Previously, on SGA: Constitution reviewed

The following covers the meeting on March 29.

Climate Check:

Sophomore Senator Allison Waters opened climate check by asking who she should reach out to about safety concerns regarding the baseball field, before citing students’ concerns about being hit by baseballs, as well as an anecdote of a student going to the ER with a broken hand after being hit by a ball. President Danny Nguyen advised sending an email to Seth Asbury, associate director of athletics for facilities and event management. Advisor Jamie Thompson suggested copying Bob King, director of athletics, and Stacey Lenderman, athletics office manager, to the email.

First-year Senator Sameed Aijaz raised a concern on behalf of two students who informed him that they received raw chicken from Brother’s Barbeque in Revolve. Advisor Thompson stated that the students can report the incident to Charles Robles, food service director, and recommended that students speak to staff immediately in this type of situation.

Sophomore Senator Ani Siva raised a concern about the 24-hour crisis text line available to students through counseling services. He heard from a student that there was a three-hour response time when they tried to use the service, and when he tested it out himself, he did not receive a response until five hours later. Advisor Thompson recommended sending an email to Richard Reams, director of counseling services, and Marcy Youngdahl, director of integrated counseling and health services.

Constitutional Review:

SGA conducted a constitutional review, in which they examined and approved changes to the SGA constitution proposed by the constitutional review committee. The approved changes to the constitution will be sent out to the student body for voting in the Fall 2023 semester during the class of 2027 senator election cycle.

Some of the proposed changes to the constitution were small adjustments to clarify or update the language of the constitution. Several changes were proposed to update timelines and deadlines to reflect that SGA terms now follow the academic year and not the calendar year. The changes to the constitution that reflect new or altered policy are as follows:

The section outlining which members of the student body can and cannot serve on SGA was updated. Three bullet points were removed from this section to eliminate redundancies in language. Members of the Student Integrity Panel (formerly the Student Conduct Board), the Academic Honor Council and residential assistants will now be allowed to serve on SGA. First-year Senator Bailey Silverman, a member of the constitutional review committee, reported that the committee as a whole concluded that involvement in these organizations would not pose a conflict of interest as they are not funded by SGA.
The eligibility requirements for running for President or Vice President of SGA were changed from a student with a junior year credit status to a student with “at least 4 semesters of full-time enrollment at an accredited college or university.” The requirements were also changed so that candidates for these positions now must have prior experience in SGA. The previous language stated that the President and Vice President “ideally should have prior experience in SGA.”

Senators will now be sworn in by the dean of students, not the university president.

The section detailing the job and responsibilities of the Judicial Chair was removed from the constitution because it is now included in the updated bylaws with the rest of the cabinet positions.

The procedure for a Council Review, which occurs when a member of SGA violates the constitution, was updated to include the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Chair and states that the DEI Chair will participate in the proceedings at the Judicial Chair’s discretion.

It was also proposed that the section stating that SGA meeting agendas should be sent out 24 hours in advance of the meeting to the entire student body should be removed. According to Senator Silverman, the rationale behind this change is that SGA hasn’t been doing this for a couple of years now. President Nguyen added that the agendas for every SGA meeting are open to the public and available on the SGA website. Sophomore Senator Harrison Tinker pointed out that perhaps SGA should reinstate this practice, as their meetings are open to the public and if students know what will be discussed in advance, they may be more interested in showing up. Senator Siva agreed with Senator Tinker. After a vote, this section was removed.

The procedure for a roll call vote to approve motions was removed, as the SGA has not been enacting this practice. The section stating that all senator’s votes are part of the public record and should be included in the minutes was removed. DEI Chair Avery Lim, who served on the constitutional review committee, explained that the rationale behind this change is that in practice, only opposing votes are recorded in the minutes.

The procedure for impeachment via digital petition was updated so that the requirement for “a unique form of identification such as TUID” was changed to just “TUID.”

The election committee will now be appointed by SGA’s “Advisors or their designated proxy” instead of the President. Senator Silverman explained that this change will help avoid bias if the President is running for reelection and that these changes were proposed in January under the assumption that they would be enacted before the current election cycle.

Officer Updates:

Vice President Donya Ahmadi reminded the senate that funding for University-Sponsored Organizations will occur on April 13, and that the senate funding committee will be sending out a Fall funding report that will outline how the student activity fund was used.

DEI Chair Lim announced that SGA is partnering with the center for international engagement to host the Tiger Stripes: Ecuador event on March 31 from 12-2 p.m.

Senator Siva asked DEI Chair Lim about the distribution of the sign-up form for graduation stoles for Asian American and Pacific Islander students, explaining that many students don’t have access to the form because there is no centralized distribution. Vice President Ahmadi stated that she had suggested to Kayla Campos, coordinator of student diversity and inclusion, that they share the form via email with the entire class of 2023. Advisor Thompson stated that she was going to carbon copy (cc) President Nguyen, Vice President Ahmadi and DEI Chair Lim in an email to Esther Esparza, associate director of students: orientation programs and transitions.

President Nguyen reminded senators that the first 210U student government alliance meeting will be on April 1 at 2 p.m, and that voting for the SGA election closed at 11:59 p.m. on March 29. President Nguyen stated that the election results would be sent out March 31 — however, the results were released March 30.