SGA to gather student input on senate restructure

Published by Hannah Shumsky, Author: Hannah Shumsky - Assistant News Editor, Date: February 27, 2019
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In Slippery Rock Student Government Association’s next step to restructuring the senate, the restructuring ad-hoc committee is sharing their tentative plan with students.

Commuter senator Maggie Calvert, who was appointed as chair of the restructuring committee in December, gave an update on the committee’s goals with the drafted plan to the senate at Monday night’s formal meeting.

“Some of the goals that we’ve come up with are to increase the number of positions filled on senate to increase our legitimacy, create better representation of the student body and their concerns and to also involve student voices in our project,” Calvert said.

Calvert and the restructuring committee will meet with 11 focus groups over the next two weeks. The committee will host an open session in March for either right before or after spring break and then update the plan.

Graphic by Hannah Shumsky

In the drafted restructuring plan, the number of senators will increase to 41, an 11-person increase compared to the current structure. The senate would include one senator each to represent residents, commuters, international students, veterans and transfer students. Another 12 senators would serve as “at-large” senators and act as a liaison between various offices on campus, including the Women’s Center, Pride Center, Office for Inclusive Excellence, Athletic Department, Fraternity and Sorority Life and Office for Disability Services.

According to the restructuring report as of Feb. 25, “These positions will allow student groups that are not academically affiliated to be represented.”

Another four undergraduate and one graduate students from each college—Liberal Arts; Health, Environment and Science; Education; and Business—would serve as senators. Under the proposed restructure, there will still be four freshman senators, who are most likely to be undeclared or switch their majors.

According to Calvert, while the committee is considering a restructure in the executive board, the committee’s priority is to restructure the senate first. The earliest any senate restructure would take effect is the 2020-21 SGA elections.

Calvert encouraged any students who are not part of a selected focus group to contact her at mcc1014@sru.edu with any comments or concerns. The restructuring committee meets Wednesdays at 4 p.m. in Spotts World Cultures Building room 117.

On Monday night, Calvert motioned to consider amending Article II of the SGA Constitution. Elizabeth Hernandez, vice president of student and academic affairs, motioned to table Calvert’s motion until the next formal meeting because the motion did not specify a specific plan to restructure the committee. The motion will be untabled after the committee hosts its open session and makes any revisions.

Four new senators were appointed to the senate. Freshman Breeanna Latsko, a freshman exercise science, Pre-Physical Therapy major and member of the women’s soccer team, will serve as the Building E senator. Although Latsko is a Building F resident, SGA President Dallas Kline clarified that the position was open to any student living in the residence hall.

The three new commuter senators are Samantha Burkhouse, a senior political science and history major, Joshua Hilzendeger, a junior, and Nicholas Condon, a freshman undeclared student and transfer student from Geneva College.

After Monday night’s appointments, four senator positions (one commuter, one traditional hall, one residence hall and one graduate) will remain open for the rest of the semester.

The finance committee recommended 10 initiative requests totaling $27.418.16. These requests were approved in one motion and includes:

  • Arabic Club – $3,726 for a cultural trip to Detroit, Michigan
  • Club Baseball – $2,367.80 for facility rental
  • Zeta Phi Beta – $534.86 for a bus to the Steel City Step Show in Pittsburgh
  • Kappa Alpha Psi – $375 for tickets to the Steel City Step Show
  • Tri Beta – $1,068.02 for rental cars and parking fees
  • Theta Chi – $7,148.62 for speaker fees and mileage reimbursement
  • Student Association of American Academy of Physician Assistants – $3,811.88 for two students’ flights and hotel rooms at a conference
  • Triathlon Club – $2,692.50 for competition fees, a rental car and bike transportation
  • Western Equestrian Club – $2,964 for entry fees, car rental and flights for four riders to attend a competition in Logan, Utah
  • Ultimate Frisbee Club – $2,729.50 for mileage reimbursement and entry and membership fees

The next SGA formal meeting will be March 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Vincent Science Center room 116.

Hannah is a senior secondary English education major and communication minor entering her third year on The Rocket staff and her second year as editor-in-chief. Previously, she served as assistant news editor and covered Student Government Association affairs. After graduation, she hopes to teach English, communications and journalism to high school students. Hannah has won numerous awards for her writing and design work with The Rocket and was named SRU's Student Leader of the Year in 2020. Outside of The Rocket, Hannah is also part of WSRU-TV, Sigma Tau Delta and the Honors College.

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Hannah Shumsky
Hannah is a senior secondary English education major and communication minor entering her third year on The Rocket staff and her second year as editor-in-chief. Previously, she served as assistant news editor and covered Student Government Association affairs. After graduation, she hopes to teach English, communications and journalism to high school students. Hannah has won numerous awards for her writing and design work with The Rocket and was named SRU's Student Leader of the Year in 2020. Outside of The Rocket, Hannah is also part of WSRU-TV, Sigma Tau Delta and the Honors College.

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