On Wednesday, April 10, the Student Government Association (SGA) held its eighth senate hearing of the spring semester. These meetings take place with the purpose of approving new senators, representatives, and student organizations, discussing change to SGA’s governing documents, and hearing project and meeting reports from the executive board and current senators. At the hearing on Wednesday April 10, the senate approved a new representative for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), heard an address from Prism, the LGBTQ+ student organization on campus, passed the Records and Accessibility Amendment, and received farewells from members of the executive board who will not be returning next semester.
First on the agenda, students Zoey Krevitz and Evan Balizado presented themselves to the senate as candidates for the position of SAAC representative in senate. Krevitz, a sophomore aerospace engineering major in cross country and track and field, thinks SGA is important for creating community between sports and organizations. She believes there is not enough student participation and support for the sports games on campus, and given more funds for the athletic department, she would like to see it spent on new equipment. Balizado, a freshman biomedical engineering major also involved in cross country and track and field, recognizes SGA as the voice of the students and SAAC as the voice of the athletes on campus. He admitted that not enough money goes towards athletics, and given more funds, he would like to see more bleachers on Stuart Field.
During discussion by the senate of these two candidates, senators recognized that Krevitz is a strong candidate as she is currently on the executive board for Dance Marathon and is easily able to stay on top of things and communicate well. Evan was also recognized as being a responsible student. Zoey Krevitz was voted in as the SAAC representative.
Next President of Prism Emma Kaufman and Vice President Claire Joswiak presented their address to the senate. They discussed their history with Finance Board and want to see constructive change take place. In summary, they had proposed an event that was more expensive event than normal, and offered to be present at the Finance Board hearing, so as to answer any questions. However, although they were permitted to be present at the hearing, they would not be allowed to speak. The event, although allegedly gaining a majority of the Finance Board members’ support in the beginning, ended up being cut. The members of Prism believe that Finance Board has no consistency with following their guidelines, which can easily be changed with a two-thirds vote from their members. The full text can be found on the senate channel of the SGA slack, found at sgaiit.slack.com.
Following this address, Finance Board Chair Jorge Morin admitted that he did not believe that the members of Prism’s account of events was accurate. Additionally, he alleged that Prism has asked for more than $100,000 of Student Activity Fund (SAF) money. After further discussion, Executive Vice President Monica Bhagavan ordered a five to 10 minute recess to allow Finance Board to put together a response.
Finance Board Chair Jorge Morin responded that Finance Board had a lot of reservations about spending such a large amount of the SAF on one event. They aren’t trying to be unprofessional, they’re just trying to make the right decision for the student body. He admitted that the process for approving Prism’s budget did take long time, because of winter break and the timing. He and the Finance Board fully support transparency and the recording of hearings that all claims made about the conduct of hearings can be verified.
Then, the Records and Accessibility Amendment was presented by President Eric Scott and Senator Derek Rhea. This mandates that Finance Board will record all hearings and advising, and all ledgers from the past four academic years will be available to the student body online. This amendment is not complete, but is meant to be worked on, and is open to friendly amendments. The amendment will continue to be worked on by the Governmental Affairs Committee and anyone else with input and presented to the senate for approval again.
Events Chair Henry White began executive reports by announcing the SGA Banquet in the Pritzker Club on April 26. He thanked the senators and SGA members who were volunteers on the bridge for the last few weeks as well.
Finance Board Chair Jorge Morin mentioned that the last Finance Board hearing is April 13, and will be recorded. If you or someone you know is interested in Finance Board, feel free to email Finance Board at [email protected].
Finally, Chief Justice Erin Monforti, Vice President of Communications Narkis Garcia, Executive Vice President Monica Bhagavan, and Vice President of Academic Affairs Erin Nelson, who will not be returning to their positions on the executive board next semester, said their farewells and recounted the progress the SGA has made these past couple semesters.
The meeting minutes can be found online on the SGA Facebook page, and anyone with questions or comments regarding SGA can direct them to [email protected]