Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Feb. 3, 2011 SGA Meeting

The Meeting in Photos

Brief, main details of the meeting can be found in The Daily Helmsman.  

What Happened At The SGA Meeting?
Like all Student Government Association meetings at The University of Memphis which are open to the public, the night started at 7:30 p.m. in the University Center Senate Chambers with reports from the executive council and committees. The most eventful occurrences, however, came afterward.

Senator Tyler Dewitt, senior accounting major, announced he is running for SGA president under the United Students Party during the closing announcement portion of the meeting. Senator of the College of Arts and Sciences Rachel Goodwin, sophomore political science major, will be running for vice president under the same party, Dewitt said.

"I'm looking forward to an exciting challenge and restoring accountability and integrity within the Student Government Association," Dewitt said.

Goodwin said she wants to focus on transparency in SGA by letting the students know what they do and are doing.

Dewitt and Goodwin 

Two students were elected into SGA by recommendation from President Hunter Lang.  Aaron Robinson, health care administration and organizational leadership senior, was voted to take over as Senator of the University College.  The position was previously held by Senator Gian Gozum, who resigned in order to study abroad.

Senior finance major Matt Uselton was elected as a senator at large.

Uselton said he wants The University to focus more on campus safety. 

"I'm looking to get involved and reach out and see what everyone on campus needs," he said. "Improvements are being made, but more need to be made."

Uselton is also a member of Lambda Chi Alpha, a fraternity which recently experienced a break-in and has had problems with house maintenance.
Robinson                               Uselton

Anthony LaRocca, election commissioner of SGA, proposed three associate election commissioners for approval from senators.  Though the three students being recommended were not present, they were slated by senators regardless.  The three associate election commissioners, who will help with basketball homecoming and SGA elections, are Carrie 
Smith, Jeremy Cotter and Brianna Wilkerson.  

LaRocca announced that any senator wishing to run for reelection must turn in required forms to SGA's office in the University Center's Student Involvement Zone on the second floor by Feb. 28. Active campaigning for SGA started Feb. 1.

What Senate Bills Were Proposed?
Each meeting, senators propose senate bills that they have been creating to the group.  The bills are then voted on.  If passed, the senator behind the bill will follow up with the proper official or administrator to make what was proposed in the bill happen.

Senate Bill 23: Senator Michelle Neal proposed an amendment to SGA's Bylaws which would state that any senator will be considered breaching his/her duties if they miss three meetings.  Senator Tyler Dewitt changed the wording to say each senator may miss "no more than three" meetings, in order to prevent any mix up that may come in the future due to vague wording.  Senate Bill 23 was passed with an overwhelming majority.

Senate Bill 24: Senator Katy Murphy proposed to have more soap dispensers throughout the bathrooms in the Living Learning Residence Complex. She said she plans to "pressure Physical Plant (department) until they do it."  Murphy also said she has tried to contact Physical Plant representatives but has yet to hear back from them. Senate Bill 24 was passed with an overwhelming majority.

Senate Bill 25: Senator Erica Chambers proposed that dorm room changes be allowed to take place four weeks after move-in, replacing the two week allowance that is current policy. Senate Bill 25 was voted to be sent back to Student Services Committee for review.

Senate Bill 26: Senator Cynthia Gamboa proposed to have receipts from campus dining facilities inform meal plan owners how many meals they have left over after purchase of the most recent meal.  She said this should be "added for convenience."  Senator Dewitt advised that the information was already printed on receipts. Gamboa responded that the bill may be outdated since she wrote it the previous semester.  Senate Bill 26 was postponed indefinitely, meaning "thrown away."

Senate Bill 27: Senators Sydney Tomes and Katy Murphy, proposers of the bill, decided to send it back to committee for discussion before a formal proposal.

Senate Bill 30: Senator LaQuida Norris proposed to have more lockers in central locations on campus to "cater more to commuter students since we are a 90 percent commuter school."  She said currently there are only two places with lockers on campus: Jones Hall and one of the Engineering buildings.  The lockers at those locations are in the basement, she said.  If the bill is passed, Norris will demand the lockers be adequately advertised and that The University of Memphis will appropriately fund more lockers. Senate Bill 30 was passed with an overwhelming majority.

Senate Bill 32: Senator David Leyva proposed that The Daily Helmsman rack be placed toward the front of the Kemmons Wilson School, which is The Holiday Inn on campus.  Senate Bill 32 was referred back to committee to correct the spelling error in the name of the school. (Senate Bill names cannot be amended on the senate floor.)

Senate Bill 33: Senator Courtney Milton proposed a "recycle zone" be put behind Rawls Hall near the Living Learning Residence Complex. Senate Bill 33 was passed with an overwhelming majority.

Senate Bill 38: Speaker Pro-Tempore Jeanae Doughty, legislative committee chair, presented this bill which proposed impeachment of Senator Phyllicia Johnson due to a breach of duties. Johnson, who was not present, was impeached by a vote of 14 to 5.  Two thirds of those present needed to vote in favor of impeachment in order for it to occur. 

Senate Bill 39: Speaker Pro-Tempore Jeanae Doughty, legislative committee chair, presented this bill which proposed impeachment of Daniel Tillman, Senator of Communication and Fine Arts. By a vote of 14 to 5 Tillman, who was present at the meeting, was not impeached.

What Announcements Were Made?
  • SGA advisor, Dean of Students Stephen Petersen, announced that the majority of senators were in good standing with high grade point averages.
  • Senators were reminded to sign out of their office hours, to insure what times they were present at the office. 
  • Dean Petersen announced that 4,438 newspapers were read within the first week of distribution of the readership program that was implemented by SGA through a partnership with USA Today.  USA Today, The New York Times and The Commercial Appeal were continuously refilled each day until they reached a stauration point, in order to calculate student usage of the program.  An average of 888 papers were taken from the stands each day.

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