Graduate students face off with SGA

Published by adviser, Author: Catie Clark - Rocket Contributor, Date: May 4, 2012
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The new president of the Slippery Rock Student Government Assocation (SGA) for the 2012-2013 school year was sworn in Thursday at the last Senate meeting of the semester.

Dave Wolfe, a junior sport management and communication major, said he is looking forward to serving as president.

“I’m really excited to hold such an honorable position and to work with some of the best student leaders on campus,” Wolfe said.

All other new and returning SGA executive board members and senators were sworn in as well.

Wolfe’s second motion as president of SGA involved a motion that had previously failed earlier during the meeting.

The Association of Graduate Students (AGS) brought an amendment to the senate from a previous motion that involved the organization being recognized as a student organization, not as a governing body, so that SGA would allocate them 3.75 percent of the student fees that graduate students already pay to SGA. The motion has been tabled until the first senate meeting of next semester.

The previously approved motion at the April 26 Board of  Co-Operative Activities meeting stated that they would review the proposal of AGS by December 31, 2012 with the stipulation that a committee be appointed at a later date by the Vice President of Finance. This review would include reviewing policies, implementation of the proposal, and potential negative effect of the proposal.

Samuel Goodge, a graduate student volleying for the approval of AGS, said that the 3.75 percent of money allocated to AGS would amount to around $10,000.

“We are asking for the opportunity to see what AGS could do with a budget given the opportunity while the committee is still under review,” Goodge said.

Kim Sloan, vice president of internal affairs, and Josh Rodgers, vice president of finance, both think that the committee is a good idea, but allotting AGS money before the committee has been formed and a budget has been made was not.

“We’re not making this committee so we can put this off, we’re looking at the facts and figures,” Sloan said. “I think the committee is an idea we need to stick with.”

Rodgers said, “It would be going against precedent if we didn’t make them break down and budget their allotted funds before approving it.”

Goodge said that the reason graduate students are moving through the channels is because they feel they aren’t being appropriately represented.

“As there is only one graduate senator, the decisions are left almost entirely up to the undergraduates,” Goodge said. “We need a group that favors the graduate students.”

Elise Michaux, president elect of AGS, said that by not forming an AGS, graduate students are not doing their job.

“We pride ourselves on clubs and organizations,” Michaux said. “If we’re not supporting that, then we are not serving our purpose.”

Goodge also said he would like to speak towards the ethics of SGA policies.

“Although graduate students pay the same percentage as undergraduate students, graduate tuition costs more, which results in graduate students paying a greater amount,” Goodge said. “Because we are under-represented in SGA, it’s not exactly fair that we pay more into SGA [per student] than undergraduates do.”

Goodge said that he knew the motion wasn’t going to pass, but now he knows it is on the radar for next year.

“We’re not talking about the stability of an organization here,” Goodge said, “we’re talking about adequately representing students.”

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