The Student Government Association (SGA) held its very first senate hearing of the fall 2019 semester on Wednesday, September 4 at 9:15 p.m. in Stuart Building room 113. Its agenda held items such as the approval of new student organizations Gamma Nu Eta and IIT Billiards Club and Finance Board Advisor Christian Allen, and the swearing in of the new senators for the 2019-2020 school year.
Gamma Nu Eta president Andreas Vassilakos presented his proposal for a new student organization. This National Information Technology Honor Society aims to promote excellence and leadership in information technology. Senators questioned Andreas about the following topics. Only invited qualified individuals can join, but there has been a lot of interest in the department. Gamma Nu Eta is different from other honor societies such as Upsilon Pi Epsilon (the computer science honor society) and IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) because it is just information technology students. A brief run down of qualifications for undergraduate students are as follows: three semesters of study completed, 3.65 GPA, and a part of the top 15 percent on campus.
Following this questioning period, senators discussed the approval of the organization. Vice President of Student Life Derek Rhea brought up the fact that the Information Technology and Management Organization (ITMO) already exists on campus to serve information technology students, and the department is rather small on campus. However, senators brought up the fact that this is different because it is an honor society and targeted at professional development, and could possibly help the information technology department grow. Another issue raised was that the Student Activity Fund (SAF) would only go to these invited students and not to all students on campus, which the SAF is intended for. A majority voted in favor of Gamma Nu Eta, making it a new student organization.
Next, Vice President of IIT Billiards Club Vice President David Butler proposed this club to the senate. He noted that there has been a lot of interest from students who ask him to play, and its purpose is to attract players from all skill levels and host events such as tournaments and training sessions. During questioning, senators asked about the frequency of meet ups, which would be weekly, and the location of tournaments, which would probably be in The Bog. They would most likely spend any SAF money on new equipment for the club.
During discussion of this club, senators mentioned that they think it is a spectacular idea. Some expressed concerns about it being a leisurely club and its usage of the SAF; however, others mentioned that the club would benefit campus by keeping the interest here instead of shuttling students to outside events. IIT Billiards Club passed as a new student organization.
Following IIT Billiards Club on the agenda, Christian Allen presented himself for the role of Finance Board Advisor. He wanted to join Finance Board because he found it comparable to the work he did in high school on an events planning committee, and often looked to his mother for advice because of her work in finance. Finance Board Chair Josh Bowden advocated for Christian because he has been working closely along with and training with the Finance Board. During questioning, Christian commented that he believed the SAF should be used for activities that all students can benefit from, with very few exceptions. He proposed that a new rule for Finance Board could be to fundraise to add money to the SAF. In discussion, senators agreed that this fundraising idea was exceptional, and Christian passed as a new Finance Board advisor with a unanimous vote.
A matter of old business – the proposed Records Act – from last semester appeared on the table and the motion to approve it was withdrawn from President Eric Scott.
Then the new senators for the 2019-2020 academic year were sworn in. They are as follows: for the College of Science, Siddharaj Pujari, Zitan Yu, Jason Scott, Amna Haneef, Rishabh Tyagi, and Vincent Yu. For the College of Architecture, Zachary Clark. For the Stuart School of Business, Sandy Orozco. For the Lewis College of Human Sciences, Mengli Tu. For the Armour College of Engineering, Rachi Jain, Alexander Guban, Cameron Chrest, Hassan Simmons, and Gregory Gassoway. Congratulations to the new senators!
Before the hearing finished, each of the vice presidents from the committees presented some information about what their committees do at Illinois Tech. Vice President of Academic Affairs Daniel Medina explained that he wants to work closely with the provost and the faculty in the coming year. Vice President of Communications Katja Berthold projected the building of the SGA brand, its social media presence, its website, and its transparency. Vice President of Events Rishi Shukla stated that his committee will be planning events. Vice President of Student Life Derek Rhea said that his committee will be responsible for students’ concerns with dining, housing, and campus life. Finally, President Eric Scott presented the ad hoc Governmental Affairs committee, whose purpose is to write legislation for and update the constitution and bylaws.
Finally, during open floor, President Eric Scott, Finance Board Chair Josh Bowden, Chief Justice Diana Wu, and SGA advisor Patrick Fina welcomed the new senators and imparted their hopes for the next semester to be one full of change and progress.
The meeting minutes can be found online on the Illinois Tech Student Community (ITSC) Facebook page, and anyone with questions or comments regarding SGA can direct them to [email protected]