Student Government plans to change by-laws

Student Government Association senators begin their meeting in Comache Suites, Feb. 16. Photo by Francisco Martinez

Student Government Association senators begin their meeting in Comache Suites, Feb. 16. Photo by Francisco Martinez

Student Government Association’s meeting was a little longer than most, because of the continuous problems that seem to arise every election (i.e. rigged voting, illegal campaigning, bad advertising of dates to the student body, etc.).

Once all of the committees were addressed, the floor was open for any new proposals or movements. Mark Brown, SGA vice president, started it by addressing the reason behind why the postmaster did not go out for the elections— his laptop got corrupted and was unable to send it out. The problem has since been fixed, but Brown offered to change any election dates because of the incident. 

Marco Torres, psychology senior, said, “I propose a motion to postpone the elections and move the dates to later because we are going off of the old by-laws, which are out dated and need to be updated. Plus we didn’t vote on the dates, they were just given to us.”

Torres talked about how we should update the by-laws and use the new by-laws to run this year’s elections, also in regards to last year’s incident (you can read more about it here and here). He said he hopes that this year would be more fair. He stressed how this semester was focused to fixing the by-laws and that the elections should be extended because nothing really changed. Chair and Senate members were confused and asked about how they were under the impression that the by-laws already underwent changes previously.

Brown said, “We did not change the content of the by-laws, just fixed grammar issues, took out extra spaces, and cleaned it up.”

The floor then flooded with conversation from other members. People were also concerned with the fact that the Board of Elections was still a member short and wouldn’t be able to do all of the work without a fully functioning board. Many started to show interest in Torres’ motion and asked about the possibilities of extending the dates. 

Jesse Brown, criminal justice senior and SGA president, then stepped up and explained why the early dates were picked in the first place. “The elections were placed when they are because of the extended spring break,” Brown said. “If we wait then it will be crammed into April and fall during finals or it will be split by spring break.”

Shayla Owens, management junior, said in response, “Technically it is illegal to proceed since we don’t have a full Board. We could cut off registration on Friday and then continue in April.”

Many thought in the moment that it would be a good opportunity to wait, so the board would have time to find another member, and the by-laws would have time to be changed. 

Mikayla Dunlap, chair of the student elections board, “Well the candidate meeting is next Monday so do I go off the new by-laws or the old ones, I kinda need to know now.”

After multiple motions were passed, the final consensus was that the Senate would meet Feb. 23 to address the changing of the old by-laws. Members of the Senate would be emailed the old by-laws sometime on Feb. 16 so they have a full week to review it. The only date that changed for the elections would be that instead of the candidates meeting Feb. 23, they would meet Feb. 24 after the new by-laws had been passed and changed. 

OTHER MEETING AGENDAS

James Frank, Texas state representative and guest speaker,  was introduced by Brown and started the meeting by talking on the different levels of government and getting student’s opinions on which level of government is the best to get bills and laws passed.

“Over 6,00 bills are filed each year, and just over 1,000 bills made it through this year,” Frank said. 

Frank continued the conversation to talk more on political issues, presidential candidates, and why some people may have the political point of views that they do. 

“If you want to pull someone to your side in a political discussion, you have to think life them,” Frank said. 

Once Frank was dismissed, Angie Reay, associate director of residence life, was introduced and gave a brief statement about Resident Assistant applications available now. 

“If you are interested in being an R.A., or a friend, then go apply because we are looking to hire about 35 new R.A.’s this next year,” Reay said. 

Matthew Park, vice president for student affairs and dean, was then introduced to also give brief details on the peer counseling applications available and also announce that the opportunity to nominate outstanding student awards were be available soon through the various organization around campus.

“[Peer Counselors] are students who serve as the student organization leaders during the summer sessions,” Park said. 

Once the guest speakers were dismissed and finished their conversations, and since there were no reports from any of the officers, they dove right into each of the subcommittees reports. 

Torres started off by presenting the Campus Culture Committee. He brought up the hydration stations around campus and the ones that were already placed in various building, then read their petition to have them be put in other buildings that did not already have them. Also to repurchase the bottles used in 2012-2013 with the Go Green emblem. His committee was also in charge of the recent debate over the school color. 

“We got 718 signatures on the petition to change the color,” Torres said. 

The petition asks that we change the current shade of maroon, Pantone 202, to a darker shade, specifically, Pantone 229C, which he said at the next meeting he will bring swatches and the color can be changed then if another color is deemed better. 

“These will be voted upon next meeting, so just keep these in the back of your mind,” Torres said. 

Community Service Committee then had Senator Thomas Mammen, biology sophomore, address the senate about a community service opportunity.

“I’m with Resdient Hall Association, and on Feb. 26 we are going to visit the humane society. You can come and help with puppies and probably get to walk them,” Mammen said. 

Policy Committee had Andrew Gray, business administration and management junior, talk on their focus for safety. 

Gray said, “If you have any concerns you can talk with me after the meeting, or I have a twitter, you can message me on there.”

Shayla Owens, management junior, spoke for the Student Leadership Committee. The senate passed the movement to fund Delta Sigma Pi’s, Dillard College of business fraternity, attendance at a conference event for leadership. Then they had a member of Phi Alpha Theta talk on the experiences they had at a conference in Florida they just attended. 

Finally, the board of elections committee talked about how they had one person drop out from the committee and need one more senator to join to help out.

After that the floor was open to the public to address any topic or issue they felt needed addressing. Which was when the motions pertaining to the elections were passed.