Last Wednesday, March 6, at 9:15 p.m. in Stuart Building room 113, the Student Government Association (SGA) held its sixth senate hearing of the spring semester. On the agenda for last Wednesday’s shorter senate hearing: the Vice President of Events Amendment, executive reports, open floor, and meeting with committees. Sitting in as chair instead of Executive Vice President Monica Bhagavan in her excused absence was Vice President of Academic Affairs Erin Nelson.
Events Chair Henry White began the hearing by presenting a quick summary of the Vice President of Events Amendment, which removes the position of Events Chair from the executive board and replaces it with the Vice President of Events, which is an elected position. The current Events Chair position is appointed, because when it was originally instated, it was a smaller position reserved for internal events. Since then, it has grown and taken on more responsibility and should be voted on by the student body. One major change is that if elected, the Vice President of Events would have voting privileges in the Senate in correspondence with other elected positions. The intent is to have the Vice President of Events be newly elected in the upcoming Executive Board Election. This amendment passed with 18 votes for and two votes against.
Following the approval of this amendment, Events Chair Henry White presented his executive report. Executive Assistant Katja Berthold added that SGA Senators would be working on a student panel during the upcoming Hawk Preview Days and Women in STEM day. Henry White announced finalized dates for SGA events in the next couple months. First is the Office of Resident Life (ORL) Townhall, which will take place on March 14 during the lunch hour (between 12:45 p.m. and 1:45 p.m.). Next is the President Provost Forum, similar to the one hosted last semester, which will be held March 25 during the lunch hour, most likely in the McCormick Tribune Campus Center (MTCC) ballroom. On April 2 during the lunch hour, there will be a Student Health & Wellness Center Townhall. Finally, on April 26, with a time still to be set, there will be an SGA end of year awards and banquet.
Next, Finance Board Chair Jorge Morin announced that the next Finance Board Hearing will take place on March 9 at 9 a.m. in MTCC room 202. Any students are welcome to attend.
One of the Judicial Board justices presented in place of Chief Justice Erin Monforti, announcing that there will be three Judicial Board Hearings in the coming week.
Vice President of Communications Narkis Garcia presented that he is currently trying to get the TV outside of the SGA working to display SGA-related material. Additionally, Senator Kemelbek Tashkulov is currently working on updating the HawkLink for SGA.
Then, Vice President of Student Life Lin Abu-Amara announced that Student Life Committee meetings take place in the Pritzker Club in MTCC on Thursdays from 3:15-5:15 p.m. Also, the next Food Advisory Board meeting will take place in the Commons on Wednesday March 13 from 9 – 10 a.m. Finally, there will be a Public Safety Meeting with Bruce Watts as well on Wednesday, March 13 during the lunch hour.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Erin Nelson then asked for feedback about the career fair that took place recently on campus. Some senators were impressed by the large amount of companies present. Additionally, Executive Assistant Katja Berthold announced that there will be a pilot course known as an “I” Course (Interdisciplinary Course) in coming semester, which two of which will count as one Interprofessional (IPRO) course.
Finally, President Eric Scott met with the provost last week and discussed some student issues. They discussed the possibility of small scholarships for student representatives (like senators). Additionally, they discussed the tuition increase, bud did not come to a resolution as of yet. Eric Scott brought up the Undergraduate Faculty Council (UFC) Cold Weather Legislation that was recently passed by the Senate, and is trying to get it signed by the president and provost. He announced that the discussion of the purpose of the Student Activity Fund (SAF) will continue in the coming legislative sessions of the SGA. In addition, the SGA will have a discussion of Finance Board oversight/reform, the Voting Transparency Amendment will be introduced to the senate, and there will be discussion of potentially making the current ad hoc Governmental Affairs committee a permanent committee. In the future, it is possible that there will be Senate leadership positions that are outlined in the Constitution and/or Bylaws as well.
After the executive reports, Executive Election Committee Chair Jorge Morin announced that nominations are underway and that students can nominate somebody to be on the Executive Board via https://goo.gl/forms/fRiTohlXfkyQsQnV2. Nominations end on March 20 and those running will be announced on March 25. On March 26 and March 28 during the lunch hour, there will be debates by those running hosted in the MTCC Ballroom. The following positions are open for nominations: Vice President of Communications, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Vice President of Student Life, Vice President of Events, Finance Board Chair, Executive Vice President, and President. Voting will occur April 4 through April 10, the results of which will be announced at the Senate Hearing on April 10. Those with questions can email [email protected].
During Open Floor, one student questioned why the SGA utilizes Robert’s Rules regularly, even though they weren’t regulated at the current meeting. Senator Thomas Spillman answered that Robert’s Rules were waived for Wednesday’s hearing because it was a simple meeting without much discussion, but if a deeper, more controversial discussion had ensued, they would have been enforced more.
The meeting minutes can be found online on the SGA Facebook page, and anyone with questions or comments regarding SGA can direct them to [email protected]