At the Student Government Association (SGA) meeting last Wednesday, Dan Beckelman, senator at-Large, said SGA is considering a reform that will take away students’ right to vote at SGA committee meetings.
Also at the meeting, Kevin Kelly, vice president of Legal and Governmental Affairs, proposed seeking an apology from the office of Auxiliary Services for SGA’s exclusion from the Sodexho contract negotiation process that occurred this past summer. SGA also discussed having a movie channel on campus, and six new SGA members were elected.
Beckelman said the bill would make it so that “only active members of SGA, including associate members, are allowed to vote.”
According to Beckelman, the bill is aimed at preventing students who are uninformed from voting on important issues, which he says “happened several times last year.” He also expressed frustration that the bill is being questioned, saying that students hardly ever vote anyway.
In an interview after the meeting, Beckelman said students’ right to vote in SGA committee meetings is “a right they shouldn’t have.”
“I’m not going to allow the general body to vote,” he said.
Beckelman said he is confident SGA will pass the bill because it furthers the ideals of representative government. He called the current policy of allowing the general body to vote “corrupt.”
Beckelman also said that the bill gives a “purpose to being an associate member,” a position which, at present, requires attendance at all SGA meetings but provides no exclusive privileges that the general student body does not have.
Thomas Sales, senator of Culture and Society, agreed. “It’s ridiculous that you can just show up and vote,” he said.
Concerning the Sodexho contract renewal, Kelly said SGA is seeking “an apology from the office of Auxiliary Services and a resolution from the Board of Trustees reaffirming the (College’s) commitment to shared governance.”
Kelly said SGA feels that the covenant of shared governance was breached because the students of the College are a named party in the Sodexho contract, yet they were not included in the renegotiation process.
Mollie Seiferas, vice president of Student Services, provided updates on the proposed movie channel, which would ideally provide free movies for on-campus students to watch from the comfort of their rooms.
Money will be a problem, Seiferas said, since the College will not provide full funding for the approximately $11,000 cost.
The majority of the SGA meeting was devoted to the election of new SGA members. Candidates for the six vacant posts were given a chance to speak before SGA went into executive session to vote.
Cindy Sobieski, freshman education/English major, and James Gant, freshman special education/history major, were elected as senators of Education.
Drew Rausa, freshman open options major in the School of Art, Media and Music, was elected senator of Art, Media and Music.
Lauren Russo, sophomore nursing major, was elected sophomore class secretary in a second informal vote. The first vote was invalidated due to the fact that there were more votes than there were sophomores in attendance.
Lindsey Oxley, junior communication studies and political science major, was elected senator of Culture and Society. Jessica Kramer, junior nursing major, was elected senator of Nursing.