New senator sworn in; graduate senator position modified at SGA meeting

Published by , Author: Adam Zook - Assistant News Editor, Date: December 5, 2017

The Slippery Rock Student Government Association saw a new senator be sworn in Monday night at their formal meeting. Tyler Ben was elected as Rock Apartments senator by roll call vote and sworn in by SGA President Rachel Lawler. Lawler also encouraged students during her committee report for students to make their voices heard during the Council of Trustees meeting on Friday night.

“I encourage all students to attend Monday’s meeting to see how this decision is being made and voice their individual opinions,” Lawler said. The meeting will take place at 1 pm in the Smith Student Center Theater.

Parliamentarian Brennan Smith announced proposed changes to the graduate senator position. These policy revisions were proposed by Smith to bring about a higher retention rate for graduate senators. Changes included conducting a graduate survey annually to better address issues concerning grad students at SRU and the creation of a ad-hoc committee that would oversee changes and provide a foundation moving forward.

This point was questioned by VP of Finance Riley Keffer, who was opposed to some of the vague language brought forth in the proposal. Parliamentarian Smith attempted to clarify who would chair the position and why he thought it would be personally valuable to graduate students at Slippery Rock.

“To my knowledge, since it is an ad-hoc committee, it does not have to be chaired by someone who is recognized as a member of the executive board. When the Social Justice committee was first formed, it was not chaired by someone who was a member of the executive board. The graduate student committee could be run in a similar fashion,” Smith said.

VP Keffer remained skeptical however, who expressed concern over the wording of the proposal. “I’m still struggling with the term ad-hoc committee. It is never mentioned how a person is elected to chair this committee and if only graduate students can be involved. I’d really like to change the language surrounding the second portion of this proposal or have it exempted from this vote until it can be discussed further.”

Ultimately, the SGA voted to table the second portion of the changes made to the graduate senator position with the potential creation of an ad-hoc committee to be discussed at a later meeting.

Scott Vogelgesang, VP of Student and Academic Affairs, announced the results of the annual Student Life Survey.  634 students responded to the survey, 73 percent of which were female, 23 percent male and 4 percent who preferred not to answer. Students who responded expressed a desire to have more volunteer opportunities (62 percent of respondents) and see more weekend and late night activities (60 percent of respondents). A total of 65 percent of those who responded would like to see more career development workshops introduced.

When it came to the diversity and inclusion portion of the survey, 65 percent of students believed that faculty and staff could benefit from diversity and awareness training, and 18 percent of students said they have felt signaled out due to their race, gender, or sexual orientation.

The minutes for the Nov. 20 formal meeting were approved, along with the Inline Hockey Team’s request of $655.40 for mileage reimbursement for a tournament they attended in New Jersey. After some discussion, the Men’s Ice Hockey Team’s request of $9,600 for league dues and referee fees was agreed upon with the amendment that they move $29,970.41 into a self support account to protect the SGA from further liability issues.

Dallas Kline, VP of Campus Outreach, announced that over 800 students had viewed films in the Student Center Theater this semester. Kline also spotlighted the women’s ice hockey team who improved from a winless season last year to a record of 6-5 in their 2017 campaign.

Social Justice Chair Victoria Davis announced that they have decided on a Spring advocacy project for 2018 and is continuing one on one meetings with each senator to help shape the future of the committee. These meetings will affect the current drafting of amendments being made to change the Social Justice Chair to a voting position.

VP of Internal Affairs Lexi Foster announced that her position will become vacant on December 10, with applications currently available on CORE. Applicants must have attended at least two formal meetings and a finance meeting in order to qualify for consideration by SGA.

This was the last formal meeting of the SGA for the 2017 Fall Semester. They will convene again starting in January of 2018.