After record snowfalls forced the cancellation of last week’s meeting, the Student Government Association was back at work Tuesday night to continue discussions on revamping their overall meeting schedule.SGA voted to scrap their current twice a week meeting schedule in favor of a more compact version. This new schedule features Senate meetings every other week, with committee meetings taking place on off weeks.
“I think this is a really neat idea and also a way to be more efficient,” Vice President Laura Prudenti said.
The new schedule was passed by the Senate with a vote of 24-13, with one abstaining. Several senators argued that since all committee meeting would be held on one day, the new format would restrict them from sitting on more then one committee at a time. This would force them to pick one committee and leave the others that they presently sit on, effectively stripping them of some of the voting rights that they once held.
“This will certainly make senators more accountable to their committees,” President Anthony DiJiacomo stated. He went on to say that restricting the number of committees that a senator could sit on may actually have a positive result.
“I think it’s a good idea to give more senators a chance to sit on a committee,” he said.
The Senate plans to revisit the issue at the end of the term and gauge its success.
“There will be some hiccups, but we will work through it,” DiJiacomo said.
Bylaw Alterations During the meeting, SGA approved one change in their bylaws, but tabled another.
SGA approved several clarifications and alterations regarding their general election policy. Among other changes, candidates may no longer use opponents names on fliers. According to Parliamentarian Brad Moyer, this was done in an effort to crack down on fliers designed to resemble official ballots and in turn prevent ballot box stuffing.
“We wanted to provide some general ground rules for elections,” Moyer said, adding that they also wanted to combat some issues that were problems in the past. There were also several alterations made to SGA’s own election committee bylaws.
Proposed changes to a bylaw concerning the impeachment and removal of officers were tabled until the next meeting.
Senate Elections Continue
SGA continued its quest to have a full Senate as three new members joined its ranks on Tuesday night.
Michael Bertolino was elected as the new Residence Life and Housing Senator. Bertolino, a third year psychology major defeated Yheralis Lantigua.
Lantigua, a first year Political Science major, was later elected to the University Safety Committee.
Also, Deshae Lyda was elected as the new University Forum Senator.
Campus Fee Presentation
On Tuesday, Mark Mixner, the VP of Fiscal Affairs and his staff will outline all General and Auxiliary fees for the upcoming school year. According to DiJiacomo, general fees include the “Health Center, Parking Improvement, and Student Union Expansion” while Auxiliary fees are “Student Rec Center, Sykes Student Union, Housing, and Food Service.”
Mixner will explain any increases as well as the purpose of the fee and its impact on the student body.
This is the first in a three step process by which fees are approved, according to DiJiacomo.
First they must be approved by SGA, “second each is approved by the Council of Trustees, and last by the Board of Governors, which oversees the entire PASSHE system,” he said.
Colin McGlinchey is a fifth-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at QuadEIC@wcupa.edu.