatives from several Chicagoland institutions, including DePaul University, Loyola University, Moraine Valley College, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois - Chicago (UIC), and the University of Chicago.
Already, Illinois Tech’s SGA has been sending delegates to attend CCCU meetings. However, these delegates have been assigned on a volunteer basis, and the organization hopes to have a more official process for selecting delegates implemented in the spring of 2019. Tasks that have already been undertaken by Illinois Tech’s SGA for the CCCU have included helping to revise the CCCU’s charter, creating a student bill of rights, and advising UIC on the creation of an independent student newspaper. Items that Illinois Tech hopes to bring up within the CCCU include initiatives concerning Title IX, Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants, campus accessibility, student discounts for Metra services, and the rewriting of the CCCU charter.
The other half of the temporary Governmental Affairs Committee looks to address internal issues within SGA. For example, the members of this committee hope to create some form of training program for the use of Robert’s Rules procedures (the system of parliamentary procedure used during SGA senate hearings) for all SGA members, after noting many members of the organization are still unsure on the motions and verbiages associated with the system. Other items on the agenda of this committee for SGA’s internal operations include promoting transparency and voting records of SGA elections, addressing the numerous consistency errors in the SGA constitution and bylaws, formalizing and codifying the SGA election and recruitment cycles, and positioning the organization’s members as liaisons for Illinois Tech student organizations.
The SGA Governmental Affairs Committee is currently planning on meeting on a weekly basis, with the day and times depending on the availabilities of its individual members. Further questions can be directed to the organization via email at [email protected]
Photo by Estlin Mendez (They/them)