The Student Government Association recently met to discuss several shake ups in the Senator roster and important changes to their policy.
Unlike the last meeting that they conducted, this was relatively short, lasting only about 30 minutes.
As per tradition, the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag was recited and the minutes from the previous meeting were reviewed and approved. Melissa Escobar, President of SGA then stood and gave her report concerning a fundraiser with ICC involving Belk Stores, office hours in the Office of Student Leadership and other housekeeping details.
Pedro Escobar, Attorney General of SGA, reported the state of the Student Courts, saying that there had been 12 appeals in total, concerning both Traffic and Judicial Courts and that 10 of those 12 appeals had been denied.
The three committees that are required by the by-laws of SGA, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and External Affairs, all had nothing to report. After those reports, came a special committee report on amending the by-laws of SGA.
Several minor edits were made comprising grammar failures and ambiguous sections by previous administrations, but the main purpose of these edits was first, to put in requirements for the office of President Pro- Tempore, which had been elected at the previous meeting.
The next major item was to raise the GPA requirement for all members of the Executive Board from a 2.0 to a 2.5. They passed the Senate unanimously.
A move was then made by the Censure Committee to remove two senators who had not fulfilled some of their required duties, and had not been able to be contacted since their election. These Senators were removed from office with only one Senator voting against their removal.
This opens up two fresh seats in the Senate representing the School of Liberal Arts and undecided majors. If you would be interested in filling either of these vacancies, please stop by the Office of Student Leadership immediately to find out how you can obtain these spots.
After the meeting, this reporter approached the Parliamentarian, Conor Dunn, who chaired the by-laws committee to ask some simple questions for Stallion TV. This Stallion reporter was then informed by Vice-President Ja'Quez West that members of SGA were not allowed to give interviews to members of the press, showing a lack of transparency in the governance of the student body.
According to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, these types of meetings, including SGA Committee Meetings, are open to the public and the press. However, it is much easier, especially for video news to interview the members who were at these meetings about the events instead of having a reporter present at these events.
Asst. Dean of Students Alan Kramer later clarified that SGA has advised it’s members that all communications and interviews go through SGA President Escobar, “So there is a single voice.” The “single voice” policy is not a “no interview” policy, Kramer later clarified.
If you are interested, you can watch the video of the first SGA meeting from Sept. 18, on Stallion TV. The highlights are shown in a shorter video, and a full video of the meeting will soon be uploaded.